IAC #5 — Catching up with whatever this is!

UPDATED October 25th, 2019 — this is a dispatch from my cycle tour of Ukraine and surroundings this past Summer with my partner Nastia, an open project on an Autumn/Winter hiatus — check out the project page more information, and sign up for my newsletter if you would like to be notified when it resumes 🙂

I finally found some time to edit, add a few more photos, and cross-post my tour de Ukraine dispatches to this website, where you may now find mildly edited versions of them:

  • Day #0 — my very first day back on the road, one day before than originally planned;

  • Polishing it up! — a quick update from our first few days on the road after getting Nastia’s bicycle;

  • If only this were just an extended vacation — a reflection on my travel process, particularly on how it depends to some extent on the kindness of people i meet along my way, and how i may want to change some of how i handle it going forward;

  • If not an extended vacation, then what is it? — another live update, and a bit of a warning about what to expect from my newsletter while i’m on the road;

  • Some bus stops in the Chernivtsi Region — a document of bus stops along our route by bicycle through the Chernivtsi Region, with a few tentative notes/brewing thoughts on national borders and identity.

If you prefer sharing my writing more broadly in social media than by directly forwarding some of these emails to select people, i hope you’ll find the links above convenient — whatever you do to promote this newsletter will be much appreciated, so long as you sincerely endorse it <3

I’ve also started a page to collect photo galleries and articles from this tour, which i’m giving the working title In The Countrie — that’s a free (and intentionally misspelled) translation of у країні (u kraini), which in turn is a play on words with Україна (Ukraina), Ukrainian for Ukraine. If you don’t want me to make puns in your language, better not let me learn any of it! Anyway, Nastia likes it, and i hope the other seven of you who can speak both languages will also 😀

Speaking of Nastia and the other seven of you who can read Ukrainian, she also has a blog, where she’s been writing about her experience traveling by bicycle for the first time, as well as in the country she grew up but never saw much of. Machine translations work relatively well also.

Cool. That’s about it for today.

“I’ll be back in five minutes, please stir the jam every half-an-hour” — that came up at our dinner table with our hosts a few days ago as the kind of notice they’d give their children when going to the market, or to pick up something from the neighbor.

I thought it was hilarious — and it accurately described my own experience growing up with my grandmother! If i went out to look for her, i’d often find that she’d barely left home before getting stuck catching up with a neighbor. Upon seeing me, she’d sometimes react — “Oh, great, you’re here, can you please go to the market and get me an onion while i wrap up the conversation, so i can go finish cooking lunch?”

I love Grandma.

In that spirit, see you next week!

Featured photo: a still somewhat disoriented Nastia preparing our nevertheless delicious dinner at one of our wild camping sites (Ukraine ’19)

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In the Countrie: cycle touring; Eastern Europe, Ukraine

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