KAMIANETS-PODILSKYI, UKRAINE IMAGES: MY TROUBLED HEAD

I am thinking it’s a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images and when
We kiss they’re perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate
That God himself did make
Us into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay

And true, it may seem like a stretch,
But its thoughts like this that catch
My troubled head when you’re away
When I am missing you to death

~The Postal Service “Such Great Heights”

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29mar15. Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

KAMIANETS-PODILSKYI, UKRAINE STREET ART: “TULIP,” AFTER MUCH CONFUSION

In my continued efforts to share information and insight about international street art, I try very hard to get direct translations from the natives of whatever particular country I happen to be in at the time. Here is a verbatim text chat I had last night with my main translator in Ukraine. Confusion abounds, to say the least. But, eventually the answer will be revealed.

Vlad: Flower. Holland national flower. Tulip.

Jackie: Does it say “Tulip?”

V: I’ve just translated it. Is it a flower “tulip?”

J: You’re being mean in English. Softer. It says specifically, “Is it a flower tulip?”

V: No no no. It was a question. Is it a flower?

J: It says “Is it a flower?” It’s a question?

V: No. I’m asking you.

J: Just WHAT does the Cyrillic say?!

V: Wait. From the beginning…

J: What does the yellow say?! That’s all!

V: So, I don’t know what it says, BUT I know that word means ‘flower.’ Special flower. I think it is ‘tulip.’

J: So, “flower?”

V: Yes. BUT ‘Special Flower.’ Like, you know, ‘camomile.’ That particular flower is a tulip.

J: Fuck it. I don’t know what to write. I just want to know the EXACT translation of the yellow word!!!!

V: Tulip.

J: Wow.

V: Who is mean now?

J: Lol. Literally. Thank you for that. Omg. I needed to laugh.

V: You’re welcome.

The End.

So, you can see, the answer was actually in the first sentence.

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29mar15. Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

KAMIANETS-PODILSKYI, UKRAINE IMAGES: STARING AT ASPHALT

Unexpectedly alone and out of sorts exploring a foreign town, I felt compelled to listen to my favorite album of all-time over and over on the trip.

“Smeared black ink… your palms are sweaty
And I’m barely listening to last demands
I’m staring at the asphalt wondering what’s buried underneath
Where I am”

~ The Postal Service “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”

ngf 049 ngf 048 ngf 051 ngf 052 ngf 054                                                                 “Choose familiar faces”

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29mar15. Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

KAMIANETS-PODILSKYI, UKRAINE IMAGES: NO ‘STRANGER DANGER’

Usually you walk around cities and the stray cats or dogs generally run away from you at first sign of any kind of approach, right? Well, in the sleepy town of K.P., most of the dogs and cats were friendly, indicating that the citizens of K.P. must be kind to them. That’s a good feeling.

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He was merely a kitten, but sweet as could be. Almost looks like a wise old owl, doesn’t he?

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29mar15. Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

KAMIANETS-PODILSKYI, UKRAINE IMAGES: STATION PRE-DAWN

It was a rough week prior to this trip, a lot of things happening outside of my control and I was very much looking forward to this trip with my three companions. But, as the universe, which was apparently conspiring relentlessly against me would have it, due to a comedy of errors, my friends never made it to the train. So there I was already shaking my head at what life was doing to me up to that point, and now I’m on the train alone heading to a city in Western Ukraine, that try as I might, I just couldn’t pronounce the name correctly of. Train staff, knowing I couldn’t understand Russian, though try as they may, they never gave up trying to drill it into me with their questions of curiosity, asking me where my other 3 friends are, as I am sitting with 4 tickets. They let me hang out of the train door until the very last minute for departure, in the vain hopes that I would see one of my friends running to the platform. Never happened. And they just shook their heads and continued to speak Russian at me.

Once their curiosity subsided and they realized they had jobs to do on the journey, they left me alone at my berth to lie down and contemplate what the f**k was happening to me…

Not one to complain, I just accepted that what had happened to me that week and that night…was happening for a reason and I needed to pay attention. The universe must have gifted me with the solo journey for me to get my shit together and to accept that things happen out of my control and I should never take anything for granted.

I’m well on my way to learning that lesson.

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Arriving pre-dawn to Kamianets-Podilskyi. Cold. Alone. No map. No Ukrainian. No Russian. Absolutely NO IDEA. I guess that’s FREEDOM. Thanks, Universe, for the lesson in humility…

29mar15. Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.