Unless I decide to continue.
But I will have completed the original goal.
I got to choose the topic for my paper, which will be the sole basis for the final six credits.
So, of course, the general topic is Ukraine ... and the more specific topic is the idea of Soviet nostalgia ... which is or has been a real thing, for some, not all. We Westerners don't understand that at all ... doesn't even cross our minds.
Part of the research involves poring through Kyiv Post archives from 20 years ago. When the nation was only a few years old. When the economy was terrible. When the government was a giant pile of bureaucracy, effective at nothing.
You know what's sobering?
Articles that talk about being "too poor to die". People couldn't afford the cost of a funeral in Kyiv in 1997.
When I went the first time in 1999,
I remember babushkas - grandmothers -
sitting on the streets,
holding out their hands,
no eye contact.
You held tightly to your belongings;
on that first trip
I kept my passport and cash with me
at all times,
in a belt under my clothing.
Things have changed a great deal over the years, although the current war and flood of refugees is changing it all again.
It's easy for me to get lost in it all.
So on Mondays, my mind moves through history in a land on the other side of the planet, while attempting to frame events within a sociological understanding.
And on Mondays, I long to be there again, visiting this #landilove.