Saturday morning, it’s sunny and fresh. I make my way down to Maidan and buy a coffee from a stall.
I sit, sipping at the coffee, trying to imagine the revolution that took place on this square only a few years ago. The fire and the smoke, the flags, the songs, the solidarity, the strength, the anger, bravery, courage. The lives, the bullets, the blood and death of young and old, over 100 shot by snipers, near to where I’m sitting, drinking my coffee.
But it’s impossible to visualise any of this on a bright morning in Kyiv. People milling about, taking photos, walking dogs, smoking, meeting, chatting, drinking coffee. Just normal stuff.
I find a place for a late breakfast.
I buy a few gifts from home, a pair of ‘hand made’ woolen socks for my wife and a Dynamo Kyiv t-shirt for my son.
At lunchtime I meet my friend Nina, she takes me to Pizza Veterano, a restaurant run by veterans of the war in the east of Ukraine, the pizza is excellent.
We then embark on an epic tour of the city.
In the evening I meet my friend Anna, and spend the evening walking, eating and drinking. We start at my favourite cafe in Kyiv, Kharms, for coffee and cake. Anna spots a famous journalist and introduces me, we chat for a while, it’s that kind of place.
Later on Anna introduces me to the delights of ‘Kyivska Perepichka’ a kind of sausage deep fried in dough. Imagine a doughnut crossed with a sausage roll and you’re almost there (sort of).