The longest day travelling the shortest distance ever. My mood has been a complete disaster in the last 10 days. I made a stupid pact, I drunk texted, I was grumpy with the whole world and hated all my surroundings. This is the first time in 2+ years of travel where I felt completely trapped by my own desires. It was such a weird sensation. You know that time where you could go absolutely anywhere, you could book a plane ticket to literally anywhere, you have zero obligations and zero reasons not to, but it would be completely useless. You would still be locked in your god damn skin. I don’t know what happened in Slovakia, but I will gladly ditch the mental turd there.
I’m hoping the bad spell will be over now that I’m in Ukraine. The people look serious but I think they’re much friendlier than the Slovaks. We will see. I have 17 days here and I plan to summon all the magic back.
Finally, on my second and last flight of the day. There’s a guy in his 50s who looks exactly like Gerard Butler, Ukrainian version. I feel like an outdated Lolita right now. I’ll sprinkle away the memory confetti of the guy in first class, and he’ll probably do the same with the girl sitting 30 rows back.
Sunday mooooorning, the Ukrainian birds are siiiinging. I barely arrived here and I already talked to two super friendly locals. Alex on the plane and Tetiana on my way to the apartment. How refreshing!
The girl who owns it combined the hipster apartment style (pallets, bright blue and green combined with relaxing grey), with the charming tall ceilings, white terracotta stove and big eyed windows. I don’t do much on my first day anywhere (unless I’m in a hurry) but I got loads of work to finish and eagerness to be out there. I googled the digital nomad friendly cafes and chose Svit Kavy. It’s a old style café’ with what it seems to be the best coffee in town (the town has a coffee festival, so that says much). The staff is friendly and the atmosphere warm. Good place to get some Sunday work done. However, to get here (1km from my apartment), I had to walk past a political mini parade, a clochard peeing in a plastic yoghurt bucket in the middle of the square, several trucks with soldiers and an army of church goers. It’s foggy outside. My first real fresh day since two Christmases away.
It takes 2 seconds to understand that Lviv is pure energy. This is what gets you hooked on travelling like a maniac. It’s not easy to find it because it will usually linger in the most unexpected places. The combination between modernity, freedom, history, political tension, faith, youth, class and poverty is electric. You can literally feel the mental buzz in the air. Lviv is alive and I wouldn’t expect anything less from the cultural capital of Ukraine. I have this very cocky belief that it’s my own cultural background that makes my heart shiver in a place like this, but I’m pretty sure that most travellers will understand its vibe.
It seems that I didn’t have to summon magic after all. It has summoned me here.
To be continued…
Aug 26th 2018