This week I’m “liveblogging” my trip to Ukraine. Unlike traditional reports, these posts will be shorter and more frequent.
The legroom may be poor and the temperature like a sauna, but a little girl has taken a liking to me on the long bus ride from Kyiv to Warsaw. It’s helping to pass the time…
My Three-Year-Old Seatmate Won’t Leave Me Alone.
With just a few exceptions (including myself), the bus from Kyiv to Warsaw is full of women and children, along with a smattering of older men. After all, Ukrainian men of fighting age are not permitted to leave the country, but other Ukranians are allowed to enter Poland simply with their passports (no visa necessary).
There’s a three-year-old girl sitting in front of me who reminds me of my daughter Claire Maire. She has a precious laugh and has spent over an hour teasing me with her purple unicorn. She also frequently pops up above her seat or through the curtain as if playing a game of hide and seek.
She’s tried to speak to me…she has quite a vocabulary…but sadly I cannot understand Ukranian. Her mother has looked on with wry amusement, probably happy for the brief respite from keeping her daughter calm.
There’s nothing profound about this, but it is a reminder that many families are currently separated right now in Ukraine and a good reminder for me to treasure my time with my family. I can’t wait to give my little daughter a huge hug and kiss.
And can I say that, sadly, I hesitated even writing this. Last week I wrote about a man who accused of being a pervert for offering his seat to an unaccompanied minor on an American Airlines flight. In this day and age, it seems like any interaction wtih children is viewed as inherently suspect. That’s a sad indictment of our moral failings on an individual and societal level.
But on this bus, I am happy for this distraction as we approach the Ukrainian border to Poland.