Traveling by train…

Train travel is extremely popular in Europe.  In my almost 10 years in the former Soviet Union, I have spent a fair amount of time on the train.  Unlike trains in western Europe, most trains in fSU travel at night to their destination.

I don’t enjoy overnight travel on the train.  I have a difficult time sleeping.  I have tried sleep aids like melatonin and Tylenol PM to no avail.  I traveled to Kyiv last Saturday, then on Sunday drove to Warsaw with several colleagues for a couple of days of respite, shopping and eating comfort food!  Wednesday we traveled back to Kyiv.

Thursday evening I got on the train, found my room and bed and settled in for the night.  Soon, the room was full with 4 people (2 guys and 2 ladies).  After talking with them in Russian, I learned that the guy, Bogdan (sounds like Bog-Don) spoke English and we spent the next 2 hours talking about a variety of things.

Everyone went to sleep (well everyone except me!).  I watched some tv show on my computer and then tried to sleep.  I may have slept a couple of hours during the course of the next 7 hours.  I woke up at 5 am and never went back to sleep.

I came home and then went to get my car from the parking lot.  I had arranged to get some things done and on my return trip back to my apartment, I saw Bogdan near my apartment.  We spoke and he had lots of free time so I invited him back to my apt.

During the next 3 1/2 hours, we talked about many things.  I learned that he is Greek Orthodox and actually attends church frequently.  He is a young professional trying his best to make ends meet in this incredibly difficult market.  I cannot believe how open he was about his life, considering we just met less than 24 hours earlier!

Each time I have an encounter like this, I come away with even more insight into the make up of Ukrainians, how they think, etc.  This time was no different.  I shared with Bodgan that I don’t believe in coincidences and believe that God brought our paths together for a reason.

It was a great afternoon spending time getting to know him.  He will be back in Donetsk in last September and I hope we get the chance to meet again.  While I don’t believe in coincidences, I do believe in God-incidences!  Today was such an experience!!!

5 thoughts on “Traveling by train…

  1. I love to read about your experiences, Joe. God is amazing with his crossing our paths with just whom he wants us to share. You will see Bogdan again.

  2. I always pray before I get on the trains in Ukraine that the Lord will place the people he wants me to be a witness to in my cabin. He hasn’t failed me yet.

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