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!!!