I live across from the train ticket office in the heart of Donetsk. Like most people in the world, many Ukrainians take vacations during the summer and that means, for most of them, that they will travel by train.
Each morning before 6 a.m. people begin arriving at the ticket office and sit. The office doesn’t open until 8 a.m., however, people begin lining up early in order to get tickets. This morning I heard a commotion and looked out the window. It was almost time for the doors to open and I guess someone tried to cut in line and some lady was letting the person know that she didn’t approve.
It reminded me of my visits to Kiev almost 20 years ago and trying to buy tickets at the main train station. The lines were horribly long and one could stand in line several hours. There was always a semblance of a line, but you would never know how many people had come and asked someone to “hold” a place for them while they did other things, only to return just before you thought it was your turn.
Late last year the train ticket office went through a renovation and they installed a machine that spits out numbers so there is a better system in place. However, I guess that doesn’t really help until you get inside the door.