16 July 2008

Over the Border

TRANSCARPATHIA/UKRAINE--We left Budapest and traveled East across the great plain of Hungary towards the Ukrainian border. We sped down the good highways, stopping for dinner in the late afternoon at a shelter for the sick and for the family's of the ill who need a place to stay while their loved ones are being treated. We met a young boy with a bad cancer and he took my photo while I took his and he seemed very happy and very brave and very full of hope that we, that someone, might do something.

It soon was dark as we continued towards the border. Long lines of cars and trucks were stopped, waiting to be searched. I felt an instinctive fear there. Too many years, I suppose, of spy novels and movies with tense scenes at places that looked like this. There were the tall, grim-faced blonde soldiers in strange camouflage, a certain blocky, monumental feeling to the dark buildings with bright-lit spots of cyrillic writing, but we went through quickly because of the connections SARA has worked on for years.

And then it was dark. We crossed the border into deep shadow. Most of what we could see was only that lit by the car's headlamps, a twisted sign here, a darkened lot or field. It was the kind of dark one usually only finds deep in the woods but here we were passing through silent towns. The roads became pitted and crumbled as soon as we entered Ukraine and the drivers began the familiar zig zag navigation of driving in a country without the funds for infrastructure repair. Above us were stars.


Blogger Here, In My Head said...

I LOVE the way you're telling this adventure.

Exactly why haven't you written a book since "The Dead Travel Fast"?

9:06 PM  

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