Mama drove with the cops to Obukhiv, where they interrogated the nurse who let papa walk away from the hospital. The bitch yelled at everyone, including mama.
Then they drove around to some churches, and homes for the elderly, and a few other towns, inquiring and leaving info.
I suspect that it would've been more efficient if mama had been doing all this on her own. Here's why.
I took a marshrutka to Obukhiv myself in the afternoon - got off at the other end of the town and walked all the way to the hospital, via the town's center. It was a pretty long walk, during which I realized that even if papa hadn't left Obukhiv, there're still too many places he could be at, and it's impossible to search them all. Because even though Obukhiv's population is like that of Iowa City during school breaks, when all the students are gone, it's nowhere near as orderly as Iowa City. It's a mess, just like most other places here are.
I was really shocked to discover that the hospital is located at the town's edge, and to reach it, you either have to take a marshrutka from the center, or walk up the road surrounded by the forest for about 20 minutes. And there are forests all around the hospital. A few residential buildings, too, a few dilapidated factory-like places, and a really fancy-looking Catholic monastery. And a big ad with Yushchenko making some promises about decent pensions.
I walked there in order to try to see it through papa's eyes. I hoped I'd know right away which way he went after he'd left the hospital. But there are at least three directions - and there're pine forests everywhere. And Obukhiv's center can't be the most obvious choice for someone who's in town for the first time: standing by the hospital, it's just impossible to figure out where the center is. He could've taken a marshrutka - you pay as you get out there, not when you get in, but that might've created some problem, since he didn't have any money on him, and perhaps someone would've remembered him because of that, a driver or a passenger, but so far no one has contacted us with such info.
So I was really upset, because instead of doing a thorough search around the hospital, the cops decided to move on to other places, comparatively remote, probably assuming that he did make it to the center, because it's easier to find food and drink there.
I was even more upset when mama told me in the evening that neither she, nor the cops had talked to the locals who lived or worked near the hospital. Maybe the local police will do this, maybe not. I didn't talk to anyone there, either, because I assumed this had been done already, today or yesterday, and also because I get really tired talking to people, telling them the story over and over again, getting stared at, and getting no results. I wish I could keep my journalistic self permanently turned on - but I can't.
Also, the reason I think he might've walked away from the center is because of where they found him on July 18: at some bus stop in Bezradychi. Whether it was Old Bezradychi, or New Bezradychi, I don't remember. Yushchenko has a house there somewhere, it's a fancy place, despite what the name suggests. It's on the other highway from Kyiv than the one I took, and the way I imagine it, they must've approached the hospital from the road leading to the center - not from the center itself. And who knows, maybe he felt like taking a familiar path, familiar because he'd just seen it out of the window. I didn't walk too far in that direction - because I'm not brave enough to take lonely walks in the forest.
According to the cop who brought papa to the Obukhiv hospital, he had been sitting on a bench at a bus stop in Bezradychi for two day, and finally some nurse called this cop. They fed papa - a sausage, water - and then the cop drove him to Obukhiv. God bless him.
I'm feeling very depressed now.
Marta is such a joy, though. At night, she dreams of cats and cars: yesterday, in her sleep, she suddenly said "bee-bee" a few times (that's "a car" in babytalk here), and a few minutes ago, she said "dyadya maaaaa" twice, without opening her eyes (that's our cat Nur - I often call him "dyadya Nur" or "dyadya kot" - Uncle Cat - and she picked it up; "maaaaa" is her way of saying "meow"). I'm somewhat worried, though: isn't it a bit too early for sleeptalking? She must be stressed, too - because she's spending the summer in the city and because she sees how upset we all are...
Mama's cops have been promised a vacation if they find papa. And they thought it would be an easy case. Turns out it's not. And it looks like they aren't planning to work tomorrow: mama overheard them talking about a fishing trip scheduled for 3 pm tomorrow. Such a slow beginning - and now this. But we'll see how it goes.
Obukhiv's center has reminded me of Russia - there are lots of swastikas and skinhead writings on the walls, many of them crossed out by the Antifa guys. I really couldn't believe my eyes. DPNI (Movement Against Illegal Immigration) also has a branch here - which is kind of funny, because I don't think I've seen a single person who didn't look 100 percent local.
Once again, thank you all for your support. Writing here helps me so much, even though I can't even say, "I hope it'll be over soon": this is the only thing I really want now, for it to be over, but I don't think hoping for that is realistic.
Saturday, July 28, 2007