I've just finished a huge Global Voices translation and feel I can still go on and on. Strange, because I'm more used to falling asleep while I type now...
Sorry for this silence, and thank you all so much for the kind words and thoughts... It's been a very tough week for us here.
Papa noticed a newspaper at someone else's table today - and asked mama to borrow it for him. We're not sure if he could read or understand anything in the paper, but that he is interested in the outside world again is a very good sign, we hope... Inshaallah. Interested in something that he loves - the news. Is obsessed with, actually... Something other than tennis, which still is the subject of what we thought was delirium, but what the doctor called "lexical crumbs" today...
Mama spent the Monday-to-Tuesday night at home - the only one so far, since last Wednesday. Papa was sleeping through most of the night then, with the help of some sedatives, and there were also new patients in their room, some with their relatives, and there was only one bed left (occupied in the daytime by a man who illegally leaves the hospital in the evening and returns in the morning for treatment).
This hospital stay is a good example of how one can get used to just about anything. By now, mama is on friendly terms with a few people in the room: they're all prepared to help each other out if necessary. Maybe it's even good that they don't have rooms with more privacy at this hospital: how would mama be able to leave papa for a few hours if there was no one but him in the room? Someone has to be there to call a nurse - that's the way it works here.
One man is from a town 100 km from Kyiv - his son is taking care of him, and he told my mama some horror stories about their local, small-town hospital and the doctors there, and compared to that, this Kyiv hospital is luxurious, almost. (An aside: the guy is 43 years old and he's got two grandkids already. His second wife is just three years older than I am, 35... His father is my mother's age - and twice a great-granddad. Crazy.)
Still, it's a horror, what's been happening to papa this year, and the state of health care in this country. It's even more disgusting now to listen to all the political bullshit on TV (and on top of it, to suffer through the daily slalom between their Lexuses with Marta in a stroller). Also, at one blog today, I read someone's comment on Mikhail Khodorkovsky: how the Russian people are responsible for what's happening to him, and I thought, God, but the man had a $15-billion fortune, right, and do they really expect people who survive on $100 a month to stand up for him now? When you are at a hospital here, you better watch how a nurse fills your syringe with the medication you need or else she'd steal it and resell it and you'll get water instead - and you expect these people to go to rallies to protest Khodorkovsky's imprisonment? (It's an incoherent rant, but you know what I mean.)
The tariffs war is continuing here, there was another fight at the Kyiv City Council yesterday, but I missed it, and they seem to have agreed to lower the rates by 10 percent, though I'm not sure I've got the figure right. On Wednesdays, they have live broadcasts of public executions of the Kyiv district authorities - a freak show, really. Some Kyiv residents who come there with their problems are totally clueless: one relatively young-looking guy said he and his family was homeless - including his 8-month-old granddaughter - and would they still have to pay the communal services fees? Surreal, isn't it.
And the infamous Nestor Shufrych (can't find a link that would provide a good portrayal of the guy, sorry) now heads the ministry of emergencies. Absurd. As absurd as the translation of the ministry's full title: