Dear ___ ,

There was the night when I went to the Opera House (opirnih thiatr), then found myself stranded in an al-fresco restaurant with a bunch of (old and new) friends—and there was another night when I went to the Irish Pub with them and some other fellows from Kyiv and Belarus. They kind of mixed up, those nights, in my memories. I couldn’t really tell which was which. I lost my sense of time when I was traveling.

But  I had a wonderful time the night after the Irish Pub; after a few days and several conversations and long walks and taxi rides and another round of conversations and a few drinks and another round of conversations and a movie… a moment that (no matter how indirect it might be) led me to us. A few weeks later, I told my friend that expectations and imaginations could become our worst enemies. We blew things out of proportion, we didn’t see things as it was; we made things up in our mind about how things should end up and we ended up getting hurt. If life is measured by moments, what’s yours: a collection of moments you’ve missed or a collection of moments you’ve embraced?

I went for coffee with Sam that morning, she was about to fly back to London while I would still be in Kyiv for another 4 days. We had a quick stroll at Marinskiy Park—where people sat lazily and read books and kissed and bought ice creams. When Sam left, I became a solo traveler once again and took my luggage to my hostel in Andriyivsky, Uzviz; located only five steps away from the turned-out-to-be-famous Lviv Chocolate (handmade chocolate shop).

Soon, I felt at home. And I fell in love with the stretch—lines of colorful street stalls where people sell arts and crafts, the way the street performers play their guitars and dombra, the music, the chatter, the downhill and uphill gravel path, those ever-smiling grandmas with whom I practiced my Russian with… I was so happy I found my eyes got teary after a while. The vibe was just amazingly lovely.

I spent most of my mornings just to walk leisurely (sometimes with my camera but more often not), and chatted for a while with some of the street-sellers and performers: a casual Dobre Dien and Dasvidanya and Spasiba, and more phrases would come out when they encouraged me… and I ended up getting some new phrases along the way. It was a great way to spend the day before I retreated at a small cafe for lunch and then locked myself in my room to write (I had a great view from the window!).

Oh, and speaking about writing, you would be surprised knowing that I had written about you even before we met.



4 Responses

    1. Thank you, dear! Ukrainian food? Love the chicken kiev (well, they say in Kyiv this means “chicken” only :P) and vereniki—but I ate spaghetti and everything else as well while I was there and all tasted just nice! ^^

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Screenshot 2022-12-08 at 12.43.17
This year, I learned to accept the days when I don't feel motivated, tired, or a bit grumpy. I learned to allow myself to sit with this feeling instead of feeling guilty about it and forcing myself to be productive, socialize, or just get things done.
Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash
In the end, self-care is not always about doing the things that make us feel good or give us instant gratification. It's also about doing the RIGHT thing: something that is good for us in the long run—even if it may feel hard at times.
Hanny illustrator
I am an Indonesian writer and an artist/illustrator based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.