The Family Without Borders

The Travelling family

Ukraine

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Mysterious man: Valery, the archeologist

Valery, the archaeologist from Bakhchasaray (Ukraine; Crimea)

Strange thing has happened to us and I’m still not sure what to think about it. We met (maybe) an archeologist, which was (maybe) doing the excursion about old Armenian monastery and is (maybe) living in nearby cave.

We met Valery on the street. Talking a bit, eating lunch together. He calls himself an archeologist-guide who is organizing tours in Bakhchysaray: in the palace, in the cave city, wherever you want. Before he was a diving-sailor but due to health problems he had to change his life. So he finished studies in Kiev and moved to Crimea to make excursions. Is not happy in his life because his wife cannot have children and now all his energy he is spending on digging in old Armenian’s ruins not far away from Khans’ Palace.

We decided to check those ruins out. So there are ruins. Obviously really old. And Valery told us many things about every stone. Then we visited cave, where Valery has his “bed”, tooth brush, comb. He was used to posing for pictures. Then he took Tom on the top of some mountain to see Bakchzsaray from up. And they talked about life and kids, Valery was crying. Then he said that he feels with us like with old friends. And then he asked how much we can pay him for his excursion, just symbolically, as friends. So we gave him symbolic banknote and he commented that usually he is getting ten times more. And that maybe we can give him more.

We didn’t. Was nice until goodbye but all this day gave me such a strange feeling: was all those stories and situations made just for us? Is poorness pushing people to play like this? Or maybe just some stories were with a bit more colors? Or maybe this meeting on the street was a real nice coincidence and we had a chance to see not known Bakchysaray? I really don’t know.


Our first book is out!

We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »

One Comment

  • Posted July 21, 2010 at 09:30 | Permalink

    Strangely (or not), we had a few very simmilar experiences during our trip to Morocco. People pulling out the friend card, acting like they really like you, which is perfectly normal back in the old continent – just acting friendly, showing you places, talking about life, making you tea – and then very unexpectedly the paying time comes. At one of those moments I had a thought that in Lithuania, or Poland, or any other neighbouring country, if you’d offer the host “a symbolic banknote as a friend” – this would be actually very offensive :) so yeah, here you go, with unanswered questions about are you just another marionette in their daily play…

    Reply

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