Friday, January 19, 2007

Kyiv Day of Prayer?

The other day as I was resurfacing from the depths of the Metro, I spotted one of my strangest sights to date in Kyiv.

Now, in my time, I've attended some rather fervent prayer sessions at pentecostal church services. So when I was walking through the tunnels of the Kyiv Metro and saw two dyevushkas clinging to each other, heads bowed, whispering intently I assumed they were overcome with emotion and prayer. I felt like I was in a Hillsong congregation on a Sunday morning.

But there were two things that struck me as odd.

1) The dyevushkas were stopped in a narrow tunnel... Not so surprising, as in their endless quest to be noticed, dyevushkas think nothing of stopping suddenly in a torrent of pedestrians. They're probably hoping a prospective husband will trip over their stick-thin legs and whisk them away to a life in the States. But these ones were really putting their lives on the line by blocking 300 cranky Ukrainians who were just as keen as I was to emerge from the hot, stinky Metro.

2) Ukraine isn't the USA - it's not exactly known as a charismatic Christian heartland, or really Christian at all for that matter. At best, a Ukrainian will be spotted strolling into a church to take shelter from the elements and plant a sloppy one on a portrait of a saint. But so removed are the Ukrainians from Christianity in general that they don't have Christmas trees here, they have New Years trees. Although Christmas is a good excuse to take holidays and enjoy public inebriation.

My heart went out to these desperate dyevushkas as I watched them at their prayers. One of the girls was almost crying, she was so upset, and her companion was clutching her, physically holding her upright for fear she would faint... Or so I thought.

Then the devastating(ly funny) reality dawned on me. One of the dyevushkas couldn't move because her stiletto heel was stuck in the pavement grate. Oh, it was the funniest thing I've ever seen! I just hope her prayers were answered, cause all I could see was a $300 pair of boots going, well... down the drain!

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