First, I needed to exchange greenbacks for grievnas. This is something Kevin has always done but I honestly couldn't remember exactly where. I must have walked right past the spot because I know I was on the right street. So I figured I'd just keep walking and surely run into something. I was trying very hard to look like I knew what I was doing, to keep my mouth shut so my English-habit would not be obvious, not to gawk or try to sound out all the signs, and not to fall on my head in the slush. I did finally find a nice warm spot inside a Columbia Wear store where cash could be exchanged. I had it all figured out which pocket was going to hold what money so I wouldn't have to carry a purse. Then I made myself walk though the maze of shops below our apartment. My quest was to find wet wipes, baby shampoo and plastic cup/dish. This cannot be that difficult. I did find the candy store quite easily which was good because I think I want to get candy for the ladies at the orphanage. Unfortunately for me I can't figure out how the pricing works. The sign said something like 27.50 and then some letters so I didn't know if that was 27.50 per so many grams or what. And since this is Valentines Day--here, too--there were several people gathered around her booth anyway.
So back to the apt to de-stress, eat lunch, try to get hold of Juan and Nancy (no luck), procrastinate a bit more and down to the Metro station with the sun now shining brightly. I rode up to the Maiden stop, checked out all levels of 2 underground malls, walked past stores all around the square, even up a couple streets to no avail. I've found fancy clothes, fancy coats (we are talking gorgeous, full length fur-of-all-kinds coats), fancy boots, fancy underwear, fancy shoes, fancy jewelry, fancy watches, fancy furniture and other fancy household furnishings, music, food court, Valentine bears and hearts and balloons and candy and flowers. But where is good ol' Target or Shopko or K-Mart? Where is a store that sells just regular stuff? I have seen real living, breathing babies and small children here so there has to be someway their parents feed them and wash them.
I did manage to make 2 purchases: a McDonalds meal (interestingly there were 2 other seats at my tiny table and 2 other ladies asked to sit there) and tourist books about Kiev. (I do realize that eating at McDonalds is cheating because Big Mac, fry and Cola Light are the same in both languages but it was still scary to walk in there.) By the end it had turned bitterly cold and was very slick. I think those ladies with spike heels may have a little advantage because they can dig in and not slide.
Just in!! News flash!! Nancy just called and she's found a store that sells wipes and cereal and baby food. So the plan is to join her tomorrow afternoon after paperwork so she can show me where it is. Funny thing is her apt is down by the Maiden so maybe I was right by it and didn't know.
Thanks for your comments everyone. They make me feel like I'm still connected to the rest of the world.