Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 10:58:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: Nataliya Yaroshenko
Subject: the continuation of my book

Chapter two

When I came into the train I felt as if I am in another land, another planet. It was warm, cozy inside. I chose the compartment in the middle of the coach and felt that I can put off my warm clothes. I felt as if I was near the paradise!

I wanted to smile and to sing! And as closer the train was to the Poland border calmness came gradually to my heart and soul more and more. No one could hurt me any more.

The train couldn't go fast. They say that the railway tracks were very old and in unsafe condition. I think that from Kovel to the Polish border was about 50 km.

We covered it not quickly. I had an unpleasant incident with an Ukrainian border guard. After they took away our passports he came
back in a while and told me that I had to be returned to Ukraine because there wasn't my sign in my passport. And they would have to send my passport to the passport police office in Ukraine. And he told that there was more comfortable way for me to avoid that all - to give him $10 and he would give me my passport to sign and everything would be OK. I gave him $10. If you heard him telling all that rudely, with such haughtiness. As if showing that he was a person and we, who were in the compartment were made by other material.

But what was next! I forgot about this unpleasant thing! There in the Ukrainian border territory our train was highly lifted (with the people) and they changed wheels for our Ukrainian railway tracks are wider than the tracks of all the western countries and Poland as well.

I saw another train (while ours was high) so farin the bottom... This procedure was so long that later I lost the interest. And at last - the Polish land! When the Polish border guard went in I was prepared again to the noise and rudeness but... they were so polite. They were in other uniform, all smart, quick in their work. After I answered that I didn't have cigarettes, vodka or spirit with me they even didn't want to check my things.

After the first station in the city Helm I was alone in the compartment till Warsaw! I even slept a little. It was really very pleasant to go in that train! I couldn't see anything from the window. It was dark outside. But I knew that it was frost outside and I was so happy that it couldn't get me! :-).

The train was late for about 30 minutes. It was 11:30 pm. Too late. I was impressed with the huge sizes of the Warsaw Railroad Station! It was so beautiful and even smells well. I asked where there a police office was and went there. After listening to me they wrote down me the address where I should go. It was silly for me to think that the place where I was sent was working at night too. I asked one taxi driver where it was and he showed me the way. He offered me his service to get me there. I refused. It was expensive. 20 zl (= $5).

Though it was night, I felt so safe! That wonderful city with huge avenues impressed me because they all were lighted so much! Like in the day only the sky was dark! Our Ukrainian city was completely dark at night. And only in the center there were a few lamps. It was
good in my Ukrainian city at night where the moon was shining. Then you could walk more bravely.

I was so tired after a long search when at last found that office. It was closed. I had to return to the Railroad station... I was so grateful to my fate that I had light shoes. I couldn't cover such long distance wearing my heavy and warm high boots. Though after that walking I felt not well.

In the waiting room of the station I saw several homeless people. It was seen clearly that they were all drunkards. Even women. I was sorry for them but they were to blame by themselves I think for their drinking.

In three hours, when it was daylight, I again walked there where I was sent by Police officer. It was so hard for me to see all the signs in Polish, to hear foreign language. Everything was strange and new. I felt so alone but safe. This thought toldme: Go ahead!

I remember so attractive smells of prepared food from the cafes, bars...

============== to be continued...chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


children's war pictures One girl brought me a picture where a soldier is seen from the tank and smiles. And in front of him is the house in the fire. I asked her why the soldier is smiling. She answered that when Russian soldiers killed their people and fired - they smiled or laughed. This girl is 8 years old. And one girl brought me a picture of a girl watering the flowers and above her flies the plane and throws the bombs. A lot of bombs but the girl doesn't see... The bombs are above her falling down. And the sun is shining, the flowers are so beautiful. One girl draws some dead people and little children among them.