Laughter Through Tears

So many times in the last few months, there have been calls for a general strike: no one goes to work as another way of making the protest felt by the government.

But hardworking Kyivans didn’t announce a strike, instead managing to fit in both a full work day and saving the world at Maidan.

And so now the government, by shutting down the metro in the Ukrainian capital with a population of three million, is itself ensuring that the general strike does happen. Because, excuse me, Mr. Big walked home on foot from Sevastopolska Square to Heroiv Dnipra. Six hours. At least it was above freezing and the snow had melted.

Laughter Through Tears Image

The city was completely jammed with traffic and taxis simply turned down callers, or only responded to curbside hails for completely insane prices. The government said that it won’t resume metro services “while there are riots in the city.”

What’s next? Should we expect demonstrative shutoffs of heat, electricity and water, also out of concerns of terrorist threats to heat and aeration plants, and hints that they won’t turn them on until we start behaving? God, won’t they forget Mordyukovaya and her classic “Those who won’t buy a lottery ticket will have their gas turned off”?1

I’m not hysterical, just angry.

Folks from the regions, just understand that this is a clusterfuck. Imagine a huge city in which the metro is the main form of transportation, allowing a huge mass of people to get from one end to the other. And now all of that is blocked. Schools and kindergartens are closed (I don’t know if it’s all of them, but it’s a lot). If a person works on the other end of the city and has no car, he really can’t get there. Don’t tell me about taking a bus and transferring between lines–crosstown is tens of kilometers and no other transportation can handle the load the metro can handle. That’s what I’m telling you. People of Moscow, imagine that your metro got shut off, and to be fair, divide the situation by two. Not much better, huh?

People I know are writing that, for example, children’s hospitals are left without many of their doctors, because the doctors can’t get to work in Obolon if they themselves live in the Osokorky.

Basically, yeah. Thanks to the government for the sudden vacation.

In the time freed up from work, Kyivans are making soup for Maidan, volunteering in hospitals, and collecting glass bottles for Molotov cocktails. We now have endless time for our favorite hobby.

Good job, government! Have the Dior Order of the Third Degree (c)!2


1.  Mordyukova was a famous Soviet actress. The quote is from her character (a building superintendent) in The Diamond Hand.

2. A joke award for fashionable people who can tell Dior and Versace apart.


Translated by Anna Shvets

Edited by Robin Rohrback


1 thought on “Laughter Through Tears

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s