Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Vacation in ... Lviv

I had some vacation days that I didn't get around to using, but I really didn't feel like traveling - so I am taking a "staycation."  A staycation is one of those words coined to make being poor incredibly cool - the way shabby-chic is used to explain away the fact that all of your furniture is old and in poor condition.

It just so happens that I live in the most incredible city for a vacation, or a staycation.  Or ... whatever.

I love this city.  It is just teeming with things to do, places to see, coffee to drink, and amazing cafes to visit.  Oddly, my idea of a perfect vacation is to buy a cheap detective novel (or three), sit in a comfy chair and read for a week.  I decided to at least mix the two a bit, and have been testing out the comfyness factor of chairs in various cafes around the city.

I found a thick crime-novel at the book-market (in English!) for only 5 UAH - about 65 cents.  The only problem is that it is British English and not American English.  Other than spending five minutes trying to figure out what a kerb is (a curb for those keeping score at home), the biggest challenge has been trying to figure out the names of each unit within the police system in England, and the differing importance of rank for officers.  Apparently, rank is unbelievably important in their system ... and apparently I don't understand the order at all.  The author keeps making big references to rank and it is quite confusing.  This has given me a greater understanding of non-native speakers as they try to navigate all of the various meanings we have given to words and actions in the English language.

I have also spent a good deal of time working on translations.  My co-translator and I discovered a Ukrainian poet who wrote the most mesmerizing verses.  We've translated two of his poems into English so far, and hope to keep working on some of his other writings.  We hope to start publishing in 2013.  

I've also spent a great deal of time just walking around.  The weather has jumped above zero this week, and the snow and ice are melting.  Usually it's too cold for a long walk, so it has been nice to be able to enjoy this small comfort as well.

I hope that your Christmas vacations have been nice and that you have been able to enjoy your time of rest as much as I have.  

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