Monday, May 15, 2006

Dead Souls

Almost as soon as The Wall fell, they came looking for dead souls. Mormons, Evangelical Christians, and the Hari Krishna pictured here. The former Soviet Union, officially atheist until 1988, must still be considered a great growth market by the world's snake-handlers and mantra-chanters, because there was a crowd a hundred strong in Schevchenko Park watching this group on Saturday night.

The guy at the far right of picture chanted and played his squeeze box, while the women were segregated and dancing off to his other side, this group dressed in saris and comfortable shoes. I kept looking at these shoes -- plastic sandals and Birkenstock-like things, all sadly blurry in my other photo -- and wondering how they expected to win over the hearts and minds of Ukrainian women looking like this. This is the country of the four-inch heel, the stiletto in the snow-storm. If you are a man with a foot fetish, this is both the country for you and the country you should avoid at all costs, as you might find yourself unable to be a productive citizen of the world surrounded by so many knee-high boots and calves wrapped in elaborate ribbons.