Last night there were two options on the social calendar. Either drinking at the pub at the British Embassy with a bunch of other expats or attending a "fall ball" I was invited to at the Christian Students Association. I figured I can drink with expats whenever I want and the Christian Student thing would, at the least, be different. So the better half and I went to that. The event was billed as a celebration of Ukrainian nationalism and Thanksgiving and (presumably because of the Christian thing) there was no booze. But it was still interesting, even if elements of it did have a bit of an "up with people" feel to it. Traditional Ukrainian shirts were worn, Ukrainian food was served, Ukrainian songs were song, Ukrainian dances were danced, and Ukrainian poetry was read. Ukrainian was spoken, so I understood none of it. But everyone was really acommodating and translated stuff for me, so that was nice.
What was interesting to me was when talk changed to the election. First, everyone there was backing Yushenko, the opposition candidate. Second, there was lots of first hand talk about irregularities already occuring. People were saying that they had been left off voting lists or had had their names mis-spelled. It was advised that everyone try to sort these things out as soon as possible and that they bring their passport and a copy of their passport with them on election day to help support their ability to vote.
I was also paying attention yesterday to signs of Presidential candidate support around Kiev. I honetly don't see a lot of people that seem to be supporting Yanukovich. There was that demonstration in front of the US Embassy that I blogged about previously and I saw a group of people waving Yanukovich flags walking down towards Kreshatik (Kiev's main drag, where they held the liberation parade earlier this week) last night, but that's been about it. I've even noticed that a few billboards where there were once Yanukovich posters are now blank. I also notice that the mayor of Kiev (who really is a minor candidate) seems to have made sure that his campaign posters are displayed in the Kiev public transportation system (Metro, buses, etc...) it's quite funny to see as these aren't paid ads. They're stuck in the cashier's and guard's windows. I see signs of support for Yushenko everywhere though. Orange (Yushenko's campaign color) streamers tied to cars, people's bags, guardrails, anything and anywhere really. I don't know what these means, possibly nothing, as my viewpoint is for the most part limited to downtown Kiev. It might be like saying support for Kerry-Edwards is widespread in America because of seeing a preponderance of buttons for them in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I'm not a pollster, what do I know. But it's interesting to see.
Lot's of potential for excitement tomorrow. Hope to have interesting pics to put up.