Originally uploaded by MConnor.

Absoultely beautiful in Kiev now and this past weekend. It finally stopped raining, the skies are blue, temps are consistently in the high 60s, and all the flora is in full bloom. The Chestut trees all look like they are covered in candles.

With the weather being so nice for once, I was out quite a bit this weekend, but forgot my camera for a lot of it. Especially the Saturday activities.

First I went to Petrovka to get some software...only to find that all the guys selling bootleg goods were gone! This meant about half the freaking market was closed up. I'm hoping that this is just to make a nice showing for all the Eurovision officials and things turn back to normal in June. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Saturday was also "Europe Day" in Kiev. Which basically translated to all the EU countries setting up booths on Kreshatik and giving away crappy little flags and mobile phone providers setting up booths next to them giving away even crappier cardboard hats. I hung out there for a bit with a friend whose wife works for an anti-human traffiking NGO. They got kicked out of their booth eventually by someother NGO and then we moved on to enjoy some beers outside. Europe Day also included an evening concert by "European" artists. I guess "European" meant, in this instance, the Finnish dynamos "BoomFunk MCs." What, Estonia's "Vanilla Ninja" wasn't available? Shockingly enough I didn't stick around for that. I also noticed that Europe Day is going to be held in Donetsk. I can't imagine that's gonna go over well. The European Commission tent will probably get a Molotov cocktail tossed into it by some overzealous Russian Block member.

All in all, Europe Days seemed like a microcosim of what this place is probably going to be like next weekend when Eurovision is going on. This city is actually going to be innundated with tourists. Lots of them. Not to mention all the crappy Eurotrash singers. I'm envisioning a cross between Star Search, American Idol, and some horrible 2 day rave. I'll either not be leaving my house or out in the thick of it, mocking it all. And if Eurovision permanently costs me Petrovka, woe betide you Ruslana...