My train left Bakhchisaray an hour ahead. Russia stole an hour from Crimeans on Sunday, as the peninsular switched to Moscow time.
We crept and crawled through an evening-sunlit Crimea, past pink-flowered peach orchards, pale gold steppe. It came to a stop somewhere in the night – at Melitopol I suppose, on the Ukrainian mainland, where Ukrainian borderguards checked passports in some kind of gesture of disapproval or acceptance – hard to say which.
The train crept and crawled some more, gaining back that stolen hour, so we arrived in Kiev according to schedule – at Kiev time.
A new time zone, a new border – both feel like pointless, empty gestures.