Politics and time

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.



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