Road Trip Kiev: In which the fighting feels very far away indeed
KIEV, Ukraine – There’s violence on the streets of Warsaw, but you’d have no idea it existed if you were sitting in Kiev and not watching TV. There’s nothing here to indicate any elevated tensions at all. And certainly, last night’s Ukraine-Sweden tilt didn’t have anywhere close to the same stakes as Tuesday night’s match between Russian and Poland (seriously, who scheduled it on Russia Day?), but I haven’t seen any instances of racism or violence or anything bordering on unseemly behavior since I’ve been in Kiev. Admittedly, it’s a sad commentary that we’re even having this discussion, but I have to give the population of Kiev (and the visiting tourists) credit so far.
Tomorrow should be interesting. We’re headed to Netherlands-Germany in Kharkov, which is an eight-hour train ride from Kiev. (Awesome.) If there are tensions, you think they might bubble up there. But it’s a rivalry created on the soccer field, not so much one on the battlefield. I suspect there will be some yelling and taunting but nothing more. Here’s hoping, you know?
Anyhow, US-Guatemala kicks off in three hours. Bedtime for this blogger. Hey Ukrainian TV, any chance we can PPV this thing?