Travel to a country at war VIII

Yesterday, Tuesday, 04-04-2023.

Today it was announced that the attack on Monday night involved 17 Iranian Shahed kamikaze drones.

The Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses managed to shoot a large number of them out of the sky.

Morning rehearsal in the theater's opera studio.

Some dancers could not sleep well from the explosions. There were broken into the studio. Also because their children get upset and panicked. War traumatizes. Partly for this reason, our rehearsal was short and sweet. The ladies were able to leave early. The gentlemen went through a quartet, duet and some solo pieces. The trickiest short solo starts to look a little better. Due to the war, the company has shrunk and due to shortages of players, the workload is high.

On the huge basalt steps to the ballet department a nice reunion with dancer Anastasiia. In February 2020 she dances the first line-up in this Carmina Burana. November 2021 during the troop build-up along the Ukrainian border, her Schengen visa is refused. May not dance the Flemish tour. Because of Russian passport. Sad. Sublime dancer. This theatre is a place where artists from all over the world work together peacefully. Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians, Armenians, Russians, Moldovans. I like this.

Odessa is the third largest city in Ukraine. 90% of the inhabitants speak Russian here. But in the meantime, people here are well on their way to making the native language, Ukrainian the main language. Like once a long time ago. Out of disgust with the occupiers.

The book market on Oleksandr street in Odessa sells rolls of toilet paper. With the head of the Muscovite dictator on it. About books and Odessa: read the masterful and still extremely topical narrator Isaak Babel (1894-1940), an Odessite. Passages from his observations stick in my head.

I don't expect the center of Odessa to be shelled any time soon. Why? The inner city of Odessa, like that of Kiev, is moscovitic cultural-historical heritage in the eyes of Moscovia. The Moscovites dream of being able to incorporate the entire Black Sea coast with Odessa as the crown jewel and capital of colonial Novo Rossiya in one piece. Abject idea.

Imagine a Dutch occupying force bombing and invading Belgium to repair the colonial kingdom from before 1830. Or recolonize and appropriate the sovereign Indonesian archipelago 11,000 kilometers away. Or that the Federal Republic of Germany is following suit. All pre-war German territories are forcibly reclaimed: Alsace-Lorraine, Silesia, Pomerania, Gdansk, Kaliningrad. Japan takes back the Kuril Islands. China the Amur region around Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. Finland Karelia. The UK half the world including the US and Mongols the area from Korea to Hungary. Perhaps the Italians also want to restore the Roman empire under Trajan. The Greeks the empire of Alexander the Great. Not to mention Spain and Portugal.

In the evening a dinner with my Odessitic colleague choreographers. They tell me what I apparently didn't know exactly: national martial law requires people to stay indoors from 10:30 to 05:00 instead of from 12 to 05:00. So after dinner quickly to hotel. Soldiers on the streets.

Nice message:

"Dear customer, calling and sending texts between the Netherlands and Ukraine is free until further notice. This also applies to calls to local numbers within Ukraine when you roam. In addition, you will receive a 15 GB data bundle that you can use in Ukraine. Ask? Call +316xxxxxxxxx. Regards, T-Mobile—"     

Today, Wednesday, last rehearsal day and another conversation with director. Thursday morning back to Moldova-Warsaw-Amsterdam. Dutch tour starts on Sunday. To be continued.