Surfin' Safari

Once I make in onto this death trap, my heart starts to pound.  This is a lot of pressure.  First of all, I never know how much it's going to cost, which means I have to communicate with strangers.  This is stressful.  Next, I have to figure out if I am on the right marshrutka.  More stress.  Once this business if taken care of, I need to find a seat.  Well, I am usually kicked out of whatever seat I have situated myself into because an elder babusya wants my warm seat.  Whatever.  I stand.

Instantly there is a new soundtrack in my head.  Most of you are familiar with the Beach Boys Endless Summer album, right?  This album is perfect for what is about to take place.  You are probably thinking this seems a little out of place since I am not in California or a GTO; you have no idea.  I have learned to surf in Ukraine, albeit "marshrutka surfing".  This marshrutka has no shocks (surprise) and Ukrainian roads suck (I have suspicion this is a remnant of the Soviet Union- the Soviets didn't want people to be mobile, so they laid shitty roads) so it makes for a bumpy ride standing up.  I compare this to Waimea Bay.  One is required to develop marshrutka legs in order to maintain balance.  The standing position is much life surfing- legs 2-3 feet apart, knees slightly bent (don't lock the knees), and arms a bit out to the side.  There are no railings.  Again, shocker!  Fear is probably written all over my face, but I ride the wave safely to my destination every time.  Upon disembarking this time machine, I think to myself "Lauren-1, Ukraine-0" and imagine a throng of those foam #1 hands cheering me on.

I've learned to appreciate my little triumphs.