On the 24th of November 2022, I traveled from Wroclaw to my hometown of Ternopil for my mom's birthday. I arrived around 3 p.m., so it was still daylight. I took a trolley bus from the train station and observed the city through the window.
When I got off at my stop and entered a corner shop to buy a cake, I realized there was no electricity. The entire shop was lit up by three candles. The cashier said that they work despite no light and accept only cash. I was shocked. I changed my mind and decided to buy some fruit. I was afraid to buy a cake because it had to be stored in the fridge.
Another shop across the road had the same problem. The woman who sells fruits and veggies was sitting with a candle and talking on her phone. She complained a lot about a bad connection and the lack of light. She noticed my suitcase and told me that her daughter of my age lives in Poland now. She also said that I arrived not at the right time.
I lightened up the entryway with my phone torch and reached the door. Unfortunately, we had no light in our apartment too. Fortunately, I brought a head torch which was very handy in this case. My mom and grandmother informed me that the light usually turns on around midnight, so it's the most productive time. You can shower and do laundry, and the connection is more stable. For them, it became a new normality, but I could not find a place in the room that first evening. I was looking a lot at the neighboring block, which had light because it was a police officers' residential building in the past. So I took my camera and started documenting it; it helped me to deal with my emotions and to kill time.
The next day when I woke up, my grandma said that the light was turned off again. I should be as productive as possible during the light hours, so I left for the meat market for some cat food. It was utterly dark there, but sellers were selling, and customers were buying.
I realized that civil people who live in war must put a lot more effort into everything they do daily, prepare ahead, and save resources.
I got goosebumps when I saw the city's main square. Ternopil was in complete darkness. I wanted to cry.
My hometown is affected by war.
Life in the city goes on even when there's no power. Business owners buy generators, and people sit in open coffee places and restaurants.
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