Once upon a time… In Chernobyl
When my favourite childhood pizzaria was forced out of business to make way for a second hand car dealership I was pretty upset. And when I crashed my first car after barely a month I was devastated. But the thing I have come to realise about adversity is that it takes a genuine disaster to put things in perspective.
Like the night Chernobyl reactor #4 blew the roof off and caused the whole of Eastern Europe to stay indoors for the summer of 1986. The deaths, cancers and leukemias; the wholesale loss of property and personal effects does tend to make one’s own problems seem rather insignificant.
Everything happened on a scale that was quite simply unimaginable. I get a bit unsettled at the prospect of having to tidy up my side of the closet, so the thought of having to clean up a nuclear disaster while simultaneously resettling an entire city… well lets just say I would have s#!t myself.
Now they tell us it’s perfectly safe to visit these days. All you need is a pair of regular sneakers, trousers and long sleeves. Well frankly I didn’t believe a word of that. My Geiger counter never shut up, it beeped so much I eventually asked them to turn it off before I had a panic attack. What was all that radiation doing to me? Would I indeed be detained at the next dosimeter check?
I was terrified!
I couldn’t figure out whether the dull headache I endured through the day was stress, dehydration, radiation or the 8 beers I had the night before, building up the courage to get on the bus?
Either way a trip to Chernobyl is not fun, it’s not easy and quite frankly it’s down right unsafe. But none of that matters because you have just been to CHERNOBYL and the bragging rights that buys you are worth a premature death!