Medvedev’s Interior (What Pegman Saw in the Ukraine)

This week Pegman takes us to Pripyat, Ukraine. The challenge is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location.

From wiki: “Pripyat is a ghost town in northern Ukraine, near the Ukraine-Belarus border. Named after the nearby Pripyat River, Pripyat was founded on 4 February 1970, as the ninth nuclear city in the Soviet Union. It was later evacuated on April 27th, 1986 – the day after the Chernobyl disaster. Because of radiation in the region surrounding the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the area won’t be safe for human habitation for at least 20,000 years.

Here is the photo prompt:

Here is my fiction:

 Medvedev’s Interior (word count: 150)

Jose, not like zat. Like zis. Measurements must be right.

“Senora, no need preciso. Curator said okay adjustar. Sus only artroom. All other rooms we build not preciso.  Nobody notice un poco off. Tiny bit off est okay. Okay?”

Vybachte?? No. Incorrect. Muy incorrecto.  Details matter. It’s not matter of others noticing. It’s about integrity. Quality, amigo. Not sure about the other rooms you’ve built. But this one is honoring the dead. This is moya rodyna… mi familia, mi Grandfather Medvedev.  

Si, senora. Your abuelo… lo tengo….

Jose, My abuelo learned engineering in this room. In 1991 he wrote book about Chernobyl nuclear disaster – spoke truth about mistakes made – and it cost him home country honor. We cannot cut corners while building zis Interior to HONOR him.   Do you understand?  Enetender, Jose?

 Si, no cutting corners on walls – if we do that – all walls fall.  Si, Senora!

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Care to join in or read more fiction with this location?

Go here:

What Pegman Saw: Ukraine

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Notes:

The main character (MC) here is the Senora, and she is in charge of the installation of a “period interior,” which will provide a replication of the room in the photo above (in my fiction here it was where her grandfather learned his trade). I got the idea after admiring the Worsham-Rockefeller bedroom “period Interior” (here) last week.

I had a little fun with trying to make the construction worker American-Mexican while the director, our senora, was American-Ukrainian (need some grace with that attempt).

The entire fiction was inspired by the Ukrainian engineer Grigori Medvedev. In 1991 he wrote a book, The Truth About Chernobylwhich won an LA Times award, but also caused him a lot of trouble in his home country.  Medvedev was an engineer assigned as the key investigator after Chernobyl exploded. He pointed out what was and what was not done (and how cutting corners cost them safety). His book highlighted the “pervasive, institutionalized, bureaucratic incompetence leading up to the accident; and heroic, heartbreaking sacrifice among those who had to deal with the emergency afterwards” (more here).

Also, the 2008 film, White Horse, documented Maxym Surkov’s return to his house in Pripyat, which was near ground zero.  When Surkov was visiting his old apartment, he saw “an old calendar on a door, he rips a large portion off, claiming “the year ended on April 26th

So I Imagined that Grigori Medvedev might say that his old life ended in 1991, after he was brutally honest about what led to the explosion, and his honesty cost him rejection.

Lastly, Here is the message I hope we can all take away: “Yes, Jose, we no cut corners, or walls fall.”

Do things right or don’t do them. 

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25 thoughts on “ Medvedev’s Interior (What Pegman Saw in the Ukraine)

    1. Hi – well thanks for your comment and the fiction was based on a very gloomy real-life event – so it is not my own – the challenge is to write fiction connecting to the location and so I actually tried to have humor in my piece today-
      Where Jose thought she said “cut corners” literally and he said all walls fall if they do that –
      But yes – overall the situation is sad

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Jo – I am not sure why you bother coming to my blog because it seems to keep striking nerves and obviously we don’t share a lot of same outlooks – so please don’t take this the wrong way – but take priorhouse off your blog roll and you’ll have less snarky comments to leave (at least here on this blog)

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      1. It’s not the first time, is it? I don’t set out to give offence, Yvette, but it’s obviously taken. I don’t have this problem elsewhere and I find it as upsetting as you do. We obviously have different tastes and sense of humour but that shouldn’t be a cause for conflict. I’ve always tried to use the adage ‘if you can’t say anything nice…’ but am not succeeding here. I won’t remove you from my blogroll because I often find your posts interesting, despite what you may think. Perhaps I’ve expressed myself badly and I apologise if so. I will refrain from commenting. Thank you for past help.

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      2. wel l I love you very much and always will.
        I will still glad gift a free copy of any health book I write and I would love to even stay connected. But maybe for you and I less is more – seems obvious – especially if you do not have this elsewhere – and so just stick to that elsewhere because they obviously have more kindred ideas with you.
        and I was kind to your first comment about the gloom and doom – which was not only rude but it appeared that you wrote the comment without really reading the full post – because if you had you read the fiction fully maybe you would have seen it was more than gloom and doom.
        Further, sorry but nuclear disasters are all gloom and doom and that was the topic of the location and so that is why this topic was here.
        Lastly I might always write about doom and gloom and so seriously – do us both a favor and unfollow (hate to be rude but you have all those other travel friends and walking blog pals – nurture what you have and let us both accept that we do not have to have chemistry with everyone.
        We are equals but different – and I am not sure how you are elsewhere – but no more sloppy little comments will be left here at priorhouse blog. Just not having it
        peace to you

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      3. You have the power to hurt with words, Yvette, as you also have the power to trash comments that offend, I did read, and have reread your fiction, but I have a power station on my doorstep and did not appreciate your humour. I know that you have a good heart but I would prefer that this conversation had never taken place. Peace to you also.

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    3. Sorry you have a power station near your house and hope it never has a meltdown.

      and dear one, I am sorry, because I never want to be cold to anyone – esp you because I believe you mean well and you are genuine….
      But this week my patience is thin and it was long overdue to speak up (feel like you were egging me on through many posts)) – but let’s now move on – and sincerely – I send my apologies if the delivery was rough – I knew no other way. Let’s part ways in blog land and/or maybe visit occasionally if either feels led to do so.

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  1. I think it is scary to live near by a nuclear power plant. Radiation is something that you can’t see for feel. I just hope when incident occurs, there is an emergency system that alerts people very quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Do things right or don’t do them.” [sigh] That’s why I don’t get ANYTHING done!!!! I liked your piece, Yvette. I’ve seen a documentary or two about the incident and it’s really scary how cutting corners, and fear, can lead to such a monumental stuff up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – no command of multi languages but the Spanglish is alive and well in the states – ha
      And appreciate the comment and I don’t know if medvedev is related – but the history I read noted that he was an engineer there and so was offered the job of key investigator . Then he wrote a book – it was not like a good documentary with sources. Instead it was a bit personal – first person and lots of testimony but not fully sourced so some skeptical – but it did highlight erroneous actions and whew – that had to be hard for him to speak such truth – ya know

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you’ve written a terrific story, Yvette. What a clever way of including your metaphor of the walls falling down if it’s not done right! Putting a story about mistakes inside one about misunderstanding – really imaginative! Super writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The literal use of no cut corners, walls fall — paints a perfect picture of phrase meeting photo. I saw the photo first and it’s a room of sad. When the life walked out. Or maybe ran.
    I like the blend of cultures and influences here, too.

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