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Автор (источник): Diablas
Опубликовано: 2006-10-25

Дата похода: 20.03.03


Born To Be Digger (изначальный полный вариант)


What's On

Walking the streets of Kyiv have you ever considered what’s under your feet? Beneath endless shops of the expanding Metrograd mall and a net of subway stations lies a whole different world of underground constructions. Pipes with tiny rivers, which were thus removed from the way of the growing city, drainage tunnels, adits, wells and artificial galleries form a huge underground system that has been largely disregarded by the city authority. Although there is a state organization that checks drainage once in a while for sanitary conditions, most parts of the system are unreachable for the workers and thus left alone for good. But when there is something unknown there will be people willing to discover it. Kyiv’s underground found its explorers – diggers as they call themselves. These are skinny guys of a small height with a fanatic desire to discover every little corner of the world that is hidden from the eyes of a common person. Most of them started long time ago with a giddy descent through the hatch like Alice through the rabbit hole driven by the same burst of curiosity into what became later a Wonderland for them.

But going “digging” is neither a fairytale with dungeon dragons nor a risky adventure full of heroic deeds. Like for most of explorers it’s a responsible work with some speleology skills involved together with a bookworm routine. After every outing a report is compiled and placed online, which alongside with a detailed map provides a well of useful information for the followers and the workers of the City Administration of Underground Works. In some countries, for example Russia, diggers are given much attention from the government. Being the experts of all the subtleties of the underground world they are frequently engaged by the authorities for some difficult assignment. There had been rumors that a digger helped out the Russian Special Forces to release the hostages in a recent Nord-Ost theater seizure in Moscow by showing them an underpass to the building. However in Ukraine the diggers are not taken seriously, being referred to just as “some of those bizarre teens”.

The main attraction for a digger is an unexamined route of pipes and tunnels. “It’s so cool when you climb into the hole in one part of the city and end up in quite another one. It’s like travelling without destination – you don’t know where you’ll come up the next minute, you just enjoy the ride”, conveyed one of the guys. On their way the diggers watch out for something interesting to take a picture of. Artificial caves in Kyiv age from a few months to several decades and more. The oldest are stuffed with breathtaking trifles starting from some doubtful findings of the unknown origin and age up to amazing stalactites and fancy mushrooms. All that is of great interest for both the explorers and the scientists. The findings of historical value and a wish to preserve and examine the unique forms of life encountered in artificial caves brought forth the need for a separate science, called speleostology. In 1998 the first gathering of the Ukrainian speleostologists took place in Odessa, where they pointed out the importance to control the condition of the underground system and accused the overall neglect to this question from the government.

But whatever the name is, diggers are no scientists. While wandering in sinister, humid and basically dirty places these guys are relishing the surrounding atmosphere. “There are people who get a kick from the stale air of the dampen underground. Others are just enjoying the feeling of irreality and excitement from meeting the unknown”, shared her thoughts one girl from a digging crew. But not everybody goes digging to experience the beauties of the underground. For some people it’s a way to revive the joy of life by simply getting out of the creepy gloominess into the warm sunshine.

But still if you consider digging as a way of recreation you should keep in mind a few problems you might encounter. For first you should be fully equipped with all the necessary supplies, such as a lantern with good batteries, a helmet, which is mostly left out of the attention, waterproof boots, a rope and of course old clothes. Some other difficulties might be finding a company to join you for the venture (you are strongly discommended to go alone), the place to start and the trouble you might get in if you don’t make something out if you get caught by police. Actually, it’s not illegal but the police officers are sometimes hostile to everything that goes beyond the order. But very often they will just ask your purpose of staying in such a weird place and then they might search your bags for weapon or drugs. The thing the diggers usually do in such situation is say they got together for a beer or two and that they are going to leave in a while. That trick usually hits its target. And another tip for those, ready to jump down through the hatch - keep away from wet places in the cold season unless you want to get sick for the winter holidays.

Olga Zorya


Ghоst | 04.09.2015 15:58    




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