A lively, relaxed square on an unseasonably warm fall night. Buskers playing for the crowds, carnies running games, a guy offering Segway rides. The scene was idyllic, the smiles genuine, and the strides carefree. Kiev was the most relaxed of the ex-Soviet state capitals. Throughout my trip around Ukraine, punctuated frequently by traffic cop shakedowns, I wondered why Ukrainians did not have the grim countenance of their ex-Soviet brethren. Why their faces even seemed to show contentment. I was blind to it all, a reminder that a traveler’s conclusions are superficial. I felt it such a shame, with the brazen kleptocracy holding the country back, that it seemed the least likely place for a shake-up. Now Maidan Square is in ruins, plundered riches are on public display, and the uniform of the new government is black leather jackets and black t-shirts. I hope that Ukraine is able to have a genuine fresh start. I have no idea if it will. I think back to the friendly smiles of the Kievites that lazy fall Sunday.