I'm back, after a trip that couldn't hardly have been better. See the evidence. Kiev particularly deserves more visits, if you like coffee on every corner and sushi in every restaurant.
During the trip, I read India: A Traveler's Literary Companion, a diverse collection of Indian short stories, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a disturbingly misleading manual on getting rich quick.
After an NYT article (from Science Times) I read just before starting the trip, I'm trying to keep a "research journal", and putting aside my topically organized notepads for a nicely-bound chronology. I can't tell yet if it's worth the change.