Salute from the Post-Soviet Mother Land!
Today she is dressed in lilac and ,as always, faithful to her children. Keeping strict Visa restrictions on all who would try to harm them with new ideas, products or foreign faces. She is a good mother- always nourishing her own with produce from the most fertile of the earth’s soils, orthodoxy, cheap beer, salo, varenechki, 20c public transport and 24/7 parting.
Her children are strong, lean and hard working. They walk in lines, which is hard to maintain so pushing each other up the escalator, on the bus, in the market, on the street is important Her children are strict, keeping smiles away from others, for smiling at a stranger can indicate that you either robed them or are planning murder.
Her children are busy- small talk and niceties are for the free. Here people have buses to catch!
Her children don’t take any bullshit! Don’t you dare demand for more service at the shop then the keeper feels like she can give you that day. After all, why the hell do you need good service or nice staff!? The sausages are still gna taste the same!
Yet they are beautiful children, while much of the beauty is repressed deep inside or hidden in the villages and western parts of the country, attractive faces and potential loyal companions are everywhere. I love sitting in a Metro watching Ukrainian models, blue wide eyes cutsy kids with massive bows in their hair, respectable looking old guys with heaps of medals, guys drinking beer and swearing at each other, good vibe babushkas and attractive faces of all kind. Something about the skin of Ukrainians- it’s good skin man!
If you manage to make friends here or find relatives you will get fat! Once in the trust circle of a Ukrainian, food, drink, fun and honesties are inevitable. Generosity of the people here is huge and don’t you even try not to eat all they give or make up a food allergy! You must also open your heart to tell Ukrainian friends very personal stuff. Remember KGB originated here. People know when you are lieing or not saying something. The expectation is total trust! Once friends, expect loyalty, generosity and support. The people have strong fundamentals and values. You will be looked after! (Thank God for Ukrainian family and friends. Hallelujah!)
Buy cheap first or second hand clothes and electronics
Eat amazing fruits and veges. pastries and chocolates
Try Lviv beers
Go out lots
Take your face to historical USSR sites and monuments
Smell amazing spring flowers
Challenge Orthadox Priest or Church Workers
Expect someone not to be rude
Smile at people all the time (you may get arrested or beaten or something)
Play small talk
Overall, it’s really a place like no other! It is beautiful in it’s natural sites and rich in it’s socio-political history. So what people are not keen for new ideas! Slavs are amazing managers, hard workers, generous people and are awesome to look at.
As for me, I am a ‘roots’ traveler. Currently in-tangled in family dramas: ex-KGB uncles, love affairs, truths about divorces, family break ups caused by businesses and properties etc etc etc How did I manage to stay out of all this for 13 years!? I am glad I did.
I will now go and pack my bags for sunny Black Sea of Odessa. Think about how awesome your life is tonight.