Category Ukraine

Leaving Civilization

I recently left civilization. I was one of the last to board the plane, chasing after my rolling hand luggage as it sped towards the ticket desk, having been informed by the flight attendant that the gate was about to close. Just because it was in a rush didn’t mean I couldn’t be amiable. “How […]

Life in the Bubble

Ever since moving to Ukraine, I have lived in a bubble. My interactions with the people and culture of this country have been decidedly limited. This is likely why I haven’t become an alcoholic.* My job requires that I speak and write in English, which I thankfully can manage. My girlfriend speaks English and she […]

Love at the American Embassy in Ukraine

There are moments in life when you realize that you’ve made a mistake. A big mistake. A mistake that there is really no getting out of. I say this because it’s common in today’s world for people to say that they have “no regrets”. This isn’t true of course. What they mean is that they […]

A Soviet Family Reunited on Thanksgiving

You know how this goes. Relatives you haven’t seen in years – some you can’t remember ever having seen – gathering around the table to eat and share what they’re thankful for … in this case, not having seen each other for the past year. Your cousins are all there, little Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. […]

Hold Your Applause

Part 1 in Weird Correlations With Democracy: Why Clapping on an Airplane Makes You More Susceptible to Authoritarianism.

How to say “I have a cavity” in Ukrainian*

Of all the chairs it’s possible to find one’s self in, the dentist’s is possibly the worst. Ok, on second thought the electric chair likely gets that title… but you get my drift. It’s not that I’m afraid of the dentist exactly, I go willingly enough, but I do so with the knowledge that this […]

Chernobyl Smiles: Investigations in Punctuation Fallout

If there’s one trivial piece of knowledge that the traveler can attest to, it may just be this: city to city, country to country, we don’t all smile the same way.  Did I say trivial? Perhaps I spoke too soon. After all, what says more about us at first glance than our face and the […]

Passports: The Key To Winning Foreign Hearts

While Americans back home celebrated the Fourth of July in the typical way – fireworks, barbecues, pool parties – I celebrated at a Ukrainian restaurant in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. I’d been invited by an older American acquaintance – let’s call him John – and now presently find myself seated at an outdoor table […]

Ukraine Runs to Europe, Europe Runs from Ukraine

I was one of the few walking down Lenina Avenue this past Saturday, the rest of the city was running. It was the day of the Kharkiv Marathon, and as I walked past on the sidewalk I couldn’t help but summon to mind the images that had flashed across our TV sets two years ago […]