Someone on the YahooGroup for Ukraine 29 (my group!) posted this list of humorous things about Ukraine/Peace Corps that a current volunteer wrote. It sounds like it will be an interesting time...
TOP 25 THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN UKRAINE SO FAR:
1. Don't be a Peace "Corpse."
2. Don't expect PC to tell you anything more than 10 minutes in
3. Keep all important documents tucked safely inside a body orifice
at ALL times.
4. Who needs the Internet? Babushkas are better. They spread news
faster than any modern modem connection (and sometimes viruses too).
5. Don't count on running water just because you see a faucet.
6. Walking 2 miles to teach class in pointy, high-heeled, "witch"
boots can feel empowering and good, especially when you get to take
the darn boots off! No wonder Ukrainians take their shoes off as
soon as they walk in the door.
7. You don't have to drink vodka, but you must participate in every
single toast. To family, to friends, to love, to the horses that
will drag you home...hooray!
8. Always always ALWAYS have toilet paper in your pocket.
9. You don't need to speak another language to communicate, just the
courage to dance around like a monkey.
10. Yes, even cabbage and potatoes can be the basis for a wide
variety of organic and delicious meals.
11. If you wonder why everybody is wearing grey, it's probably
because they do their laundry by hand.
12. Tight pants aren't a fashion statement. They are a way of life.
13. If you don't know somebody's name, just yell "Sasha!"
14. Don't be surprised if you find a dead pig in your kitchen.
15. A babushka can cut through anything with a dull knife... or a
16. The most important word at dinner is "Choot, choot" (a little
17. Don't assume your English class will understand anything you say.
18. People need tickets on public transportation, but live animals
don't. To get the best value for your money, bring as many live
pigs, chickens, or ducks on board as you can handle. Just think...
baby animals are an incredible bargain!
19. Modesty, privacy... huh? Just repeat after me: people walking in
on me in the bathroom is normal. The locks rarely function and the
best way for your host parent to teach you how to use your family's
shower is by demonstration, right?
20. If you get lost in Kiev Central Station, just repeat your final
destination over and over and tap your heels together 3 times.
Somebody will magically appear and help you get home.
21. Nope, it's not fog, and you're not tearing up because you're
homesick. It's the smoke from the burning leaf piles! Now we all
smell like walking campfires.
22. Cars (and people) can be swallowed entirely by the potholes
here, so don't smile as you walk. Just look down at the ground in
front of you. Your life depends on it.
23. What have furry tails, are warm, go "whimper," and have three
legs? Ukrainian strays!
What goes "rattle rattle" and tries to bite your head off? Ukrainian
pet dogs on chains.
What purrs, vomits on the carpet, and makes your pillow wet at
night? Ukrainian pet cats.
24. Mayonnaise and butter are the condiment gods of Ukraine. Don't
be surprised (or hesitant) about scraping the equivalent of an
entire stick of butter off your sandwich.
25. Elections in Ukraine make the US seem like heaven no matter who
The thing is, I grew up with dead pigs (and deer) on the dining room table when my dad butchered. So that, at least, shouldn't be too strange.
A little over two weeks in the US left. Wow.