Tag Archive for 'ukraine'

My trip to Ukraine – visiting Kiev

Scenic Panoram of KievAs I mentioned before, our next planned stop was Kiev, the administrative and business center of Ukraine. We spent in Kiev 2 days and were staying with my cousin who moved to the city in mid 90’s and has lived and worked there ever since.

Kiev is a city of parks, churches and construction sites. As you approach it by railroad you can see many scenic views with a mix of all three. The river that splits Kiev into two parts also contributes to the overall beauty of the area.
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My trip to Ukraine – trains and travel

Tea in ukrainian trainThe next destination of my trip is Kiev where I am visiting my cousin. Kiev is the capital and the biggest city in Ukraine. For the trip we decided to take a train - the most popular way of travel over here. Tickets are fairly cheap (around $10-20 one way) and not hard to get unless you travel to hot destinations (like Crimea in summer time).

A few notes on buying train tickets. You can’t get tickets over the phone or using the Internet, you have to do it by coming in person to the train station which is a huge nuisance if you buy in advance. Also, you will need to show passport for each traveler when you buy tickets and when you board the train. The rule is fairly lax however and any form of ID will do.
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My trip to Ukraine – why Ukrainians are poor?

It is my forth week in Ukraine. We have spent most of our time in Kharkiv but tomorrow we go to the capital (Kiev) for 3 days. I have friends and relatives over there who are eager to meet me and my family. It will be a very good opportunity to compare the two cities and also compare Kiev to 3 years ago when we last went there.

Why are Ukrainians poor?

Homemade Ukrainian FoodWe visited my home town over the weekend and left our kids with grandparents for a week (we are back to Kharkiv right now). During my 2 days stay I enjoyed homemade food (some of it is depicted to the right) and spent quite some time discussing Ukrainian politics and economy with my dad who gave me an excellent however a little sad explanation of why Ukrainians are poor. Here it is:
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My trip to Ukraine – girls, utility bills, and copyright

Ukrainians on average are slimmer than Americans

There might be a lot of cars on the streets of Kharkiv city but most Ukrainians still use public transportation. I am noticing that I walk much more over here than I do back in the US. I love it and I hate it. I get tired at the end of the day but I feel it is good for my health and once I adjust to the new life style my overall condition should get to normal.

Girls dress up in style

Stylish Ukrainian GirlAnother thing that stands out compared to the US is how girls dress up out on the streets. They wear a kind of cloth Americans will only see at a party or a TV show. High heels and makeup is the norm even if you go grocery shopping. I find this especially appealing combined with the fact that girls here on average are skinnier than in the US.

As a side effect an average Ukrainian girl spends a much bigger share of her budget on dress than a girl in the US. This probably goes deep into cultural traditions and realities of last several decades of life under Soviet regime.
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My trip to Ukraine — the wedding party

As I mentioned earlier I was invited to a wedding party over the weekend. In fact one of the reasons we came to Ukraine this summer is this wedding party. The wedding is of my wife’s sister and it has been meant to happen long time ago (we were planning a trip last year as well) but life makes its own corrections.

Wedding Palance in Kharkiv, UkraineUkrainian weddings don’t usually take place in Church like in the US. During Soviet times the government assigned a special official body (abbreviated ZAGS) to register marriages and little changed ever since. I have heard that lately couples do go to the Church after official part is over but this is still not very common.
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