Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8th

It felt like fall blew into town today. Rain started rattling against the windows as I taught an evening class and later I walked home on wet streets. It was the first time I'd been out by myself in the night. I finished work around 7:30 and had dinner alone in the cafe/cafeteria. The food here is SO DELICIOUS and I recognize so much of it from meals with D's parents.
A typical meal at this restaurant
Instead of borsch, tonight I chose лагман as my soup and tried something called sasusage ragu (cabbage, potatoes, sausage, and carrots) and had a little bowl from the salad bar. (Don't get excited: salad doesn't necessarily involve lettuce here in Ukraine. Think more along the lines of beets, mayonnaise, cucumbers, and carrots.) It was neat to sit alone in the crowded dining area and let the conversations wash over me. I cannot believe how comfortable I feel here! I wonder if it's just Kiev's cosmopolitan vibe. Maybe I will feel more foreign once I move to my assigned city.

Oh, total for dinner (including a box of apple juice): 39 griven, or about $4.50.

The money here is called grivna. Or sometimes, hryvnia. Гривня.
This is a perfect example of why Russian is not as difficult as it looks. I see this all the time; you take a word in Russian and by the time you've sounded it out in English, you end up with 14 extra letters. Hryvnia....say what? Seriously? That looks impossible to say in English. Anything with the letters h,r,y,v,n in succession looks absolutely insane, don't you agree? Trust me, just learn the Russian alphabet. It's way easier than trying to understand the same sounds in the Latin alphabet. Don't believe me? Which looks easier: Крещатик or Khreshchatyk? Ah-ha, got you!

Anyways, I'm thrilled that training is over. It was a good experience....but it was a demanding experience. I can't help but think the actual teaching part will be somewhat easier? No more 11 AM - 10 PM days....instead it will be mostly evening work. And I'm slated to move to Kharkov via the Saturday night train, finally! Here's to having my own room again!
A rainy afternoon in Kiev
Minor success of the day: I was finally able to buy a pair of scissors. Don't ask how much time I've spent carefully tearing squares of paper for class activities.

Engrish phrases of the day (spotted on t-shirts): "Where is my special shoes?" and "haughty bearing girl". (Amused? More Engrish here:


  1. So, I finally figured out how to post a comment on here (what can I say, I'm techno-challenged :) ).
    Sounds like your having a great time in Ukraine! I love reading your posts about your adventures. :)

    ~Jess in Nome

  2. Hi Jess,
    Thanks for your comment! :) It's nice to hear from you. I hope it isn't too cold yet in Nome....stay warm!