Saturday, January 28, 2012

U.S. vs Ukraine: Totally Random Observations

Disclaimer: These are just my thoughts and views. I'm no social scientist (yet)- this is for entertainment only.
  • Three-course meals. In America the words three-course meal conjure images of fancy restaurants, French chefs, and exquisite food and drink. In Ukraine, a three-course meal is the solid, standard fare of the working class. It's the столовая (cafeteria). Первое блюдо, второе блюдо, третье блюдо. Do a Google image search for these words. It's like soup, meat/grains, and dessert... and it's cheap. I guess a better translation is a three-dish meal. That said, if you see an offering like this, go for it. They're usually very tasty and filling.
  • Cops and soldiers. In America the sight of these people comforts you. Soldiers get thank yous from strangers on the street, they get applause on airplanes, they get to cut in line. You feel proud when you see someone in uniform. On the other hand, cops and soldiers are avoided in Ukraine. If you see one, you cross the street. You don't make eye contact. You certainly wouldn't trust them to look out for your best interests.
  • Okay, yes, I'm naïve....but I didn't realize the natural state of eggs is to be covered in chicken poop. So sue me.
  • While trying to switch to a minimalist lifestyle I developed a habit of reusing old jars. There's something satisfying about removing a label and getting a pretty glass jar. I like to use them to display loose-leaf teas, rice, pasta, etc....they look beautiful and there's the fact that when we move we can get rid of the jars with no guilt about having spent a lot of money on them. One totally weird and awesome thing about Ukraine? The jars here: jam jars, pickle jars, tomato sauce jars- the labels all peel off instantly. Occasionally you need to do like 25 seconds of scrubbing to get the glue residue off, but most of the time you don't even need to do that. I love it. Back in the states it's different: companies practically use super glue and it's really difficult to get the jar clean.
  • This always throws me for a loop. In the US, the poor rent homes and the rich own homes. In Ukraine, it's the poor who own and the rich who rent.
Can you think of any other differences?


  1. That's a pretty accurate comparison of the US vs. anywhere in the former CCCP. (Except for the eggs - I grew up in the country w/ chickens, so I was aware of that.) Also: plastic bags. I still find my self folding up and saving nice пакеты in case I need to use them to carry my things. (all the other plastic bags end up helping me clean the litter box...)

  2. Haha, the plastic bags, that's right!

    I'm surprised that reusable cloth bags aren't more popular in this part of the world.