Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ukraine, now.

I'm sure you've seen Ukraine in the news recently. Again.

This post is not about that.

It's not about political maneuvers.

It's not about doom and gloom.

It's even not about all the cool reasons you should visit the country. (And what's up with Ukraine bloggers nowadays? Why are there suddenly so many amazing ones, and where on Earth were they hiding before?)

Instead, this post is a odd roundup of things that have shown up in my inbox lately. I'd be surprised if you've heard of them... but let me know if you have!

To start, reported this: New Water Tragedy Almost Happened in Zaporizhzhya Oblast. What almost happened? On June 29th, two Prymorsk vacationers found themselves swept out to sea on a... mattress.
The happy ending: they were rescued by the Coast Guard, phew.

I'm quite curious about the definition of mattress (матрас). It's an air mattress, right? Or is it some kind of actual water-intended float? I ask because I've seen this joke floating around the internet recently...
I bought a new air mattress. In 11 languages, it reads "Not intended for floating!" In Russian, it reads "Hold on to the handles when floating."

Moving on...

A few days ago in Odessa, Ukraine.
One of my Canadian friends is in Odessa this month. He posted this picture on Facebook the other day with the caption, "Every day the same amount of people out in front of my place at the passport office."

Meanwhile, (a popular site for finding Ukrainian jobs) just published a new article called Как безвиз может изменить украинский рынок труда: результаты опроса, How the No-Visa Regime Might Change Ukraine's Labor Market: Survey Results. 750 people were polled for this survey.

In response to the question "Do you know that the visa-free regime doesn't allow you to work abroad?", 94% of the people surveyed answered yes.

On the other hand, in response to "Would you like to work abroad?"
  • 41% said they'd like to leave Ukraine forever (yellow)
  • 38% said they'd like to go abroad and eventually return to Ukraine (orange)
  • 16% said they were already doing fine in Ukraine (green)
  • 5% said it'd be impossible to build a career in a foreign place (blue)

And finally, two (new? newish?) pieces of art.

The "Born in Kyiv Club" shared a picture of this mural along Kyiv's Kharkiv Highway. I think it's both beautiful and terribly, terribly sad. What do you think of it?

And a friend spotted this mural near Kharkiv's Central Market. Cool, right?
"All problems come from thinking about them." At least, that's my take on it...

If you've read anything cool / unusual about Ukraine lately, please link it below. :)


  1. So in my language the word for mattress and an inflatable float is the same. We differentiate it by describing 'the mattress': mattress or mattress for water. Hahaha never thought of how strange that may be until I read your post.

    1. :p You're inspiring me to learn Macedonian, Vesna... please come to Portland so we can start lessons!

  2. I traveled to Ukraine last month and had a great experience! Everything you say in your article is absolutely true. Even though I was in Kiev only, I explored the city and went to places that no tourists go to

    1. That's awesome! :) What was your favorite place in that city?

  3. Those murals are so beautiful! I love your Ukraine update posts!

    1. Spasibo, Liz! I wish I could do these posts more often.

      Did you hear there are even "street art" tours happening in Ukraine now? A good idea!

    2. Awesome! Thanks for sharing the link!

  4. I want to see the murals! I think that's one of the biggest reasons I want to go to Ukraine! I really enjoyed this post because I hate reading about Russian/Ukrainian politics.

    1. Same here! "The news is when they start with 'Good Morning' and then proceed to tell you all the reasons it isn't."

      You should totally stop in Ukraine the next time you head east. You don't need a visa- just show up and explore! :)