Friday, 31 July 2009

The Mating Game

There is very large night butterfly in my bathroom. It doesn’t seem to feel well because it crawls over the floor by the door instead of flying around the lamp. I almost woke up my parents because I screamed when I saw her (or him? How does it work there?). Now I’m afraid to go to the bathroom. :-|

I will spend two nights on a train in a luxury compartment for two. I’ve done it before, but never in (post) Soviet trains. Can’t wait!

How often do you play games when it comes to the opposite sex? Do you do it for fun or because the real thing is a little intimidating? Do you like it? I feel like I am a part of several games at the moment. I don’t know who started first, but I play along and enjoy it! I know I can get hurt, I know I might hurt someone (Oh, come on! They are all men, they sure can take care of themselves?!), but I find it too exciting and fun. Here’s an online game you can play: The Mating Game.

Bitter Sweet - The Mating Game

Timeline: late 1985 – Vovka’s sister died. She must have been just about one month old, I have no idea. My father was helping with the funeral. I stayed at home with my mother who was pregnant.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


We wanted to make a bbq in my garden, but got a little volcano instead. :) Banana Sensation was really good (as always). And I had to hear a thousand reasons why I should have taken that salsa vacation in Malaga or signed in for the salsa weekend in Barcelona (6 to 9 August) instead of going to Odessa for my birthday. I still think I will be spoiled rotten in Odessa (a good option for this birthday) and that wouldn’t happen in Barcelona. I do already feel nervous about a dance stop for a week, though. That’ll be tough!

I am fighting with my new cell phone, trying to put a lot of music on it. And I am very tired even though I’ve slept six hours tonight.

Timeline: late 1985 (I don’t remember the date) – Vovka’s sister, my little cousin was born. I never saw her.

Exercise in trust

A colleague at the lunch table today: “How is it going with your project?” I didn’t react at first. “Are you talking to me? What project?” – I was desperately trying to get out of my daydreams and understand what she is talking about. She was talking about THE project. It’s funny, I don’t perceive it as MY project, because I am the only one in the whole company who will NOT be affected by the results of this project.

My flexibility and patience are being tested to the limit. I am going to Kiev on Sunday and we are supposed to take a night train from Kiev to Odessa on Monday morning, stay in Odessa three nights and take a night train back on Friday. Neither the train tickets nor the hotel in Odessa is booked. And I am not allowed to intervene. I am facing a black box and it makes me curious: when will I snap? It’s a good exercise in trust: just trust everything will be ok if he says so. I am not the type for that (no, I am not a control freak, I am just well organised!). :)

Timeline: 1985 – Zimniy vecher v Gagrakh – sweet eighties!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Oh no! Not again…

Shopping bijoux with my mother: first we tried on everything at Versteegh showroom in Utrecht. As a result we had a bag loaded with bijoux, bags, scarves and… lollies! Then we hit a couple of other shops on the same floor: more bijoux and a couple of sunglasses. And then we hit the town to shop for clothes.

While we were having fun in Utrecht my new cell phone was delivered. Now I have a lot of work figuring out how this thing works. I am very pleased with the camera:
(one of my new necklaces)

Timeline: 1985 – Gorbachev has started a campaign against alcohol. There was a lot of fuss about it. According to the media and rumours there were even alcohol free wedding parties. I don’t think many people went for it, though. :) An article in Wikipedia claims the birth numbers went up and the deaths went down while this law was in place. All I remember is that people were drinking Eau De Cologne (the Soviet variant of it) because it was difficult to get vodka (or because it was too expensive).

Monday, 27 July 2009

Nokia 5800

I have my new cell phone - yay! It'll take quite some training before I am fluent, but I do enjoy playing with it already. :)

Wonderful life

Crying, screaming and running children. Cars and bicycles all over the place to make sure you cannot pass. People everywhere. People are the most annoying part (children don’t count). Even if they don’t do anything. Even if the don’t even look at you. Even if they don’t move and their eyes are closed. The music at cafés is too loud. Every place is taken. People! Your feet are yet to get used to not being clean. The legs of your trousers are wet. You’re a little dizzy because of all the sounds, colours and people. Sun, fresh air, warm sand, cool water and light breeze. Stop! Wrong! Just take a minute, breathe in and out. Children are happy and playful. Cars and bicycles are all left behind. People are relaxed and lazy. Feel the warmth of the soft sand. Roll up your trousers and go to the water. It’s soft and cool. Feel the salt of the little drops on your lips. Look over the water. Look as far as you can. See? There is enough space for everyone. People are not at all that annoying when you are on the same wave. Look for a place in a café, relax in a soft chair (or on a sofa if you’re lucky), enjoy your drink… and your life. It’s wonderful!

Still happy after last night’s salsa. I felt so beautiful! Need to learn bachata – way too romantic and sexy to skip!

Spanish Girl - Bachata - Jose Manuel Mejorado

Timeline: 1985 – Mikhail Gorbachev is the new head of state. Glasnost, perestroika, uskorenie – the three new words that will be present in our lives in the coming years. It’s a very exciting time. I’m old enough to understand that our life is changing. No one around me is old and wise enough to predict where this all is heading.

Sunday, 26 July 2009


It’s amazing how much I resemble my father. In the way I talk, the way I react to people and things, even in the way I walk I recognise my father. I thought I was supposed to be more like my mother. Or is it still to come? I wonder what it will be like. :)

Как называется самка барсука? А барса?

My feet are about to fall off!

Timeline: 1985

Saturday, 25 July 2009


How many tops can a woman have?
How many long dresses is enough?
How do I stop buying clothes?
How much salsa do I have to dance to get fed up with it?
How long am I prepared to wait?
How many doubts fit into my head?
How do I get rid of all those doubts?
What does it take to gain my trust?

Aquarium with a masterpiece:

Timeline: 1985 – 10 March Chernenko died. I don’t even remember looking forward to the minute of mourning anymore. Partly because our heads of state die too often, partly because I am getting older. All those deaths and funerals every year are confusing, though.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Who is the fool?

Once upon a time there was a Man. One afternoon Death came to his house. “You have to go with me” – she said. But the Man didn’t want to go. He wasn’t ready. “You deal with people all over the globe” – the Man said. “You’ve seen the world. Is it beautiful?”
“Yes, the world is very beautiful. There are many wonderful things out there” – answered Death.
“Have you seen the pyramids? Are they beautiful?”
“They are magnificent!”
“I cannot die before I’ve seen them” – the Man said.
“Don’t be silly, you’ve had 40 years for that!”
“Yes, but still. If you allow me to go and see them, I promise I will go with you afterwards.”
Death agreed and he travelled to see the pyramids. And when he came back he still wasn’t ready to go. He told Death he wanted to see more of the world. Every time he came back from a trip to a faraway land he asked Death for another last trip to a magnificent place. Death agreed and off he went. So he went on for many years. He became older and Death became older too. One day he realised that he is old and tired of travelling. And that there aren’t any magnificent places to see anymore. The Man looked back over the years filled with travelling. At first he was proud he managed to fool Death for such a long time. But then he suddenly saw that all this time he wasn’t travelling to see something, but to escape from Death. He’d spent his life on the run. “My life wasn’t worth living! I don’t want to live like this!” – he thought. “Hey, Death, I am ready to go now!” – he shouted. But all he got back was Silence.

Timeline: 1984 - Indira Gandhi was killed on 31 October 1984. Up until then she was on TV very regularly and I thought her name was Indi Ragandi. :)

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Watermelon salad

--“Of course I know the place! Are you here for business? What do you do? No, nothing for me. I love cars and people, not numbers and desks…”--

Monica has posted this recipe (thanks!) in response to my Watermelon post. Here’s the English translation. I have most ingredients available. I certainly will try!

Watermelon salad (serves 8)

1 small red onion
small bunch of fresh parsley
juice from 2 to 4 limes
fresh mint, chopped
3 to 4 table spoons olive oil
1,5 kg sweet ripe watermelon
100 g black olives (stones removed)
250g feta
black pepper
salt to taste

1. Peel the onion and cut it in halves. Cut the halves in very thin half-moons, put them in a bowl and add the lime juice.
2. Remove the skin and seeds from the watermelon and cut it in pieces (approx. 4cm). Put the pieces in a large bowl.
3. Cut feta in pieces and add to the watermelon.
4. Tear the parsley in pieces and add them to the watermelon and feta. Add the chopped mint.
5. Add the onions with lime juice, olives and oil and gently mix the salad with your hands so that the pieces of watermelon and feta don’t break.
6. Add pepper (and salt if you wish).

Timeline: 1984 – I’d gotten a boyfriend! I think I was the first in my class to have a boyfriend. It was a boy from the “parallel” class. I lived far from school and he travelled to see me. It lasted several months (we had a very slow start), but we did not have much in common or rather – we tried to date, but what we should have done is just play together. I have tried to find him lately (on, but no results. After him I did not date anyone until I was 17.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Single and unmotivated

--“Your wife won’t notice a thing! There’s no need to tell her at all. It’s your life after all. You have a right to be happy. No side effects… No unacceptable brain damage…Take it slowly, step by step. No, I wouldn’t advise that… yes, but we cannot predict the outcome in such a case. It’s a guess… It’s your own responsibility… As you wish.”--

By 2050 almost 50% of households in the Netherlands will be one-person households. There is 50% chance I will still (or again) be single by then. Don’t smile! If you’re Dutch, you have the same chances! That is if you are still alive by then…

Motivation is an interesting phenomenon. When it’s there it makes you move a mountain. When it’s not there you turn into a mountain that no one can move. It’s amazing that it takes me days to do something I did in a couple of hours before. What would world look like if motivation (and its counterpart) didn’t exist?

Timeline: 1984 – find me!

Half naked or completely covered?

--“I feel stuck. I am thinking of changing my life colour.” “You cannot change the colour just like that. It’s not only your life, it’s our life. I am happy with our life as it is, I don’t want to change anything.” “Last year you changed our living room to a piece of fluffy blue paradise without asking me what I want. I will only change the colour of MY life. They say a change of colour doesn’t actually change your life, but just the way you look at it.” “Then it’s just a waste of money!” “I am going to give it a try.”--
(I have no idea where this is going to bring me.)

I have nothing against veils, khimars, niqābs or burqas. If you want to wear one – go ahead. Never say never, but I wouldn’t wear any of those because my man says (or even asks) I should. Those are the rules of modesty I don’t relate to and I am not going to follow them. But here’s a peculiar fact – I do tend to consider putting less clothes on when my man (or a good male friend) encourages me to. I don’t only consider, I actually do wear less clothes or more daring outfits in many such cases. Why do I resist to follow one rule, but don’t resist to follow another when they are both different from my vision on what I should wear?

A song from 1991 that never ceases to inspire me:
Костер – Машина времени

Timeline: 1984 – February 9 Andropov died. It’s quite fast after Brezhnev and doesn’t make such a strong impression anymore. I remember looking forward to hearing the signals of factories and cars during the minute of mourning.

Monday, 20 July 2009


-- From the Lilour website: “Applying colour to your life is difficult. That’s why grey is the most used shade. But what other people don’t know is that grey supports other colours in your life if you add a little colour to it.

Do you want to start a whole new life or does your current life need a boost but you don’t know where to start? Lilour team of stylists is always ready to help you! The Lilour stylist will have a fresh outsider’s look at your life and your wishes life wise. You will receive a professional advise on your life colours based on your lifestyle preferences and favourite activities.” --

What if we all do exactly the same and it’s our perception of life that makes it look different? What if all human interactions consist of absolutely the same elements always put in the same order and it’s only our perception again that fills in the words, meanings and reactions? This would mean we only need to change our perception to have a completely different life. This would also mean each of us is absolutely alone, living in a world of their own perception and having no idea what all the others see, hear or feel…

My Bathroom has a brand new colour and I love it! The old black is gone and the new Histor Chance (S 3040-B30G) is all over the walls. Urgently need to take a bath!

Timeline: 1983 – I became a Young Pioneer. I was one of the 7 children in my class who were allowed to enter the organisation in November 1983. All the other children were not brave enough and a mass “inauguration” followed in April 1984. I was very proud.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Haagse markt

“The market is closed on Sundays, that’s easy. And then you have to remember two t’s – Tuesday and Thursday – the two other days when the market is closed.” I like the Haagse Markt. It’s always there. It’s not a weekly event, it’s a place. It’s huge! The two things that are big enough for me here in The Hague – the Haagse Markt and the sea. It has everything. Why don’t I ever buy clothes on the market? I should try. It’s busy and noisy. It’s colourful. I am never a stranger here. I like the guy who sells hahal meat. I like the boys selling olives (olives, cheese and fresh mint – always on my grocery list when I go to the market). I like small cucumbers. I like Turkish paprika. I like buying a lot and spending so little. The only thing I don’t like is the heavy weight. I went to the market with my father today. He said it looked a lot like a market in Israel. :)

What a song!

Dire Straits - Follow Me Home

Timeline: 1983 – an American girl Samantha Smith sent a letter to Andropov asking whether or not he is going to start a war against USA. The letter was published in Pravda. And later she came to the USSR for a two-week visit. There was a lot of fuss about her visit and she was all over the news for quite some time. All of a sudden they were talking about a little girl (just like me) on the news.

Saturday, 18 July 2009


Lady styling is difficult. I am already happy I can do my steps AND throw my hand up. And now she tells me I don’t do it beautifully enough!

Not constantly thinking about the future, but enjoying the present is difficult. Especially in a relationship.

Choosing a new cell phone is difficult. I want to have internet on my mobile. I would like to be able to chat and post little blog posts.

Waiting is difficult…

Long distance relationship is difficult.

Sometimes making decisions is difficult if they mean an end of something.

Life is difficult.

Life is beautiful…

Timeline: 1982 – that’s when I started learning Ukrainian at school. All of a sudden many things around me started making sense. :D

Friday, 17 July 2009


I have this little rubber mat (10cm x 23cm) with loads of very little nails. The nails are 3mm long and the mat looks very intimidating because you might think the nails go right through your skin if you press the mat against your body. But in fact it doesn’t even hurt when you press it into your skin. Of course the nails are made of metal and are sharp enough to damage your skin if you do wild things. I usually put it on my neck and shoulders against headaches. Too bad I cannot use it in bath. That way I could relax and stimulate the blood flow. I am afraid the nails will rust in water. This mat is also very good for treating sore muscles. I had a little headache so I used it tonight. And suddenly I’ve realised how stimulating those little nails are. Hmmm, I get ideas…
I am all about guitar music lately:

Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Timeline: 1982 – when Brezhnev had died we did not have lessons, but went to the cinema to see a (serious) movie. Afterwards we sat in a big room in front of a TV to watch the funeral. We were sitting in the front because we were small. I was very impressed by the minute of mourning when all the cars on the streets and all the factories gave a minute long signal. Our teacher had opened a window, so we could hear that. It sounds rather pathetic now, but then it really gave me a feeling of belonging to something great, where we are all one. It was a great feeling!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Papers and numbers

I have a love-hate relationship with my administration. I hate to do it. I mean, I never look forward to doing it. But then the time comes when I have to. And I start sorting out all the bills and invoices. And at that point something happens. Somehow my hate turns into love and I really enjoy the order I create in my folders. Until most of the papers are sorted out. That’s when hate comes in again, because I hate all those small things that need to be corrected when the main work is done. Once you’ve fixed one little thing, another mistake emerges. So I spend some time in the hate zone until all the mistakes are corrected and details fixed. And then I start loving it again! Because it’s over! I’ve dumped my administration at my accountant’s office today. Feels good!

Eye candy: I loved Spanish balconies. Every house in Spain has at least one balcony. I’ve made dozens of photos depicting balconies.

Timeline: 1982 – after lessons I stayed at school till 19:00 when my mother came to pick me up. We had a meal after the lessons, then we went to play outside and then we did our homework. I liked everything except for the meals.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Apparently 1 out of 100 people get schizophrenic. One out of hundred! It’s 1%. This would mean that 2 of my 215 LinkedIn contacts are schizophrenic. Why do we call it a disorder if so many people have it? I wonder what percentage of the population is gay. We don’t consider that to be a disorder. At least here in the Netherlands we don’t. In Ukraine they sometimes hold street protests against gays. I think I will organise a protest against headaches. Or against unwanted hair. Or against stupid people. But back to our sheep: apparently people can die of the medications they receive against schizophrenia! What's the point? Schizophrenia often manifests itself when person is between 15 and 30 years old. Good news for me again?

Erik Sumo - Friday I'll Be Dead

I have an impression that WizzAir is being run by a bunch of pregnant women. How else would you explain these enormous changes in prices? Why would the price of the flight tickets Dortmund – Kiev – Dortmund go in two weeks from €79,99 + €79,99 to €79,99 + €99,99 to €99,99 + €129,99 to €99,99 + 149,99 to €79,99 + €59,99?

I am loaded with work and guilt because I cannot spend as much time with my parents as I should or would want to.

Timeline: winter 1981 – each year at school we had a New Year carnival. My mother made the most original carnival costumes. This is the “Night”. I was the only girl in black among all those white “snowflakes”.

Monday, 13 July 2009


Why do people go to tanning salons? When it’s sunny enough you can go to the beach and when it’s not, suntan looks rather unnatural. Why didn’t they invent grass that doesn’t grow long? They already have grapes, mandarins and water melons without seeds.

All right, the main ‘why’ today is: Why do people read my blog? I have some answers now, thanks to those fourteen people who took a minute to vote!

It appears that most people (6 of 14) come here for sex! Apparently I write enough about sex to keep several people coming back for more. The only thing I don’t understand: I’ve dedicated an entire post to sex and there is no reaction at all. No comments and no ratings. Wrong kind of sex?

After sex the most important reasons for people to come back every time is my writing style (thank you, I do hope you mean this!) and all things unsaid so people can puzzle (I am preparing a very nice puzzle for you, let’s hope you’ll be able to solve it). And five of fourteen people claim to be secretly in love with me. Do you think any of them is serious? This leaves me with something to puzzle! I would have never been able to keep my feelings secret. At least secret from the object of my love.

Two people hope I will write about them. It’s not John, because he hopes I will not write about him. Who are these people? Listen, if I don’t write about you already, you might consider sending me an e-mail, I’m sure we can figure something out. ;) Otherwise consider doing something out of the ordinary so I notice you and write about you. :)

Timeline: 1981 – September 1st, my first day at school. All those kids I do not know. I don’t dare to talk to anyone. A girl with two long ponytails starts talking to me on our way to the girls’ toilet. Her name is Natasha. I am really glad she talks to me. Little do I know that she is to stay my best friend for many years to come…


Just a few hours left for you to stroke my ego and vote in my poll!!! The poll is on the right side of this blog and if you’ve seen it already, but haven’t voted yet then you are either lazy or very lazy!

“My nipples show through a little. Jaap wouldn’t let me go on the street like this.” - “Maybe, but he doesn’t have a say in it anymore. Besides, how are you going to attract the new one?” My mother has always been a very pragmatic woman. I couldn’t resist her arguments and bought the singlet. :D I wonder how people manage to go shopping, spend hours and end up with three little baggies. When I go shopping, I come back heavily loaded. When I go shopping with my mother our bags, feet and heads are very heavy. Only the wallets are light.

I feel a little uncomfortable because I didn't dance yesterday or today. I am so used to this weekly extra salsa shot. But now my parents are here and Remie is dancing days away in Spain – no extra salsa for me. Pfff, life of an addict is not easy!

My new music discovery (Спасибо!) – Nino Katamadze:

Timeline: 1981 – My grandmother has borrowed a school Букварь (alphabet book) for me so I would be well prepared for school. I could read since I was three, so I started somewhere in the middle of the book (with larger texts) and finished it in a couple of weeks (just a couple of texts a day). I still don’t understand why we did this. When I went to school, I received exactly the same book and we started right from the start: Аа, Уу, Мм; ау, уа, мама…

Sunday, 12 July 2009


July is the time when my parents come to visit. July is the time when many things unfinished or broken in and around my house get fixed. July is the time of the large hardware stores. My father makes a list of what we need and then we go. Most of the times we go to Karwei that is 15 minutes walking from my house. But sometimes we need a bigger store and then we go by car to the bigger Praxis, Gamma or Hornbach. I like hardware stores. They are like huuuge Mechano kits. So many things you can make! It’s also fun to learn names for all this stuff. My father uses Russian names for everything and after I’ve figured out what it is and we’ve found that at the store, I get to learn the Dutch word for it. I also like when there is no standard solution for our problem. Because then we get to puzzle, discuss different solutions, measure and weigh pros and contras before we buy something.

While my father and I are spending our time in hardware supermarkets, my mother (who is not so much into hardware) sorts out my calendars. I (or rather we) collect pocket calendars – small cards with a calendar on one side and a picture on the other side. I started collecting calendars at school following other kids, but unlike other kids I never quit. I have about 50.000 calendars in my collection (rough estimate). Most are in large albums, sorted by topic. But thousands are packed in boxes and still need sorting out. That’s what my mother does while we have fun with hardware. Today she was sorting out a box full of Russian calendars. I know very few people can be as enthusiastic about pocket calendars as we are, but look how much fun it can be!
Timeline: 1981 – Because I spent so much time in Saratov, I was suspended from my kindergarten for non-attendance. Which resulted in me spending even more time in Saratov. I didn’t really have friends in Kiev, but had plenty in Saratov. Tolik - a boy who was two years younger than I – once asked me a question I couldn’t possibly answer. “Why do you think I know everything?” - I asked. “Because you come from Kiev!” Very sweet. :)

Saturday, 11 July 2009

How well do you know me?

If you read my blog regularly, you know a lot about me. Take this little test and find out how well you know me by now.

It seems my house will look finished after this visit of my parents. My father refuses to leave the house before he’s finished all the unfinished stuff in the rooms, the bathroom and so on.

I cannot write anymore today, because I am listening to my very private guitar concert right now and cannot think of anything else… And this is something from our youth, isn’t it beautiful?

Dire Straits - Why Worry

Timeline: 1980 – this was the last year I attended kindergarten. My last year before school I spent in Saratov.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Breast cancer – good news!

Good news: the relationship between migraine headaches in women and a significant reduction in breast cancer risk has been confirmed in a follow-on study to landmark research published last year and conducted by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The new study found a 26 percent reduced risk of breast cancer among both premenopausal and postmenopausal women with a clinical diagnosis of migraines. I’ve never been diagnosed, but I like the idea that I don’t have those horrible headaches for nothing!
Mercer has published the 2009 Cost of Living survey where they compare the prices for 200 items in 143 world cities. I was trying to see which cities are on the list, or rather – whether Kiev and The Hague are on the list. Unfortunately one has to buy the whole report to see the full list. Kiev is supposedly on the list, but not in top 50. I am not sure about The Hague, but give the amount of ex-pats here, it must be! I like the idea that I live in a world city. :)

Timeline: 1980 – Fashion Queen!

Thursday, 9 July 2009


The Rutgers Nisso Groep has conducted an extensive population survey to assess sexual health and care needs in the Netherlands. I have read about it in a newspaper and naturally was very curious to know more! I have read the report and was very surprised and sometimes shocked by some results.

One in seven women do not enjoy sex. One in seven! That’s a lot! Twenty five per cent of men and women have experienced feelings of guilt about their sexual behaviour. Guilt?! Unfortunately the report does not give more information on that point. More than a quarter of all women is not satisfied about the look of their sexual organs. Ehm… Something to do with expectations? And anyway… eh… whatever!..

There is a lot sexual violence going on: one third of women and one in twenty men say they have been victims of some sort of sexual aggression (verbal violence excluded) at some time in their lives. The definition of sexual aggression is very broad and the researchers say that according to their broad definition more than half of women have been victims of some sort of sexual aggression. I suspect this is still ok comparing to Ukraine. I’ve never been raped and verbal violence doesn’t count, but I’ve been a victim to things in between more than once. But back to the Netherlands: twelve per cent of women and nearly three per cent of men have at one time been raped. 12%!!! Ok, here is the good news for me - women and men younger than 35 years old are more at risk of experiencing some kind of sexual aggression!

Here in the Netherlands people lose their virginity quite late: men in their 19th year and women in their 18,3. I was younger than that.

The respondents are evenly spread over the categories ‘1 or 2’, ‘3 to 5’, en ‘6 to 20’ sexual partners up till now. A little more than 10% has had more than 20 partners. So if I want to feel special and fit in this group, I need to… Hmmm… By the way, high educated women have more often than low educated women more than ten partners.

3,4% men and 2,2% women has at least once received money in exchange for sex. YES, it’s not a mistake! Men receive money for sex MORE OFTEN than women! Even here women get paid less (often)!

75% of all men and only 50% of all women find sex important. 50% of all women don’t think sex is important?! Hey girls, if sex is not important, then what is?! Yeah, kids blah, but how did you get them?

Both men and women find lust more important and intimacy less important now then in 2006 when the last similar research was held. It seems we head for hardcore, intimacy can wait.

Women buy condoms less often than men and about 40% (more women than men) finds it difficult to buy condoms in a shop. Do I fit in this 40%? I find it extremely difficult – there is so much choice nowadays!

And finally 42% of men and 22% of women thinks that it’s men’s responsibility to carry condoms with them. Emancipation?

And here is an interesting interpretation of sex:

Timeline: 1980 – I remember watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games 1980 in Moscow on TV. It was such a great show! Breathtaking!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Men and decisions

You, yeah you! If you come here regularly (I know you do), please take a sec to vote in my poll and let me know what you come here for.

And now about that brilliant piece of Soviet cinema: if you watched the fragment, you’ve seen this. At a certain point the man says: “As for the decisions in this house, I’ll be making them. For the simple reason that I’m the man here.” A friend said this to me yesterday (he also sent me the link) and I got quite angry with him. Because I am very well capable of making decisions and actually prefer to make decisions myself. I called him macho and got into a discussion with him (actually I was talking and he was not stopping me). And while talking I have discovered that even though I have no problems making decisions, I do like to have a man around who takes responsibility without any discussion and makes all necessary decisions. I seem to contradict myself! Is it because I was raised in a culture where men are supposed to earn the money and make all the decisions? Or is it because I am a woman and every woman (even an emancipated one) needs a man to lean on when difficult decisions have to be made?

A piece of news: 25% of Dutch women think they look nice and sexy. I asked one man how many women on the streets he thinks look nice and sexy. He confessed he liked about one quarter, which is 25%. ;)

By the way, I think “a grown-up man” is a contradictio in terminis.

Timeline: 1980, as Ukrainian as it’s going to get.

Correct behaviour

My parents have finally arrived today – yay!!! They’ve brought sushki, sweets, tea and some nice paintings. Besides the fun of being together their arrival also means I don’t have to cook for a month (!) and that many things in the house and garden will be fixed. ;)

Imagine you are involved with someone who is married (not to you obviously). What would you call a correct behaviour: not getting involved with this person at all or not interfere with their other (married) life? Interfering isn’t correct, of that I’m sure. Not getting involved might be correct, but not always a real option. Besides, I think not getting involved only makes sense if you are trying to protect your own interests. A friend of mine said he would never get involved with a married woman. Me: "Why?" He: "What's the point?" Me: "What if you are in love with her?" He: "Then logic doesn't work and anything can happen. But as long as I can control myself, I will not have a relationship with a married woman." Well, he is very young. He might change his mind as years pass. ;) Where I really see no point is in deciding for another person what’s right and how things are supposed to be.

And here is a piece of Soviet cinema classics - Moskva slezam ne verit (we all LOVE this film, if you don’t catch it: the girl’s name is Sasha): And tomorrow – if I feel like it – a discussion about who is supposed to take decisions – men or women.

Timeline: December 25th 1979 Soviet Army has entered Afghanistan starting a war that would last ten years. All that time Afghanistan for me was a country at war. I remember pictures of some deserted villages, empty landscapes and tanks on TV. My parents did not have a TV. Well, they had one, but it didn’t work. It just stood there until I took it apart years later. I watched TV when I was in Saratov with my grandparents. It was a black-and-white TV and when we watched figure skating the commentary would describe the colours of the costumes.

Monday, 6 July 2009


Here I am again. Waiting. Waiting for someone to do something tonight. Waiting… Are you good at waiting? When is someone good at waiting: when they are waiting patiently or when they are actually not waiting at all? I cannot wait patiently. At least not for something I want to happen very badly. And especially not for something I’m not sure will happen. Patience is not my strong point in general. And particularly when waiting. I am not even good at keeping myself busy while waiting. The more I want something to happen the more paralysed I get by the waiting process. My life slows down or even stops when I wait. If being good at waiting means being entirely consumed by it then I am certainly very good.

Maastricht was sunny, beautiful and fun. I am The IT-Girl at Versteegh. This basically means people push every device that has buttons into my hands: “Figure this out!” So, naturally, during our GPS puzzle tour through Maastricht I got the PDA. It was fun AND our group has won! We had dinner in a ball room (or at least it looked like that), but unfortunately I had to skip today’s programme because I had to be home on time to help my parents find a hotel in Germany. Luckily, after I sorted things out with my parents, I had enough time to do something outdoors. It was too cloudy for the beach, so we did a two-hour bicycle ride and spent another one and a half hours laying on the pillows of Peukie – a beach café in Scheveningen. ;)

Timeline: 1979

Saturday, 4 July 2009


My friends have suggested some more watermelon combinations: watermelon with salt (hmm, I will try, but not sure I will like it) and a traditional Greek combination – watermelon with feta (this one sounds very tasty).

My parents are on their way from Kiev to The Hague. They were supposed to cross the Ukrainian-Polish border today, but my father didn’t feel well and since he is the only driver in the car, they had to make a stop at a hotel some hundred km before the border. I hope tomorrow will go better, otherwise it will take five days before they get here.

I am going to Maastricht for the weekend. All employees of Versteegh (+partners) are going. Since I have no partner, I will have to share a room with a colleague. There are eight people without a partner: seven women and one man. I have tried to claim him in public during the lunch a couple of weeks ago. He said “We shall see”. The rest of our co-workers had fun! :D Anyway, a weekend in Maastricht means there will be no post on Saturday. So see you Sunday!

Some eyecandy again: summer night in Paris.

Timeline: 1979 – Because I am called Sasha and most of the time I had short hair and wore trousers, people thought I was a boy. I was used to explaining: “I am not a boy, I am a girl.” I had no problems with this.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Watermelon and onion

It seems I am getting a name at Versteegh. The one who asks an enormous amount of questions after every presentation. Which is not always the case. Today, for example, I only asked eight questions.

I have discovered an amazing taste combination today: watermelon with onion. Just take a piece of watermelon and a piece of onion (approximately the same size) and eat them together. I was shocked to find out how nicely these two go together! I have to experiment around to incorporate this duo in a sauce or a cocktail.

Look at this! Such a great idea!

Today’s swirl: ice-cream - chocolate, fruit - two spoons of cherries and two spoons of strawberry, topping - dark chocolate and mini waffles. Delicious!

Timeline: 1978 – before I went to school I spent my winters in Saratov with my grandparents. The shoes I have on my feet are valenki. And the trousers are a part of a suit my mother made for me. She hand stitched large ladybirds on the jacket and on the trousers. The kids in the kindergarten said: “These are butterflies. They are too big to be ladybirds.” Idiots!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

A prize for all potential employers

Summer rocks! I love wearing a singlet, a short skirt and a pair of slippers. I love sitting in the sun getting brown. I love the mood on the streets. Somehow, if it’s warm and sunny enough, everybody gets slower and happier. I love bbq. We had fish today, for a change. And a salad with crème fraîche. And a Banana Sensation! And then we decided to make mojitos because we had all the ingredients.

Mojito – the perfect summer night drink
For one portion you will need: 40 ml White Rum (Bacardi works very well), 30 ml fresh lime juice (one lime is enough for two portions), 3 sprigs of mint (helps if you have it in your garden), 2 teaspoons sugar, sparkling water, crushed ice.

Muddle mint sprigs with sugar and lime juice. Add rum. Add the ice and stir gently. Put the mixture in a glass and top up with sparkling water. Delicious! And very easy.

A friend of mine said it could harm my career if I write about drinking alcohol too often. She is very sweet. This is to all my potential employers: I write about drinking on this blog every time I have a drink. Please go on and count how many times I’ve been drinking in the past three month. Send the results to If you answer this question correctly, I will send you a good book and a good CD.

Timeline: 1978, well, actually up to the moment I went to school I had very few friends. My problem was that many kids were doing things I could not comprehend. For example running for no particular reason. Or throwing and breaking things, again – for no particular reason. Or not being able to conjugate verbs in the right manner. In the latter case I never assumed they were stupid or haven’t learnt it properly. I thought I was not clever enough to understand!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


I like mist. It transfers the world around you into something different. It hides things, deforms them, forces you into here and now, because there nothing else. It was slightly misty this morning and I watched a cut-out multilayered paper 3-d landscape out of the train window. You can easily make such a landscape yourself:
Take a piece of greyish-white paper to use as a background. Then draw (or find in newspapers and magazines) and cut-out the layers. First layer: very vague, grey. Tall buildings, trees and cranes will do well in this layer. Second layer: slightly sharper and brighter than the first one. Here you can recognise (or rather guess) the colours. Trees, churches and houses are the best objects for this. Third layer: colours are not clear but clearly recognisable, objects are clearly visible. Take a road with cars large and small. Fourth layer: everything looks like a good quality photograph covered by a barely visible film of dust. Horses or cows in a field. Fifth layer: bright, clear, liberating. Grass, flowers, small bushes, poles. Now just stick the layers to the paper in the right order (start from the most distant one and move to the closest one). See? You don’t have to take a train early in the morning to enjoy such a landscape!

Today’s swirl: ice-cream - chocolate and strawberry, fruit - one spoon of cherries and three spoons of watermelon, topping - dark chocolate and mini waffles. Mmmmmmm!

I need to enable mms on my phone somehow… :-|

Timeline: 1978

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