Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Something to celebrate today: 100 posts on this blog! I’ve been blogging every day since March 24th skipping only two days: one because of a headache and one because I was out dancing too late and did not have any energy to blog afterwards. I have listed 97 trivia of which one takes up a whole post and two are cartoons. There are two posts in Russian and half a post in Dutch.

As a part of celebration I’ve made a poll (right hand side of this blog). I would be really grateful if you would fill it in! Your answers will help a great deal to keep this blog interesting and blah. Actually, I am simply damn curious! Another part is: I’ve decided abandon the trivia. And that’s good, because I have something new in mind for the next 100 posts.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been re-evaluating all my activities, relationships and plans every day lately. And almost every day I make a different conclusion about what I want and how to proceed. This won’t bring me far. One thing that remained constant is that I want to work in Ukraine related projects. That’s good. I want to do at least one thing a day that will bring me closer to this aim. Which is: networking, networking, networking. Networking is something I recognise as very useful, but do it way too little to truly profit from it. This will be a good exercise.

If you were wondering why I was all of a sudden writing about Odessa – I might go there for my birthday. Someone who plays guitar and whose biceps measure 40cm (mmmmm….) want to show the real Odessa to me. Let’s hope the plan will work out!

Some fun Ukrainian music (have to get used to being more involved with Ukraine now):

Mandry - Orysia

Trivia: my two favourite male body parts are big brain and strong arms.

Monday, 29 June 2009


Although Zuiderpark is less than a ten-minutes-walk away from my house, I’ve never been to Parkpop before. Well, as I said before – there is always a first time for everything. Today was my first Parkpop. I liked it a lot. You have to disregard the enormous amount of garbage under your feet and cope with very many drunk people. If you can stand that you will be rewarded with a very good selection of music.

We’ve seen: Ed Kowalczyk from Live (without the band), Habib Koité and Bamada, Shantel & Bucovina Club Orkestar - that was REAL fun, and the two toppers of Milow (You Don’t Know and Ayo Tecvhnology). We did not stay for Guus.

Trivia: I’ve never been to a music festival before.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

The most beautiful woman

There’s always a first time for everything. Last night I’ve had a man playing guitar especially for me. I was touched, also because he played a piece he wrote himself. And the music was so incredibly beautiful! It still makes me silent when I think back. I was crying…

The man who takes care of the toilets at Haarlem railway station: “You are so beautiful! I’ve never seen such a beautiful woman before! I’m telling the truth!” I was half naked, wearing my very daring top. That has most probably contributed to the man’s experience of my beauty. ;) I was not planning to put that top on tonight. I had a nice pink linen dress on when Remie came and made me change! My right foot is slightly injured by the heels of other women again.

I am planning to attend Parkpop tomorrow for the first time. Let’s hope the rain will hold until the end of the festival.

Trivia: I was 13 years old when a man (someone who was just passing by) told me I was beautiful.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

The end of the world as I know it

Michael Jackson is dead. I’ve never lived in a Michael-Jacksonless world. My favourite Michael Jackson video is “They Don’t Care About Us” – I like the drums. I think this man was a very sad example of how our prejudices can break us. From where I stand: he was trying to be something he is not – white – despite of the fact that he already was such an extraordinary man because of his great talent. And the more you are, the more we ask from you. This drives you so far from yourself that you turn into a freak instead of just going your own way, doing your thing and enjoy life. Has he ever been happy?

Even though I think Michael Jackson was a man of great talent and his songs are certainly a meaningful addition to our culture, I wasn’t really his fan in any way. He’s gone now and this doesn’t change my life at all. It was different in August 1990, when I heard the news on the radio: Viktor Tsoi has died in a car accident. No one deserves death, but sometimes it seems even more unfair...

Trivia: I’ve seen Viktor Tsoi and Kino live in Kiev in 1990.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Emancipation progress

According to Hoffmann Bedrijfsrecherche 11% of all frauds at work in 2007 were committed by women. In 2008 the amount of frauds committed by women has grown to 25% of the total. Emancipation rules!

I love swirls from Ola! Every time I am on the station on my way home from work, I cannot resist a swirl. Especially now when the weather is so sunny and warm. Today I had a chocolate-strawberry ice-cream with two spoons of water melon, one spoon of strawberries, one spoon of cherries and all that topped by dark chocolate and nuts. Mmmmmmmm!

Trivia: I love chocolate ice-cream.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Banana Sensation and my new webcam

Sand. In my hair. In and around my ears. On my face and in my eyes, nose and mouth. On my shoulders, arms and in my armpits. On my chest and breasts. On my stomach and in my navel. On my back. In my bikini. On my legs, feet and between my toes. In my shoes, clothes, bag, i-pod, telephone and book. There sure was plenty of sun today, but also plenty of wind on the beach. I managed to stay for one and a half hour and then I gave up. The sand adventure was worth it – my skin has finally got a more or less healthy colour.

Enjoying the evening sun in the garden was fantastic. After we were done with the bbq Remie has made us a dessert – on the bbq. He did not have a name for it, so I have invented one: Banana Sensation. He did not allow me to share the recipe, so the only thing I can tell you is that there were bananas and rum. I also had chocolate and cinnamon in it and Remie had coconut and mint. It was sooooo delicious! Mmmmm…

I have just installed a webcam! I have already made my mother happy. Let’s see whether I can find someone else out there who’d be happy to see me. ;)

Trivia: I have never had a webcam before.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Odessa (אדעס) is the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of over 1,000,000. Odessa considerably lost in status in the past century: in the 19th century it was the fourth largest city of Imperial Russia, after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Warsaw. You have to agree – being the fourth largest city of Imperial Russia is much cooler than being the fourth largest city of Ukraine. Odessa used to be larger than Kiev! I also think being the third largest city in Imperial Russia is a much better deal than being the first city of Poland. Oops, have I just said that?!

The sun seems to have arrived to the Netherlands to stay for a while. I am going to the beach tomorrow and I will take sunscreen with me. My shoulders haven’t peeled (yet), but they did hurt quite badly last Friday, so no more burns!

Here’s one more musical discovery I have made in Kiev:

Kosheen - Wish You Were Here

Although it’s rather I Wish I Were There…Distance isn’t good for me…

Trivia: I’ve been to Odessa only once for one day on December 25th 1996.


I promised to come back on the article I got from Fabio: What Ever Happened to the Vikings? It’s definitely fun to read. It gives some insight on emancipation process in Scandinavia. Which is as far as I can see is not at all similar to that in the Netherlands. If we are to believe Elizabeth Debold, emancipation in Scandinavia has turned out to be demasculisation. I find it very strange that instead of creating an environment where women would be able to do the same things as men (if they wanted to) they give a negative notation to everything that men do. How would that help women? Anyway, I don’t see any strange expression in men’s eyes here in the Netherlands. Men do not seem to be very traumatised by emancipation process here. Which can mean two things: either we are doing the right thing or emancipation doesn’t work here. So which is it?

Some more nostalgia:
Trivia: I consider myself an emancipated woman.

Sunday, 21 June 2009


12:20 I need these trousers steam cleaned and these shortened. I have these as well. You shortened them two weeks ago, but now they are not the way they are supposed to be. Could you please fix this? Wednesday is fine, thanks!
12:50 I have bought these shoes here a month ago. I have worn them no more than five times and they are already broken. Yes, that would be nice. Thank you so much!
13:05 Is this suitable for eyes too? What should I use for my eyes then? Thanks.
13:25 Do you have this bra in 80A? Yes, thank you. Do you have it in other colours as well? No, 65 is too small. I am skinny, but not THAT skinny.
13:55 Do you also have male dancing shoes? Black. One moment, I have to check. 44. No, He probably won’t like those. Do you have these in 44? Could you put them aside till 17:00? Thanks!
14:55 May I pay with a credit card? Oh, no! I forgot the code. Let’s try this card. Yeah, It’s broken, I need to have it replaced. And this one? Not enough money… Could you put this aside for me while I’m getting the money? Yes, till 17:00. Thanks!
15:15 Do you have a Bonuscard?
16:00 Hi, I would like to pay for my bag full of underwear.
Oh, we have already put all your things back in the shop. I didn’t expect you to come anymore. I am so sorry!
16:30 I didn’t feel like trying all these bras on again. Can I bring them back if they don’t fit? Yes, within 30 days with the tags still attached to them.

I had a “nap” from 18:00 till 21:45. When I woke up, I realised I still had to cook, eat, shower and wash my hair, iron my trousers, dress up and put make-up on. And that all had to be done before 22:45 when Remie would pick me up to go to Chicoleo. Well, Remie had to wait for 30 minutes. :-|

Trivia: I really have to push myself and set aside all practical reasons to buy underwear in other colours than black or white.

Saturday, 20 June 2009


I know you must be sick of my salsa obsession by now, but I really need to confess. I might be seriously addicted! I wasn’t going to stay long tonight. I was really tired (lack of sleep) and wanted to chat with a friend tonight. So I was determined to be home by 23:00 the latest. It didn’t work. I was home by 1:00 and that’s only because most of my salsa friends were leaving. My feet hurt slightly and I missed the friend I wanted to chat with. I will call my friend tomorrow and now I have to do some feet repair for Chicoleo tomorrow.

Today a truck fell over on the highway between Utrecht and Den Bosch. There was a huge traffic jam on that side of the road. It lasted at least half a day. I can understand that. Not many cars could pass while they were working on cleaning up the mess and moving the truck away. But there also was a traffic jam on the other side of the road. Because people were slowing down to watch! People seem to loose their mind when they get in the driver’s seat…

Fabio has sent me the link to a very interesting article on emancipation: What Ever Happened to the Vikings? I am only halfway through, but it’s fun to read. I will comment on it tomorrow.

Trivia: I have a driver’s licence in my wallet since May 15, 2007.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Spinning head and Happy Birthday!

My head is spinning. Too many thoughts and things have gathered there and wouldn’t leave. For example the plans I dream of. Or the dreams I plan to realise. I can’t even keep the two apart. As a result I can neither dream nor plan. I keep switching from one to the other and never manage to finish thinking a thought. The same goes for the relationships. I have relationships I didn’t intend to have, but happen to have anyway. And I cannot make up my mind about whether I should keep or terminate them because I am too busy thinking of relationships I would want to have but that don’t happen or work out for some reason.

Reasons are yet another example. I keep on searching for reasons of everything that happens to me. I do that until I decide the reasons do not matter because they lay in the past and I cannot change the past so I should rather concentrate on here and now. So I do. But that never lasts longer than a day. In one day I collect too many question marks about my present state and then I want to figure out why this stuff is happening to me. I hope to be able to recognise the signals and prevent the chaos by studying the reasons. So I start from the beginning.

It’s like my mind is working in loops. Except they are not loops, but circles. Can anyone still follow me? Can I follow myself? I really have to get that puzzle done, so you get some entertainment from me and don’t have to struggle your way through this nonsense.

Look at this young beauty! Her name is Sasha. She has turned 12 today. Happy birthday! :)

Trivia: I started using cosmetics when I was 15 years old.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Burnt by the sun

I’ve been to the beach today! The first clouds appeared as soon as I left home. It was not too warm and sometimes even a little too chilly for a bikini, but I enjoyed it. I had a two-hour walk along the water. By the time I was back to the place where I left my bike, the sun was completely gone. Nevertheless, it looks like I still managed to burn my shoulders. :-(

I am determined to go to bed early today. Not later than 24:00! I just want to have a day at work without unbearable suffering from a terrible lack of sleep.

I have forgotten a friend’s birthday yesterday and when I congratulated him today (Sorry! Too late!) he said he did not celebrate his birthday in any way. Which reminds me: I don’t have any plans for my birthday either. Usually I would spend this day with my partner and my parents if they are (or I am) around. But now I don’t have a partner and my parents won’t be around. I wouldn’t like my birthday to pass completely unnoticed. Well, my life’s changing so fast, who knows…

Trivia: I burnt my shoulders so that they pealed only once. It was in 1994 in Israel.

BBQ and brain strain

The weather continues to act weird: pouring rain until 15:00 and then gradually the sky clears and the sun comes. By the time we started our little bbq (around 19:30) the sky was perfectly clear and it was nice and warm. We sat outside till 22:30. You don’t need much for life to feel good… A hint for the ladies: invite a man for a bbq at your place. This way you give him food he likes without having to cook anything!

I am working on my Love Life puzzle. As soon as I am done I will post it on this blog so you can have fun solving it and get a chance to win a prize. ;) Making a puzzle is much harder than I thought! My brain is struggling! Well, maybe the fact that I only slept 4 hours last night and a slight headache make it more difficult than necessary.

Some newly discovered (thanks!) music:

Laurie Anderson - O Superman

Trivia: I like the fact that mosquitoes in the Netherlands do not bite.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


No sun for me today. Well, they promise a sunny day on Wednesday. That’s how I live in the Netherlands: hope for some sun every day.

I am enjoying the thunder and the lightnings instead. I love thunderstorms!!! My heart beats faster when I see the nature explode. I always keep windows open to hear the thunder and the rain and to see the lightnings clearly. Thunderstorms in The Hague are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! They are so close, so expressive, so loud, so long! They resemble passionate sex: excitement, screaming and sweating, laughing and crying…

I discovered a jewel amongst CDs I brought from Kiev. Her name is Jem, and here’s one of her songs:

Jem - Keep On Walking

Trivia: I prefer sex with a lot of sounds.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Crazy weather

The weather is weird here in The Hague. I woke up at 8:00 into a very rainy morning. There was no hint of sun or the end of rain. I decided it was too early to get up and fell asleep again. The next time I woke up it was 11:30 and it was still raining. The sky kept pouring loads of water till 14:00. And then it stopped. And at 15:00 the sun was shining and it was getting very warm. At 15:30 there were no clouds and the beach seemed like the perfect place to be!

If there is any hint of sun tomorrow, I will go for a long walk on the beach. Now that I have my bicycle I can get there very fast.

One more photo from Yuri Vorontsov (yes, I am really impressed!):
Trivia: I find ironing very calming, but nonetheless always postpone it until it can’t wait any longer.

Sunday, 14 June 2009


I had my portion of dancing tonight, although it required bringing THREE partners with me. The men were all very tired, so they danced three times as little as they would usually do. But it was very nice. Dancing in the Art Nouveu style waiting room of the Haarlem railway station has quite a flair (and no air when there are so many couples dancing).

I hope the weather will stay nice tomorrow so I can have a walk on the beach and finally get my skin some extra colour.

I have (re)discovered the website of someone I know from my past work. He makes amazing photos. Here’s one -->

Check here for more.

Trivia: I use Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English when I write for this blog.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Alone on the street – not good

My pain body is gone. Evaporated. So is the headache that’s been bugging me for the past two days. Dancing has once again proved to be an excellent painkiller. And the person who invented merengue should get the Nobel price! I’ve had a chance to freshen up my Italian too!

At 2:15 I was biking home and noticed, that besides the non-working lights my bicycle makes irregular clapping sounds somewhere at the back wheel. I hope it does not decide to fall apart any time soon! (I also hope that for my computer because then I’m really screwed.) The streets were empty, but halfway home I met an Indian man walking on the street. “Hey, you, alone on the street – it’s not good” he said.

Tomorrow (or actually later today) I am going to a salsa party on the train station in Haarlem. I’ve managed to gather a little crowd, so it will definitely be fun. And now I have to give my feet a little bath if I want them to work for me tomorrow.

Oro Solido - Abusadora

Trivia: I had a very advanced course of Italian language in 1995-96, but forgot most of it because I had no chance to practice.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Pain body

I was chatting with a friend last night about this and that as usual. We started talking about music and he sent me the link to this video:

We were talking about the Schindler's List and The Pianist and the conversation became very sad. It was late and I went to bed. But today one thought wouldn’t leave my mind: why do I feel so much pain when I am confronted with the Jewish tragedy? As far as I know, my family had been fairly lucky and no one has actually died, even though in Kiev they had all the chances to. It’s different from the empathy I would feel towards any other people suffering. As soon as a story touches my roots in any way, the pain becomes almost physical, emotional distress goes way deeper and my mind holds on to it much longer than otherwise. That’s exactly what Perlman is talking about in this video – I feel like I am a part of it, even though in fact I am not.

I was looking for the name of this phenomenon (I may be special, but not that special. Many people have the same experience) and came across the term ‘collective pain body’. I don’t know who invented the term, but apparently Eckhart Tolle deals with the notion in his books and even gives some suggestions on how one can get rid of it as it prevents you from being happy in living your own life in here and now. Well, I don’t feel this pain is bothering me so much that I should work on getting rid of it. It rather helps me feel I am connected to my roots, which is a very nice feeling. I might though consider reading Tolle’s The Power of Now to learn how not to be consumed with the future too much.

Trivia: my grandmother and great grandmother lived in Kiev during the German occupation, but managed to escape the Babi Yar massacre of 1941 by hiding and living under a Ukrainian name.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

My new trousers

I went to the tailor to pick up my three trousers. I had them shortened. The tailor was a little puzzled about the shape of these -->

I am again confronted with the fact that most people are not looking forward to widening their horizons. People try to find work close to home and don’t go too wild on vacations. Things that happen in their village or town are the things they are interested in. It doesn’t matter how small the place is. In Houten they talk about Houten, in Kiev – about Kiev. The world is so big! We are already limited by the lack of time and money, so we cannot visit many far away places or travel very often. It’s amazing that in this information era people voluntarily limit their world to the borders of their town! I need a trip over the border to feel alive. Thanks God, there is internet! There are already so many borders and limits, why impose more on yourself? People are very strange creatures…

Trivia: I have 25 pairs of trousers.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

On the hunt

May we water the garden? No? Because it rained the whole day? What’s your surname? Mine is Illiri, it means “far away” in Turkish. And hers is Arslan – “tiger”. What does your name mean? How old are you? WOW! You are older than my mother!!! And you don’t even have kids! Bye!

The last few days I was thinking about a possibility to work for a Dutch company doing projects in Ukraine. When I just started building my carrier in the Netherlands, I refused to look for Ukraine or Russia related projects. There where a lot of suggestions, everyone was gently pushing me that way because it seemed so logical. But I went my way, refused to settle. I didn’t want to be stuck halfway between my old and my new home. This approach paid off. I have good Dutch CV. My Dutch is perfectly suitable for work on high level positions. This was a very important lesson for me – do not settle until you’ve found what you wanted.

Another important lesson that I’ve learned is not to stick to old truths. We change, the world changes. Something that was true yesterday is not necessarily true today. It may be shocking to discover that all of a sudden we like things we disguised just yesterday. But it makes no sense to deny that. Accepting and living accordingly makes life much easier.

It took me about three days to accept the fact that now I DO want to participate in Ukraine related projects. Now I am on the hunt…

Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek

Andrew had this song on his blog and I liked it a lot. Just wanted to share.

Trivia: I’ve had six jobs in Netherlands + my own company.

Monday, 8 June 2009


Friends rather than lovers. This thought has crossed my mind more than once last week. And now it has happened. Everything fell into place, everything is right, no one is lying to anyone, no one is hurt – cool! Except… It feels so empty! It’s amazing how fast a place is filled. And even if the warmth and affection are not real, it’s still very difficult to part with them.

Thursday evening I felt half empty, but now it feels like emptiness is slowly taking over my heart. I try to fill in this empty space with tears, but it’s too big. I don’t have so much tears!

This morning I woke up at 7:00 because the neighbours’ cat went into my closet, climbed upon something and then fell down with a great noise. I told this to Sasha and he said I was funny, even though I didn’t do anything!

My neighbours from upstairs have duvet covers with a rose and the text “it’s all about love”.

When I arrived on Thursday, I found a blank envelope (without a name or an address on it) amongst other post. There was a 10-Euro note in it. Who and why has ‘sent’ it to me? I cannot recall anyone owing me ten Euro.

<-- A photo by Sasha Drozdov (another Sasha). He also made the photo of me that you can see in the upper left corner on this blog (and almost in all my profile pictures by now). More cool photos on his blog here.

Trivia: I have a handkerchief under my pillow.


I’ve got my portion of dancing tonight. And some things have cleared out, which is a great progress given my current state of mind. But I will have to give it some time and some thought before I can write about it.

My yesterday’s post has resulted in a discussion with Jeroen and Remie about the way men and women treat each other in the Netherlands. It’s a great shock for every post-USSR female when a man she is going out with does not open up the doors for her, does not help her to put her coat on and does not do many other things she is used to get from men. I’ve talked to many Dutch men about this. And all of them say they would love to give women this kind of attention, but don’t do it because Dutch women wouldn’t appreciate it. But I’m not sure I know any Dutch woman who would get angry or upset about the fact that men open up the doors for her. And both Jeroen and Remie confirmed that when they do that, Dutch women don’t get angry. They are either flattered or think the man wants something more. It’s just the result of the fact that they are not used to such treatment and by no means a sign they wouldn’t like to be treated like this more often. This is a very sad situation, don’t you think?

Dancing is actually much more dangerous than it seems. My feet are covered with scratches from other women’s heels. Trust me – they hurt! I might have caught another cold by dancing in a room with all the windows and doors open. I am going to take a hot bath. It might help if I’m lucky.

El Cantante - Nice movie:

Trivia: I have 25 pairs of shoes.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Comfort zone

No dancing today. I’ve been really looking forward to it, but didn’t realise that until it was cancelled. Now I am alone at home, confronted with my confusion again.

My head is still in Kiev even though I’ve been into the city today to have my new trousers shortened and buy some extra strong magnets for my wall. I will redecorate it using all the new pictures, tickets and posters from my trip.

Rush hour in Kiev:
I took this picture after I had a coffee with a friend on Tuesday. It was just four days ago, we are still living in the same week, but it feels light years ago. The long list of people I haven’t managed to meet at least for a coffee still bothers me A LOT!

You know what I enjoyed a lot in Kiev? When I am going somewhere with a man we both know exactly when he is going to walk in front of me, beside me or behind me. We know exactly how we will pass doors, walk in small passages or on broad streets, go up or down the stairs. There seem to be loads of rules and we all know them so well we don’t even realise that. Well, I do, but that’s different. Now I am back in the Netherlands and out of my comfort zone again. Because there don’t seem to be any rules besides “be polite to each other”. But that doesn’t really help.

Some more nostalgia:
Trivia: I remember my father explaining the rules of walking up and down the stairs for men and women.

Friday, 5 June 2009


Ok, planning for a dancing night from 23:00 to 2:00 was a little too ambitious. At ten o’clock it was already clear enough we weren’t going to make it. So now I am going to post on time for a change.

Today I have reached my highest point of decadence so far. We drove to the salsa lesson in the car with it’s roof open because it was sunny. But because it was too cold I had the heating in my seat turned on! I felt posh and useless. I think if I do this more often, I will get rid of these feelings. ;)

I like this song and now finally I own it on a CD together with the other very nice compositions from Touch and Go. I think this song describes my approach quite accurately ;) :

Trivia: The first time I'd been in a cabriolet was in March 1999. John and I got a lift to Novi Sad from a man in a cabriolet.

Back (not quite)

Along the ring road in Kiev. Are they trying to build a little copy of Chernobyl here? Look at the sky! The clouds looked like they were stuck onto the sky.

I arrived yesterday. Kind of. Air travel doesn’t really work for me if I fly from the Netherlands to Ukraine and back. I cannot switch from one me to another in three hours. I was quiet nearly all the way from Cologne to The Hague. It was difficult to make Dutch sentences, difficult to hear myself (I have a terrible accent), difficult to find things to talk about. If you know me, then you know that I can’t keep quiet for two hours in a row. It feels like I can’t find myself back. I am torn between here and there. I miss the freedom to make jokes without having to explain myself. I miss familiar words. I miss the ease of the unspoken rules. And I am glad to be back. It’s clean, organised, everything is on time, life is much easier here in many aspects.

I am once again confronted with the fact that I do wrong things with my life. I need to filter them out and throw them away. Change to right or at least not so wrong. But which things are right and which are wrong? My company, work, relationships? I need to sort that out before I can do anything about it.

I woke up to a nice morning and saw the city and the sea (which means I didn’t wake up at home and that explains why I din't blog yesterday). The view was so different from yesterday’s morning. I wouldn’t be looking forward to 14 degrees in June normally, but now I am glad it’s so cold. This way everything is different, even the weather. It’s easier this way.
The sky in The Hague this morning.

Trivia: if there are no traffic jams on the road it takes one hour by car from my parents’ place to the international airport.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The last day

Today was a bit confusing. I haven't managed to do all the things I wanted. And even though I am quite satisfied with my last day, it did not give me anything to write about. I was packing my things and surprisingly enough all my stuff fitted well into two small luggage pieces. They had to be small, because Remie will pick me up at the airport and his trunk is way too small to fit anything big. That's a downside of having a fancy car!

I finished packing and realised: I am tired and confused. I need to do something with my life and I have no clue what. Of course the fact that all my friends here have the same problem doesn't help.

Trivia: my flight leaves tomorrow at 16:00.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


I have bought some thirty (yes, 30!) CDs today. If you need music on Petrovka, here the right address: row 24, place 7, the name is Oleg. He has EVERYTHING! And you'll get a very good advice too! I have his number if you need to order something in advance.

Today I've realised that I experience some usual everyday things here in Kiev as a sort of exotic entertainment. I am really becoming a foreigner. :-| Anyway, here is how to entertain yourself:
1) Take a marshrutka (a minibus) to some remote part of Kiev. Sit in the back. It's a good alternative to a rollercoaster but then without seat belts or any other safety precautions. The thing does not actually turn upside-down, but it sure feels like it does!
2) When you arrive to this remote part of the city, walk into a tall old apartment block and take a lift (elevator) tot the top floor. If you are lucky, you'll step into a little cabin decorated like a passage to hell: very low light (if any at all), brown walls covered in you don't want to know what, numbers on the buttons are hardly readable and it smells like hell to get you in the mood. Once the cabin starts moving, the light will blink and the walls will shriek. All the way to the top you will be wondering whether the cabin will make it to the top without getting stuck somewhere in the middle (which happens a lot) of falling down. Random episodes from horror films will cross your mind. Those things move incredibly slowly, so by the time you reach the top floor you will want to take the stairs back.
3) While still in this remote part of the city, go to a restaurant. Look for one that looks clean and pretends to be "luxurious". Order some food and drinks and wait till they announce some entertainment. If they announce Gypsies, you will probably see a woman dressed as a Gypsy with her hair dyed black. Later on the same woman will perform some mixture of Arabic and Indian dances (I've never seen Gypsies doing anything like that). And please don't ask me what the man on the photo is doing!
4) You'll still have to get back from that remote part of Kiev and after the restaurant it will probably be too late for marshrutka. You will have to take a "taxi". Look for a car that is made in the USSR (Lada, Moskvitch, if you're lucky). That will provide for the same effect as marshrutka, but then exclusive, in the dark and while you're drunk.
5) The next day, when you wake up from a nightmare and cannot sleep anymore, go for some soft entertainment. If the weather is warm, go to a café and sit outside. If it's not warm outside, go to a fancy night club. Watch the girls show off their underwear, they are very creative!

Trivia: I prefer traditional means of transportation like tram or metro to marshrutkas.


The last theatre play of this overloaded cultural vacation – Moliere's Amphitryon by Vakhtangov Theatre. It's a very serious story brought as a comedy. It was so incredibly funny, I was crying!

I did some more shopping today and made a schedule for the last two days of my stay here. I have such a tight schedule! Tomorrow is planned from 9:00 to 22:00. And now I have to get some sleep because last night wasn't really about sleeping.

Trivia: plays based on traditional Greek stories are usually not my favourite.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Good old times

I simply didn't make it home yesterday. I texted my mother I would be home in the morning. It felt like 15 years ago.


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