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Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby celery2010 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:14 am

ladislav wrote:A good question about the cultural gap. This is tricky. These Slavic people will feel closer to Asians because of the culture of modesty and simplicity, and also geographical proximily but will feel closer to Anglos because of religion and general knowledge.

As you can also see here, this Asian guy learned the language and tried to fit in. An Anglo will almost never do that. As in virtually never. Have you ever seen an American/Brit speaking Ukrainian? But you see Arabs and Turks and Asians learning at least Russian to speak with these East Slavs. This allows for a passageway into the society that does not exist with Anglos. The ones who do learn it make bigger inroads but then, the culture shock hits them. Many Asians do not mind the culture shock as they are way more resilient.

In the Anglo world, Oriental males are stereotyped as noodle mixing poor immigrants or bespectacled sexless math nurds. Or coolies or karate/kung fu bafoons. In the Slavic world, they are stereotyped as...nothing really. The approach is individual. You move in, you live here, you integrate. It's simple. The "narrow-eyed people" are not on their shit list.

As far as screwing around, I admit it's bad. We will need stats to actually see what goes on.


I would gather that there do exist Anglos and Germans/Scandinavians who learn Russian and speak it well--.
But perhaps what you are trying to say is that they don't TRY to fit in culturally and stick to their anglo ways and thinking.

I remember seeing videos of what do you call them again-- marriage/meet women tours. The American guys were just so culturally clueless even though looked fairly similar physically.

I'd imagine some Asians do fit in better, but lose out in some way due to physical differences.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby momopi » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:12 am

ladislav wrote:Right place- to which you could bring yourself, right time-harder to control but can be done to an extent and right action on our part. If the mountain does not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain.


Hi Ladislav,

If you have some spare time, can you please translate the exchange between Lena and Olga in Russian at 37:00-38:00?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Neb2eKTdSK8

(This is a Taiwan variety show on foreign spouses)
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby ladislav » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:02 am

Kiev was nice for a while, but I decided to check the city that Philochko ( check him on youtube) is living in. So, I packed up and took a local Hyundai "bullet train" to Dnipropetrovsk.

Image

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It took me 5 hours. The train went across the steppes and woodlands. The picture is not pretty, actually. Every time you see any kind of infrastructure, it looks very old and grey. This country needs trillions to get on its feet.

It was weird riding a Korean train where all the ads were in Cyrillic.

The residential areas for common people in Dnipro do not look pretty. Think this:

Image

Image

However, the main part of town is actually OK. It looks a bit like some town in the Midwest.

Image

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The Dnieper here is way wider than in Kiev, and the riverside walk goes on for miles and miles. Unlike in Kiev, where only some people walk, but most people run, here you have huge crowds strolling leisurely along the river, relaxing on the grass with hookah pipes and eating and shopping in stores and cafes selling all kinds of stuff.

Image

And it's Tuesday night but it feels like the 4th of July.

Over the trees, grim project houses tower and behind them, yet grimmer industrial buildings hang over. Kind of like some neglected version of Gotham City.

Image

In stark contrast to these, you have a giant stream of well-dressed and happy people walking along the riverside, laughing, joking and eating. All are very happy, looking well fed-- and blondes, blondes, blondes everywhere! I sat in a restaurant, and there were some young people dancing, mostly girls. They were in nice dresses and were tall and slim. I had not seen white girls dance for years- so it was a sight to behold.

The people are waaaaay friendlier than in Kiev where they are polite, but rush off in a second- no time for you. Here, they will talk to you even when at work. I chatted up a blonde waitress- she was nice and slim about 22. While chatting her up, another one went by- just as pretty. They all look like Donald Trump's girlfriends. If you remember movies about his Slovenian or Czech girlfriends, wives, and other females, well, this is what they look like here. All wear skirts, the hair is streaming in the air, nice bods, the works.

To see what the girls in this city look like, please switch on Google Images and copy and past these words in the search window:

девушки днепропетровска

At the hotel, they floor managers are these women in their 30ies- still very good looking. I was embarassed having them come and clean my room.

I am renting a suite and it's $25 a night. Yes, siree. $25 on the 9th floor.

Did not see any Asian people here. Not one yet. Met some Turks who spoke unaccented Russian. And quite a few Black Africans speaking French. Saw Ukrainians with Africans walking hand in hand -girls mostly- and then a UA girl with two African guys.

From what I;ve read about Black people in Dnipro is that when they started coming here some 15 years ago, the initial reaction was fear and hostility but they overcame it by doing their best to act as local as possible. Now, they are doing OK and all look very happy and relaxed.

Philochko is not known here among the people I have asked.

And just in the nest oblast (province) a war is on.

Go figure!
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby ladislav » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:15 am

Just wrote a long response to Celery and Momopi. Then, it asked me to log in. I understand after that my response is gone.

I am not going to redo the long response. No time. So, a brief summary.

Momopi. In that exchange, they were talking about the wife being afraid to ask the mother-in-law where to buy potatoes. I think she was simply translating for her and then asking her to buy those so that she could put on weight.

Celery2010

I only met one Anglo who spoke at least Russian but the Anglo approach of speaking only English still works. It attracts people who love America ( or countries where people look/talk like Americans) and protects the speakers from understanding curses/ negative talk. It gives you a certain charm, too. If you have money and plan to live/continue living in the US, you really don't need to learn the local languages. The Anglo approach is wise and practical.

Germans/ Scandinavians are not very visible here.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby romparoo » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:07 am

Ok...this is probably my most controversial post yet.
I am taking back what I previously said about the fresh photo taken in Khreschatik by Ladislav.
It appears that photo was taken in 2006 by some other person.
With a little digging, now all attached photos by Ladislav seem to have come from various websites.

Ladislav, didn't you take any photos to share with us?
Or worse, Ladislav never really was in Ukraine, and perhaps someone is posting using Ladislav's account? :cry:
Last I knew, Ladislav was one of the frequent posters who had gone missing. A big loss to HA imo.

Ladislav, if it is still you, and if you are actually in Ukraine, please post some photos that you took if you don't mind.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby ladislav » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:43 am

Yes, I am in Ukraine now. But posting on this forum is a pain. First you need to upload to some website and get a URL, and only then you can post them. Very time consuming. The internet here is slow and uploading will take a long time.

In addition, my little netbook cannot read my camera's memory card- there's some glitch in it. I don't feel like running around this town looking for a computer store. It took me hours to find a stationery store.

Hence, it was easier to post the many many similar photos. Afaik, this is not disallowed.

If you want to check if I am in Ukraine, I can PM you my phone number. As a matter of fact I will now. I can even call you from here. You will see the 380 country code.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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Dnipro

Postby ladislav » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:50 pm

Today I went downtown Dnipro and did an experiment involving perception. I tried to imagine that I was in the US. I looked around and tried to see where this place would be if it in fact were the US. For a while it worked, but then it all became a twilight zone. The best I could do was this:

This is a run down rust belt town somewhere in Michigan or OH. Same trees and same project houses. Old buildings and pot holes in the roads. Nice and green, though. A big river runs through town. The illusion held for a while. Then, it all became bizarre.

There are not many cars, and the sidewalks are full of people- just like in the US 100 + years ago. They are strolling happily. The people are all almost all white and light haired, extremely well dressed, lots of girls everywhere- blondes in minis and dresses like they are all going to the prom. Some are so white, they are almost translucent and the skin is almost bluish. There are lots and lots of stores and stalls. People are selling gooseberry- yes- gooseberry on the street and also, they are selling sunflower seeds. Weird.

Half of signs are in Russian- the most prominent I saw today said: "We are Ukrainians and we are proud to be living in Dnepropetrovsk". But why in Russian?

There are streetcars like in the US 100+ years ago, too. All over the place- making screeching noise. The downtown area is like something out of an old American movies about gangsters in the 1920ies. It would all be 1920ies if it were not for the modern clothes and modern cars. The few that they drive are all new.

The place is weird from the American pov.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby chanta76 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:46 pm

How is Ukraine different from Russia? or is it the same.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby ladislav » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:36 pm

Chanta76

A classical American question.

Go give you a good example: imagine that you are a Chinese person and you go from England to Ireland. You will probably say that these two countries are the same because the differences will be too fine for your eyes. However, an Englishman will find Ireland to be totally different. It's kind of similar with Russia vs. Ukraine. Local people see the difference, the outsiders- not so much.

In the East of Ukraine, it does look similar to Russia to an uninitiated eye. Except that signs are half in Ukrainian. If you know Russian, you could guess some of it as it's in Cyrillic. The cities looks not different from cities in S. Russia. Once in the countryside though, two things spring to the eye immediately- the houses are made from clay and painted white. The roofs are thatched.

This is a Ukrainian house:

Image

In Russia, houses are mostly wooden.

The second thing is the churches. Russian churches have the classic onion domes while Ukrainian ones are like this:

Image

These two things immediately tell you that you are in Ukraine and not Russia.

The rest of differences are cultural:

Ukraine has its own language although in the East, Russian is widely used for daily communication. However, Russian does not have an official status. All documents must be in Ukrainian. Even if they speak Russian, it's still accented the Ukrainian way.

To give you a good analogy, an Irishman and a Scotsman speak English in daily lives, but it's not the same English spoken by an Englishman. If a Russian arrives in Ukraine, he/she is immediately identified by the accent and mannerism. The same way as an Englishman would be easily identified by the same characteristics in the US.

Then of course, traditional clothes are different, but most people use modern clothes. The food is different, too. There are many foods that the Russians would never eat. Like pork fat-called salo. To Ukrainians it's as essential as kimchi is to the Koreans.

Racial differences:

The Russians are of Finno-Ugric stock mostly. They are not originally Slavic. They have smaller heads and are lankier. Ukrainians have bigger heads and are stockier and shorter. Ukrainian faces are rounder and have a bit of Turkish in them and Scandinavian. The Russians are Finns mixed with Slavs.

Local people can generally tell if a person is Ukrainian or Russian just by looking at them. The same way as say, Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans can tell each other apart - while others cannot.

Musical instruments and music are different. Russian music does not have too many minor tones. Ukrainian music has more minor notes and uses F-cords a lot.

The most important distinction is the national character.

Russians are very communal, they work and think in collectives and hate being alone. They are romantic and philosophical. They also have a dark side and often enjoy darkness and misery. Alcohol is a big problem. Men rule, women obey. Very patriarchal. Russians also like rules and a strong government. On an individual level, they are good and honest friends who are very sincere and personal. They will pour their soul to you and listen to your problems with a full heart. They will take a shirt off their back and give it to a friend. Generosity is highly valued. Friendships are instant.

They, as Americans have a messianic complex- they are true Christians- the Third Rome and are there to protect and spread Orthodoxy and their culture. They have been invaders and conquerors.

Names are also a dead giveaway. Again, think England, Ireland, Scotland. An Englishman is a John Smith or George Brown. An Irisman is a Patric O'Neil and a Scotsman is Ian MacGregor or something of the sorts. Same here.

Russian names mostly end in ' in or 'ov. Names ending is ski are only for aristocracy and it's gone by now. Contrary to the American misconception, a ski is mostly Polish and Macedonian, not Russian. A typical Russian name would be Ivan Ivanov. Or Sergei Tomin.

Ukrainians are quiet, individualistic and practical. They can't work well in groups, they don't talk much and are not into philosophizing. The country has no messianic complex- they don't attack anyone or try to conquer. The only thing they want is material goods and a good future for the family. They want to be left alone for the most part.

Women rule the family, and the men obey. It is a matriarchal society, and guys treat women humbly. Alcohol is used with food, not as a way to drown sorrows. There is no darkness about them. They don't like rules or a strong government. As friends, Ukrainians are not very faithful, and cheating and betrayal are frequent. There's a lot of corruption and dishonesty, slyness and underhandedness. It's hard to get to know people in Ukraine or make friends there. Even for Ukrainians. People do not take up to strangers easily.

In the West of Ukraine, it is Catholic and the people act, well, Catholic. No Russian acts Catholic. There is no such thing as a Catholic Russian ever anywhere. The cities in the West of Ukraine look like Prague or Warsaw. The clothes are also similar to Hungary and the Czech republic.

Ukrainian names end in ' enko, 'uk and ak ( in the West) Simonenko, Schevchuk, Vyluchak. Some names end in 'ski but mostly in the south. A typical name would be Orest Belenko.

Have a look at this city. This is Lviv in the west of Ukraine. Does it look like Russia to you?

Image

The people in the West of Ukraine have narrow, smaller faces and look like Austrians if it means anything. When they speak Russian, it sounds like Polish people are speaking.

This is basically it.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby momopi » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:47 am

How prominent are potatoes in Ukrainian cuisine?
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby ladislav » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:08 am

Momopi,

Not as much as in Ireland. Actually, even less so than in the US. The reason is buckwheat. Here it is used as a staple whereas in the US, it's rare.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby romparoo » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:32 pm

ladislav wrote:Yes, I am in Ukraine now. But posting on this forum is a pain. First you need to upload to some website and get a URL, and only then you can post them. Very time consuming. The internet here is slow and uploading will take a long time.

In addition, my little netbook cannot read my camera's memory card- there's some glitch in it. I don't feel like running around this town looking for a computer store. It took me hours to find a stationery store.

Hence, it was easier to post the many many similar photos. Afaik, this is not disallowed.

If you want to check if I am in Ukraine, I can PM you my phone number. As a matter of fact I will now. I can even call you from here. You will see the 380 country code.


Well, writing a trip report with stock photos and someone else's photos is just plain weird, though not disallowed. I think uploading your own photos is not that much painful than searching for and attaching every photo you want to show from google. A Ukranian mobile number doesn't prove that you are in Ukraine. It proves maybe you had been in Ukraine, or someone sold an active sim card to you. I have one too, now, and still working. Well, I think we HA'ers are not leaving this forum anytime soon. Perhaps when you have time after you complete your trip, you can share some photos that you took.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby romparoo » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:36 pm

momopi wrote:How prominent are potatoes in Ukrainian cuisine?


Deruny.
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby Banano » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:00 pm

I still have indonesian sim card but im not ther;p

Now im thinkin, how do we know Winston was in China?

Its all smoke n mirrors
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Re: Ladislav in Kyiv Ukraine Now

Postby Rock » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:11 pm

romparoo wrote:
ladislav wrote:Yes, I am in Ukraine now. But posting on this forum is a pain. First you need to upload to some website and get a URL, and only then you can post them. Very time consuming. The internet here is slow and uploading will take a long time.

In addition, my little netbook cannot read my camera's memory card- there's some glitch in it. I don't feel like running around this town looking for a computer store. It took me hours to find a stationery store.

Hence, it was easier to post the many many similar photos. Afaik, this is not disallowed.

If you want to check if I am in Ukraine, I can PM you my phone number. As a matter of fact I will now. I can even call you from here. You will see the 380 country code.


Well, writing a trip report with stock photos and someone else's photos is just plain weird, though not disallowed. I think uploading your own photos is not that much painful than searching for and attaching every photo you want to show from google. A Ukranian mobile number doesn't prove that you are in Ukraine. It proves maybe you had been in Ukraine, or someone sold an active sim card to you. I have one too, now, and still working. Well, I think we HA'ers are not leaving this forum anytime soon. Perhaps when you have time after you complete your trip, you can share some photos that you took.


Wow, Lad goes to all the trouble to put out arguably the best report this forum has ever seen on Ukraine and you make those ridiculous criticisms. And Ladislav is one of the earliest members and most credible posters here too.

Instead of doubting him or putting down his photos, why don't you do something of value like posting your own trip reports? Reports like Lads are what make the forum interesting and worth visiting. So please, drop the unfounded criticisms and negativity and post something valuable instead.
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