Thursday, March 11, 2004

Here are some lists about Ukraine. But please remember, these lists are subjective and in no way reflect the opinions of the author.

Ten things Troy likes about Ukraine

10. Salo. Pig fat with the skin. It tastes better than it sounds and looks.
9. Drinking half a bottle of vodka a day in Ukraine doesn't mean you are an alcoholic, just a conscientious consumer.
8. Ukrainian Naivety. It's amusing to listening to Ukrainians talk about how much they know about the West from what they've seen watching Arnold S. and Sylvester S. films.
7. The History
6. Cheap prices.
5. Computer software, which costs three dollars.
4. Beautiful girls. (But only in Odessa)
3. Sex on the first date.
2. Walking down the street with a beer.
1. All the free time for writing.

Ten things Troy hates about Ukraine

10. Drunks and people who use the toilet in the street.
9. Public buses that spit out black exhaust.
8. Bums waiting at the garbage cans to go through my garbage. Or following me to get my beer bottle once its finished.
7. Holidays. English students disappear for two weeks every two months. Some never come back, even though they paid. Hmmm, wonder why?
6. When cashiers don't have the proper change.
5. Butting in lineups or mass attacks of the cashier.
4. No water in my apartment--every night and once or twice a month during the day.
3. Losing the power while in the middle of writing a good story on my computer.
2. Being stopped on the street by the police and asked to show my documents as if at the border.
1. Going to any government building to get a stamp or document. They are depressing places.

1A. Unsanitary people. Once saw a woman coming up from a basement kitchen with a tray of cakes to sell on the street. She dropped one onto the street but picked it up and put it back onto the tray. Wonder if the person who bought it is still alive? Also saw a deliveryman once putting cakes from different trays onto one. Trouble was, his hands were black with grim as if he had just changed the entire engine in his twenty-year-old truck. Once at the market, buying some pickles, a guy asked an old babushka (grandma) if he could try one, but she couldn't find her knife. 'Oh there it is,' she said, reaching down and picking it up off the muddy ground, wiping it off on her grimy dress. We just walked away. The worst of it was that she started yelling at us, 'Why don't you want to try my pickles, what's wrong with you?'

Ten of the strangest things in Ukraine

10. Gold teeth.
9. Women hunting for husbands.
8. Samagon; sort of like moonshine but worse.
7. The Ukrainian ability or pastime to waste large amounts of money.
6. Begging grandmas.
5. Dead people lying in streets.
4. Paying bribes as if you were tipping the authorities for a job well done.
3. A building with each apartment painting their part of the facade a different color.
2. Public Toilets. Are there any bodies in those holes?
1. Needing a reason to drink. This is most likely why there seems to be two or three holidays every week. They celebrate everything here in Ukraine. The Orthodox holidays, and the Catholic holidays are becoming fashionable now, (They celebrate Christmas twice and New Year's twice too), the Western holidays like Halloween and Valentine's Day and the old Soviet holidays still make for a pleasant drinking binge and of course let's not forget the Ukrainian holidays like 'Day of the Police' and 'Day of CBU (KGB)'. Mind you not everyone celebrates all of the holidays all of the time. But if you aren't able to do something in this country, chances are it's because someone is celebrating!

Lists coming soon!

The Menu of Crimes (If you are thinking of visiting Ukraine here is a price list of bribes you have to pay for crimes committed. Everything from J-walking to murder!)
The Science of Drinking. (As perfected by Russians)
Ten things Troy loves about Odessa
Ten things Troy hates about Odessa
The ten coolest places in Odessa

Monday, March 08, 2004

Here is a story about the Soviet Union in the future if it would have survived. All you have to do is go to and read away.