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Ukraine through the eyes of Americans

In Ukraine, for you are judged by their clothes. Going to the people, the Ukrainians dress up in all the best — no matter how poor they are. If you arrive in winter, you can see with my own eyes, as women in high heels does not manage to fall on the ice, and men — to go to clean his pants all day, despite the mud.

Ukrainians love feast — drink, eat, sing, tell stories and jokes. They are very good philosophers. The friendly and happy to open the door a stranger, are familiar with no more than a minute. Guests will be offered tea and probably well fed.

The cause of all troubles and bad weather for Ukrainians — this evil spirit. The most powerful version — the evil eye. It can be self-fulfilling fatigue, depression, toothache, and quarrels in the family, problems at work, loose stools.

Ukrainians love to read. Book — an indicator of status. Therefore, even in the most remote place you'll find a large library of Ukrainian and Russian literature. The Soviet government permitted some to read foreign authors. Here people know about Hemingway, Jack London, John Steinbeck and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Ukrainian folk songs are usually about love, love for vodka or vodka. Sometimes more about fat. Some — humorous, but most — are filled with sorrow. The traditional instrument to accompany — pandora string in the form of tears. But now, more singing with a guitar. Soviet folklore was also included in the repertoire.

Foreigners are often shocked by the conviction of the Ukrainians that blame for the crime victim herself. They never open the door without asking «Hto tam?» Or looking through the peephole.

In the market you will not sell stale products, lash of compliments from all my heart and without irony.

Ukrainians know how to stand in line. However, they do not respect other people in it. It may happen that you will stand in her 20 minutes or more, while in front of you without an apology will not fit anyone brazen. With this better not mess with. If the front of the window you're looking for money or tickets, Ukrainians think it gives them the right to take your place. Beware! You can get to the end of the queue…

When comes the tram, bus or subway, about all forgotten. Everybody is trying as quickly as possible to get into the first transport, pushing all the others. If you are slow, risking not climb inside.

Ukrainians love the photos. Every family has a home with shovanku albums. Strangers on the street and will not resist if they are removed. If an adult sees that it is removed, then it ceases to smile and make a serious face, as a «passport». If you ask him to smile, then he is likely to respond — «vsyo» and leave.

Wheelchair users are only found near the church, where they beg for alms. In Ukraine, for such people there is no infrastructure.

In buses and minibuses in the winter is very cold, and you pray to a big babushka came and sat down next to you.

Trains — the best way to travel around the country, as a train ticket on the cost of an airline ticket is cheap. And there you will see the real Ukraine.

If you want to return alive from the Ukraine — do not drink tap water. It tastes awful and terrible diarrhea from it. Drink only butillirovannuyu or, in extreme cases, boiled water. Tea and drinks in restaurants is safe.

If you want real Ukrainian food — do everything you can to get to the family dinner. None of the restaurant was not able to reach such culinary skill as a Ukrainian babushka.

Travel to Ukraine without food is considered a sin. The people you just met, can give you with a huge basket of products — «on the road». Even if it's only a 2-hour bus transfer.

Ukrainians love to eat ice cream all year round. Sell ??it and eat on the streets even on the coldest days of January. If ice cream does not melt in your mouth, chew it. If you are traveling with children, it's a good idea — buy a child seat to the toilet and carry it with you. This may facilitate the visit horrible toilets of the "hole in the ground." Or toilets on trains. Baby diapers can be purchased at any big store. Just say «pampers» with a Russian accent.

Packing things in Ukraine, take a sewing kit and a decent supply of buttons, because they are often in Ukraine tear. Depending on what part of the country you are traveling, bring Ukrainian or Russian pocket dictionary, phrasebook, and better — both.

Allows a man to treat you a drink, and to accept the invitation to go to his house — a very bad idea. Particularly insistent can tell you — deeply religious woman: «Ya verushaya». And they get away.

Pack your things in a simple soft carrying case, so as not to attract too much attention. For sightseeing, do not take «bright» bags — put all their belongings in plastic bags for shopping, which go to the majority of Ukrainians. Thieves and not think of his stealing.

In the museum you immediately categorically explain where to go and what to look for. Free walk halls — it's «no-no», and if you dare miss a room or go in the opposite direction, it will feel the wrath of the babushka. From lack of funds in museums rarely warm, and the rangers do not include light in the room while you are there do not go down. However, the effect of light on and off depending on the direction of your movement rather gives a sense of its own omnipotence.

Ukraine is more adaptable to an organized group tourism. If you want to see something concrete — it is better to choose this option. But if you do not know what the real Ukraine. Incredibly rude woman at the ticket office, night trains, and attacks on the nature of the window will remain coach. Yourself you'll have a wonderful opportunity to talk with local, but it is most valuable and most interesting in the journey to Ukraine.


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In the next chapter — As I enjoyed the trip to Ukrzaliznytsya.

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