"Poy-tea-hoyn-koo" Means living. They say it when you ask how they are. It is my favorite thing.
"How are you"
I thought today I would give you all a little taste of Ukraine from my perspective :) hehe. FUUUUUUN.
I think it would be wrong of me not to begin with the Bobooshky. These are grandmas. A title you might say. They are everywhere. They LOVE us-- think we are the cutest humans that ever exsisted. Wish us happiness in finding good men. Bless us every time we meet. Blow kisses.
They hate us. I much prefer love from them. They are the sweetest, hardest working woman I have ever met. I love kisses on my little cheeks. Bobooshky kind are the sweetest. They carry around bags that weigh more than them and sell all assortments of strange things. From socks they have knitted, worm hole apples from their trees, or mushrooms that they picked in the forest!
Reenocks:: Are your everyday FARMERS MARKET! Anything your heart desires in Ukranian sort and quality. People sell strange things. Bobooshky.
Public restrooms are non-exsistant. Don't drink anything or find a resident McDonalds. (They are free there)
except the sentipeed in my bed! AHH-------- Mysteriously I have not seen many bugs--- rather bounties of Cats and dogs on the streets to satisfy living things qouta
I have more tea in a day than I have had in my whole life. Tea and cookies for every meal.
General quality of things here is.... not high. I have never gone through a pen in my whole life (ink) and in one week I went through 3.
I am preparing myself to see more for on humans than I have seen on animals. If it is winter it is essential that you wear tights (bobooshky orders) if it is summer. YOU MUST WEAR TIGHTS. To sum it up--- tights are essential for the survival of man kind (because if you do not wear them you will not have children.)
You must wear slippers in their homes, or you will get sick. If your not wearing socks or a coat, they will get you some of their own.
I went thrift shopping. The price was determined by the weight of the item!
Everything has a smell. every person. Smoke. Alcohol. Perfume, their dinner. My nose is getting used to it. It was one of the most culture shock inducing items of business for me. I could not decifer.
Beer is cheaper than water.
They sell meat on the street. slabs that sit in the sun. It is scary and I have had one piece of chicken since I have got here. I eat cabbage for every meal. Tried a fig. They have the best tasting apples that exsisted.
A little taste of Sunday. From the words of a friend of mine. Substitute all "branch" with BIGGEST WARD IN EASTERN EUROPE
"Sunday - I got to go to our Branch and meet them! What a wonderful branch! I love the members. I couldn't understand most of them. But I love them. I got to bear my testimony. That was bad. Really did not go well. But It was fun to see all of them smiling at me. Very Very nice people. Sunday school was awesome. First of All. A man walks in and sees us. He loves to try and speak his little english. So his main phrase, "Hello Boy" Now you have to say that in a very deep russian accent. Then you get the whole effect. Love it. Anyway, Sunday school started out pretty normal, but then a man says something and the whole room erupts. Basically whoever yells louder gets heard. I honestly think they were arguing. But they would yell for a little bit and argue then they would all just start laughing. That continued the whole class. I love Ukrainians. Can't wait till I can understand them."
Lets talk about a little something I like to call Ukranian gift wars!
You give a gift and you get something back. ALWAYS something back. More than you gave in the first place. I would like to share a little of our experiences
We give book of mormons
A bouguet of flowers
a loaf of bread
We give Banana bread-
- 2 apples
- a BAG OF APPLES
- the womans lunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Apple jam
- A man's half eaten fruit~
Dont give a gift unless you want the sweater they are wearing.
You may be thinking to yourself, the members there are so nice. Let me offer 90% of these are STRANGERS!!! Giving our lunch! That giant bouquet of flowers.
To sum it up. Ukranians are some of the most powerful, inspiring, humble, HARDWORKING, genuine, hospitable kind people I have ever met. They know hardship like America knows Hamburgers. I love it here.
TRAVEL: Each day we travel on public transportation. Cars are a rarity (I have been in one since the van that brought me from the airport)
Buses, metro, trambi, street car, trolly bus. An incredible system that will get you anywhere you need to go.
Marshootkas: are bus like vans or motorhomes ::: they have fresh from the market carpets up by the driver and covered in tastled curtins. (I wish I had a picture) It is like happy home on wheels::: These things are quick and you better hold on for dear life. People pack in and this is where I learned the REAL meaning of sardines. So full the windows fog. So full you can taste the person standing beside you. So full that you just stand and need not hold onto anything because the Ukraines that surround you suspend all force of gravity. We become a family surving the turbulant marshootka ride. Passing each others money back and forth. You just scream and the driver when you want to stop. Get off---get in---get off--get in QUICK or you will get shut right in the door!
Their favorite past times: Going for walks and picking mushroom in the forest.
Living: in my area many people have two homes. An apartment here in Kiev and another home called a Datcha (a home in the country where they grow what they sell out in the street) Family often live together. Grandparents, moms, kids, aunt, uncles. Small apartments. lots of family. Lot of love. They value family very much. :) perfect right?
Of course I am having an adventure.
I am living in the city in the forest! It is magnificent.
and my toilet paper has panda faces printed on it.