So I arrived in Ukraine less than 48 hours ago. Let’s say it’s been an adventure since I left South Carolina.
Quick highlights being waiting, waiting, waiting, meeting fabulous folks on the long flight (9 hours from NYC to Istanbul), being “that guy” running like a crazy person through the airport in Istanbul and almost missing my connecting flight, losing both pieces of my luggage, trying to fight feeling super sleepy as I adjust to the time change, and meeting some of the most fabulous folks here in Ukraine. Mostly it has been a hugely great and surreal experience, and I am still trying to figure out how I got here.
When I first arrived we were trying to iron out the lost baggage situation and we ended up waiting at the airline’s counter for a bit as they didn’t have any representatives there (they eventually came and baggage should be here tomorrow). As the others around me sat down on a cement posty thing, I did what Erica does, I sat down on the ground. Nick, one of the other interns, was like, “don’t be surprised if someone starts yelling at you.” Apparently ladies don’t sit directly on the ground in Ukraine, it will keep me from having babies (I pulled out a notebook to sit upon afterwards).
So in my day plus I’ve learned so much already about the ‘rules’.
1. Don’t sit directly on the ground.
2. Don’t sit on the corner of a table (I assume this applies to leaning in a sitting kind of way) or I will not get married (females).
3. It’s totally cool to open an umbrella in the house.
4. If a car looks like it might hit you on the sidewalk, it will.
5. Do not leave the house with wet hair (females and probably males too, but of course with boys having such little hair this is less of a problem).
6. Sour cream goes with everything.
7. Babies do not go out with some kind of head dressing.
8. Take your shoes off at the door.
All of the cultural business is so interesting to me. I am so excited to keep learning it all, and trying (though probably failing) to not offend anyone. All of the Ukrainians I have met have been soo amazing, even the ones that assisted me with my lack of Ukrainian and their lack of English. The spirits of the folks I have encountered thusly are so bright and lovely.
Tomorrow we will be rock climbing and swimming (I think??), and I’m sure I will have some crazy story about how I busted my head open or accidentally did something else wrong. That’s the nature of it, and I’m ready to learn!!
I don’t know any Ukrainian music yet, but I’m currently jamming to one of my fav Tom Conlon songs, ENJOY!