Friday, June 3, 2011



Well, it actually wasn't dinner - just drinks - but the title works better based on that old movie.

Everything is paraphrased.

In the 1990's, 'the Ukraine' was changed to 'Ukraine'.

In Georgia, the younger generation speaks English while the older speaks Russian.

I might be able to teach English in Georgia. I was told to Google this but they seem to have a lot of requirements. Including a medical requirement. Bah. I think I'll just show up and see what's happening. If it happens, great, if not meh. I'll move on. I had thought about that in Moldova but the country didn't really make me delighted to be there aside from the price of cigarettes.

The biggest challenge in Ukraine is the corruption, changing people's minds. The old people still like the USSR but the young people are more modern. When the young people get older they can get positions of power.

Custom - if you are late to a party, you have to drink a penalty shot.

Poland sometimes subtitles their movies.


I had another meeting with this guys. Both of them were in the process of getting sick as dogs so we didn't meet as long but I did find out some interesting stuff before they staggered off to go recover.

Remember those orphans in the previous blog that I had to go visit? With the very odd set up?

Well, it turns out that according to these two newspaper reporters, the orphanage isn't on the up and up. They get what the owner calls 'job rehabilitation'. In reality, this is slave labor working on mushroom farms hidden below the orphanage. Nothing is going to be done about it as he has the right connections and has greased the right palms.

"Suit-tin-your" = pimp, from the French 'suit-tin-year', 'to support'.

There are 343 synonyms for the word 'prostitute' in Russia.

According to them, every forty seconds, the Ukrainian police are torturing someone in the police department. Last year, sixty people died in police custody. Thus far, this year fifteen people so far have died. After being tortured, people are made to sign a confession. In this way, 90% of the crimes are solved. If you don't have connections, you're fucked.


This is the life cycle of work out equipment. First, you feel the sudden urge to 'get in shape'. People then trundle their flabby out of shape selves to the store and buy a really expensive piece of exercise equipment, like a stationary bike.

So, you have to put this monstrosity somewhere and it generally goes into your house. In the living room. After all, why shouldn't you try to switch off your brain while peddling your fat ass nowhere? So, you then proceed to watch TV and peddle.

For about a month.

Then, disinterest and laziness kick in. This isn't how it should go - you've spent two or three hundred dollars, you should get instantly thing. I concur. But you don't. Instead, the bike sits in the living room and is as wanted as a piece of bread found under the couch.

So it sits.

Then, one day, something is placed upon it.

It could be a coat hung from a handlebar, it could bit something placed on a seat.

Within a week, the work out equipment has been re-tasked to a 'shit holder'.

Now here is where a divergence comes. If the person lives by themselves, the former work out equipment turned 'shit holder' could indefinitely languish within the living room.

If they are married, however, then the wife will demand the shit holder be moved. Even if it was her work out gear previously.

The workout gear now begins a slow trek around the house looking for a new room to languish in. A lot of self justifications are made as to why it can't be given away, thrown out or sold at a huge loss. All of these problems revolve around the big pile of money spent at the outset of this failed attempt to lose weight.

Eventually, the workout machine will work it's way to a storage room somewhere to be kept forever with the half hearted justification 'I may use it someday' and 'look how much money we spent on this piece of shit'. It then lives there forever.


There is a Dutch lady here named Harriet who is retracing her great grandfather's footsteps fro his journey in 1945. Also, she said that actual percentage of religious people in Holland is very low - most people are ambivalent, religiously.

Elena from Siberia was telling us that it can get down to -45 or perhaps to -50 Celsius in Siberia where she lives. I said 'Move!'

While we were gathered around drinking Vodka, Vadim from Siberia (Russia) told us about a Russian drinking game that nobody should ever play. You start with a two liter bottle of vodka. Everyone gets a glass of vodka and hides under the table from 'the bear' (usually not a real bear) which gets periodically announced. The missing vodka is replaced with beer. Whoever is the last to be able to climb their drunk asses off the floor must then drink whatever is in the bottle all in one go. It is a game with no survivors. Weird drinking games in Russia, apparently. He also mentioned that Russia is more expensive than Ukraine.

Vadim also said that travel from Russia is still hard. Unless you do the mandatory (?) military service it is hard to get travel documents. It is possible also to get literally press ganged into the army. After age 27 you are safe from the army.

After a hard night of the six of us drinking four bottles of vodka. I was up at eight or nine in the morning with no hang over. The others eventually got up - aside from Vadim the Russian who was dead last. It was a sort of victory, I suppose.


In the better hostels like TIU Front Page, there is usually a gathering room of some sort. It is in this room people from all over come together to BS, tell stories and such. People who stay in the hostels and don't get involved with this sort of thing are really missing out in my opinions.


I went to the Black Sea with Rui and Manuall (after they had gotten done reading my blog posts on Moldova) to hang out at the beach for a little bit.

The beach we went to is straight east of the city center.

Don't bother with it. It's not especially clean nor is the water. I went into it and puttered around for a little bit. I was impressed by my lack of buoyancy as well as my inability to swim worth a fuck.


  1. I got my stationary bike 2... 3? years ago. Still use it every day... haven't approached thin though...

    Hmm... I wonder, would you float in the Dead Sea?

  2. True, but the work out gear story works mostly for US citizens - I don't know the rest of the world well enough to say for sure if it works there or not.

    Don't know if I'd float in the dead sea or not, I'll check.

  3. Be careful you don't drown in the Dead sea.



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