The Snoring from my Hallway

The word bum, in English, is an Americanism and a shortening from the word bummer. Strangely, the Ukrainian word is бомж or bomj, which sounds the same (plus an additional letter), means the same thing (though I don’t think it’s derogatory), but happens to be an acronym.

БОМЖ = Без Определённого Места Жительства = Without a Permanent Place of Residence

L’viv is a city of about 750,000 and I see fewer homeless people than in my native Iowa City. One can speculate as to why: perhaps family ties are stronger here. Nevertheless, I’ve been hearing one lately.

My kvartyra (apartment) is on the highest floor. The stairs go up farther though and there’s a small landing with a perpetually locked metal door. When the weather is cold, a bomj sleeps there and snores so loudly that I can hear him inside in apartment. This is the case right now. :)

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