Category Archives: Mostly Tourism

Life in Quarantine in small town Ukraine

I’m living with my in-laws, in a town of about 20,000. There a small town center, two super markets, and several grocery stores.

All the changes to daily life seem exceedingly sensible. Everybody is at home. Most businesses are operating, though restaurants and coffee shops are closed.

Supermarkets only allow ten people inside at a time, and there are lines by the front door or people standing less loosely packed than normal. When we drove by there were maybe fifteen people in line. The bazaar is closed. I heard there was outrage a few days ago that people from the next town over, Radomyshl, were visiting our bazaar. The first death from Corona virus in Ukraine happened there — a lady who had returned from Italy.

Perhaps 10% of the people in the streets wear masks. And there don’t seem to be any fewer people in the streets than usual. I think the percentage will go up.

The electronics shop I entered yesterday allowed for three people inside at once, and the delivery service Nova Poshta (Ukraine’s FedEx) allowed four. All the people working in shops had facemasks and some had gloves.

We went for a drive today for a change in scenery, driving through surrounding villages and speculating about what life would be like there. Love village Lyubovychi which means “loving town” had a wooden sculpture of a man embracing a woman by their entrace.

Haunted Painting of Ukrainian artist

The story goes that artist Svetlana Telets painted the painting in less than 5 hours and felt during them hours that a hand was guiding her.

The painting was put on the market but was quickly brought back which occurred several times by different purchasers of it.

It now hangs in the Vinnytsia salon “Merckx-furniture” on the streets of Kiev.

Customers who visit the shop today claim that sometimes you can catch the painting smiling and to some there is often a glance of anger.

Svetlana stated she felt as if someone was always with her and one day she had the urge draw and believes she captured who watches over her :

”I always felt like someone was watching me. I always drove such thoughts away. Then, one day, by the way it wasn’t a rainy day at all, I was sitting in front of a blank canvas and thought of what I could draw.

Suddenly I saw clearly the contours of a woman. Her face, colours, shades.. I saw every detail of the image. I started to draw it, as if someone drove my hand over the paper. In fine hours I managed to finish it.”

The reports from the first purchasers

The first purchaser was a lonely businesswoman, she hung it on the wall in her bedroom and after two weeks, Svetlana got a call late at night from the lady stating

“ Please take it back, I can’t sleep! It feels like there is someone else in my apartment beside me!! I even took it off the wall and hid it behind the cupboard, but still I have this feeling ”

The second purchaser, a young man bought the painting. He too couldn’t stand it. He brought it back to the artist without even taking his money back. He said he kept dreaming of and complained that every night there was a shadow of the woman walking around, he stated that it was sending him mad and he was extremely afraid of it.

The third was a male, he was completely sceptical and didnt what was rumoured to be happening with it at all but he quickly returned it when he started to see the lady in the paintings white eyes everywhere he also claimed to have intense headaches while being in the room with it.

Many believe the painting is evil and is curse but the artist herself disagrees and has optimized views on it.

She stated:
I’m sure that every picture is born for some particular person. I believe that for my “ Woman “ also there is a person. I understand that many of you don’t need this grief in your eyes. It’s just not an interior decoration. I’m sure there is some one who looks for it, as it looks for that someone.

The Cultural Coherence of Ukraine

I love Ukraine and will continue to raise my family here.  Women are feminine, men are masculine, people are smart — Ukraine has the best IQ per dollar in the world.  For me, a software entrepreneur, this is great.  Ukraine has a coherent culture.

A few months ago, we visited a restaurant with my visiting in-laws, and musicians came in playing Ukrainian folk songs.  Most people knew the words, and began singing along. The few obvious tourists seemed to enjoy the spectacle.  When the band leader shouted for only the women to sing the next verse, and then for only the men to sing the one after that, there was absolutely no confusion about who was which sex, and no anger over the expression of a gender binary.

The songs were about love and courtship, and suffering repression, and freedom.

Slava Ukrajini!

The 10 Best Contemporary Ukrainian Authors

Liubko Deresh

The young author wrote his first novel when he was 15 years old. At that time, his book engaged young adults and he was called the hope of Ukrainian writing. He has a unique manner of writing, and all his stories are mystical and fascinating. Kult, A Little Darkness, and Intention! are the must-reads, as well as his latest book, Devastation, published in 2017.

Serhiy Zhadan

He is the voice of Ukraine with his sincere and truthful works full of irony and self-expression. (I find him a bit vulgar.)

Oksana Zabuzhko

Oksana Zabuzhko grew up in an intelligent family who were repressed during the ruling of Stalin. She is a philosopher, publicist, writer, and poetess whose work is soaked with feminist motives and human relations issues.

Yurii Andrukhovych

Yurii Andrukhovich is the author of novels, short stories, poetry collections, and essays. He is a public activist who participated in the event of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity and the vice president of the Association of Ukrainian Writers.

Les Podervianskyi

A Ukrainian artist and playwright who is known for his scandalous image, Podervyanskyi is much more famous for his works that contain a lot of profanity and outrageous sayings then for his paintings.

Maria Matios

The works of Maria Matios won numerous awards, including the BBC Book of the Year in 2008. She is one of the best-selling writers and influential women in Ukraine, a former deputy at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament), and an extremely fruitful writer.

Iren Rozdobudko

A contemporary writer, journalist, and screenwriter, Iren Rozdobudko is the author of almost 30 works of art. She is included in the top 10 most published writers in Ukraine. What is the most interesting is that Rozdobudko was a scriptwriter for the movie by Ukrainian director, Oles Sanin, The Guide (Povodyr), who was nominated for an Oscar in 2015.

Oleksandr Mykhed

Alexander Mikhed is a writer, literary critic, and curator of artistic projects at PinchukArtCentre (a contemporary art museum in Kiev). He created “Amnesia project: an open platform”—a literary and artistic multimedia project—the basis of which was his book Amnesia, published in 2013.

Lyuko Dashvar

Irina Chernova, a former journalist, writes under the pseudonym Lyuko Dashvar. Her novels are extremely popular in Ukraine. The story Milk With Blood, for example, sold 100,000 copies. Surprisingly, the prototypes of literary characters and stories are mostly heard or seen by the writer in real life.

Lina Kostenko

This poetess and writer is a legendary author in Ukraine and abroad. A distinctive feature of her works is intellectualism. In her poetry, the author constantly seeks the key to the mystery of being, and relates that to the history of the nation and the feeling of love. When the collection of her poetry Trysta poezij. Vybrane (300 poetries. Selected) was published, the book went out of stock within the first month.

Travel vlog about Lviv

I’ve been in Ukraine a little too long to see it with fresh eyes, which is why I really enjoyed this tourist’s video blog:

Toward the end he notices the older couples and families here in Lviv. The same thing that I talk about when comparing Lviv to other places.