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Author Topic: Last trip to Ukraine  (Read 1388 times)

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Offline lmshima57

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Last trip to Ukraine
« on: October 06, 2019, 05:00:52 AM »
I met a young girl from Khelmnitsky when she came to the U. S. for a summer
work study program a few years ago.  I met her again when I came to Ukraine
and visited Lviv.  I asked her if there was anything that I could send her and
she wanted Reese's peanut butter cups (apparently they are not available in
Ukraine) and also asked for some perfume.  I purchased these items, but I
went to mail them and was told that the perfume cannot be mailed because it
is flammable.  I picked up some small containers of the perfume and brought
them on this trip.  When I was able to contact her, she told me that she was
in the Carpathians on vacation and would not be able to meet me in Kiev.  She
advised me to mail them via нова поста.  I was told this is a private delivery
system in Ukraine.  The package is sent to a branch near the recipient and
they call them.  When the girl gave me the address information, I was surprised
it did not have the usual building number and postal code.  They only needed
to know the city, branch number, and the phone number of the recipient. 
Delivery in 2 days for less than 3 dollars.  I was going to have someone at the
hotel or my interpreter take care of this for me, but I decided to see if I could
do this simple task on my own.  I learned how to say I want to mail this
package and no insurance.  The closest нова поста branch was on the next
street over from the hotel (they have a site that shows the location on a map),
so I went there with my package.  I told her that I wanted to mail this package
with no insurance.  Things went rapidly downhill from there.  I thought that I
would have to have someone take care of this for me.  The lady must have recognized my deer in the headlights look and fortunately she spoke English. 
She wanted to know what was in the package and the value.  Mission
accomplished, but it seemed like a Pyrrhic victory.  As I was writing this, my
friend messaged me that she had received the package in 2 days.  When I did
mail the Reese's peanut butter cups through the regular mail, they did not
leave a notice and when she went to inquire 2 weeks after it had arrived, they charged her a small fine.  With all the privatizations going on in Ukraine, I wonder how the regular post office will fare.

I went to Pushka for lunch to have some borsch which is on my diet.  It
was maybe a 10 minute walk from the hotel.  I ordered the borsch and some
grilled vegetables.  I grade borsch on whether it is better than mine.  I use a
recipe from Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in New York.  The man who started
the restaurant was from Odessa.  I thought that the borsch was not very good,
but there was something black in it that was not familiar to me.  I remembered
that a Russian restaurant owner in Las Vegas told me that often any leftovers
are put in the borsch.  I thought it might be eggplant or mushroom, but it
turned out to be a smoked pear.  It did not taste like a pear and I did not care
for it.  The grilled zucchini, carrots, eggplant, and tomato were good.  I did not
eat the grilled yellow pepper or the onions.

I wanted to play poker, but there were thunderstorms.  There were umbrellas
in the the hotel lobby presumably for guest use, but I waited for the rain to
diminish.  I go to the Архитектура Бекетова metro station near the nearby McDonald's and go to Держпром which is just behind the Kharkiv Palace.  The
Full House Poker Club is across the street.  I go into the club and say that I
would like to play poker.  Not much English is spoken here.  I have played here
before and the people there were very helpful.  I get 2500 grivna in chips and
sit down at a table of no limit hold'em.  I do not understand what the dealer is
saying to me, but the player next to me takes 500 grivna from my stack and
puts it on the table.  Apparently at this table you can only start with 500 grivna.  Things start very well, but over time things are going downhill.  My luck starts
to turn and I actually am up a few hundred grivna.  I intended to leave at
midnight, but wind up playing to 0300.  I always feel badly leaving after a big
win, so I always give people a chance to win their money back.  This is low
stakes, I do not mind losing my whole stack.  The game breaks up at 0300 and
I am down maybe 200 grivna, but I probably spent that much on drinks.  I
have a great evening essentially for free.  I really enjoy playing at this club. 
The players are very friendly and when I would have a bad beat the winner
would offer his hand.  When I would make a good play, the other players would
be congratulatory.  They actually served borsch at the club, but I did not get to
try it.

I started playing chess when I was young, but I am out of practice.  I
remembered seeing people playing in the metro station, but I could not
remember which station.  I found out that the metro station is Держпром. 
There are tables with chess boards part of the table.  I am not sure how the
chess players feel about foreigners.

There is a lot of construction going on in Kharkiv.  I buy a lot of Kievsky tort
and Шоколадный tort (chocolate cake called Празький) from the Roshen
store at Ave Plaza.  There are so many things that I would like to have that
are not on my diet.  I am pretty sure that I could live in Kharkiv or Odessa
and not feel deprived.  As expected, there are many more signs in Ukrainian
instead of Russian.  My greatest pleasure is practicing my Russian.  Over the
years, it seems that more people under what I am saying with less difficulty. 
I thought that I needed to spend three months in Ukraine to really become
proficient.  I would go to St. Petersburg if it was not such a pain to get the visa.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 10:11:18 AM by lmshima57 »

Online msmob

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Re: Last trip to Ukraine
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 05:56:17 AM »
Hello :welcome:

How is it a pain to get a RU visa ?

If you are going to use the UA translit for Kharkiv, why spell Odesa and Kyiv the Russian way ( Odessa / Kiev ) ?

We'll be back, EU ..and as a certain 'gentleman' couldn't accept my offer to 'bury the hatchet' .. Don't trust a clueless Californian 'business owner' who cannot even quote me, honestly ..

Online BillyB

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Re: Last trip to Ukraine
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 06:48:06 PM »

lmshima57, what's your goal this trip? Are you looking for a life partner or just enjoy going to Ukraine?
Do your part to limit the spread of COVID-19


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