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Huddling Around Garbage Can Fires


Look, winter sucks. It just does. I have never liked it, except for when I was a child and we had snow days from school and could go outside and play. Whenever I complain about the cold or the snow, people always say, “But you’re from Illinois. You should be used to this weather!”

I will never get used to this weather. I’m cold every day. In Ukraine, we have NO control over how hot our apartment gets. There is no thermostat to turn up or down when you start to see your breath at night. We often have no hot water to take a nice refreshing shower with in the mornings. Both of these things are controlled by the government, and last weekend, it was awesome to find out that nobody had hot water because the government just said no (apparently some sort of payment issue from the water company to the government I heard?).

Awesome, right?

In class, everyone still wears their coats because it is freezing! I found out that some schools are not restarting lessons until mid-February (a month later) because it will be too cold and they don’t want to heat the schools then. And, I’m always bombarded with comments like, “You think this is cold? Just wait until January…”

Yet again, awesome.

I just don’t think it affects people here as much as it does me. Most of the time, people walk around here acting like its no big deal, even when I can look up from downtown and see the temperature sign read -3 degrees!

neg three

It was during this time that some of my wonderful students took Tanya and I around Kyiv last weekend and to an art gallery and modern art museum. This was in the bathroom!

my students

Normally, I don’t like modern art museums. They usually make me angry because I never feel like the person is actually being creative… but who am I to judge? However, the modern art museum here was very interesting. There were loads of random, random videos that kept me intrigued as I was desperately trying to avoid going back outside! Take for instance, this one of a woman eating an entire onion! It was absolutely bizarre. I wish I would have gotten the end, but I had to hide my camera.

Onion Eater Video Clip

Somehow I managed to survive the cold day and get some shots of being out and about (or oot and aboot as Tanya would say, haha!).

me by sophia

marina on square

larissa small

tanya on square

There have been much colder days than this one, but even on this day we knew it was bad when I was actually tempted to huddle around a random garbage can fire on the street in order to feel something resembling heat!


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7 Responses to Huddling Around Garbage Can Fires

  1. Megan December 21, 2008 at 9:36 pm #

    If it makes you feel any better I couldn’t leave my apartment in Chicago today because it was -5 with a windchill of -30! That’s fahrenheit too, so way worse than your -3 Celsius.

  2. Brooke December 22, 2008 at 12:49 am #

    yeah, i know i’m just complaining, but that day was also made worse by the fact that being inside isn’t much better… and we had no hot water that weekend.

  3. Dan Kugler December 24, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    Ouch… makes me feel better about fleeing the country, I must admit…. illinois or not…

  4. Justina Means December 24, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    that just makes me cracky when people are like, "wait until January" because it's insulting and rude. I've come to the conclusion that people liked being walked on which is why they think it's normal not to have hot water and heat. Yet there are still BMW's everywhere you look….it's not quite so bad here, it's cold, but…wait, I don't want to jinx myself because I haven't had to huddle around a trash can yet. Merry Christmas and take care! Are you travling for the break?

  5. Marina Sokova December 28, 2008 at 9:57 am #

    Brooke, next time we will take you to warmer place!!!


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