To me, the Victory Monument represented the feel of a former Soviet country. The area, besides being lightly decorated with colorful flags, was rather sparse, stark and concrete laden; it immediately made me think of my brief time in Kiev just before. I walked to the monument on an overcast, cold day in hopes of taking it all in.
Before heading to Chicago, I caught wind of a restaurant that serves up Russian food -- one that is also run by an Uzbek chef. Uhm... Central Asian influenced Russian food? Pat knew this was immediately going to be on our itinerary. And he was right.
I get quite a few emails asking me about how I got my job teaching English in Ukraine, so now is as good a time as ever to divulge my lovely bits of insider information. If you happen to be one of those interested in an extended immersion into this former Soviet country,… Read more
What is it about former Soviet countries that sucks me in? I haven’t quite figured it out, but something about these somewhat stark areas makes me want to get up, book a ticket and try to deal with all the red tape involved in actually getting there.
I rediscovered this unique passion just the other … Read more
I spent around 6 weeks in the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia back in 2008. Basically, I was killing time while waiting for my teaching gig to start up in Ukraine, and I really couldn't have picked a better place - to hang out, meet cool people, eat good food and enjoy a nice mix between Eastern and Western Europe - than in that part of the world.
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When talking to my mom the other day on Skype, she asked me how my trip of a lifetime was going. The interesting part was… Read more
When I was at home in August, traveling and living in this part of the world felt normal and not out of the ordinary to me. I didn’t realize how strange it actually was until I was at the salon getting my hair cut and the lady acted in shock when I said I was hoping to get a job… Read more
Ok, so in case you didn’t know, I am about to move to the Ukraine… for a year! If you asked me a year ago where I’d see myself in 2008, I don’t think I would have for a split second considered Kiev. But, a year later, a slowly dwindling bank account, and a better understanding of former Soviet culture… Read more
Paldiski could be classified as the worst city I have ever travelled to… purposely. Apparently, the guide books even say “Welcome to Hell” when talking about the small, former Soviet naval base, but still my current fascination with all things “Soviet style” helped Sam talk me into checking it out. Apparently there was even going to be the remains of… Read more
It’s sort of funny, but one of the touristy things you can do in the Baltic countries is shoot some bad-ass guns for fun. I had never really thought about using guns for fun before, but when I found out my friend who is working at a hostel in Vilnius, Lithuania (VB Sleep Inn) is actually in charge of taking… Read more