Month: May 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Contagious Lists

Last week I stumbled across the travel log of my ex-house mate and tenant, Phil Vinter who is currently dragging himself around South America with girlfriend and their ‘travelling toothbrushes’.

After reading some amusing story about a midget picking a fight with a 6’3″ transvestite, I stumbled on Phil and Sophie’s amusing and enjoyable 101 reasons why Rio rocks which was inspired by another list of 101 Reasons to love Bogotá.

Having read both, I sat and contemplated the idea of writing 101 reasons why I loved Kiev. Could I find 101 reasons? What would happen if I could only think of 20? maybe I’d get depressed and want to leave? Well, there was only one way to find out and you can see what happened here.  
If my list was inspired by a list which was inspired by a list itself, it would seem that they’re a little contagious! However they’re also enjoyable and therapeutic. So, if you’re reading this and you’re curious about your own city – try it. You might like it and you might inspire someone else. 
Also, having read through all 303 ‘reasons’ to love KievBogotá or Rio, it was interesting to see that some of the things I love here, Phil and Sophie love in Rio, outdoor gyms for example, or Kellaway loves about Bogotá like lateness being OK. There are also some striking differences, the most obvious being Kellway’s number 2

2. Everyone’s an eco-Hitler. There is a ‘No Car Day’ once a year. Your flatmates will be obsessed with turning out lights.”  

If Ukrainians were eco-Hitlers, then the term would indicate a passion for environmental extermination. The final solution Ukraine style would be 100% Hummer jeep ownership.
Eddy
PS, if you want to learn how to find a husband, Ukraine style, I recommend you read this article. It was written by a friend of mine and it made me laugh. Lads, we can relax – its all determined by dogs eating balabushki.

http://www.whatson-kiev.com/index.php?go=News&in=view&id=3693

Posted from: www.bearder.com

Kiev is covered in puh

…but don’t worry, it’s not as bad (or smelly) as it sounds. Ukrainian puh is soft, white and fluffy and comes from flowers.  It’s nice puh and it’s everywhere.  

I think it must be nature’s contribution to Kiev Day (like everything else in Ukraine, Kiev has a day) and this weekend we celebrated under a cloud of soft floating seeds. It’s quite hard to describe it you haven’t seen it, but it is called ‘puh’ because its soft like Vinnie Puh (the USSR’s Winnie Poo) and the sky was full of the stuff. Even five stories up in the sky this stuff was floating around my apartment and inside my window.

Downstairs  and downtown, Kievians were out en masse to drink, dance and celebrate Kiev Day turning Maidan Square and Kreshatik into a large carnival for the weekend.

Move over Maverik, your ego’s writing cheques your body can’t cash.

Sadly, I didn’t see much of the carnival, but I did do my share of partying and Ukrainian-style drinking and I also found time to explore the State Air Museum here in Kiev with the [PLECK]< photography group. It’s a Top Gun lover’s heaven and for a paltry 10 UAH (1 Euro) you can spend the day ‘flipping birdies’ while you’re in an iverted 4g negative dive with a MiG 28. It’s awesome.

Our visit was exceptionally educational as we had Maxim with us and he as an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Soviet military and civilian aviation hardware. He gave us a proud and informative tour and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was difficult not to reflect on of the once-familiar sight of American F111s circling from Upper Heyford and the fact that, for most of my childhood these planes and bombers were being designed and armed to wipe the UK off the face of the earth. Contrast that with Friday night when I was drinking with two Germans and two Ukrainians and was surrounded by friends from across Europe, the USA and Canada. We’ve come a long way since the 1980s.  

Eddy

PS, I’d just like to make a note of the fact that I saw a Ukrainian didgeridoo player on Saturday and the most incredible mustache I’ve ever seen in my life.

Posted from: www.bearder.com

Kiev is covered in puh

…but don’t worry, it’s not as bad (or smelly) as it sounds. Ukrainian puh is soft, white and fluffy and comes from flowers.  It’s nice puh and it’s everywhere.  

I think it must be nature’s contribution to Kiev Day (like everything else in Ukraine, Kiev has a day) and this weekend we celebrated under a cloud of soft floating seeds. It’s quite hard to describe it you haven’t seen it, but it is called ‘puh’ because its soft like Vinnie Puh (the USSR’s Winnie Poo) and the sky was full of the stuff. Even five stories up in the sky this stuff was floating around my apartment and inside my window.

Downstairs  and downtown, Kievians were out en masse to drink, dance and celebrate Kiev Day turning Maidan Square and Kreshatik into a large carnival for the weekend.

Move over Maverik, your ego’s writing cheques your body can’t cash.

Sadly, I didn’t see much of the carnival, but I did do my share of partying and Ukrainian-style drinking and I also found time to explore the State Air Museum here in Kiev with the [PLECK]< photography group. It’s a Top Gun lover’s heaven and for a paltry 10 UAH (1 Euro) you can spend the day ‘flipping birdies’ while you’re in an iverted 4g negative dive with a MiG 28. It’s awesome.

Our visit was exceptionally educational as we had Maxim with us and he as an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Soviet military and civilian aviation hardware. He gave us a proud and informative tour and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was difficult not to reflect on of the once-familiar sight of American F111s circling from Upper Heyford and the fact that, for most of my childhood these planes and bombers were being designed and armed to wipe the UK off the face of the earth. Contrast that with Friday night when I was drinking with two Germans and two Ukrainians and was surrounded by friends from across Europe, the USA and Canada. We’ve come a long way since the 1980s.  

Eddy

PS, I’d just like to make a note of the fact that I saw a Ukrainian didgeridoo player on Saturday and the most incredible mustache I’ve ever seen in my life.

Posted from: www.bearder.com

EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Pointlessness

The Kyiv Post ran a syndicated story today explaining that yet another friendly group had been created today called the “Club of Friends of Ukraine”. According to the article, the president of the “European Association of Ukrainians” Oleksiy Tolkachov has said the newly created club will lobby for the interests of Ukraine in the European Parliament.

Assuming its true (I can’t find any reference to this club outside of Ukraine which always makes me suspicious), the new ‘club of friends’ includes 20 members of the European Parliament and 32 MPs from Ukraine representing all four Ukrainian parliamentary factions, apart from the Communists (probably because they are mentally paranoid about foreign groups and ‘Western conspiracies’.)

Now, I’m all in favour of building closer relationships between all European countries. I know as well as anyone that the more time Europeans spend together, the better they will understand each other but do we really need another high-level gossip shop?  
It was only in February this year that  the EU-Ukraine forum was launched at the European Parliament (along with the usual posh opening and photo-shoot) and seems to have exactly the same aims under a slightly different name. Much fuss was made in the media, some lucky guests were invited to exchange warm words at the launch event in Brussels and then, according to the website, its done nothing since!  Even if it had done something, why are these additional groups needed? We already have the official EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) which functions on the basis of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and yearly EU-Ukraine summit meetings. These meeting provide ample opportunity for politicians to talk to each other (and they all have telephones) and in addition to these, there are the EU-Ukraine Business Council (EUUBC) and European Business Association which lobby for closer/better business links.
Isnt this enough?
Don’t get me wrong, I wish these groups the best of luck, but it would be much easier to support them if they had achieved anything. It’s just not clear if they have or will. Maybe they will prove me wrong, but I’m not holding my breath. The fact that they don’t seem to have an agenda or and specific goals makes them look like hollow PR stunts. 

If politicians on both sides really want to enhance relations between the EU and Ukraine then lets see them create some new groups that bring real people together (I know politicians are people too, but you get the point).  Why not set up new exchange programs? or, why not pay for journalists from each country to spend time working with political representatives of the other. If they did this, they could report back to the rest of us on what they are (or aren’t) doing for us.  Rather than drinking champagne in Brussels, why not organise a field trip to a mine-shaft in Krivoy Rog or spend a night with the street kids in Odessa?  This would build real understanding of the problems this country faces and would inspire a lot more confidence that they actually know how their ‘friends’ live.

Parliamentarians can meet whenever they like. Lets see some new groups and new projects for the rest of us. 

Posted from: www.bearder.com

EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Pointlessness

The Kyiv Post ran a syndicated story today explaining that yet another friendly group had been created today called the “Club of Friends of Ukraine”. According to the article, the president of the “European Association of Ukrainians” Oleksiy Tolkachov has said the newly created club will lobby for the interests of Ukraine in the European Parliament.

Assuming its true (I can’t find any reference to this club outside of Ukraine which always makes me suspicious), the new ‘club of friends’ includes 20 members of the European Parliament and 32 MPs from Ukraine representing all four Ukrainian parliamentary factions, apart from the Communists (probably because they are mentally paranoid about foreign groups and ‘Western conspiracies’.)

Now, I’m all in favour of building closer relationships between all European countries. I know as well as anyone that the more time Europeans spend together, the better they will understand each other but do we really need another high-level gossip shop?  
It was only in February this year that  the EU-Ukraine forum was launched at the European Parliament (along with the usual posh opening and photo-shoot) and seems to have exactly the same aims under a slightly different name. Much fuss was made in the media, some lucky guests were invited to exchange warm words at the launch event in Brussels and then, according to the website, its done nothing since!  Even if it had done something, why are these additional groups needed? We already have the official EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) which functions on the basis of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and yearly EU-Ukraine summit meetings. These meeting provide ample opportunity for politicians to talk to each other (and they all have telephones) and in addition to these, there are the EU-Ukraine Business Council (EUUBC) and European Business Association which lobby for closer/better business links.
Isnt this enough?
Don’t get me wrong, I wish these groups the best of luck, but it would be much easier to support them if they had achieved anything. It’s just not clear if they have or will. Maybe they will prove me wrong, but I’m not holding my breath. The fact that they don’t seem to have an agenda or and specific goals makes them look like hollow PR stunts. 

If politicians on both sides really want to enhance relations between the EU and Ukraine then lets see them create some new groups that bring real people together (I know politicians are people too, but you get the point).  Why not set up new exchange programs? or, why not pay for journalists from each country to spend time working with political representatives of the other. If they did this, they could report back to the rest of us on what they are (or aren’t) doing for us.  Rather than drinking champagne in Brussels, why not organise a field trip to a mine-shaft in Krivoy Rog or spend a night with the street kids in Odessa?  This would build real understanding of the problems this country faces and would inspire a lot more confidence that they actually know how their ‘friends’ live.

Parliamentarians can meet whenever they like. Lets see some new groups and new projects for the rest of us. 

Posted from: www.bearder.com

The Yodelling Slovene Prince

Posted from: www.bearder.com

White Lines and Russian Girls

There is a large sign at the airport in Kiev which says:

You are crossing the white line 

From this moment, you take administrative and criminal responsibility for your items movement disorder through customs of Ukraine.

Customs officer can provide sample inspection of your transferable items. 

It made me wonder, if the sign doesn’t make any sense, am I still responsible? ….maybe I should ask for a sample inspection next time

Also, I’d like to share the following pop ‘diamond’ which me and my taxi driver were ‘grooving’ to all the way to the airport

They give you love and take your soul. Nice! …is that a ‘bantik’ she’s wearing??

It took me a while to find the song on Youtube where, it seems that Russian girls have inspired a LOT of shit pop-songs. Here’s another ‘special’ tune…

Enjoy,
Eddy

Posted from: www.bearder.com

Europe’s path to Moscow leads through Kiev

Posted from: www.bearder.com

Yanukovich loses EPP support?

Late last year, on the insistence of the European Peoples Party, the European Parliament twice delayed a resolution on Ukraine for fear that it would embarrass Victor Yanukovich ahead of an important round of regional elections.At the time, it seemed pretty clear that the EPP, the largest group in the Parliament had decided to give the new Ukrainian President the benefit of the doubt, and supported him against more skeptical/critical voices. However, it looks like the love-affair might be over.

The EPP website has a press release slapped across the home page saying “Ukraine moving further away from EU`s norms and values”.

It says

“I condemn the opening of a new court case against Yulia Tymoshenko, regarding the crucial gas agreements between Ukraine and Russia in January 2009, which were also positively assessed by the European Commission. This latest move of consecutive court cases against Yulia Tymoshenko is, once again, politically motivated in a concerted effort by President Yanukovych to intimidate and suppress the democratic opposition in Ukraine.”

“I am also very concerned with President Yanukovich’s intention to change the Ukrainian constitution in a non-transparent manner, moving Ukraine further away from basic EU norms and values. Any changes in the country’s constitution must correspond to European democratic standards and strengthen the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. I also note the rumours on ngo legislation and underline the importance of freedom of association as well as opportunities for international cooperation.”

“Recalling all previous EPP declarations and on behalf of the EPP, I will continue to follow very closely the developments in Ukraine and react accordingly. Moreover, I reiterate my full support to Batkivshchyna and its leader Yulia Tymoshenko and I look forward to meeting her in our next Enlarged EPP Summit in Brussels.”

However you look at this, the statement is bad new for everyone. It is bad for the Ukrainian authorities at a time when they need EU support for a number of key agreements, it is bad for the EPP who had invested a lot in supporting the Ukrainian authorities and, if true, the contents of the press release is bad for Ukraine and Ukrainians.
Posted from: www.bearder.com

Yanukovich loses EPP support?

Late last year, on the insistence of the European Peoples Party, the European Parliament twice delayed a resolution on Ukraine for fear that it would embarrass Victor Yanukovich ahead of an important round of regional elections.At the time, it seemed pretty clear that the EPP, the largest group in the Parliament had decided to give the new Ukrainian President the benefit of the doubt, and supported him against more skeptical/critical voices. However, it looks like the love-affair might be over.

The EPP website has a press release slapped across the home page saying “Ukraine moving further away from EU`s norms and values”.

It says

“I condemn the opening of a new court case against Yulia Tymoshenko, regarding the crucial gas agreements between Ukraine and Russia in January 2009, which were also positively assessed by the European Commission. This latest move of consecutive court cases against Yulia Tymoshenko is, once again, politically motivated in a concerted effort by President Yanukovych to intimidate and suppress the democratic opposition in Ukraine.”

“I am also very concerned with President Yanukovich’s intention to change the Ukrainian constitution in a non-transparent manner, moving Ukraine further away from basic EU norms and values. Any changes in the country’s constitution must correspond to European democratic standards and strengthen the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. I also note the rumours on ngo legislation and underline the importance of freedom of association as well as opportunities for international cooperation.”

“Recalling all previous EPP declarations and on behalf of the EPP, I will continue to follow very closely the developments in Ukraine and react accordingly. Moreover, I reiterate my full support to Batkivshchyna and its leader Yulia Tymoshenko and I look forward to meeting her in our next Enlarged EPP Summit in Brussels.”

However you look at this, the statement is bad new for everyone. It is bad for the Ukrainian authorities at a time when they need EU support for a number of key agreements, it is bad for the EPP who had invested a lot in supporting the Ukrainian authorities and, if true, the contents of the press release is bad for Ukraine and Ukrainians.
Posted from: www.bearder.com

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

proeuropa_icon
Keep Britain in Europe