Thursday, March 17, 2005

Today (yesterday) was four years since I quit my U.S. NGO job, which had taken me all over Ukraine and which I sort of miss every now and then. I wish it hadn't been so exhausting most of the time - I would've had a lot more wonderful notes now.

Here's one, from the end of 1999:

At the hotel in Chernivtsi, [my colleague] went looking for an iron in the morning and came back really pissed: a young floor maid refused to open the door to a room in which they stored their ancient, broken-down iron - because she had just painted her nails and they hadn't dried yet.

And here's another one, from Sept. 29, 1999, on the eve of that year's presidential election/Kuchma's re-election:

Donetsk, a cab to the train station - signs seen along the way, most of them stretched up high from one side of the street to the other, some posted at bus stops:

- Donbass for Kuchma, Kuchma for Donbass!

- Love Ukraine and treasure its stability. (L. Kuchma)

- Let the land of Donbass bloom! Happiness and good will to you, Ukraine! (L. Kuchma)

- Donbass supports Kuchma, Kuchma supports Donbass.

- Leonid Kuchma - our president, our president - Leonid Kuchma!

- State support to Donbass! (L. Kuchma)

- To Ukraine's revival - through unity and consensus! (L. Kuchma)

- Social security and support to the veterans! (L. Kuchma)

- Together let's revive Ukraine and Donbass! (L. Kuchma)

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