Monday, February 20, 2006

Marta is okay, thank God. We need to do exercises with her, as well as the massage, and she'll be totally fine soon. No hip dysplasia (this is what we feared - or were told to fear). Why is it that every second child here seems to have dysplasia, while if you google it in English, it seems like a canine condition, not human?


And here's another "disappeared" post from yesterday...


When I order a cab to take Marta to the clinic, I ask them to send me a non-smoking car. Today, the driver had this note on his glove compartment:

It says that you'll be charged 5 hryvnias ($1) extra for smoking in this car, and that this money will be spent on getting rid of the smell. Signed: the car's administration.

It's not as good in the translation, though: there is something so Odessa about it, something so in your face and yet so subtle.

I asked the driver if people did pay the smoking charge, and he replied, "Oh, yes!" and added that it was wrong to poison non-smoking drivers. A rare attitude here.


  1. They recently banned smoking in bars here in the state of Washington. Some of those bars are setting up tents outside for the smokers to go into. We also have a smoke-free workplace, but they made it so smokers have to be 30 feet from an outside door. So our smoking workers get pushed farther outside in the cold. I don't smoke but I kind of feel for them. They also tax the hell out of tobacco, and typically the people who smoke here are on the low end of the pay scale for the most part. They won't/ can't quit and it just makes things worse for them. Today I saw that the leader of North Korea has become outspoken about not smoking now that he has quit. One good thing.
    I'm glad I didn't start smoking, as I know I wouldn't be strong enough to quit.

  2. Excellent! Next time I come to Baraban (or any bar in Kiev for that matter) I'll ware that sign on me! Something along the lines of "If you want to smoke around me, it's 10 Hryvna extra for the laundry."
    About a year ago, a friend of mine was smoking in my face in Baraban (it wasn't you, Veronica). She had a French cigarette pack with a huge black sign "Fumer nuit a votre entourage" (Smoking is bad for your "entourage".) When I asked her if she knew what "entourage" was she pointed at her face and cheeks. I had to disappoint her by saying it was me.


  3. I can't figure out how to send an email to you Neeka...

    I wanted to send this:
    In a recent interview on Channel 5, “The Honest News
    Channel”, journalist Danylo Yanevskyi accused
    Ukrainian musician Sashko Polozhynskyi, front man of
    the rap group “Tartak”, of radical nationalism. He
    compared Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” to a recently
    publicized letter of appeal
    (, click on “nashi
    dii”), signed by Polozhynskyi, that calls for
    political forces in Ukraine to deal with the issue of
    a severe lack of Ukrainian literature, films, and
    accurate history texts. It seemed Yanevskyi was trying
    to persuade Channel 5 viewers that patriotism and
    nationalism in Ukraine would undoubtedly lead to
    concentration camps and prosecution of non-Ukrainians.
    His provocative questions were an obvious attempt to
    undermine the intelligence of patriotic Ukrainians and
    Sashko Polozhynskyi.

    For a news channel that prides itself on presenting
    fair and objective news, such accusations came as a
    surprise, especially from a generally respected
    journalist with a degree in history and a
    diaspora-born wife.

    Polozhynskyi’s appearance in the Channel 5 studio had
    been announced as an interview in which he would
    provide information on an awareness campaign titled
    “Ne bud’ baiduzhym!” (“Against Indifference!”)
    organized by himself and fellow musicians, in which in
    between performances they discuss with the audience
    problems of “little Russianism” (malorosiystvo), an
    inferiority complex that is still so prevalent in
    today’s “independent” Ukraine.

    Due to Yanevskyi’s lengthy accusations and
    provocations, Channel 5 viewers who had never heard of
    “Ne bud’ baiduzhym” did not get the chance to find out
    about it. What they did learn was that Yanevskyi seems
    to believe that all Ukrainian patriots subconsciously
    aspire to create concentration camps.

    If Channel 5 respects its viewers, it should not allow
    for such biased views to be made on live television.
    In my opinion, Channel 5 should apologize to
    Ukrainians and the leader of “Tartak”. The right thing
    to do would be to invite Polozhynskyi back for an
    interview with an objective journalist so that he can
    inform the public about “Ne bud baiduzhym” and provide
    clarification regarding the real contents of the
    letter of appeal he signed.

    (For those interested, transcripts of the interview
    should be made available on the "Ne bud' baiduzhym!"
    website in the near future.)

  4. dysplasia - the stremena fix - is a scam. the same thing happened with us and our daughter.

    best to get a kyiv kid massager. they're great. we started at about 6 months - no problems.

  5. I like that. Earn a extra dollar when you can. Got to love it.

  6. Hi! (well, this is kind of a late response to your February 20,2006 regarding Tartak lead singer Sashko Polozhynskyi)... although we all agree that Ukraine definitely needs to finally come out of post-soviet shell and re-discover and embrace its rich culture and history, I am sorry to inform you that Mr. Polozhynskyi is also guilty of employing subtle neo-nazi and skinhead imagery in his videos. You may not notice because you are not aware of the identifying signs caracterizing this sub-culture (which unfortunately is growing exponentially in Ukraine). Please take a look at this clip, and look for the guy with the shaved head wearing the Hitler-youth brown shirt, pant straps and jackboots. This is a skinhead. And the fact that he casually appears in this video as "just one more normal futbol fan" shows you that there indeed is a problem with this picture... and there indeed is a problem with Mr. Polozhynskyi and the messages he conveys.
    Some more misguided "Ukrainian Patriots" here: