I am still "recovering" after my first-since-I-left-Ukraine-back-in-2001 trip to Ukraine. I am definitely avoiding the mountains of photos I took since I don't have an easy way of cropping and shrinking them :( Maybe within the next few weeks I will get to them.
At first I was calling myself not-so-nice names for picking a 9am flight from Ukraine, that forced me to wake up at 4am just to get to airport on time, but now I am very very glad. Because of that, my flight landed in UK at 10:30am last Thursday (the flight was actually 3h 20min but because of time difference it seems like it was only an hour+), right before all that mess with volcano ash started! Call me lucky! I sure as heck calling myself lucky right now because otherwise I would have still been in Ukraine.
As far as Ukraine goes, I LOVED it! It was so nice to be around people who speak my language, actually 2 of my languages :) My friend and I went around Kiev, looking at museums and historical places. We went to the famous Orthodox churches/monasteries called Kievo-Pecherska Lavra, then Mamaeva Sloboda which is a rebuilding of Cossack Sich. I was ecstatic! :) I got myself whole bunch of books and souvenirs, and absolutely no clothes! lol So much for my grand plan of going shopping for clothes in Ukraine. Clearly books are more important to me :P
The one thing that I absolutely hated though, enough to never want to come back to Ukraine to live there, is the rudeness of people. It was overwhelming and left me want to punch every other person. I guess I left Ukraine just before I had to deal with it fully, so I don't remember it well. But now, coming back, I was fully emerged in the 'grown up' world and I didn't like it one bit. My friends there were laughing at me, saying that I should accept it for what it is and that it's the way of life here. Maybe it is. But I don't want to accept it. When I got back home, my mom told me that she got the same comments from my uncle and from all my cousins that visited Ukraine. Hmmm.... maybe there IS something there to think about. Before I left, we turned on a TV and a comedic program was on saying that "to love Ukraine is so much easier from America or Canada." Sad, but true and I'm 100% agree with it.