Some people think I’m nuts for living here in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Especially the local Ukrainians.
“Why on earth would you leave California to come here?”, they wonder, not mincing words at all.
My family has long accepted it. They just get worried when Ukraine implements something like martial law because, well, Russia. And yeah, sometimes when something like the presidential election is going on you might want to mind your own business.
Overall though, it’s not a violent or petty crime kinda place. You’d probably be more likely to be mugged on the streets of Chicago than you would in Kyiv.
In 2016, you still felt the shockwaves from Euromaidan. Maidan Nezalezhnosti (the center square you see above, try to say it three times fast) still had a building with a massive hole in the side of it, for example. People were skeptical of what would happen next.
When I came back for a short visit in the summer of 2018, you could tell – the country had undoubtedly taken a step forward. At least in the center. The further districts are often still a bit sad looking. I can see why the people who live out there are very frustrated with what has transpired since Euromaidan (i.e. not much).
But the center? Wow.
More and more nice restaurants popping up.
Uber works brilliantly.
More and more western-style gyms, cafes, co-working spaces, you need it.
Everything you need is in a few-square-kilometer radius.
But once you get out of that, yeah, it’s a totally different story. It’s almost like going to a different country. I feel for those people, but I don’t know what I can do. I have everything and more that I wanted when I wanted to leave my home country. They feel the same way. They want to leave. But they can’t. At the same time, you can’t save the world.
At the same time…
It really has.
In some good ways, as mentioned above. But also, the bad ways.
It’s much more common now to see Ukrainian women with shaved heads, or with an assortment of weird colors (neon green and pink seem to be 2019’s favorites thus far). Will it go as far as the degeneracy you currently see plaguing the western world, where people are abolishing any hopes and dreams of having a family in favor of a life of casual sex and parties?
Since this is home now, I certainly hope not…but when people ask me, I tell them the truth. I really don’t know, and can’t predict the future. Hence is life.
Looks something like this:
Overall, it’s pretty good.
I can’t complain.
It’s a great home base to live an exciting life, with a more traditional, wholesome culture. And on top of that, it’s got all the big-city hustle for me to grow my businesses and ultimately get where I want to in life.
I couldn’t ask for more.
Except maybe for warmer winters.
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