Friday, December 3, 2004
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Eleven years ago in Ukraine....
Amanda Butler has an amusing post at Crescat Sententia about what it's like to celebrate Thanksiving in an ex-Soviet republic. That, plus the high stakes in Ukraine, caused me to open up the electronic diary I kept of the year I spent in Ukraine as a Civic Education Project lecturer to see how we celebrated Thanksgiving circa 1993.
Long diary entry after the jump...
11/27/93: I'm typing this in the Palace Hotel in Yalta. The trip here was interesting. Yalta is in the Crimea, which is supposed to be the garden spot of Ukraine. After a pleasant overnight trip, we got of at Simferapol and were greeted by a biting wind, snow blowing everywhere, and a temperature colder than in Donetsk. We were met by a guy from the local Renaissance foundation, who proved useless. We asked him where we could get tickets back to Donetsk; he answered that it was in the city centre. We then asked him repeatedly if there was an Intourist office at the train station; he said that you could only buy tickets there for the next day. It turned out later that he was of course wrong. It's real pathetic when I know more about how the system operates than the locals.
1) Macaroni and Meat
11/27/93: Whew, Lord, where to begin. Yesterday we went back to the Hotel Yalta to use the sauna. It was about ten of us. We get to the service desk, and they tell us it's not possible, the saunas are reserved now. I got very angry in Russian at him, and we started arguing. Finally, in a fit of pique, he said, "What is it with you Americans?! Why do you think that if you come you can do something immediately?"
You meet Patrick Harper and you don't even get his name right? Mind you, the Patrick Harper in the books is more impressive (as are the books compared to the impoverished screenplays), but still, it's the principle of the thing.posted by: Bean on 12.03.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]
Bean: Nice try, but it wasn't Patrick Harper.posted by: Dan Drezner on 12.03.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]
Spent Thanksgiving 12 years ago in St. Petersburg (Russia). Aside from trying to mind-meld a fatty pork roast into a turkey and fried zucchini into everything else, it was a fine time. But the telling could never stack up to Ms. Butler's nice story.
Cheers,posted by: Rofe on 12.03.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]
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