Wow. I can’t believe that I’m moving in four days. It’s really been a great, and totally crazy at times, experience living over here. I’ve made some life long friends, have grown up a little, and learned a lot about how different the world is. I really feel lucky to have had this experience, and I’m really excited about the next one. Germany, especially Frankfurt where I’ll be, is a lot more like what I’m used to in Chicago, which makes me realize some things that I won’t be seeing anymore:
Julia’s hair. I love this woman. I know next to nothing about her politics, but you have to admire anyone who can make intentionally make themselves so iconic - there was a time when I thought my agecny was going to work on her presidential election campaign and I was PSYCHED. I had a million ideas for…well, Julia…call me when you are going to run (if you’re not already, honestly, I can’t keep up with the politics in this country). I especially love this “we’ve got the whole gas in our hands” shot. Lovely.
Big Poofy Wedding dresses. I was about to take this into the direction of the power dynamics of the Ukranian woman, but you know what? Not going to go there…Big Freaking Poofy Barbie Dream House Wedding Dresses. Your constant presence on weekends in my neighborhood will be missed.
What do you mean the Christmas tree needs to come down? Put some hearts around it - Valentine’s Day Tree! Problem solved. I know Marco is reaching for his Christmas Bat right now to take this thing down.
Plastic flowers by random wall sculpture. ‘Nuff said.
The stupid exchange rate. Honestly. It’s horrible seeing how the Hvrna has tanked in the last few months. People’s salaries have effectively been cut in half. Things are not so good. Here’s hoping that it comes back down, and it would be even nicer if they didn’t have a currency that was linked to other country’s currency. The worst part is that some things (like rent, or credit card bills) are paid in USD, other things in Euro and then other things in Hvrna. Stupid.
800 kinds of cigs in every kiosk you pass. It’s crazy. And smokes here are cheap, the most expensive pack will run you about a buck and a half, with most brands going for around 60 cents.
Pac Man Ghost Graffiti Guy!!! Oh Smiley, I’ll miss you.
Cyrillic. Although I can read Cyrillic now, I just don’t know what the word I can read means 99% of the time. But I do love sounding out a word and realizing it’s an English word. I feel brilliant when that happens. True story. Also true - I’m a dork.
I am seriously going to miss seeing the Golden Gate every morning. And I loved in the summer how I’d leave my balcony door open during the day on a Saturday and fall asleep for a mid day nap to the sounds of people hanging out in the park, and this guy playing the pan flute or something like that. Good times.
And, of course…wild puppies. So far, I’ve never been even menaced by one - oh wait, there was one time I was locked outside my flat and I had just been grocery shopping and there was something wrong with the door - the police were there to fix it - i guess? Anyway, while I was waiting, this dog came over, very interested in the bag of food that I had set down. But before I could react (likely by giving the dog a piece of something and never getting rid of him) one of the cops scared him off. Special shout out to my favorite wild dog - Scar:
Ok, that’s it for now - I’ll try to do another post before I leave on Saturday at 5 in the morning. No, my flight leaves around 5, I’ll have to leave my house around 2ish. Grr. Argh.