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My experiences

Good Times, Rough Times, My Times in Russia and surrounding areas.

Russian Word of the Day: Башка-head, noggin

Башка-bashka (from Turkish/Tatar origin) I decided to dedicate this week to fun words for various body parts. One of my friends taught me that is was funny to say “башка болит” when I had a headache.  So I went around… Continue Reading →

Russian Word of the Day: взятка-bribe

Взятка-vzyatka Comes from the verb вязть-to take There’s a saying, “В России всё можно” (In Russia everything is possible) about how you can scoot your way around all sorts of laws.  This you can typically do with the help of… Continue Reading →

Russian Word of the Day: форточка-doesn’t quite translate…read below

Форточка-fOrtochka A small window above the main window. Alright, you’re thinking, “why would I ever need to know this word?”  Once you’ve lived in Russia during the winter you’ll understand. Wikipedia describes the форточка as a ‘предназначенная для вентиляции’ (‘part of the… Continue Reading →

Russian Word of the Day: Свеча -candle, suppository

свеча-svyechА  свечка-svYEchka (the ‘k’ makes it diminutive) I’ve long known the word свеча or свечка as candle but the second meaning I learned last fall while in Kiev. My friend Katya works as a pediatrician in Kiev.  Her little boy,… Continue Reading →

Don’t Afraid: My terrifying appendectomy in a po-dunk Ukrainian hospital, Part II

The following is the email I sent to friends and family after my surgery, written exactly eight years ago today: The parts in Italics are the parts I’m adding post facto. Read Part I here Hello, everyone, I have survived… Continue Reading →

“Don’t Afraid”: My Terrifying Appendectomy in a Po-dunk Ukrainian Hospital

Part 1: My intimate moment with Babushka and the hospital of death Eight years ago this week I went to visit my friend, Pasha, in Ukraine.  This memory became more dear to me last fall after Pasha passed away.  We… Continue Reading →

Borsch, borsht, borscht, of course, course, course

However you spell it, it’s delicious. One of the best things about comfort food is that there is almost always a comforting memory attached to it and making it is like taking you back to a time that you can… Continue Reading →

In Praise of Ukrainian (and the school where I learned it)

Let me begin this post by explaining my experience learning Russian in Moscow. I tried to communicate with the school I was planning to attend, ЦМО, (Центр международного образования, part of Moscow State University) to get the necessary information about… Continue Reading →

Pondering These Things in My Heart

On Thursday I took my girlfriend to a Georgian restaurant in Kiev.  I orded some dishes for us, one of which was tabaka, but I put the emphasis on the wrong syllable and ended up ordering a male body part… Continue Reading →

Kyiv, Kiev, Linguistic Chaos

Disclaimer: I know that the true Ukrainian spelling for the city where I am currently located is Kyiv, please forgive. The other way is just easier for me. So I’m now in Kiev. I have been here for several days… Continue Reading →

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