Peace Corps

Eric and Sandy's Ukrainian Odyssey! This website expresses our own, individual opinions. It does not neccissarily reflect the opinions of the United States Government, Peace Corps, or the Ukrainian Government or people.

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Location: Ukraine

Monday, July 11, 2005

Things We Miss

Things we miss:

  • Good wine in the form of cold, white Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand and deep, rich red Rioja and Ribera del Dueros from Spain and Sangioveses from Italy. For now, we must settle for an occasional splurge on Moldovan or Crimean Cabernets. They never talked about these kinds of sacrifices in on the Peace Corps website!
  • Gulf seafood – all of it. Apalachicola oysters, stone crabs, blue crabs, shrimp fresh off the boat, grouper, snapper, amberjack, scallops and everything else. So good, yet so far away.
  • Easily accessible bathrooms, the type which don’t require planning your liquid intake hours in advance to ensure you’ll be in the right place when you just have to go.
  • Hugging our nephews and niece and watching them grow.
  • Tour de France daily coverage (thanks dad for the emails!).
  • Hurricane watching.
  • Making beer and cheese.
  • Baseball games and keeping score.
  • And of course most of all, all of our family and friends.

Things we don’t miss (at least yet):

  • Driving. Especially commuting to and from work in traffic.
  • Drip coffee. The German-based Jacobs instant coffee really isn’t so bad once you get used to it. Maybe it is the name? And when we need a fix, we can have an espresso or cappuccino at one of many cafes in Vinnitsa.
  • Hot summer weather in Florida.
  • Air conditioning in our apartment. Most of the time, you just don’t need it here. Although it would be nice on the trams and trolleybuses in the summertime.
  • The dryer. Let’s face it – we’re lucky to have a washing machine.
  • Television. It’s been a pleasure to be without, to be honest. We’ve read some wonderful books, ranging from historical non-fictions like The Founding Brothers, classics like Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago, and modern tales like The Kite Runner, Casino Moscow and Siberian Dreams. In fact, we highly recommend the last two as fascinating reads for anyone wanting a snapshot of life in the post-Soviet world. We’re saving the big classics like War and Peace and The Brothers Karamazov as a distracton for the long winter ahead.

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