You know you have been in Ukraine for too long when…

Feeling like a Ukrainian?

Have you been in Ukraine for too long? Have you assimilated, forgotten your native personality and started to behave like a Ukrainian?

Here’s a check-list to help you find out. You know you’ve been in Ukraine too long when:

  • You put ukrop (dill) on everything. I mean EVERYTHING.
  • Your not scared of the street dogs.
  • You know how to shout at taxi-drivers to get a better price.
  • You have two SIM cards.
  • Cyrillic doesn’t confuse you.
  • You understand that if you put your girlfriends handbag on the table or (god forbid) the floor – she will probably leave you.
  • You have perfected your own borsch recipe.
  • You can pronounce Dnipropetrovsk without having a seizure.
  • You walk past a litter bin which is on fire and has flames coming out of it, and you think its normal.
  • You say ‘bud’-laska’ without thinking when someone says thanks.
  • You only wear a black jacket in winter and think anyone in a sports jacket must be a foreigner.
  • You have forgotten that the fur industry is cruel and inhumane and started to think that fur is glamorous.
  • Unless its +20C you would never let a child out of the house without a hat and gloves.
  • You want to drive a large 4×4 to make yourself feel like a man.
  • You start to hate Marshrutkas.
  • You can drink beer like you used to drink coffee –morning, day and night.
  • You can eat semki with one hand and finish a whole bag during a 90 minute football game.
  • You have developed a working system for separating all the Yulias and Marias in your phonebook.
  • You accept that your date will be 30 minutes late.
  • You’ve forgotten what a queue is.
  • You stop calling it PECTOPAH and start calling it a restaurant.
  • You are able to get on the bus before the babushkas.
  • You have discovered a certain charm in the absolute rudeness of shop staff
  • You buy flowers for people and you think its sweet.
  • You love Karaoke.
  • You can use the squat toilets without having an accident.
  • You go into an Italian restaurant and expect to be able to order Japanese food.
  • You have forgotten how to use definitive article.
  • You look at people’s shoes and make judgments about their personality.
  • You let yourself wear a vest, white trousers and white shoes.
  • You boil eggs and make a picnic before you take a train.
  • You’ve forgotten what the following words are or mean: copyright, eco-friendly, modesty.
  • You are comfortable sitting naked in the sauna.
  • You give confusing and contradictory answers like ‘da nijet’, ‘mojit bit da’ and ‘mojit bit nijet’.
  • You stand still and don’t talk on the metro. In fact, you’ve pretty much stopped any public displays of emotion.
  • You fear drafts and think you’ll die if you walk on a cold floor without shoes.
  • You’ve stopped trying to teach people that politics and governance can be different
  • For no obvious reason, you know the name of 6 oligarchs.
  • You do NOT think rules are for breaking, no matter how stupid or petty they are.
  • You no longer need to be drunk to dance and sing.
  • You ask complete strangers for a cigarette.
  • You know what a gopnik is.
  • You don’t panic or call a plumber when your hot water stops. In fact, you don’t even think twice when the water stops altogether because you know someone else will fix it.
  • You keep a large water bottle behind the toilet to flush when there’s no water.
  • You can walk on anything. Broken paths, ice, half-a-meter of snow – you can keep your balance on anything. If you are a girl, you can walk on anything in high-heels.
  • Buying a ticket for the train, which once took 2 minutes, now takes you 15 minutes because you have a long discussion with the ticket officer about all possible options and prices.
  • You can (and do) run down the escalators.
  • You make your self look ‘beautiful’ whenever you leave the house, even if you are going to buy toilet paper or potatoes from the supermarket.
  • You speak Russian but think Ukrainian should be the only national language.

oh … and finally, the absolute test of your ‘Ukrainianess’… you can sit/squat on your feet and smoke for more than two minutes. This squat (also known as the Ukrainian chair), is the ultimate test of how Ukrainian, is the ultimate test of how Ukrainian someone is. If you can do it, you are at least 95% genetically Ukrainian.

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