Charades & Alcohol

Well, we’ve made it. Our long journey has finally started a new chapter in Mukachevo, Ukraine!

The past few days have flown by as we’ve been busy trying to get settled in – it’s not easy when you don’t know where to buy anything or how to speak to people. We’ve been playing a lot of charades and using calculators to communicate. I can say that I fully empathize with the non-English speakers in America. Last night was my first experience with feeling embarrassed and frustrated. Not fully acclomated, we’ve not been eating until around 8:00. We went into a restaraunt/bar (completely engulfed in smoke, i might add), and sat down to order some dinner. The waitress took our drink orders (2 colas), looked at us with a bit of confusion, then wondered why we didn’t want beer or alcohol (remind you, this is what i think she was asking by her gestures). We asked for menus, which she answered with a barrage of Ukrainian. Come to find out, they only serve drinks after a certain time. but, this realization did not come unti after at least 10 minutes of us sitting there trying to figure out why they didn’t bring us menus and she just stood there, looking at us with a flustered glare, speaking to us every few minutes. We ended up just leaving…

until today when we wanted lunch – we went back to the same place (because we thought that was when they served food). We walked in the door, and guess who was working …the same waitress. She saw us, rolled her eyes, and refused to help…another waiter who was very amicable and helpful, sat us down, and happily served us even though lunch was no longer being served! (He got an extra big tip). The meal he brought us was different…a soup made with pickles, olives, and a plethora of meats, topped with dill and sour cream…yummy!

Life here is unpredictable so far. For example, we returned home from some shopping to find a man laying on the muddy ground in front of our apartment. A lady had stopped to help him, and asked our taxi driver to help also. He refused. Over and over again, no one would help. Josh and I tried, but the communication barrier was a problem. With the few Ukrainian words i do know, i was able to understand that this lady was a Christian and felt compelled to help this man. She also knew where he lived. Josh woke the man, helped him sit up, tried to get him to stand up so he could continue on his way. However, the stench revealed the man’s drunkeness. In a daze, he motioned josh to leave him – he was content laying in the mud. Eventually, the lady, Josh, and i walked away. Several hours later, the man still lay by our door…even after the ambulance came and tried to get him up. They also realized that he was drunk, and left him to sober up. As one passing lady responded, “It’s normal” (she said it in ukrainian, but i understood). Don’t worry, he’s gone now.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jaybrams
    Apr 11, 2008 @ 19:14:03

    man, that sounds tough, the food and all that… but like a fun and exciting adventure…

    more borscht (okay, thats the only Ukrainian thing i know… and i’m not even sure its ukrainian…)


  2. Emily
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 19:17:06

    Welcome to the adventure. Buckle up it’s quite the ride 😉


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