Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Overcoming traffic

On my way home from work a few weeks ago, the traffic was - as always, completely grid locked. This "van" was coming at me with about 20-30km/h. No room for me I guess!

Monday, October 30, 2006

About Ukrainian privatization

The days are gone when the state owned everything. A lot of privatization has been carried out the last several years - which is good.
Sometimes, the privatization process resulted in friends and family of powerful politicians could buy state owned companies for far less than they were worth - but I guess that was just a transition phase. I mean, privatization was new concept for everybody?

Private property (like apartment buildings) has also been privatized. But only the apartments, and not the staircases and courtyards etc. The result is obvious. We are living in pretty decent and modernized apartments, but everything around it is falling apart. NOBODY is interested in maintaining our roof for example, which is highly overdue! And why would anybody be interested - it's not theirs.

Take a look at the guy in the picture. OK, it's pretty funny that he's painting in his suit and tie. It's actually very funny :-) But the fact that he's painting the building only on the surface that he owns says something about lack of community thinking in this country!


Arena is one of the hottest entertainment facilities in Kiev. You can get a decent Mojito and a home brewed beer in a boot glass. YES, they have their own micro brewery, and it's a damn good beer.
It's also a place where lot's of expats hang out, which attracts lot's of hopeful young Ukrainian women - or maybe it's the other way around?

Too cute

Seen in a a Kharkov magazine

Ukrainian law firm. I would want those guys on my side!

Is that mustache a joke?

Hotel Kharkov limo service

I got a ride this morning from the hotel to the airport in this retro limo (it's a Volga).

The driver proudly told me that it was the only one of it's kind in Kharkov - I believe that!

Anyway, a standard Volga weighs about 4 Ton, and I guess adding another meter or so doesn't look good on the gas bill. So I tipped the driver an extra $2.

Kindergarten autumn show

I'm so proud of my daughter

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It's getting cold

I just checked the weather forecast for next week. It seems we are going as low as 4 degrees celsius (39 F) during the daytime. Just 14 days ago we had around 28 degrees (82 F).

I guess Ukraine does not have traditions for smooth transitions!

They will probably also turn on the heat next week. I don't know exactly who "they" are, but heating is done from a central location. I imagine they have a big switch (on/off), and when the temperature drops significantly they switch it on and leave it there for 6 months.
So how do we regulate the heat in our apartments? Answer: we use the windows!

Maybe some of you remember the huge gas crisis between Ukraine and Russia last year. The same crisis is expected this year.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm NOT kidding

The Ukrainian coffee machine ripped my note in two and returned only one half without at least giving me credit for the other half.

I don't know if the Ukrainian note or the Ukrainian coffee machine was bad! Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Water Melon Mafia

I just heard about the Water Melon Mafia in Ukraine which is not organized by Ukrainians by the way. This is the Uzbekistons teritory, and they control everything (all water melons). Of course the local Ukrainians are pretty angry with them (for keeping locals out of this lucrative market), so activists frequently sabotages the water melons by... stabbing them.

I don't know if the story is true - but it's fun!

It's my wife in the picture. She's not involved in organized crime. She's just a happy customer.

 Posted by Picasa

Bullshit generator

I like this tool:


If you want to spice up a proposal or business plan - this is where you get the inspiration!