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I live in Ukraine — AMA
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Aug 25 2021, 2:39 am
amother [ Dill ] wrote:
Are all the frum people and the Shuls Chabad? Are there misnagdim and MO?


Yes of course!

I’m sure there are lots of Chabad, but there’s also MO/Euro JPF, litvish kollels, new chassidish shuls/schools always opening...
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Aug 25 2021, 2:54 am
gr82no wrote:
Sorry you misunderstood me. I was trying to ask how modern your electricity and plumbing is.
Also I heard from people that a bus ride in Ukraine is extremely unpleasant is it true?


Yes, that’s why I’ve never taken a long bus ride.

But it’s not that Greyhound is very nice either.

Buses just suck.

I take the overnight train pretty often and it’s okay. Last night I was on the train from Kharkiv to Kyiv. It was very basic — bed linens, hot water, a cleanish bathroom — but honestly I’ve gotten used to Ukrainian trains. I was coughing like mad from a horrendous cold and one of the women in my compartment asked very hesitantly and sweetly if I wouldn’t mind wearing a mask just over my mouth. Can you imagine what would have happened in America?

People just have more common sense here.
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chanchy123




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Aug 25 2021, 3:00 am
If I understand correctly, you left Ukraine as a child and returned as an adult after living the majority of your life in America, how easy was it to reintegrate into Ukrainian society, are there any language or cultural gaps that you have because of your long absence?
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Aug 25 2021, 3:42 am
chanchy123 wrote:
If I understand correctly, you left Ukraine as a child and returned as an adult after living the majority of your life in America, how easy was it to reintegrate into Ukrainian society, are there any language or cultural gaps that you have because of your long absence?


Well, I don’t speak Ukrainian, so that doesn’t help... 😼

Otherwise... well, I’ve mistakenly thought people were flirting with me when they were just being nice 😲

People in general are quite helpful, since life is hard and you have to band together.

Again, mostly Kyiv bubble, and I’ve heard stories of what life is like in some other places. Drinking, unemployment, negative population growth.
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Mayflower




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Aug 25 2021, 3:49 am
sequoia wrote:
Yes of course!

I’m sure there are lots of Chabad, but there’s also MO/Euro JPF, litvish kollels, new chassidish shuls/schools always opening...

It sounds like there's a huge frum community. Can you put a number on it? How many frum people are there in the Ukraine?

Is there a lot of interaction with frum communities from other countries?

What I mean by this is: when you're in London, or Antwerp, or Zurich, you always meet people from Israel/France/US/... I don't think I have ever in my life come across anyone from the Ukraine (who actually lived there in the recent past). Why is that?

Also: the only (non-Jewish) Ukrainians I know are women who came to our country to work as cleaning ladies. They are happy to work 10 hours a day, and earn 6 EUR an hour cleaning bathrooms, and some of them have degrees (or so they claim)! What is the financial situation of the average Ukrainian like if they would choose such a life?
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Aug 25 2021, 4:50 am
Mayflower wrote:
It sounds like there's a huge frum community. Can you put a number on it? How many frum people are there in the Ukraine?

Is there a lot of interaction with frum communities from other countries?

What I mean by this is: when you're in London, or Antwerp, or Zurich, you always meet people from Israel/France/US/... I don't think I have ever in my life come across anyone from the Ukraine (who actually lived there in the recent past). Why is that?

Also: the only (non-Jewish) Ukrainians I know are women who came to our country to work as cleaning ladies. They are happy to work 10 hours a day, and earn 6 EUR an hour cleaning bathrooms, and some of them have degrees (or so they claim)! What is the financial situation of the average Ukrainian like if they would choose such a life?


I really can’t give you figures, but having variety doesn’t necessarily mean “huge.” It just means people like to have their own shuls.


The inequality — yes, it’s shocking. I could write pages and pages about it. The luxury, the million $ apartments on one hand and the $300 salaries on the other hand. Ukraine is not Zimbabwe, but in terms of the inequality it’s for sure not a first world country.

Doctors and teachers make very little. I talked about academia in an earlier post. Government jobs or customer service — forget it.

But a totally average IT guy working for an American, European, or Israeli firm will make $5k a month which is very very comfortable here.

It’s not fair and everyone knows it.
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