When you write a map you take normally a piece of paper and create a two-dimensional projection of the streets often simply depicted by lines. Who told you that it's enough to be a map?
The thing is in Ukraine you often find a sudden "gap" in the middle of a street, totally unexpected. "A gap" is actually a bad description since you can find scarcely only one, depending on your ability of seeing you would see different types of three dimensional irregularities all over the streets. I'm not sure if the surface of the moon is less flat than Ukrainian streets.
So here's at least one photo which seems to be normal. What is this? This is actually a hotel built in the USSR era, but never finished. And what happened then? Nothing. Yes, literally nothing happened after the fall of the USSR and no one wanted to take care or do anything for this building. At any rate you should not stare at the building all the time if you are in a car otherwise you are not prepared for the next street gap/hole/whatever. Unfortunately or fortunately I don't have a picture from the near but it looks there are still some activities going on, but not official ones. As a representative one I put this photo but all over the city you can see other objects like this. The colorful facade makes it even more creepy...
Ukraine is an animal-friendly country. You can see it also at home, since apparently every household has a certain number of animals. Here for exameple at Yura's place there are a bold parrot, which bites you if you offer him something to eat or drink, rabbits, cats, dogs etc. Of course on the street you can see horses. The difference to western countries is maybe the fact that even police use horses as a way of transportation. And the French colored cars looking like kid's toys are also police cars. The day they use pigs as a storm attack division against street demonstrations is maybe not too far away in Ukraine.
It's a shame that I don't have a better photo than this one because sometimes the trams here look so much more historical. Anyway the Ukrainian trams which make any black-and-white movies valueless were purchased from the Checz republic, which is not necessarily the most developed country in the world. Looking at the conditions of the rails first I thought they were not used anymore. It's a fortune for the Ukrainians that they are not too fat/heavy. The price is constant and around 20 cents. One day when I speak Russian perfectly I will try to negotiate the price with the conductor.
In certain domaines, there are sometimes prejudices and we are in a high extent unconscious of them. For example, what do you think there are in a park? See-saws? Swings? In Ukraine, there's a Katyusha. Surprisingly it is very difficult to find a supermarket here. Also very difficult to find a police officer. But you can find a Katyusha in a park and everywhere around the country, according to what I saw, it is normal to put a military or political item, in many cases both of them, in a park.
One nice thing in Ukraine is the fact that the people are sometimes remarkably easy going. Of course I mean it in a positive sense.
Or maybe it's also a certain kind of prejudice but this grandma is pouring water, under rain. This was the first times since several weeks it rained and the city was full of whoops of joy... or maybe not. Anyway, this easy-goingness was something maybe the western countries have lost in the course of development, as I was most probably the only one caring about the gaps in the streets, the ghost hotel standing alone in the middle of the city or the grandma pouring water under rain. Don't care about small things too much let's drink wodka.
After coming back to France, it appears to me like a long summer night dream to have been in Ukraine for 10 days. Of course there is no illusion nor lies, but the reality that overcame all the clichés I had heard before was so overwhelmingly impressive that I cannot stop recalling everything again and again, trying to digest all I've seen, heard and experienced. Passing 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the trace of the transition of era still has a deep impact on the Ukrainian society, and probably it will take some more time to recover completely from the past. However, the mental attitude of the people is sanguine and healthy. This strength will certainly have a positive effect on their lives.
A small cup of borscht with a little drop of smetana in the middle, a dish Ukrainians never stop loving, will hopefully remind me one day of my wish to come back here again.
And so do I finish up my article by expressing my gratitude to the guys who realized my great journey to Ukraine. I hope they will have a great time in Germany!