If you have been brave enough to venture over to my original blog, you may have caught a glimpse of my Ukrainian explorations and experiences. In order to keep you coming back for more, I thought I’d continue to spread the joy of Eastern European life here at my new home – in small (but regular) doses, of course.
With that, I invite you to reflect with me on some blatant cultural differences, quirks and common sights that I grew to appreciate and love in a way that can only be associated with (mmm) wanderlust.
Foodies, rejoice – todays lessons focus on the culinary world of Ternopil, Ukraine.
15. Most foods have been either deep fried, doused with vegetable oil, or heavily salted. However, I am positive that I have lost, rather than gained, weight since arriving in May due to all the walking we do around Ternopil. Nothing is worth eating without a large lump of sour cream on the side, it would be plain unthinkable. Mmmhmmm. No complaints here.
36. Bread is significant. Included with every single meal, kissed when dropped on the ground, never thrown out, a crumb must never be wasted. The yellow bottom of the Ukrainian flag, in fact, symbolizes the importance of agriculture in this nation. Miles upon miles of golden wheat fields stretch throughout the countryside of many oblasts. Not to mention that ‘breaking bread’ and the time spent together over dinner tables is also a valuable aspect of building (and maintaining) relationships and a sense of community.
18. Potato chips have the power to be an entire edible experience on their own. My cravings for the familiarity of salt and vinegar chips will not be satisfied for a few more weeks – I misjudged the oceanic packaging of the calamari chips, and they’re not quite the same. However, my favourite Ukrainian flavour thus far are definitely sour cream and cheese (you read that right – cheese, not onion) as well as the ultra-unique roast beef and mushroom (for real).
19. More than once, I have questioned the very possible correlation between the mystery meat cutlets (a dinner time staple) and the amount of stray dogs running free in this town. Schnitzel?!
46. A few aspects of my days here in Ternopil are fairly routine: my omelette and кава (coffee) for breakfast, my nap once I get home from the Інтернат (Internat, or orphanage). But for the most part, I have come to expect the unexpected each and every day. Random adventures and chance encounters with local strangers are part of the daily routine – and factor into this overall international experience.
Have you traveled or lived abroad?
How were your taste buds affected?
What did you crave most from home?