Faith, Hope, and Love Remain

Alei's adventures in Ukraine

Things I Never Knew I Never Knew April 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aleicook @ 7:31 pm

On yet another walk around town today I did a little inventory of my current knowledge.  I’m reminded pretty daily of what I don’t know: Ukrainian, the reasoning behind English grammar rules, how to convince people that I’m well fed/not cold/ect.  While that list could continue for a depressingly long time, I also couldn’t help but be struck by some of the things I have learned over the past 7 months.  These are things that I can safely say I never would have known otherwise.  While not quite as useful as, say a native language, I think they’re still pretty worth recognizing & will help me remember to be thankful for this unique opportunity.

  • The myriad of trees:  I can now pretty successfully identify the difference between an apricot & cherry tree based on their blossoms.  I also know how recently said cherry tree bloomed based on which stage the flowers are in.  Want proof?  At first they look mostly like green leaves with tiny white dots.  Then the dots bloom into the dainty flowers featured in the last post.  After a few weeks they turn a dusty pink color & then finally they drop the flowers making it look like it’s 60 degrees & snowing (something I’ve always wanted btw).  Love that cherry tree.  I actually probably would have been able to observe this in America too but I certainly never have taken the time to do so until now so I’m counting it.
  • Lots of things about cows:  For instance, they moo really, really loudly.  As in while sitting on the banks of the Dniester river in Ukraine I can hear the Moldovan cows crystal clear.  Additionally I know they are quite enormous & are not receptive to pleas to move when they are blocking the path.  They do however respond to being led by a chain leash & will be herded everywhere from the main highway in town to a steep 15 foot drop if the need be.
  • The impact of a good song:  I’ve always appreciated music’s mood-enhancing abilities but for some reason it’s all the more powerful to me here.  Whether it’s a perfect background like the Counting Crows on a sunny day or the contrast like Brand New or Kanye accompanying my walk past goats on a dirt road everything seems like it’s an epic soundtrack to my life.  Suffice it to say Bone Thugs & Phil Collin’s rendition of ‘Home’ will never be the same.
  • How to knit:  I started my lessons this week & am pretty confident in saying that I have a new 2 year hobby.  It probably qualifies as yet another quirk & I don’t know how much of a language booster it will be as I can’t talk while concentrating that hard, but it definitely remedies boredom on the bus.
  • How lucky I am to have friends & family like you

and finally…

  • Why the chicken crossed the road

Really, truly just to get to the other side. Who knew.


Really quite a short list for what seems like a long time, but there we have it.  I’m T minus 20 minutes from starting my early-birthday celebration with Emily in Lviv 🙂  I’m guessing I’ll have some pictures & stories to share next time.  Have a lovely weekend!

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