Chernivsti to mark 600 anniversary in 2008
Chernivsti will mark its 600 anniversary in 2008, therefore the city is undergoing the major face lift. there are a lot reconstuction going on, including the central Kobylanska street.
the festivities will take place during two first weeks in October. so if you plan to visit Chernivtsi around that time, you will see the city in its best :) the challenge will be to get a place to stay, since Chernivtsi's hotel lodging options are still a bit limited. thus start planning early.
You must to go to the...
You must to go to the Cheremosh Hotel, and ask for Zoya.
This wonderful woman have an important skill in Ukraine - she speaks both Russian and English. Zoya is a tourists guide, and much more.
She will arange everything for you in Chernivtsi - an excursion, a car, a translator, and will do it with great kindness.
Zoya was waiting for us at the Succeve airport at the Romanian side of the border, with a driver, car, and other people that help us pass the annoying border-crossing to Ukraine.
Zoya have a lot of friends in Chernivtsi, Eglish speakers and non English speakers, and since language will be your major dificult there, I advice you to contact Zoya before your arrival in Chernivtci.
Please write down her phone number: 380-3722-48765 .
Her office is located in Cheremosh hotel.
You can also visit their webpage: http://cheremosh.chv.ukrpack.net My first dinner. This was something.
We arrived with Zoya and her friends in the Cheremosh hotel, and got an Ukraine dinner. I can't describe the taste of the Ukraine bread, but this is realy something. Whenever you go, don't eat fast food. Just eat the local Ukrain food. There is also what they called 'Zakooska' - which is a plate that you get at the beginning of the dinner with small tasty beautiful surprises. I will tranlate this to 'appetizers'.
English speaking assistance in a case of emergency
On the private parking place in Kam´janets-Podilsky is a watchman working, who speaks perfect English. He is a charming guy who is a retired English teacher. In a case of emergency ask him for his assistance. He is on duty for 24 hours and then has a day off. The shift starts at 10.00 am.
Theatre and the square of stars
Theatre – on the wall of the theatre you can see the names of famous composers. In front of the Theatre there is park of stars. On walking ways you will see names of famous Ukrainian actors and actresses from the past and present. Also the place in front of the theatre is lovely places for couples who are in love.
Learning to drink Vodka
Back at home I’m not a drunk, but the liver has been known to breakdown a Margarita or two. In my first few days in the Ukraine I had a few beers, but no hard liquor. After that, we were invited to the parents of a friend of my wife’s for a visit. We had a few snacks and then the father brought out some home-made vodka made from ribena berries. I could swear the bottle had a “skull and crossbones” on it, but the memory is kind of foggy. Not wanting to be rude, I just smiled as he poured me a shot. He made a toast and downed his while I took a small sip. He looked at me as if I had stomped on the national flag. I was told that a man doesn’t sip vodka, they chug it. If you do not drink a toast to the bottom, you are considered to be excusing yourself from the toast and it is extremely rude.
He refilled the glass, gave another toast and we downed our vodka. My lips thought it was ok…. The tongue was ok with it…. But the throat was not happy and decided to shut down in protest. Unfortunately it didn’t discriminate between more vodka and more air. While the old man smiled I danced around the room trying feebly to suck some air down. My life flashed in front of my eyes…. It sucked the first time and the rerun wasn’t any better. Slowly the throat relaxed and went back to normal.
It was at this point that my host poured more of his elixir into my glass. It seems like toasting is never done just once. The number of toasts depends on the host, the situation, and the level of inebriation that is desired. In this case, the magical number was three. I was told what each toast was for, but the brain cells that contained this information was killed after the last toast.
As I raised my glass for the second toast, my host told me that in order not to have the throat close up again the secret was hold your breathe throughout the process. My brain was trying to validate this theory but there wasn’t enough time, the vodka was approaching the lips. That’s when I had an epiphany and came up with the “chipmunk” method of drinking vodka. I would store the vodka in my cheeks and SLOWLY release it past the throat. This was a win-win situation. My host felt pleased that he had helped out the poor Americanski, the throat was pleased that it wasn’t being poisoned, and I was please I didn’t have to do my dance of death again.
It was only a few days later that we were invited to a visit a Dacha and again vodka was poured into my glass. This time the number of toasts would be determined by the number of shots in a vodka bottle. I tried out my “chipmunk” method the first two times with great success. By the third toast, the brain was in a happy place and not making great decisions and decided to forgo the slow release and just chug it. To my delight the throat let it pass without complaining. This feat was duplicated over the next few hours time after time with the same success.
After three months in the Ukraine I became a vodka chugging expert