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Ukrainian never smiles vol.2

"Wait a minute. I think Ukrainians hardly to smile indeed" All of a sudden, I noticed.

In such a routine days, they smoke and drink. You may see lot of people walking on the street drinking beer in Ukraine. It's free world. Nobody can restrict it.
However I think "There must be much better drinking style than holding the beer bottle on the street" Compare to that, drinking some beer with colleagues after the work or drinking in the bar watching a football game on TV must be the better way to drink a tasty beer, I think.

"Everybody looks so gloomy" Once I got the impression, even their drinking style looks unhappy. This is some ... "Sorry to folks in Ukraine. I didn't mean that, It's your life."
However if I actually get problem with the boozer, I couldn't ignore it any more. I think the situation in small city which has industries is better than small local town which doesn't have any industries or working places. In those town, I felt danger of serious alcoholic problem.

East of Chernobyl, near border to Belarus, the town called Chernihiv was one of them. Actually, Chernihiv was beautiful town which had historical churches and antique wooden house quarters. But this beautiful site was completely changed at night. Full of boozers walked on the street. And finally, I became a victim of this alcoholic related trouble.
When I was walking down the street, a drank young guy came over talking to me. And suddenly, he got my both arms and threatened "Gime a money!" (Oh! At 44 years old, please let me alone from these kind of street gang stuff ... ) I shouted "Neup!" But no pedestrians helped me up. (Where are the friendly Ukrainian people I knew ... ?) I gave up and stuck my hand into the pocket. I found only a twenty hryvnia bill (=2USD). (My God. I'll be in a trouble with such a small bill ... ) I showed it to him. He snatched it and left. (Thanks for cheap consumers price of Ukraine ... No, not such an easy matter) That's the moment I knew how's going on the country.

It's a just 12 day stay in Ukraine. And I met some tips of trouble. But I've not disgusted by Ukraine. Why? It's because the Ukraine I actually saw was not different from the one I had imaged. I had not expected so much for the country. And actually it was. Add to that, I chose such an ordinary place for photographing ordinary people. What's more I need?
And it's also true that I looked Ukrainian people being floated by passing days as a fellow.

Dec. 2009

Today's piece
"Trolley bus" Chernihiv, Ukraine 2009

Shanghai tea party vol.3

Post Script

In Nov.2009, what I had expected to Ukraine could be "traces of Soviet Union" Traveling around cities in east part of the country, the mine shaft city Donetsk or the heavy industrial city Mariupol along the black sea for example, gratified my curiosity with the atmosphere of the good old USSR.

Ah, I remember I had another reason why I visited Ukraine. It's Chernobyl. Already 22 years had passed after the serious accident. Cs 137 had half-life of 30 years. So the area was still contaminated in physics. However the contamination was not flat. Some place were OK to visit while the others were NG. After all some travel agencies got start the Nuke plant tour from Kiev. The price was around 300USD for the day trip.

After all, I gave up the tour. I thought it was too expensive for the adventure in high level radiation. That must be better decision to me because I would get the high radiation later here in Japan.
Yeah, it was, couple of years later my neighboring Nuke plant was exploded like a bad joke, meanwhile now the political situation of Ukraine is in chaos. "The countries which I know gets the bad time ..." Recently I hear those kind of bad news with regret.

For my generation, Chernobyl has still the negative symbol of Soviet Union, and the Ukraine is symbol of Soviet's great granary. It's tend to think speaking Russian language is enough in Ukraine. But it's absolutely misunderstanding about the country. In fact, Ukraine is nothing but Ukraine. The country was independent of former Soviet Union with Ukrainian land and maybe even the broken nuke plant. The Ukrainian people once got the independence with high aspirations.

Although I don't like a gigantic power of a nation, there are few merit to be a nation I think. Organizing the different people, groups, thoughts or religions must be one of them. When you looking over the world, many nations are struggling in the issues and dealing with it. So if the people or the nation has racism or exclusivism, the little merit would be blown off. And if each nation on the planet is consist of each mono-group, the civil wars would be decreased. However on the other hand, the world would be so introverted and diplomacy would be lessen.

You must be a company's employee but at same time a kid's parent. Tow nations must have a conflict in historical understanding but also they are important business partner. Russian but living in Ukraine. Being Japanese but also being Asian. After all, both nation and people have to have the simultaneous or multi-channel thought. In another words, mono-channel stiff thought lessen the choice to solve the world conflict. You dislike someone, so you will end up hating everything he stands for? That's a childish behavior, isn't it?

Apr. 2014

fumikatz osada photographie