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Journey to the Borderland

May 12

Posted by Lindsey Whissel on 05/15 at 11:36 AM

No mushroom! Cone!

We had a real treat today—we got to sleep in, which helped us recover from our sleepless night on the bus. After a restful morning, we were taken on a tour around the city. At one point, we stopped for ice cream and I was amused to see that my ice cream cone came in a bag. I was also able to find out why we saw the girls wearing French maid costumes (see May 11 entry). Our guide explained these are reminiscent of old Soviet school uniforms and the girls only wear them on the last day of school now. We saw some beautiful cathedrals and monuments and walked through a waterpark (I must say, male Euro-swimwear is always entertaining:).

At lunch, we learned something interesting. Apparently, eating cabbage is supposed to increase a woman’s bust-size. This lead to some funny translation issues. If I understand correctly, one of the Rotarians tried to translate a word for breasts on his ipad and it came out as “beating pots.”

In the afternoon, we visited a potter’s studio. He explained to us he was an engineer first (and created his kiln and other equipment himself) and an artist second. He had us each make a different piece of traditional pottery on the wheel, then he made a blank clock and had us decorate it. The experience was fun, but a bit nerve-wracking because he was very particular about how we did everything. There was also a bit of a language barrier, which led to one of the funniest moments of our trip—he yelled at me “No mushroom! Cone!” I later found it he meant the way I was placing my hands on the clay was creating the wrong shape. Now, “No mushroom!” has become a running joke among our group. I’m getting very nervous because I think talent for pottery making is another one of those skills that helped a girl catch a husband in old Ukraine, and if that’s the case, I’m surely doomed to spinsterhood.

To end the day, our hosts took us to an ice rink/ gaming arena owned by one of the Kharkiv Rotarians. We all enjoyed this and it was a nice break from the 80+ degree weather we’ve been having.

Word of the day: ГpИб (gree-b) –mushroom.

{name} Author: Lindsey Whissel
Bio: Lindsey Whissel earned her degree in cinema and digital arts from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. She has produced a variety of broadcast and non-broadcast media projects for television, radio, and the web.

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