Sunday, July 20, 2014

Anarchy in the Ukraine: Interview with Eccentric Expat Part Three

Things, of course, have gone from bad to worse to fucking really really horrendous in the Ukraine; I contacted our reluctant war correspondent, Eccentric Expat, to see how he was weathering the storm .

Read interview Part One here (May)
Read interview Part Two here  (June)

So you've evacuated to Kiev?

Yeah, my employer sent me here until the situation improves in Donetsk, whenever that will be

They have a school there?

They have schools in many different cities here

What's the mood in Kiev right now? After that horrible fucking plane thing?

Hard to explain. One of my coworkers posted some pics of the American embassy here in Kiev. I think those will explain the mood better than I can. Its like the natives have made a shrine of the Embassy sign

What about the expats there, how are they feeling? People starting to jump ship, or they enjoying the chaos?

Most of the ones I know are quite anti-Russia.

Sure, the Russians are definitely ruining the sex-tourist party!

I don't know of too many people who have left, although apparently its hard for the school to find new teachers now.

My Russian friends all say that the plane was a "false flag" thing -- the Ukrainians or the Americans shot it down just to blame Russia and declare war. Have you hard any such conspiracy BS?

Yes I have, but I dont believe it. I think it was shot down due to incompetence.

What's the situation in Kiev in general, business as usual?
More cops or soldiers on the street?

Yeah mostly. Ive only been here a few days though, so I'm probably not the best judge

Often in such cases you see an increase in partying and nightlife and fucking around -- prewar Berlin, for example

Haven't seen many cops, but I got stared down hard by some Right Sector goons the other day

Any feeling that it's "eat and drink, for tomorrow we die?"

Not really, nothing like that.

The feeling was much worse in Donetsk before I left

Did the Right Sector guys say anything to you? Did they know you were a foreigner?

No, they just gave me the evil eye. One guy in the back of the formation wearing a balaclava turned around and eyeballed me hard, like he expected me to start something

What was it like in Donetsk before you left?

Very quiet. People were leaving the city in droves. The hotel I lived next to had been taken over by rebel soldiers. Everyone was expecting the war to flare up in the city at every moment

What about your girlfriend, is she with you?

No, she went back to Nikolaev

Are the sex tourists staying away from Kiev now, or too early to tell?

I have no idea, but from what I understand, there are far fewer Americans now in Ukraine

Have prices changed at all? I heard the exchange rate really flopped.

Yes, prices for food have gone up, but not as much as I thought they would

Is your salary pegged to the dollar or just in local money?

Local currency, of course

Always sucks when you get on the wrong side of a currency slump.

Yeah no kidding, although I haven't really felt it so far. Many of the locals try to turn their money into dollars or euros.

All right. Good luck. Watch your 6. 

* * *

Of course the other argument from Russians in this case is usually something like: Oh, well, the Americans shot down an Iranian plane accidentally once. (None of them seem to remember when Russia shot down that Korean jetliner.)

But that's just basically a "And You Are Lynching Negroes!" argument, anyway.

The demise of the 80's Cold War was apparently aided by the preponderance of terrifying films about nuclear war; in that spirit perhaps we should all watch:


Anonymous said...

No, not "The Day After". Watch "Threads", which is much more realistic, and far more horrifying.

englishteacherx said...

Yeah, that's a good one. It's on YouTube also.

Anonymous said...

Red Dawn, 1984. The Russians invading the U.S. by parachute became a bit of a joke, but I still get emotional at the end of the movie.

englishteacherx said...

It's actually a better, less jingo-istic movie than it is usually remembered as. (Ridiculous perfect 80s hairdos of the rebels aside.)

Anonymous said...