Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting things done the Ukrainian way

We had four things we needed to do in Vinnytsia: update this blog, send a package with books home to Finland, find out if there were any trains going to Kremenchuk, Lina's old home town, and get our smelly cycling gear washed. As anyone who's tried to accomplish things like these in Eastern Europe knows it was quite ambitious to attempt to do all this in one day. But armed with Lina's language skills and a friendly taxi driver we set out. 

The third cafe had a working wifi connection, the woman at the train station's information desk quickly crushed all our dreams of visiting Kremenchuk and the second laundry service agreed to wash our sweaty pants. But the package proved to b the real challenge. The woman at the first post office was baffled with the idea of sending a package to the European Union. "I'm not sure… No one's ever tried to send anything abroad before! Except to Russia, of course. Maybe if you tried the main post office…"

"Of course we can send your package to Finland!" said the woman at the main post office. "130 gryvna, please!" And then she took our package, placed it on a seemingly random shelf next to her and took the next customer. We had no choice but to leave, without a receipt or any other kind of proof of our package's existence. It'll be an interesting fall waiting for the package back home… 

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