Tuesday, January 20, 2009

SCRIBBLINGS: Lviv for now and 'on adjusting'

I will be staying in Lviv for a little while longer. Suddenly the gryvnia has blown up vs. the dollar. This means I no longer need to wrestle with my landlord about which currency to use. Odessa will still be there when the market collapses again. Anyway, it serves me well to stay in this cold city a little while longer. I think it is a weak rationalization way to stay focused. I am not tempted to roam around and look for trouble in the snow... my projects get more attention.

On adjusting:

It is things that I could never imagine before traveling in developing countries that are the most difficult to adjust to. All of the patent fears like making poopy in muddy holes, relying on overcrowded, under-maintained gypsy transport, anxiety about valuables, foul food, disease, etc... these things I quickly developed strategies for.

But there are unadvertised and uncontrollable difficulties that can still chafe from time to time. Like never being certain what my money will be worth the next day. Gray laws that change from custom officer to custom officer and policeman to policeman. Banks, pharmacies and markets that close whenever they want. However, there are methods to avoid these annoyances as well, however subtle or blatantly illegal. It just takes time to learn...

For example, no one knows for sure the laws surrounding passport control in Ukraine. Some sources say foreigners can stay 6 months, others 3. Sometimes you can cross the border and come directly back, others say you have to wait a period of time. So depending on what date the stamp on your passport is, border control is going to disrupt your trip and fine according to whatever "law" has been violated.

Soon I will be travelling to Romania. In preparation, I have learned a way around the above situation. A fresh stamp, under 30 days old, can be purchased beforehand from a train conductor for a much lower cost than the impending fine and prevent an interruption in my plans. It is even cheaper (and possibly free) if an attractive Ukrainian woman (preferably with a dying relative abroad) can purchase the stamp... I have one ready for the task.

7 comments:

101101 said...

*sigh* This brings some childhood memories.

Suraj Upadhyay said...

Impressive..plz keep on posting!

fucoid said...

101101,

are you a first generation immigrant in the US? where are you from?

fucoid said...

welcome suraj, i am into your blog too

Wilde.Dash said...

Thanks! Dig the site. Good stuff.

Concha said...

Romania....what an interesting place...I hear there is lots of witchcraft there.

fucoid said...

wild.dash, you are the pop culture goddess- welcome.