Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Ok gang, here's a little cultural education for our friends back home. It's amazing to me how many simple differences there are between countries. Take for instance the hot and cold water. Our cold is always to the right, hot to the left. Not so here, it's the opposite. An important thing to remember before getting in a shower-ouch! And another area is using the "necessary room", or as the potty training video my son grew up watching, "going to the potty, potty." Just recently the wife and I have solved the mystery of the toilet. (See picture) The flushing device is on the top, not the side (or done automatically like in the US), so you push the button on top. No problem, but when we got to our new hotel, there were 2 buttons on top. What to do? Well, the mystery has been solved. You see the small circle flushes quickly, that's for a number one usage; and the half moon flushes a little longer, that's for a number two usage-longer flush usually needed. It only took us 2 days to figure that whole thing out. But we are in no way complaining because at least this is a sit-down toilet. It seems that across the city, in many public places, they use the other type of toilet in the top picture. We call it a "squatty potty". Yes, ladies that's right, there is no seat! So use your imagination to figure out how that works without a seat. By the way, it is for both sexes and when you are at a restaurant or other place, there's no other option. These are fairly common so it definitely pays to know your surroundings and plan accordingly. Just another small thing to be really thankful for back home.


  1. Ok, so who knew that in the week before your 42nd birthday, you would be in the Ukraine taking pictures of toliets!!

  2. Just trying to help keep the folks back home informed as to the cultural differences here. Besides that, after seeing the boy and eating there's not a whole lot to do here. Gotta keep myself busy you know.

    And thanks for the comments, they help us stay connected. It's only been 12 days, but feels longer. Can't wait to go home and be a family.

  3. So you found a "squatter" in that region of the country as well! LOL. I must say, it caught me off guard the first time I saw one! I look forward to reading the blog every day and reliving a little bit of our own journey from almost exactly one year ago! Enjoy the experience while you are there. Looking back it did go very fast. Before you know it you will be looking back, wondering where the last year went!

    Brian Kabriel

  4. Yeah, but I want to look back from the comforts of home. Overall, the trip has been good. Ready for home of course but still hanging in there. We told Serge & Marina you two said "hi". They remembered you both and said to tell you hi also. Thanks again for all the heads-up info before we traveled, some of it has been a lifesaver!