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Ukrainian Logic

Written by Ian Bearder

I’m a naturally curious person. Like an over-grown baby, I love to try new things and explore new places and I want to touch, poke and pull on things until I get into trouble. I like asking why? What? How? and When? and I’m constantly trying to make sense of the inexplicable.

Being like this is often frustrating and a little exhausting, but I guess its one of the reasons I love being in Ukraine. There are a million things here which I don’t understand or which I have never seen. This is engaging and as my manager once said as we walked past another burning litter bin ‘its like living in a film’.

True, and its a great analogy, but what kind of film is it? Its definitely not a romance. These flower-loving Ukrainians can be romantic but this isn’t Paris or Venice. Its definitely not a horror either – Kiev is way too safe and friendly for that. I guess I would list Ukraine in the comedy-drama section with a PG (parental guidance) rating. Its engaging and amusing, but you should be cautious where you look.

Anyway, getting back to the point, one of the most fundamental things I’ve learnt in my quest to understand Ukraine is this: don’t try to understand everything. Why? because some things in Ukraine just don’t make sense, they do not follow any conventional logic and they seem to exist to baffle. This my friends is Ukrainian Logic. 

Ukrainian Logic is not so much of an oxymoron because some Ukrainian things are logical, but specific instances of Ukrainian logic are definitely antonyms of logic.

Here’s an example

Ignoring the fact that there is a ‘wanted picture’ outside my door, in English, for the ‘Twin Peaks’ Sheriffs department (that’s just weird) consider this picture of the letter boxes inside my apartment:

Ukrainian logic

Illogical letterboxes

Assuming that you can count in a logical sequence, you’ll see the problem. What happened to the numbers? Don’t try to understand. Just accept that following Ukrainian Logic, 105 come before 104.

But what about the mystery door with no number? I guess we will never know. So lets look at 103. It has bold letters, so it must be important. I’ll go and ring the doorbell…

Where's the door?

Ukrainian logic. Where's the door?

…hold on, wait a minute, where’s the door?

Ukrainian logic exhibit 2

Ukrainian logic exhibit 2: Where's the door

Eh?

Ladies and gentlemen. Please come to Ukraine and enjoy it. You’ll love it, but you may never understand it.

     

About the author

Ian Bearder

Ian has been living in Kyiv on-and-off since 2009 and he launched Kyiv.Cool in 2014 to promote the lighter side of life in Ukraine's crazy capital. He doesn't just love Kyiv - he feels genuinely sorry for people who don't live here.
If he's not out on his bike, he's normally wandering in Podil or exploring some forgotten corner of the city.