Time to Visit Ukraine: The Disneyland of Eastern Europe

Map brazenly stolen from Wikipedia
(in the fine Ukrainian tradition)

Like most Americans, you’ve probably been asking yourself this question: “Isn’t it time I vacation in Ukraine?”  If so, you can’t afford to delay.  I am warning you about this because I was recently informed (this is EXTREMELY TRUE) that the name of the Ukrainian national anthem is (again, I swear this is true – look it up), “The Glory and the Will of Ukraine Have Not Yet Died.”  To be clear, Ukraine is announcing that it is dying – AND the Ukrainians are apparently quite proud of the fact, but it’s dying nonetheless.  But…, “Not Yet.”  So reserve your plane ticket pronto.

And while you’re at it, order some Ukrainian currency from your bank.  The counterpart to our dollar is the Ukrainian “hryvnia.”  (This is pronounced “hryvnia.”)  The current exchange rate is one US dollar to 24.62 hryvnias.  So a hryvnia is worth about four cents.  Hryvnias are subdivided into 100 parts called kopiyoks.  (The simple mathematical calculation to determine the US currency value of a single kopiyok is as follows: 1 hryvnia, divided by 100 kopiyoks, times 24. 62 = Zero. Therefore, mathematically speaking, kopiyoks have no value.) Practically speaking, Ukrainians use 50-pound bags of kopiyoks as doorstops.  In fact, a common “witty” retort in Ukraine is, “I don’t give a kopiyok.

Another reason to visit Ukraine is its rich heritage of intricate, artistic design.  This history of combining rich color with beautiful, complex designs is most prominently displayed by the dazzling intricacy of the Ukrainian national flag. Here it is –

Yet another good reason to visit (if you even need one), is that Russia has been gobbling up Ukrainian territory like a fat guy swallowing a pizza.  They’ve already grabbed an area called the “Crimea.”  (This is the peninsula sticking off the bottom part of the map.)  Ukrainians refer to the Crimea as, “The Florida of the Ukraine.”

So, start booking those Airbnb’s and reserving those tables at the hot spots in Kyiv and Poltava.  Because while “The Glory and the Will of Ukraine Have Not Yet Died,” the Russian clock is ticking.  If you want to visit Ukraine while it still has its “Glory and Will,” now’s the time to stuff a few hundred thousand hryvnias in your pocket and make your move.

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