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23 September 2007




I can't remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I have enjoyed reading... well, pretty much all of it. I have spent time in Ukraine (and obtained a three year-old devotchka last time I was there), will be living in Russia soon, and hope to be living in Baku within the year. I could tell you more, but then I would have to... um, convert you. But anyway I have enjoyed your observations as we will have so many things in common. I have been especially amused by the commentaries on devushkas, although I have seen several innocent young girls go through the transformation to devushkas (along with all the life choices that the stereotype seems to go with) over the years and it does sadden me too.

One question that I would be curious to get your take on is about the transformation from devushka to babushka. What I can't understand is the lack of transitional states. It seems as if devushkas enter a cocoon at some point in time and come out a babushka. Actually, that is not quite true. I have seen many of the 50ish heavyset women with unnatural hair colors, who aren't quite ready for the headscarf, but even still I don't see the transition between devushka and almost-babushka. What are your thoughts?


Well Marc, I'm glad you asked that question. As it happens, I have a lot of thoughts on this issue. They are as follows:

First, those Ukie gals have some serious genetic chickens coming home to roost. You can't grow up on diets of salo and potatoes, wear those clothes and carry that figure for more than 20 or so years. There is some justice, and it hits back hard. At about age 40.

Second, Once a devushka achieves her goal (capture of male caretaker) she pops out a kid and things start to slide, as it were. Unless she caught an oligarch or a foreigner, plastic surgery and expensive beauty treatments are out of reach. If she did score an oligarch, she will go to great expense to maintain the look, knowing full well her position is very unstable.

Congratulations on your three year old devushka, I think. I'm guessing you meant daughter, right? Regardless, Congrats.


gah, carpetblogger, you're making enidd homesick.
well, almost.
no, you're right, not really at all. but it would have been good to meet for a beer and swap devushka spottings.


Get on a plane! There's still time to meet me and LMM Thursday night. Hurry! We'll order your beers in advance.


Yes, I meant a daughter. My wife and I adopted her from Donetsk, with our malchiki along for the ride.

And in regards to your latest post, our favorite restaurant in Kyiv was Puzata Khata. It isn't going to be winning any awards for quality of food or service, but it was cheap, quick, and had a children's room where the kids could zone out and watch inexplicable Russian cartoons rather than the R-rated music videos in every other restaurant.


Carpetblogger, I am working on a similar post for my blog. While doing some searching, came across your site. Regarding fashion and the comments above, the same is definitely true here in Armenia! Thanks for the laughs.


Wow, I haven't heard such crap for a very long time. Let me just ask you... are you a racist? It just appears so. Even though I am originally from Ukraine, I've been living for more than 10 years in London (UK) and let me tell you, if you think fashion in Ukraine is ugly, you are more then welcome to have a look on London's one. Ugly? - Much more than that... Though sorry, guess you just might like it, I'm sure we have different tastes.
Kind Regards

Account Deleted

Ukrainian women care very much about their appearance as many feel it is their only major asset in a country where it is difficult to succeed on brains alone. http://bit.ly/fepVKr

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