Ukrainian (UA)English (United Kingdom)

Font Size




Menu Style


Global Volunteer Blogs

Living in Ukraine I

Daria Автор: Daria  
Теги: Без тегов 

I was so focused on my project and trying to get by day to day – I literally tried to absorb all the moments as they happened and hold tight to those. Well, I guess now is a good time to take a break and write a bit about daily life in Ukraine, beginning with a photo of the bedroom I used to share with two other volunteers  from 10th of February till the 1st of June 2014.  It’s a good introduction to living there.

I loved that apartment. It was not cheaply updated and tacky like many of the apartments that locals might opt to recommend for foreigners. It had old wallpaper, antique furniture, and a distinct soviet character. It was renovated (but the unique style remained), well-equipped and capable to become „a home for me.

One of the things I noticed immediately is that most toilets in city apartments are separated from the bathroom  – so one can take a shower without blocking use of the toilet.

Continental winter might be very cold – we all know this. What I didn’t know is that the heat subsidized in the cities makes every apartment like an oasis to come home to. It was not uncommon for me to be walking around in a tank top and shorts during the winter months when I was at home in the apartment. But here is  a list of things that could happen on any given day and for which you just have to get used to. First of all, it’s not uncommon for the hot water (or all of it) to be shut off for a moment (some hours, one day, sometimes few days). If there were any sort of renovations in the building going on, you might see a tiny little sign on the entryway saying they were going to shut off the water – or you might not and it might just go off.  Second of all, in some houses the hot water is only available from the morning (about 7-8 AM) up to 10-11 PM.

I remember one morning waking up and it was -30 C outside. I went to go take a warm shower only to find that there was no hot water. I opted to just wash my hair that day. Having the water shut off on random occasions became a normal thing that I would just shrug my shoulders at and cheer when the faucet began to spout water again. 

Other things that became a regular occurrence, aside from the water being shut off, were things regularly breaking, especially the shower. We’ve had problems with every new shower head in the apartments we rented while traveling in  Ukraine. They would either break, or there was the one time we flooded the apartment below us in Kharkiv while doing laundry because we didn’t put the draining hose in the bathtub. Turns out this is also common in Ukraine but the apartment where I lived in Donetsk  had the hose drain through the sink, so I wasn’t aware of it. Like the water, sometimes the electricity would go off spontaneously and not come back on until the end of the day. And yes, in public bathrooms most people don’t clog the toilets with toilet paper (though I never really caught on to this). In fact, some public “toilets” are just squatty potties – porcelain bowls in the floor that you squat over. This is mostly common in train stations.

Ми в соцмережах