Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I completely agree! The best way for me to celebrate staying in my amazing apartment is to:


and a nice glass of:

So now... I am completely happy, clean, thrilled (as always) from Mansfield Park and relaxed from my glass of homemade Carpathian wine. 

Completely content.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Can't Stop Thinking of Food Today!


Today is a bad day.

I miss Olive Garden.


But seriously... stuffed mushrooms, garlicky breadsticks, a salad, some pasta, a glass of red wine and tiramisu??

I could definitely have a meal like that right now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


For many people, spring means something like this:

Green grass, birds chirping, flowers in bloom. However, my spring is more like:

It looks like a typhoon hit. Or maybe many typhoons. Additionally, instead of sweet birds chirping, I have cats wailing like banshees because ... they're in heat. 

HELLO SPRING! (It actually was nice to not have to wear mittens today!) 

Well If You Don't Believe Me, Then So-Viet!

Watch and enjoy!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Have Seen the Proof...

Don't worry, mom and dad... this isn't me in the bottom picture! :D

Pro's and Con's

Option 1:
Mansion. Servants, cooks, all that jazz. Only 300 hrv. Bottom floor (out of five floors...) is a dental office, second floor would  be mine. I'd have a small room with a bed, wifi, hot water, a washing machine and the possibility of getting all-expenses-paid trips around the world with the family. Cons? No oven, share the bathroom and kitchen with the dental assistants, and teach the daughter English every day and have no privacy. I would be a governess paying sort-of rent.

Option 2:
Apartment. Privacy, independence, really close to work, really friendly landlord, close to stores, has streetlights. Cons: No hot water, 700 hrv, and I must use the school computer for internet. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shcho Trappelos?

I'm not sure why, but ever since I've gotten back from Moldova, I have been absolutely horrendous at updating my blog. So not that Friday is on the horizon, I will fill you in on the main events of my week:

1) I kicked a dog in the face. It was absolutely terrible.

2) I have viewed two new places to live... and I have to decide tomorrow which one I will choose! (Upcoming: the pro's and con's of each!)

3) I perfected stove-top popcorn (I am a master!)

4) And best of all... my coworkers were stupefied as I said a speech in flawless sourjic... all by myself!

5) I had students from three schools at my German club today -- and parents. The purpose? They wanted to know who "Ms. Ashley" was, and why everyone in the city was talking about her. Currently on cloud 9!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Sentiments Exactly

Please watch and enjoy... it's my life... here in Ukraine. Please pay special attention to the reactions of the audience!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Well, it seems that I will be moving again. My landlady is nervous about me staying in her apartment after all the new visa changes. The government requires that she gives them a copy of all her deeds in order for a foreigner to stay on her property... this makes no sense, haha, but oh well. So me and my team are searching for a new apartment, but I have gotten so used to my mini-palace that I am a little worried now! I like my fairly consistent hot water, warm house and spacious bedroom/living room. Most of all, I am not ready to pack everything up. I arrived with this:

But I have accumulated a lot and now I need to pack up this: 

Not literally, but the point is that I have way more stuff now than I did two months ago... I don't know how I will pack up and move myself out and then in to a new place, haha. 

Monday, February 13, 2012


I cannot stop thinking about this video:

To my dad: Watch the whole thing!

To everyone else: Watch the whole thing! (But especially you, dad!)

My plans for after work: Make a large cup of tea, fill up the bathtub, and think about this video.


Things that happened in Chisinau

1. I took a picture of the U.S embassy. There is a giant sign that says 'DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH THIS BUILDING'.

2. I ate mamalaga, and you should too.

3. The hotel I stayed in had a flee problem

4. I went to an Ethnography museum and saw the coolest displays ever... pictures coming soon!

5. I got a 45 day extension on my visa.

I will have more to add soon, but currently I am still recuperating from 30 hours on a bus. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Today's Plans

1) Buy a phone card
2) Teach three lessons
3) Run English club for advanced students
4) Pack
5) Tutor
6) Catch a 2am train to Kiev to begin my tip to Moldova.

I realized that there is a word for when a government requires you to leave a country to get a visa... it's called DEPORTATION. I have known for several weeks now that I would be going to Moldova to change visas, but I only realized this morning that it qualifies as deportation.

Suddenly my 3am (next day) boarder crossing in to Moldova sounds much more dramatic...


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012


As I prepare myself for sleep at this late hour, I must ask one final question... one question that has been haunting me since... 6pm this evening.

I attended a variety show of sorts this evening, and it was put on by the lovely youngsters of my community. They do not speak English, yet the choose to dance to songs with English lyrics. I watched four teenagers tango to 'Lady Marmalade', and two boys dance to 'Roxanne'. However, most confusing and unexplainable was the troupe of twelve first graders who, dressed in short French Maid and which tap danced to a Jack Johnson song.

Does this make sense to anybody?

(sorry, no picture for this one, I was too stunned to snap a shot).

5 Things Every Ukrainian Home Has

1) A shoe horn.

This may seem unnecessary and even a little frivolous, but every home must have one. What did my landlady say to me this morning when I could not offer her a shoe horn? "You're American, you'll learn."

2) A jar of holy water.

The type of jar you put this water in is completely inconsequential. Vodka bottles, jars for pickles, bottles of sunflower oil... anything with a lid really. This jar comes in handy very often... like when you realize someone touched your crucifix - holy water! When you missed church (every) Sunday - holy water! When you've sinned while wearing your crucifix - holy water!

3) Salo.

Raw pork fat, sometimes flavored with garlic and/or salt. How could one refuse? (It actually is delicious!). Upon moving to Ukraine, I was given the essentials - 50 years supply of potatoes and ten pounds of raw pork fat. YUM!

4) Wallpaper

Something with a 1960's touch is preferable, and if you can find wallpaper that glitters... you're golden! 

5) I know you're waiting for potatoes, but no. Tea.

Skip the question "Tea or coffee?" and get straight to "how much sugar?". So much tea. Everywhere. Break time at work? Still in your office? Tea appears! A surprise stop-by your neighbor's house to ask a question? Tea is already waiting for you! Tea is a magical concept that warms the hearts and bellies of many a people. 

Anyone for Equality?

"The Virginia state Senate went ahead today with a bill that would require women to obtain an ultrasound prior to an abortion, after rejecting a Democratic senator's amendment that would have required men to undergo a rectal exam and cardiac stress test prior to obtaining erectile dysfunction medication."

Janet Howell, you are wonderful.

Full article here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm a Chef

I did this in the morning:

Except... it looks like this guy is doing it intentionally...

A Lesson in Science

Currently, it is -28C, which I have astoundingly become accustomed to. Next week when the oh-so-warm temperatures of -10C roll in, I will probably be sweating and complaining about the heat-wave.

For now, however, it is so cold that there is no moisture in the air. Obviously with no moisture, no snow is falling. But somehow the atmosphere still wants to give us something. So what happens?

It glitters.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Aurora


Wrapped Around My Door Handle After Work

"An accident happened a pipe purst collect more water because will disconnect water."

My neighbor is one of my fifth formers, and after coming home from work today, I found this wrapped around my door handle from her. It explains the smell outside!

Its like a strange game where 'Monopoly' and 'Life' have merged together in 4-D form.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Coolest Video Ever


And now you understand why I have essentially dedicated a blog to how cool this country is!

Dear Ukraine,
           I love you dearly.