Ilya Varlamov: Living in Kyiv

1538737_288870204615274_144237627_nBy Ilya Varlamov
Translated by and edited by Voices of Ukraine

The coolest thing about Kyiv is the way its people treat their city. In Kyiv, people do perceive the city as their own. It is hard to describe, but you can tell it from the details. Think of Moscow: most of the residents do not care for their city (for many, it’s just a drive-by visit). Yes, Moscow is cleaner than Kyiv, because its cleaning charges are ten times higher. However, the Muscovites do not love their city, on a large scale, while the people of Kyiv do. Moscow seeks to be a sparkling clean A1 business center after a good renovation, with a strait-laced security guard and a plastic girl at the reception desk, while Kyiv looks more like a cozy apartment. Well, you may see children’s drawings on the walls, and plaster may be falling off here and there, and it’s been a long time since the last renovation – but in general you get the impression that this house has good hosts. And it’s no mere comparison. I think this is why many people love to come to Kyiv. Unlike Moscow, Kyiv is a very heartwarming city. It’s true that you may see cars parked on the sidewalks here, but no one would park their car right at the bus stop. It’s true that there’s a lot of advertising, but illegal bumpf is almost absent. In Kyiv, some scribbled dirty fence can coexist with a squeaky clean and pretty bus stop. Unlike a Muscovite, a Kyivan would not foul his own nest.

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