Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Simferopol is the capital city of Crimea. Crimea is called an autonomous republic of Ukraine. It might be similar to the relationship between Puerto Rico and the U.S. We arrived at the Simferopol airport around 10pm and we were met by our host, Marina, and her so, Andre.

We had booked rooms at the Valencia hotel. I have a 2-room suite on the third floor. It's a wonderful hotel. It's very clean, a bit small, but my room is plenty big.

This is the outside of the hotel. My room is the one with the light on the top floor. My bedroom is the window on the right.

How can you not love a hotel that gives you shot glasses (for Vodka?) with the water glasses?

We met our host the next morning and headed to her school. The name of the school is Gymnasium 9. Public schools in Ukraine are numbered and are called Gymnasiums. We did the usual meeting of administrators and got a tour of the school.

We went into some classrooms during lessons and the first thing that happened whenever we entered, was that all the students stood up and said, "Good Morning" in English. ("Dobe Utra" in Russian). In the hallways between classes, the students would greet us by saying "hello." However, if you are a fan of Sienfeld, you may remember an episode where Jerry went around saying "hello" in a funny, weird way. This is how they pronounce "hello." I felt like the entire student body of Gymnasium 9 were in on the same joke.

That evening, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant, Venice. Some of the teachers met with us. I ordered something called "Saj" It's basically grilled meet with grilled vegetables. It was also enough food to feed the entire 8 people at the table AND take some home.

Prices in restaurants are about 25% of the cost in the U.S. So eating out is very inexpensive.

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