Living in the City vs. the Countryside - Ukrainian experience

If you come to a peaceful village from a noisy city, you might be wondering about the absence of big shops, crowds of people and everyday stress :) Even the tempo of life becomes slower. Generally, people tend to be more plain and peaceful in the country, but at the same time poor Ukrainian villagers have to wake up early and work hard to survive. As for me, I definitely prefer living in the city.

First, I'd like to say that I enjoy fast rhythm, diversity, and comfort of the city life. I care little about crowds, crimes or pollution. I only know that I have a good job and there are many ways to spend my free time: cafes, theatres and a lot more. In various shopping centres I can buy whatever I want. I wouldn't have serious choice for shopping in the Ukrainian village, unless I was a fan of bazaars. Besides, I have the education to work in a city, not a village. If I had to work for a village farm, for example, it would be like using a calculator as a hammer.

However, people often think about the countryside without the experience of living there.
To illustrate my personal experience I would like to tell about my granny’s place. She lived in the Southern Nikolayev region that is a real Ukrainian countryside. When I was a child, I stayed for a month there every year. Just imagine: dry Ukrainian steppe and white village houses…No irritating noise and the air is full of bitter smells of wild grass... When I grew older, I understood it wasn’t the paradise; there were serious economical problems, too. For example, I am wondering, if any girl would be happy with presents I could buy for her in a local village shop for my miserable village salary. It is possible, only if she is from the same village :)

After all, I could use a famous saying "Grass is always greener on the other side". People who live in the village might long to live in the city and those in the city may long for the peace and quiet of a village life. I know that city life means certain stress. It is so depending on the schedule that you can never escape waking up because of the morning alarm or spending time in a crowd, while running to work. But after all your troubles you are awarded a thousand more opportunities than in the countryside and that is why I prefer living in a city.

Wow Yuri,
Insightful post. In Canada I live in the country in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Fresh air, lush and green, wide open spaces...and probably like Ukraine we have cold winters. Where I live the weather is mild enough to grow fruit in the summer season like peaches,pears,apples,cherries,etc. Because our economy is strong in Canada I am able to live in a small town, work from home as well as for a local agency. I am just over an hour to a larger centre Cranbrook and 10 km from the USA border. The country living gives us access to motorbiking, horse back riding, etc. for recreation. I visit the big city like Calgary, Vancouver, Salt Lake City often on business..then I get my city fix...so it is the country for me.
Jo-Anne

Maybe if you are the calculator you say you are, you could organise your life, to enable you to live in the village and enjoy all a village has to offer but earn a salary at city rates. I live in a small Crimean village, I teach English for 15gvn an hour, about £1.00 an hour at U.K. rates. I currently work 10 hours a week, it pays all our utility bills for us.
We grow all our own food and raise all our own meat. We picnic by the lake or the sea when we feel like it, and I still manage to use the internet to trade in antique and collectible items from around the world.

I also use the internet to run a small business back in the U.K. and I have some money deposited in a bank here in Ukraine which pays for a holiday abroad once a year.
I did not arrive here with a large bank account, in fact the opposite, I settled in Ukraine in the village 6 years ago with a $1000 to my name and have built that up into what I have today. Anybody could have done the same, but I slept in the garage of my 1st house and washed in a bucket, but refurbished and repaired the house and garden and sold at a profit, 3 more houses and I bought the house I now live in.. You get the idea.

What does:"Maybe if you are the calculator you say you are" mean and to whom was it directed? It sounds like an insult but I am not sure. Please clarify.

Friendly Canadian wrote:

What does:"Maybe if you are the calculator you say you are" mean and to whom was it directed?

That was probably addressed to descon suggesting to make a better use of calculator and not to rely heavily on emotions.

Well, I don't pretend to be a calculator :) This post is rather an expression of my opinion, quite a realistic one by the way: most people would have difficulties with living in a Ukrainian countryside.
watchthatman, perhaps you are quite a telented person to have achieved some success, while living in a Ukrainian village, but don't forget that you have a certain basis in the U.K. and the ability to teach others being a real native speaker. However, let's assume you only teach and don't rely on your U.K. business. Even with your skills your rate for teaching won't give you the following things:
- own apartment in a big city;
- money to travel to other countries:
- money for personal expenses: helping raltives, who might need money for living, also buying gifts, visiting cafes etc.
However, you could afford much more, if you lived in a big city, especially Kiev. So, you might enjoy your way of life, but it is not a good option for everyone, I think.

Friendly Canadian wrote:

Wow Yuri,
Insightful post. In Canada I live in the country in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Fresh air, lush and green, wide open spaces...and probably like Ukraine we have cold winters. Where I live the weather is mild enough to grow fruit in the summer season like peaches,pears,apples,cherries,etc. Because our economy is strong in Canada I am able to live in a small town, work from home as well as for a local agency. I am just over an hour to a larger centre Cranbrook and 10 km from the USA border. The country living gives us access to motorbiking, horse back riding, etc. for recreation. I visit the big city like Calgary, Vancouver, Salt Lake City often on business..then I get my city fix...so it is the country for me.
Jo-Anne

Hi Jo Anne,

It's very nice to hear your story :) It is very sincere and it is clear to me that there are places in the world, where people can get away from city noise and troubles and still build a successful career.
But let's come back to Ukraine. Cities here attract people from the countryside to such extent that soon there might be empty villages in some of Ukrainian regions. Government doesn't do much to help villagers, so many of them have already left Ukraine for Italy, Spain or Portugal, where they do household work.
Still, Kiev is a very dynamic city - you can never see anywhere else as many Lexus or Porsche Cayenne cars, as in Kiev. Perhaps, only Moscow is much richer, but that's another country anyway.
So, not only living, but also doing business in the city is much more profitable than in the Ukrainian countryside, but one day some people (most likely foreign entrepreneurs :) ) might come to grow something in the Ukrainian country and there will be a hope for better future of Ukrainian villagers.

And of course the biggest disadvantage is that the internet has been down for a few days, having re-read my original post I agree it sounds churlish.

A village is not for everyone, I love it, an apartment is not for me but is for others.
I have spent the afternoon planting garlic, and could think of nothing I would rather be doing on a lovely mild sunny day, than working in my garden..

I admit I am 50 years old and have probably most other things, now for me the quiet life beckons.
Sorry if I gave offence, I just wanted people to know that there can be more to villages and village people than you outlined in your first post

i argee,

i work with my laptop, mobile's, pen and paper, thee, lemonade and cake on the table under a parasol. 20 meter from me Sibirian and Sibiria my two children are playing in the sea with a huge massive watermelon. With a watermelon like that they are everybody’s friend. If I can stop for 5 minutes I walk to them and play two minutes and go back to work.
In a small village are the same possibilities. If I have a meeting I just dress up and do my work and cone back.

So yes I agree definitely

Ciao, I lived in UA for several years in 1996 and it was great!

not if you are black i think. i see so much racism here. Even my own wife and her familie. Whatever other people say al Coloured people here have something like they must be quit. This is what i feel. Yes naturlly not all but the most

Hi Renatolp,

How was your living in Ukraine back in 1996? In which part of the country did you live and is your life in Italy now better than than in Ukraine? I am asking, because a lot of things have changed and it would be nice to learn about your impressions.

Best regards,
Yuriy

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