How to break a Lada, and how to fix it

Driving an old Lada means putting yourself in interesting situations now and then. One thing that realistically could happen is that you simply drop the whole exhaust system in the centre of Kiev in rush hours, it just recently happened to us… It doesn’t necessarily need to be a huge problem though, not if you like Gustav has a habit to carry around a string in your backpack with which you can tie up the exhaust system and loudly drive to the nearest “Avtoremont” (auto service). Here you can meet with great guys like in our case, Stas, who can estimate the price of reparation from just a push up under the car.  100 UAH, or about 12 dollar and your Lada is both silent and ready to drive for another month or so according to Stas estimations. If you ever need an Avtoremont in Kiev, just write me an email, and I will send you the number of Stas.

Getting to know Kiev

Kiev is showing itself from its bright side, weather is still summerish, people are both cheerful and helpful, it’s alive, but not harmfully stressful in the Moscow way. It’s also full of opportunities for two young Swedish entrepreneurs; we are incessantly met with positive reactions on what we are up to in Ukraine, both in business and private. Frankly speaking, we feel welcomed. As far as we have understood, the thousands of Swedes who were here for the European football championship earlier this year’s also felt welcomed and according to the Ukrainians, behaved well also after losing some ball-kicking games. Actually so well that you nowadays can find a classical Swedish “Dalahäst” (Dala horse) monument together with a Swedish flag in the very center of Kiev, there to symbolize the friendship between our countries.

Speaking about Swedes in Ukraine losing something big, Ukraine has probably not seen so many Swedes since the battle in Poltava in 1709. It’s seen as the battle in which Sweden lost its status as a “big power” and it has also resulted in the Russian saying “Like the Swedes in Poltava” (Как шведы под Полтавой) which is a common expression for someone who chickens out of something. Nowadays, we are fairly underrepresented in my opinion with some 150 Swedes permanently living in Ukraine.  Yesterday we met two of them on a Fryday Kiev event – a good meeting place for professionals. It was started by the two Swedes in Kiev a couple of years ago and is now active in a growing number of cities in the CIS region.