Ukrainian Gentlemen

We were passing by downtown Lviv yesterday night heading home when we decided to stop for a while and take a few still pictures of the city at night.

Wednesday evening, not many people are out on the streets. Some young kids are hanging out outside a cafe, a man is playing his guitar and singing on the sidewalk, a few dogs are roaming the wet streets, and some people are just sitting on the benches, enjoying the quietness of the night.

I was kneeling on the ground, very focused on leveling my tripod and fixing my frame when I hear a voice next to me. I look up and a young guy is standing handing me a rose. In Lebanon, if you’re on the streets at night and a man hands you a flower, then he’s trying to sell it to you! So my first reaction was to tell the guy Ni, dyakuyu (no, thank you). I then hear Olia and Petro shouting at me: he’s offering you a flower! take it!

To the Ukrainian guy in the orange sweater who was walking by the center of Lviv yesterday night: thank you for the rose.

In other news, Petro and I were filming some pick up shots today on the street, when we were approached by an old man. He started talking to me, and my usual “ya ne rosumiyo” (I don’t understand) didn’t work out, so Petro came to the rescue. As our man heard we were looking for “interesting basements” to film, he made it his duty to take us to several basements and staircases in his neighborhoods, stand with us under the pouring rain without an umbrella, take us to his home and offer us tea. He was even going to the store to buy cake because “he didn’t have anything good enough to offer us” if we would have let him. He especially liked the fact that I am the same age as his daughter, and before we left, he gave me a little teddy bear as a souvenir.  He  told me “this is to remind you Ukraine. It is true that there are some people who might be aggressive with strangers, but they are not true Ukrainians. Ukrainians are good people”. Proche Pana, thank you for your hospitality.

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2 Responses to Ukrainian Gentlemen

  1. Maïa says:

    Hi….very nice sharing stories and very nice experience. Keep up the good work. Kisses. And try to be nicer to Ukrainian men!!! Sarah!!

  2. Krzysiek says:

    Hi. As you probably know, Paweł Smoleński wrote a passionate article about your project in the main Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, with highest circulation in Poland.

    Congratulations for both of you!! Your idea is fantastic and morally 100% righteous. Me myself I also have a brain occupied in some “stories”. I have Jewish roots, but visiting many Arab countries (unfortunately not Lebanon yet – hope in future I’ll be able to visit it) and having nice, friendly contacts with Arab fellows at work and not at work. Just go on with this idea – the world is still in desperate need of such people like you!


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