Magazine article New Internationalist

Life after Communism; FROM THIS MONTH'S EDITOR

Magazine article New Internationalist

Life after Communism; FROM THIS MONTH'S EDITOR

Article excerpt

USUALLY editorial trips are rather solitary affairs. The autumn darkness in the former Soviet Union promised more of the same. But this time I was travelling with NI designer Andrew Kokotka. It was good to have someone to bounce ideas and impressions off. But it was often more than just Andy. In Kiev we stayed with Andy's relatives who smothered us in hospitality. They, like most Ukrainians, are under the impression that if you let foreigners wander around on their own no good will come of it. So Andy's second cousin Vitali was assigned to keep us out of trouble. He ushered us around making sure we were on time and didn't step in front of oncoming traffic. He kept us alert to the most unlikely dangers - including slamming the door on our train compartment once while pronouncing 'drunk girls very dangerous'.

When we showed up for interviews there were often four or five of us (a translator, another cousin). …

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