So this morning (Friday) I went down to floor -1 (Yes, that is negative one), for my daily breakfast. This was my third day in L’viv and my third breakfast at the famous -1 restaurant. This morning was like every other morning, I wake up and hop on the computer to read some news and chat with a few people before everyone on the US side heads to bed. This morning however I got a little carried away and lost track of time. So I didn’t begin my breakfast adventure until 9:30 AM (breakfast ends at 10).

Turns out the difference between 8:30 AM (the time I went to eat on Weds/Thurs) and 9:30 AM is huge. It went from me being the only one eating to the place fairly busy. Now by busy I mean all 6 tables have people sitting at them.

Anyhow, as I walk in the gentlemen at the door stairs at me, I say 510, and he moves aside (I’m in room 510, so apparently stating a room number is the password). I grab a plate and pick up my usual items at the miniature buffet; two slices of bread, pancakes stuffed with a whipped cream cheese, Chicken (yeah it’s odd but tastes good), some sort of cake with custard filling, a cup of Japanese tea (green tea of course), and a cup of freshly made ice warm OJ.

After the plate is full I pick an open table (the last open table), sit down and begin my meal. About 20% of the way into my meal two women come by and put their purses on the chairs at MY table, and then proceed to the buffet. So I’m thinking, perhaps they’re blind and don’t that I’m sitting there eating. Regardless of whether they see me, they return with their food (they picked the weird stuff that I refuse to touch) and sit down.

Now this is awkward because I have no idea who these people are. They didn’t ask to join my table, they just joined. Now if I were in a cafeteria I would assume this is normal since it would be one long table that everyone sits at. But no, this is a standard square table for 4 and they’re joining me. After a few moments of silence I say “English” one woman shakes her head the other says “No, I don’t know English.” So the first one has no idea, the second clearly speaks English but chooses not to.

So I continue eating my breakfast, much faster than normal because I’ve been rudely interrupted, and make a mental note to ensure I eat much earlier from here on out.

Lesson Learned: There is no such thing as “my space” in Ukraine. It would appear as though people are a little too nice or perhaps too rude depending on how you think about it.


#1 kristine on 01.20.08 at 5:53 pm

Hi Matt!

Well, sounds like you’re having an interesting time! I love how the woman replied in English that she doesn’t speak English – haha! Maybe that’s the only sentence she knows???

#2 bigbadbob0 on 01.21.08 at 6:36 pm

You gotta be like: privit chuviha! (hi dude (female)).

#3 bobvanzant on 01.21.08 at 8:59 pm

I think if you start wearing a skirt to breakfast, nobody will be joining you. Try it during this busy time again, I am pretty confident, the ladies will choose another table.


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