Brit Empire

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Brit Empire

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The Fall of the British Empire 1/3

Appearances in Crimea, Ukraine

Crimea is a peninsular located in the south of Ukraine in Eastern Europe. It is surrounded by the Black sea, it has a mountainous spectacular coastline, and a fascinating and colourful history. It was the main tourist resort for the entire Soviet union, and finally it is being discovered by Western tourists.

A Brit, I have lived in Crimea for 5 years now, but to this day I am often taken aback by what I see. It is an intriguing place to be, and I feel very lucky to be able to live here.

If you come to Ukraine and only see the cities, you could leave with the impression that people are financially doing quite well. But this is a product of the fact that all the wealth is concentrated in the cities, and that many people here spend a great deal of their money on looking good, and spend what money is left on the everyday things.

Practically all Crimean people care about, and put a lot of time into their appearance. You can spot a foreigner a mile off here as he's much more casually dressed. Men here wear spotlessly clean shoes, dress trousers and shirts, and the women are ordained in impossibly chic outfits of high heeled boots, sleek skirt/top combinations and sophisticated hairstyles and - and this is all at 10 O'clock on a Monday morning at the market!

Crimeans' need to look good has its pluses and minuses. On the one hand, people here look really beautiful and elegant; very different to the more casual look prevalent on the streets in my home country England. The downside though, is that people have a tendency to make stronger judgements against you based on your appearance. Looking good is not a voluntary pastime, but an obligatory code. If your clothes look at all worn or unsophisticated, it will be assumed that you are wearing then due to lack of money, as apposed to your inherent different scale of values regarding one's appearance.

People strive to look good for others in the West too of-course, but in Britain at least, this generally manifests itself on a higher financial level. We want to have a beautiful house, and we want to show it. In Ukraine, this is brought about at a somewhat lower level. The locals, for instance. endeavor to purchase upmarket imported beer, and to show it. In Ukraine, it seems to me that the best way to make money from its inhabitants is to make your product more expensive than the competitor's. The more expensive it is, the more prestigious it is, and the more people will strive to buy it.

If you want to see a show entitled 'Crimean appearances', then come to Crimea, find a nice spot on a city street such as Puwkin in the capital city Simferopol, or Naberejnaya in the historical navy city Sevastopol, grab the cheapest beer you can find (it will be no different to the 'upmarket' beers!), and watch and enjoy as the spectacle unfolds before your eyes.I am from Britain, but have lived in Crimea for 5 years. My knowledge of culture and affairs is invaluable to anyone wishing to visit Crimea.
I am the owner of AccessCrimea, The leading tour operator in Crimea, Southern Ukraine, at

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