She was smoking a cigarette with a middle-aged red-haired woman outside the Mall of Dubai. They were speaking Russian and I figured that she was probably from Central Asia and her friend from Russia. The next day, as I passed the mall again, she popped out for another cigarette break and I walked over to find out where she was from. She said she grew up in Kyrgyzstan and worked in Afghanistan before coming to Dubai. ”Afghanistan??,” I asked in disbelief.
As I strolled near the outdoor food market in Mogilev-Podolsky, a small, west Ukrainian town, I passed 14 year-old Andrei, a high school student wearing a winter hat with the Ukraine coat of arms on it. I wasn’t too surprised to see someone wearing such a hat in this town considering there were Ukrainian flags all around town. Nonetheless, I wanted to ask Andrei why he chose to wear it.