Friday, July 8, 2016

Is Ukraine actually an inland sea?

I sat down at our computer today and noticed that my slippers splashed in what seemed like a puddle of water.

"That's weird," I thought to myself. "It hasn't rained in days...And I'm inside, for that matter!" By the time I looked down at my feet I noticed a seahorse floating past my ankle. I rushed to look outside only to see our dog, Toma, crouched pathetically on the roof of her dog house, looking at the rising tide around her. Our cats balanced precariously on some flotsam while Yulia swam by doing a backstroke. 

"What's going on??" I thought. "What happened to our house and our beautiful garden? Why is our village's church steeple just barely poking out from the water? Why has every bus stop, restaurant, electronics store, and school in all of Ukraine been covered by water??" 

I dog paddled out to Yulia, and we found our laptop floating by on an overturned dresser. The internet still worked for some reason, so we went to YouTube and decided to watch a video from Vox Media about Brexit. As we were watching, we learned why our beloved country had been flooded. According to Vox, Ukraine is not part of the EU. Nor is it a land-based country at all. It is part of a vast inland sea, which borders Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Belarus, and Moldova! 

"Ohhh. That's why no one cares about the hopeful pro-democratic revolution we had or about all the horrible things that have happened as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. Our country's been underwater the whole time!" 

So Yulia and I rounded up our two cats and dog, made a makeshift raft from the broken pieces of our homestead, packed a few apples which had bobbed up from our decimated orchard, and sailed through the Bosphorus Strait, across the Mediterranean, past the Pillars of Hercules, and off in search of a land where people might actually notice if they've erased our entire culture out of existence!

PS - Since we watched the video, Vox has decided to put Ukraine back on the map of Europe. Our timely screenshot is our only physical proof of the flood.

Yulia and I are thankful to have our home back--although it's still a little waterlogged!

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In all seriousness, when as many major geopolitical events have happened in a country as have happened in Ukraine (Ukrainians dying while waving the flag of the EU, the forceful annexation of a sovereign country's territory, a civilian airliner being shot down by a Russian surface to air missile on Ukrainian territory, war between two European countries), it speaks volumes when a big media company like Vox elides the entire country on a map during a video about the EU and geopolitics. It's no wonder why so many institutions--political, economic, military, academic--are in disarray.

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