Our Kiev trip as wonderful and while there are many things to share, I am going to quickly update with something I have been pondering since getting back yesterday.
One thing I discovered while in Kiev: there are a ton of McDonald’s!! If ever there were a “most successful” company it would be fighting for the top next to Coca Cola..I’m convinced. Side note: Coke is super cheap here! You can get a half liter bottle for just over $.50.. crazy.
|One of the many we saw..|
We went to another favorite eating place: Puzata Hata! Thanks to the wonderful advice from Ollie, we thoroughly enjoyed this authentic Ukrainian cafe multiple times during our few days in Kiev.
|Inside Puzata Hata!|
One thing I have been thrown off by while in Ukraine is that many places play American music in their stores and restaurants. I cannot even tell you how many times I have been in a market or mall or small side store and discovered I not only recognized the tune, but also the words coming through the speakers. They love our music. Many times, they pep it up a bit and turn it into something you can dance to! It’s hilarious to me. It seems the more authentically Ukrainian the place, the more I come to expect that they will be playing popular American music (or at least not be surprised by hearing it).
Puzata Hata had flat screen tv’s with music videos going of American music, even. But when I think about it, it makes sense. America is fantasized in the minds of Ukrainians. So these Ukrainian places are essentially sending the message to their people: “Look at us, we are as good as America and American places. Come shop at our market! Come eat at our restaurant!”
On the contrary, McDonald’s was one of the only places that I noticed in Kiev playing Ukrainian music. They also had flat screen tv’s with music videos playing – but Ukrainian music and artist. See, McDonald’s was playing the opposite card of the authentic Ukrainian cafe, they were saying: “Look at us, we are just like YOU! Come eat with us as we relate to you!” Brilliant!
Let me tell you, McDonald’s is BOOMING in Kiev. I truly believe this is an incredibly basic Christian principle, but also one of the most overlooked principle. Relating. Once we become Christians and get into the rhythm of “being a Christian” and going to church and surrounding ourselves with that “look” we typically end up looking like that authentically Ukrainian cafe. We may appear to be like others, but we are so busy trying to cover up our insecurities and shortcomings and “be” a good Christian person that we are screaming: “Look at us, we are as good as Christians! We are perfect and cleansed! Come to our church! Come be like us!”
What our world needs is for us to be more like McDonald’s (seriously..I think that’s the only time you’ll ever read that sentence and I’m almost positive it is the one and only time I will ever type it out). But think about it: if we simply stood with Christ, being the new creation that Christ has created us to be and truly claimed that life, then we would be free to be the ones saying: “Look at us, we are just like YOU! We have insecurities and we have shortcomings! Come eat (or sit or shop or worship or sip coffee) with us as we relate to you!”