Guide to wartime Kyiv: City on the frontlines of European history

A fledgling wartime tourism sector is gradually emerging in and around the Ukrainian capital. Many visitors travel out to the Kyiv suburbs to witness the scenes of Russian war crimes and pay their respects to the victims. The city itself has several open air exhibitions featuring a range of captured Russian tanks and other weapons of war on display.

While these sights are all worth seeing, the real value of a visit to Kyiv comes from observing European history taking shape in real time. The war currently raging in Eastern Europe is likely to mark the final chapter in three hundred years of Russian imperial domination over Ukraine and confirm the country’s emergence as a genuinely independent European democracy. Given Ukraine’s status as the largest nation wholly located in Europe, this has profound implications for the entire continent.

Yes, where do they all come from … ?

I read this quote online the other night during a Bun shift and I started dreaming, er, thinking. I have seen these words many years ago but it was good reading them again now. “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

I know I need to grow up. Well, a bit. I have been needing to do this for a long long time. The war was indeed a wake up all. Actually, more like a freezing cold shower. Nothing like a shock to the system and a loss of innocence for the “growing up” vibe to kick in. And then, I sit and play for a bit with the Bunster this morning and go “Nah. Maybe some other time.”

Here is something I put in a blog post from a while ago. Some dialogue from a film where a man and a woman are talking. He is showing her a picture of his two kids from a photo in his wallet. And she says to him, “Are your kids special?” He answers her with passion, “They are very very special.” She looks at him and goes, “Everyone’s kids are special. So how come with all these special kids in the world we have so many ordinary adults.” Very good question.

The thing about the Bunster is that if is not climbing a giant strawberry he is playing with a ball. A simple round, inexpensive, non-digital object, and the Bun man is excited. He is pure innocent passion. He gets so excited when you whip out a ball. When you are all grown up this kind of excitement is rare. The Bun man inspires me. I know he is just a toddler but I want to be more like him. He laughs with his entire being. He is fascinated by everything and he is constantly amazed. The sun fascinates him. I hope he stays like this, even into his 50s.

Software has no sense of humour

Now this is a bit of a creepy story. I was writing a post here on my personal blog which is hosted by WordPress, and I have had this short story in my drafts folder for over four weeks, just percolating. The day after I started this draft I got an auto-mailer message from WordPress to say that the image in the blog had been removed because I violated their community service rules. This is the same meme that got me deleted off of FB. The thing is, this was not on my blog, it was in my drafts. It had not been published. This is pretty much like eavesdropping.

I have many notes/ideas in my drafts that are private and have not been published, and some may never see the light of day. But these are my private ideas. I was still thinking about whether to post that trouble making meme, but WordPress beat me to it. I get the hint. Their AI bot did not like it. Software has no sense of humour, clearly. But this listening in on my drafts is not nice. I wrote to WordPress support saying that they were not cool for doing this but got no response. They normally do respond when you ask for support/help but in this case I got zilch back. The world is on edge. That is my take on this. A bit of stretch yes, but I reckon I am on the money.

They say no good deed goes unpunished. On IG I used to try post a joke a day, for about past 6 years. I reckon I made a few people laugh. Sometimes the jokes would not work, but that is humour for you. You can’t get it right all of the time. Well, this meme below got me deleted. No 3 strikes and you’re out. Just like that, gone. I can’t say I have missed FB much, and it has freed up some time. Sorry to those few guys out there that miss the daily jokes. I will try and post a few jokes on my blog here every once in a while.

Here is the trouble making meme. I put that red/yellow thing over the part that caused the AI bot to go into full Robocop mode. Take a guess as to what was covered up here? Whatever it was, it was deemed inappropriate. This clearly was a joke, but again, software is not known as a replacement for comedy.

A friend was telling me about being blocked by Google. Being blocked by Facebook is one thing, but if Google blocked me now that would not be good. We all have to be a bit careful I guess. These are times of an an abundance of egg shells.

Here are a couple of memes I would have posted on IG. I have a cool group of funny mates, and we all send each other jokes. Laughter is the best medicine after all, as it said on my IG profile.

And here is one last one today. I hope this one doesn’t get me deleted off WordPress. It could be construed as inappropriate. I am sure this one would offend the US Supreme Court. The world is definitely on edge.

Putin’s entire Ukraine invasion hinges on the coming Battle of Kherson

“A Ukrainian victory would have huge psychological and practical implications for both sides. It would demonstrate to international audiences that the Ukrainian military is more than capable of forcing Russia to retreat from well-established defensive positions and convince Ukraine’s partners to continue providing military and financial support. Meanwhile, defeat in Kherson would be personally humiliating for Vladimir Putin and would spark further demoralization within the ranks of his depleted invasion force.”


Being a waiter feels like a life time ago. If I remember correctly, I started waitering when I was in second year of university and it lasted right until the start of Internet Solutions (IS). I also used to work in the flea market on weekends and about a year before IS there was a programming gig called Prancer Technologies. I had a lot of fun being a waiter and met some cool people. The thing about a restaurant shift is when it is over you can switch off and rest your feet and your head. Not the same when you get into the world of corporate work.

Being a waiter is humbling and this Anthony Bourdain quote that Dimitri from PYGIO sent me resonates in a big way. Waitering teaches you many life lessons which help you when managing corporate expectations. Always write everything down and make sure you got it all down correctly. Looking after people is fundamental in any service business, be it in a restaurant or in customized software development.

“To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.”