Alright. Before I begin, I just want to give you fair warning: this post is serious. While the previous Ukraine blogs have been funny (or maybe not, maybe I actually have no comedic skills and no one thought my puns and lines were as funny as I did...) I want to make a point with this post and its a fairly serious topic. Ok, ready? I did warn you. Let's go.
One of the sharpest shocks was that the mafia is in every organization, including law enforcement. Especially law enforcement. Drivers can be pulled over for anything (or rather, nothing), or even for violating a sign that is illegally positioned. Ok, fine, enforce driving laws, sure that sounds great. But most policemen give the people the option to bribe them immediately, instead of paying the fine. And most people do, because they think they're getting the cheaper option, when, often, if they argued their case they might be able to get off, as the offense was imaginary.
The corruption reaches even to children. Students do not earn grades, they pay for them. No joke. And it comes from the teacher. A family friend of ours recounted having to decide whether to submit to such corruption, to allow her child a chance to get the grade she deserved, or to oppose the system but cost her daughter her academic record. It's insanity. How can the society hope to improve and evolve past this primitive system when they teach even their children such manners?
Seeing veterans standing on the street begging for a penny from the people they fought for, children worried about their future because they don't want to be part of the system that is inescapable, and family members working to provide for themselves but stay undetected so as not to have to share their "wealth".