Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Neeka's story of the inter-connections of Soviet-Post Soviet-Ukrainian business circles

Neeka's Backlog

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Океан Ельзи new CD

The Ukrainian music group, “Океан Ельзи” has a new CD out. It is receiving a big marketing push with street posters and heavy in-store promotion. It is good to see that Ukrainian popular music is actually being marketed and supported. The legal music industry is small and most music is sold via privated CDs. The recent changes in Ukrainian intellectual property laws and more direct enforcement of those laws should also promote popular music in Ukraine. Oh, the Океан Ельзи CD, “Gloria”, is good and the deserves the support.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The old Nika Store

The Kyiv Post had a article on Falk Nebiger last week. He mentioned the “Nika” store and it brought back memories of the shopping wonders of Kyiv in 1992-1993. The Nika store was one of the few “hard currency” stores in the city at the time. It featured imported food products at very inflated prices. If you stayed in the store long enough, you would see every foreigner living in Kyiv at the time. It is difficult to imagine how wondrous the food selection was. It had a certain museum quality to it, frozen strawberries, wow. The customer service was terrible but it was the only store of its kind in the center in the city. It was small and dark. It did have an attached small beer hall next door that featured good German beer for $2 a glass.

Just up the street from the Nika Store was the Swiss Café, the most western looking café in the city. In late 1992, the US Embassy suggested that Americans stay away from the Swiss Café because an embassy staff member had been drugged and robbed. The warning did not really have any effect.

Friday, September 16, 2005

No change in rail ticket prices in spite of large losses

firsthand / Articles
So Ukrainians prefer to have low-cost train travel that is sub-standard than a more expensive, better managed system. The quality of services on trains have improved but Ukrainian trains are still uncomfortable. What is not directly stated in the newsclip is that the central government is subsidizing the railroad's financial losses and yet has no ability to improve the standard of service.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Summer of Lavash

The food item of the summer has been Lavash, the Armenia-Georgian bread. I saw it back in my old Cherkassy days, in 1993. Then it was sold on the street by an Armenian family. It was the highlight of the Cherkassy food scene. Lavash is now available in most Kyiv’s supermarkets, both the thick version and the very thin, soft version. It has hit the main stream, McDonalds is now featuring a “McLavash” sandwich, and a “Chicken McLavash”.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Credit History Steps Into Future

Credit History Steps Into Future
This is a big step in Russia to build a consumer credit marketplace. Banks need to have reliable credit information to make consumer credit loans at reasonable rates of interest.