Ukrainians and Their Personal Bubble

Coming from the country where personal space is non-existent, I learned how to live in a 1-bedroom apartment with my mom and grandma. I took it up a notch in college, where I shared a studio apartment with 3 other girls (that's a whole lot of hair, mind you). After moving to the capital, I had to share a tiny 1 bedroom apartment with a married couple (no worries, I had my own tiny room while they were occupying the living room). All in all: do not talk to me about how great you are at conflict resolution 'cause I can tell you right now you ain't seen nothing yet. 

Living with zero freedom of movement and actions can be tough. I was saving myself by taking long walks around my apartment buildings, by reading a ton, and training my body to think that I am alone. The worst part of it all - not a lot of people understood my hunger for personal space

I worked out a few little tricks when I had to deal with people breathing down my neck (literally). When you have to stand in line for something - Ukrainians are usually so close to you, you can smell what they had for lunch a few hours ago. Might also be because of the poor dental hygiene but hey, that would be a whole other post. So, here are a few tricks if you find yourself in a culture that is frivolous with their personal bubble: 

1. Wear a backpack. This will make the person behind you to be at least one step apart. The tiny problem with this hack is that you might get your stuff stolen from your backpack.. but hey, at least you can breathe and feel free!

2. Talking loudly on the phone will not do the trick - not in Eastern Europe at least. So, you can either make yourself cough (painful, I know) or you can pretend you are a metronome and shift your weight front to back, thus clearing a bit of a space for yourself.  

3. You can take a step to the side and break the line yet still save your spot. Be mature about it. I rarely was. 

I moved to the States and everything changed. I have the space I need for just simply staying sane. I cherish my bubble. My husband suggested we look into a Tiny House movement. Guess what I said to that? 
 
*I wrote this a few months ago for one of the bigger blogs out there. The admins decided to go with something different that time but I still wanted to share this quick read with the world. Hope you enjoyed it!* 

t-shit: Passive Juice Motel

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