My blog is mostly technical, but time-to-time I write about the life. I write this post to support people who fight for the future of my country.
Currently I live in Europe, Austria. I’ve been living here for almost 2 years and have some idea about life here. My daughter was born here. I’m happy about the life conditions. What I miss are my family, my friends and my Ukraine, place where I can truly feel at home.
Let me share few of my experiences when comparing to Ukraine.
In the time when I was in Ukraine I used to work for outsourcing IT-company. I had salary close to 2K US dollars. I paid almost nothing in taxes. In 2011 this salary was 6+ times larger than what average Ukrainian was making. When I came to Austria I started with salary 1.6 above average. And I paid more than 40% in taxes and mandatory health insurance. It would probably make sense to live in Ukraine with my profession. Would it? Continue reading to figure it out.
You don’t get wealthy life with ~50K Euro salary, especially when almost half of that is immediately taken from you and when you also have to pay rent.
Instead what you get is FAIR life.
All your taxes go somewhere. For real. You can even know exact proportions from your salary spent on each of budget areas. It is virtually impossible to find roads as bad as in Ukraine here in Austria. Even the most rural village somewhere in the middle of Alps has perfect roads.
Transport is 10x times more expensive than in Ukraine, but quality is not comparable. Clean, no crowds, comfort inside, information availability, timing, and no people yelling.
There are plenty of possibilities to spend your free time in Austria. They charge money for everything, that’s true, but your money is exact reason why those attractions are maintained in perfect conditions. My wife has blog where she posts almost every time we go somewhere.
So why is it FAIR if it is so expensive? – Because people who provide those services for you are also people and they also have families to support. This is why I see it to be fair.
Huge amount of what you make also goes into health insurance. Sometimes I feel greedy and think that I’m paying much and don’t really use anything of that, since I’m healthy. Think again when you see disabled person on the street in Ukraine. If those guys have no support from families they are simply left behind with no help.
My daughter was born here. I left not even one cent in the hospital. My insurance paid for this. For 4-5 days sum was probably close to 4K Euro. Hospital got those money, doctors got those money. At the same time my wife got great treatment & care. My daughter got all she needed or more after birth and was all the time with her mother (+ me during the day).
It is complete myth that health services in Ukraine are free of charge. It is just nonsense. I understand that people in healthcare need money and they DESERVE, but not the way it works now. I would love if Ukraine could have another mechanism for health care. When people get good services and doctors are happy about their income.
Unfortunately you need to change your attitude and pay it forward. I know for Ukrainian mentality it is difficult, but I believe it is the right way and it is the way my country is choosing right now.
It is Schengen Zone after all.
There were few times when we just went to another country (Slovakia) for evening shopping. In 2012 we visited many places in Europe. Cheap flights work great.
There are many people from different countries. And it allows you to make many interesting connections. I worked in a team with Austrian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Serbian guys.
When you have no borders you feel free! Why should Ukraine be closed country?
One of my current British colleagues says: “There should be no borders! People should live and work where they want.”
Police and few other things.
I had two big encounters with police. One in Ukraine and one in Austria. One in Austria was when I scratched rented car and had to bring police protocol to insurance company. It was Sunday. I filled-in paper with my accident info and went to police station. Policeman spoke English really well. He was happy to help, quick and efficient. I got the paper free of charge within minutes.
I’m ashamed about one in Ukraine but will tell you. When I was a student I went together with my friend and girlfriend (wife now) to Kharkiv. We were making pictures everywhere. My wife noticed interesting advert. in Underground so she decided to make a picture of. Immediately we were caught by local police. Accordingly to them we were violating rules. They said it is forbidden to take pictures in Underground because of the threat for the country. What? They suspected few students to be terrorists? No, wrong guess. – They wanted illegal money! They took us to their local office and kept there until someone gave them money as bribe. Shame! I’m very sorry something pushing them to do such things. I don’t want that. My wife and those guys have to be happy.
Dear Ukrainian police, guys who caught as that day, this is for you. See what could be happening in Ukrainian public transport one day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXglXeONApw (At one of Vienna train/underground stations).
As of road traffic police? - Guess what? I was never stopped in Austria by them.
Crime on the streets? - Almost none.
Governmental authorities? - Efficient/also strict. Information and most of forms/etc. are available online.
If Ukraine joins “big brother”, police and authorities will get even worse, much worse. I know that those guys are also human beings and are with their nation. Governmental people are aimed to care for their country and would do so if not the way things are now in Ukraine.
So why do I want Ukraine to be part of EU?
Living in Europe is expensive. But instead you get fair life and freedom. I would feel myself absolutely free if I could have the same in my home country. If my parents could have proper compensation for their work. If my father didn’t have to go to other countries to make money. If my sisters could get what they deserve and European possibilities.
Change is needed. Also in our minds. It doesn’t happen overnight, especially in country that had been for so long under influence and pressure of another country that always wanted to dominate. But I believe in Ukraine. I believe in my brothers and sisters.
We start with ourselves. People who protest in Ukraine made their mind about the way to take. It is already first step. Many more to follow. But over time people will get happier and more enthusiastic about their future.
Not only words…
I also went to local Vienna #Euromaidan with my baby (see pram wrapped in flag) and wife.
Ah! Almost forgot: There are no more gays in Austria than in Ukraine. Don’t worry ;)