Friday, April 3, 2009


If you Google Truskavets Spas you will get about 3000 hits. It is the Spa capital of western Ukraine apparently, noted for its wonderful water which is good for all ailments internal and external. We leave on Sunday by train for two weeks at a resort/spa/sanitorium, the name of which escapes me. I pray it has internet.

Europeans love spas but in Ukraine they are a religion. People actually belive that one's health is improved immensely by going to a spa. It was one of the perks of the former system. Companies sent employees all expenses paid. Since husbands and wives usually worked for different employers, they would go at different times to different sanitoria for two or three weeks. (Did I mention the divorce rate is 70% here?).

Now, I walk my dogs through the local cemetary and if the number of deaths between 45 and 65 years of age is any indicator of the life prolonging effects of spa going, I remain to be convinced. However...we bought bottled Truskavets water at the grocery store three days ago and after chugging half a bottle, announced myself miraculously cured of all ailments and was not considered funny.

So we are going. Of course they only take cash so I had to pull enough from my account to cover. Given the withdrawal limits, this would take three days. March 31 - Fine. April 2 - no connection between Ukraine banks and American banks. April 3 - same. Panic. Email my Customer Service Rep at Conexus Credit Union. Is your system down? No. Phone Tanya's bank. There is periodically a disconnect between American and Ukrainian banks. Just keep trying.

Email my CSR at CCU. Can you give me a contact who deals with, in this case, Maestro so I can find out why their system is not connecting across the pond? Answer: "I called our internal person who said the problem must be in Ukraine and the bankmachines may have been serviced when I was there (THREE banks?) or there was an error in communication. Now PFO."

Doh! The only box this person ever thought outside of must have been a cornflakes box. And the first time in 35 years, I wanted to move my account. But where? Credit Union service is incredibly good, their people are wonderful and helpful. Maybe this one was just having a bad day (caused by me).

The sytem was back up by midnight - we made three trips to check and finally it worked. We are so dependent on our electronic age communication systems! What will we do when they don't work for real sometime?


  1. So, you have this magic water and you never asked for my mailing address......

  2. Actually, you don't want internet at the spa. That would undo all the benefits of being at the spa.

    As for the financial issue, now you know why people keep their money in or under their mattresses (or in a floor/wall safe). You might consider doing the same, for at least a portion of your funds, given the (non)functionality of the system. That would be spa-t on! We bears understand these things. Trust me.

  3. I checked some of the websites. Looks good. Have a great time.

  4. Dana, you have to be there in person. come on in, the water's fine.
    Rob - The stress of no interent would undo all the "good" of going to the spa.
    DC - there are some great resorts there. We are going to a small one, 200 people max. Some handle 2000. No thanks.

  5. I stand -- make that sit -- corrected. As usual.


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