Just as in Riga, my adult classses are a never-ending source of cynicism and conspiracies: the Marks and Spencer's on the edge of town is more expensive than in Britain but "the clothes are not the same quality like in London. They send us only the bad things." The market by the train station is cheaper than the one nearer my house, though "they cheat you more with the scales." Lipton Tea is "shit, but only in Ukraine." Moldovan fruit is dangerous. Yulia Tymoshenko, the still glamorous 49-year-old ex-prime minister, "only looks young because she takes lots of drugs."
"Have you heard what Azarov said about women?" I asked in class today. "It was even in the British papers. And Yanukovych told Tymoshenko to stay in the kitchen".
"I hope not," smiled one of the students. "She'd confuse the flour for cocaine".