First Impressions of the United States

By Anastasia Forina

Anastasia (second from left) and several of her fellowship colleagues outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

It was first time in Washington, D.C. and first time in the United States. To be honest, there are things I really enjoy here and some things I really don’t like.  But I’m very much looking forward to exploring this country and this city.

It’s a challenge for me, which I’m happy to take.

Here’s some of what I found:

For me, Washington turned out to be a place where one can easily lose one’s way. I like the names of its streets, especially the ones named after alphabet letters and those with numbers. But the simple planning of the city didn’t save me from losing my way several times. 

I was okay. People here are very helpful. When asked, everybody is happy to show the way. 

I like the metro system here. It gives good directions, but I don’t like the way it looks. I like the Kyiv metro in Ukraine better, mainly for its shiny new trains that have been operating on some of the lines, and the station interiors — especially some of the oldest stations that are decorated with mosaics.

But there is no shortage of art in Washington. The collection in the National Art Gallery is impressive. I very much enjoyed works of Italian artists of the

Japanese Footbridge by Claude Monet at the National Gallery

Renaissance, French  Impressionists  and Dutch Baroque artists, among others.

Even the buildings of the U.S. Congress and its Library, which we visited last week, look like art masterpieces both inside and outside.

While I had the chance to satisfy art hunger, there have been moments when I really missed Ukrainian food. Now, though, I can easily forget about that. There are many places where one can find different cuisines from allover the world.

I still can’t get used to U.S. coins, which don’t have the numbers engraved on them. But I’m sure I will.

 I’m looking forward to come here to D.C. again at the end of the program in August.