BORN AND RAISED IN Ukraine, my family vacationed on the Black Sea coast almost every summer. The last time I was in Crimea with my family I was 13; I remembered it vaguely, but when I went back as an adult it felt as if not much had changed in the last twenty years.
The fashion is reminiscent of the 1980s. Socialist Era buses are still in operation, and sunflower seeds are still very much en vogue. On my return trip, some days I felt I was a part of it all, and other days I felt like a total outsider looking in. A few things, however, caused a mild culture shock or put a smile on my face.