Talk to Andrii Bashtovyi, publisher "The Village Ukraine" and "Wonderzine Ukraine" about his lifestyle

Talk to Andrii Bashtovyi, publisher "The Village Ukraine" and "Wonderzine Ukraine" about his lifestyle

Tell me basically how your day goes, are there any daily rituals?

In an absolutely broken daily rhythm there are no rituals left, unless you consider brushing your teeth a ritual. Earlier I had 5 minutes of breathing exercises in the morning and as many in the evening. I didn't consider this meditation, it was more about the feeling that I have this time just for myself. During the war, even on the most difficult days, I found 5 minutes to brew drip coffee for myself (only a few times I couldn't, but it's better not to remember those days).

Life now consists of waking up, going to serve, and sleeping when I get back. I miss the pre-war feeling when I had complete control - what I was doing and where. Total freedom and the right to make silly impulsive decisions. But that's all in the past now.

Which city do you like the most, where do you feel comfortable?

Kaniv - the best place on earth. It's a shame I didn't realize that when I was growing up there. Lots of space around, ideal nature. And the ability to quickly escape if you want some "unrest".

If dreaming about pre/post-war life, then the frantic pace of New York I adore (as well as its stifling copy Bangkok). To not seem banal, I'll add the lazy format and night networking of Almaty, where I worked. Endless Istanbul is mine. The most unexpected place I fell in love with is Helsinki. It turns out somehow too long, but I really like any city that has me in it.

What are your favorite places for walks or establishments?

I've loved Kyiv since childhood. And Podil (as expected!) has always been my favorite district. But not because of the establishments and hangouts. I just like wandering the streets away from Kontraktova. The "Unwashed Podil" near Taras Shevchenko won my heart.

The most important places for me are those that serve the community, that contribute to public life. I'm sure they do dozens of times more for the city's development than any city councils. First Point, Coffee World, Grails, Mykhailenko’s Ramen, the bar on Spaska (if only I knew what they named it), and more recently Spelta with Afternoon. The opening of the year is the cute little bookstore on Spaska that sells used books.

Is your backpack a daily item for you?

I don't go anywhere without a backpack or shopper bag. Professional deformation forces me to feel uncomfortable if I don't take a laptop. This hasn't gone away. If I leave my backpack at home, I'll be fidgeting all day as if I forgot my arm.

It's important to me that it's one thing. I don't like and don't want to have a lot of different stuff. There shouldn't be anything extra in there. Only what's needed.

Are you the type of person who can fit their life into one suitcase or the opposite?

I dream of being the type of person who could fit all their belongings into one suitcase. But it doesn't work out - books and an unhealthy love for quality large heavy pans won't allow me to pack lightly.

Wartime forced me to have two more trunks of gear - winter, summer and a bunch of random little stuff that you can't give away or use, but it's a shame to throw out.

But the biggest problem is clothes. I periodically give away or take to my parents everything I don't wear often. And immediately after that I get even more clothes gifted to me than I had before. The more you give away, the more you receive as gifts. Maybe if I stop giving away clothes everything will calm down somehow?

What 3 things are always with you?

  • A folding knife in my pocket. Illarion Pavliuk helped me choose it. He knows cool knives.
  • A medium sized notebook with good paper.
  • Liners (preferably not one color and different thicknesses).

I'm trying to get back into the habit of carrying a camera, but I've become unaccustomed to it over these past two years.

What do you pay attention to when choosing items? 

I would really like to surround myself with things that are made to last forever. Something that can serve me for a long time. I'd rather overpay for quality than constantly spend money on something transient.

I really love when the history shows on items. Shoes that age with nobility. A sweater you can pass down to great-grandkids. As a kid, I would wear my favorite t-shirts until the seams started rubbing thin and turning white.

Follow Andrii on Instagram.