Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ukrainian Blood

I have no idea why the subject of my Ukrainianness keeps coming up today. Must be one of those days where the universe conspires to make one aware of her origins.

After I had a student paint a Ukrainian flag on my hand (see previous post), I decided to donate blood. Before you do that, you have to answer a series of questions. One of them is whether you have lived in Europe since 1980. If the answer is yes, you have to find your European country on a list they give you. Of course, my European country was not listed among the countries of Europe. A long discussion ensued between me and the members of the blood drive team on whether I'm completely sure that Ukraine is, in fact, located in Europe. I kept assuring people that there is no doubt in my (or anybody else's) mind in this respect. Still, I wasn't believed and the blood drive people started making phone calls to other people (and those, in turn, to some other people) in hopes of finding anybody who would know for sure where Ukraine is located.

Forty minutes later, we tentatively established that Ukraine is, indeed, a European country, after which I was finally able to donate blood. I count myself lucky because my Nigerian colleague was barred from donating blood altogether.


Anonymous said...

In most American minds, Europe stops somewhere around Germany, and maybe includes Poland in some minds. But not many.


Justin said...

I can't donate blood either. I had a blood transfusion in the early 1980's. Despite the fact that I've been screened for HIV/AIDS many, many times throughout my life and have never tested positive, I'm still told that there's a risk I might have AIDS because of a blood transfusion.

It has been almost 30 years, so I'm reasonably certain I don't have AIDS.

misskate said...

The rules for donating blood are arbitrary, differ greatly from place to place and, occasionally, lack common sense.
Because I live in Europe, my local Virginia blood bank bars me donating when I am home. A friend who is from Washington state gives whenever she is home.
Here in Geneva, I have to wait until 30 days have passed since my return to Switzerland from the U.S. before I can give blood (West Nile virus).
It's crazy the world over. And I totally understand the freakiness of prion diseases like CJD, but I wish that there would be a consistent policy worldwide or at least within the same country.

Maybe next time you go to give blood, you should take an atlas. ;)

Melissa said...

OMFG. Americans...(heavy sigh and head shake)