Mar 122012

Well that sure was lucky.

By total coincidence, I just happened to arrive in Kiev on Ukrainian Independence Day – its twentieth!

Sometimes the fun never stops ๐Ÿ˜€

Within just a few hours of getting back to Kiev, the rest of my crew – Herb, Gaurav, and Jose – had all packed up and headed off to catch their flights home. My plan was to find an apartment, settle down, focus, and start the daunting task of catch-up work and writing.

It sounded like a fair idea at the time…but you all know how I am with “catching up” ๐Ÿ˜›

And although my original companions may have left, I now had an all new group to distract me: Julio, who’d gotten his own apartment in Kiev for a post-Kazantip week; Jenn, who was going with the flow on her own long-term trip; and Tanya, who calls Ukraine her home.

(Side note: Julio. I still just can’t comprehend that guy. He’s 38, easily as big a party animal as me, goes to huge festivals on the other side of the world totally his own, stays awake about 24hrs a day, and yet he’s always social and in a great mood. Seriously, one of the most fun and amicable guys I know. Most people say I’m young at heart…but they’ve clearly never met Julio.)

Anyway, as Julio already had his apartment sorted out we headed straight there from the train station, using it as base for day one. Tanya was kind enough (surprise, surprise!) to help Jenn and I find a spot of our own, which ended up being a one-bedroom about 5 minutes from Libidska Metro.

At only 25 euros a night the price was sure right, though I must say it wasn’t the most luxurious place I’ve ever lived.

And damn…no WiFi. Looks like it’s 3G tethering for me ๐Ÿ˜›

The first few days I spent hanging out with Julio and Jenn – wandering around town by day, clubbing by night. As they were both leaving in just a few days and I had no idea when I’d see them again, I figured I could justify the delay.

Then when they took off, I was presented with a dilemma: what to do next.

Although I did finally have an apartment to myself, there were a few issues that made working in Kiev less than ideal – like the lack of WiFi and the unavailability of what I’d consider “good private accommodations.” My apartment was alright, but $30/night is more than I usually like to spend long-term. Plus it didn’t even have AC or screens on the windows; something like that would’ve easily been $50 or more. Julio was paying $80 for his place. I guess Eastern Europe isn’t quite as cheap as it’s cracked up to be (and certainly nowhere near SouthEast Asia).

So I decided to spend just a few more days in Kiev wrapping up the essentials, then catch a flight onward.

In total I was there for a week, mostly just “living my daily life:” shopping at the supermarket, cooking my meals, jogging and exercising, catching up on the mess of e-mails and bug reports and photo organization, etc.

Then when my time was up I hopped on a flight to Belgrade.

…Via Sweden ๐Ÿ˜†

Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above took place in August, 2011.

  9 Responses to “Life In Kiev”

  1. Yey, my name was mentioned in a blog post again ๐Ÿ˜€

    But wait, wasn’t taking pictures in the metro areas strictly illegal?

    • Was it? If so, I didn’t know. There was just that one time a grumpy guard by the turnstile hassled us for videoing.

    • The metros typically double as nuclear bomb shelters so they are somewhat secret stuff. In Uzbekistan you could get arrested for such an offense. Not sure how hard it’s enforced in Ukraine though, but based on our experience with run-ins with the cops…

    • Wow, I had no idea – but I guess that would explain why they’re so ridiculously deep underground…

  2. And yet, it is Kyiv ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. No internet makes any place impossible to live for me

    • Yeah. Probably 9 out of 10 lodgings I dismiss are otherwise perfectly livable; it’s just too bad that more people don’t share the same criteria, or I’m sure far more places would prioritize providing a good connection.

      (Or in this case…providing a connection at all :P)

  4. Yep, I was a bit confused by the March date and mention of Independence celebrations. Kyiv has changed a bit this summer with the Euro Cup, but the prices still haven’t gone down at all. I’m not surprised that you had no wifi connection renting an apartment as that is still not a priority in a lot of places. However, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants that provide it now. Maybe you’ll find some changes next time you visit Kyiv.

    • Already been back – for Independence Day 2012! Didn’t really see much significant change, but still had a great time (as always) ๐Ÿ™‚

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