Friday, 15 July 2011

10/7 Mi estas en Kievo

I made it! I am in Kiev. I probably woke up a room of 22 people at 3 am because I was slow at turning the alarm off. I caught the plane at 7.00.
Kiev airport is where the fun began! 3 people and 3 languages. Ukrainian, esperanto and english. I am starting to understand the difficulties of English. I can understand their English well, but I need to change my own speech so they understand me better. Turns out, I skip letters, merge words and mumble! My esperanto is alright for now. I seem to understand a bit more now. I am surprised at how many words in Ukrainian that sounds like esperanto! There have been a few times when I thought the other two were speaking esperanto. A 4th person, an American, came a few hours later.

On the first bus, a normal bus, I thaught "how are going to get back on the left?" Then I realised, they drive on the right. The second bus was a whole new experience. How many people can fit on a mini bus? Turns out, about the same as a full size bus! The fare system appears to be on an honesty basis. Someone up the back hands money forward, through about 6 people. The driver (sometimes passenger at the front) takes the money, places it into the cash tray, takes the change, then passes the change back through the bus to the original person, no ticket required!
Street parking can be on the foot path.
The accommodation we have looks acceptable, but with some curiosities. The beds are the old spring bases like what the shearers once slept on. The toilets are a ceramic hole in the ground. There is no toilet roll holder in the cubicle, but there is one roll holder outside, but with no paper. The showers have no hot water, no door, and no separate male and female sections. I don't know how this is going to work.
On the up side, Kiev has an amazing CBD. Amazing architecture, lots of open space, lots of water features with water in them! They close the whole street for Saturday and Sunday so people can walk freely around.
We got food at this highly decorated place (i found myself in the Egyptian room again) where we take what we want, then pay. Mine cost 52 somethings. I wasn't too sure if that was expensive or not. I think it is about 5 euro's.
At the end of the day we caught a taxi. No ID, no meter, just a yellow sign on the roof. We got home for the cost of 80 somethings between 4 of us. The price was negotiated before we got in.
Oh, and my esperanto still has a long way to go. I only understood half of the conversation.
Only 2 photos for today as I used my other camera. The blue sign is for the toilet in the airport. I did guess he correct door. I have also found out that 'WC' is the international sign for toilet. The second photo is the CBD.

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