Wizzair arrival in kyiv
DAY 1 -- landing in KIEV, Ukraine.
2.36 microsievert at 11km above Poland.
Smooth landing and passengers applaud. My seat neighbor says this is traditional and she offers her driver to me. Wow.
I decline, one never knows what mafia bride one deals with. A private business-jet UR-USA lands next to us (2oct2010 about midday), and a luxury black limo with satellite dome wisks the 5 (?) odd passengers away before you could say "organized crime".
The immigration passport control is chocker full in all lanes, visa, non-visa ukraine citizen. There are girls in military fatigues on guard.
Border entry is no problem. They have very pretty customs officer women, with a million-dollar smile. I feel welcome. Compare that with the land of the free, where you can be excused for thinking that you arrive in a police state, being fingerprinted and photographed.
I changed 50euro and got 531 hrivna for it from a very lovely and patient woman who had to explain HRIVNA pronounciation to me 5 times, then gave up and wrote it down for me with a smile.
I swapped a 5 us dollar note i got from a bush-loving christian glenn-beck fan in florida for a sim card. Now i am already talking to my host, and getting instructions to take the No 322 bus for 25 hrivna (2.50 euro) instead of a 20 euro taxi.
Upon entering I was attacked by two pickpockets, but I caught them, they were incapable, maybe I was the first victim ever. I didn't make a fuss.
Now writing this aboard a chinese bus with orthodox maria + holy-three-kings religious golden icons above the driver, who anyway (or because of it?) drives perfectly smooth and safe.
The bus sound system plays sentimental ukkrainian songs that are mixed in with some cool grooves and adverts, commercial radio, not of the worst kind..
We cross the river Dnjepr over an impressive suspension bridge and arrive at the (south terminal?) of the main railways station, opposite of a huge gold-dome orthodox church.
I am instructed to go through the train station with it's constant monotonous announcements of trains to moscow, odessa etc, accross and above all platforms, into the old part of the station, and to catch a minibus from that end. A phantastic trainstation for a city of 3 million people.
Very cool. No hassles at all.