Day 15: Kiev to London

We checked out of the hostel and made our way through the street markets we had seen two days ago. As it had been on almost all of our other flights we had time to kill.

Going through customs and boarding the plane was once again an annoyance. Customs literally look back and forth between your passport and your face five times. Boarding the plane, there was a lack of personal space yet again, and combine that with a lack of deodorant.

We got into London fairly late. Luton Airport is a good distance outside of the city, so we had to find train tickets to get us back into London. Unfortunately the train was ending before the London Bridge exit. So we had to take the underground from the place where the train ended to London Bridge.

We quickly checked into the hostel, which was the first one we stayed at, and went to bed. It was after midnight at this point.

Days 13 – 14: Kiev

After we got up and got ready we got to talking to the hostel owner. After finding out that I did computer support, he offered to give us free lodging if I could fix the public computer. I spent probably 2 hours looking at the public PC as well as the office PC. I removed quite a few viruses from the public PC and it was running fine. Score.

This city is like San Francisco with all of the hills. Doing a lot of walking in this city is not for the fat American, let me tell you. During our journey around the city, we visited Independence Square, Friendship Arch, Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, and a couple other places I can’t exactly remember the names for. We decided to eat at McDonalds due to the language barrier. Although the language barrier proved to be just as big of an issue at McDonalds.

Come to find out that in general Ukrainians will not understand you unless you speak their language perfectly. They also pronounce Big Mac slightly different than it should be, and if you say it as it should be they won’t understand you. They are very nationalistic about their language. The hostel owner told us how they still have the mindset to do as very little work as possible as it was under communism. They still think doing a lot of work is stupid and doing as little as possible is the right thing.

Today we went out on a tour outside the city with the hostel where we were able to shoot AK-47′s.

For dinner we went to a place that the hostel owner suggested, which was right down the street. We went and set down. The waiter gave us a menu, which unfortunately was entirely writing with no English. We asked the waiter if they had an English version of the menu, he pointed down the street and said “fast food… McDonalds”. We went back to the hostel and asked the hostel owner and he said that it was a cafeteria style, you could go inside and point to what you wanted. We went back to the restaurant and sure enough on the inside it was.

Tomorrow we head back to London for a day then back home!

Day 12: Cologne to Kiev

We did a bit more walking around the city to kill time because the flight out wasn’t until about 8:00pm.

Boarding the plane, we found out quickly that Ukrainians do not have the same concept as a personal bubble. It wasn’t very pleasant. They didn’t line up in a queue at all. They were rushing like they were afraid the plane would leave without them. I can understand the reasoning behind it, considering they were under communism and they had to rush to get food and supplies. But times have changed, they’re no longer under communism.

We got to Kiev fairly late, almost midnight. It was a pain to get through their customs, due to the amount of time they took with each one and not having enough booths open to check.

We got a taxi outside of the airport to take us to the hostel. Taxi cabs in Kiev do not have seatbelts in the back seats, seriously. Out of all of the cities we had been in, Kiev is the one with the need for seatbelts because people here do not know how to drive. On the way to the hostel we saw a wreck at the other side of the road involving a semi and a car. Lets just say the person from the car was on the road in pieces.

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