A Mongers travelogue to Kiev.
Just to recap: Would I recommend Kiev as a good mongering destination? For somewhere completely different my answer is yes and for Ukraine which has recently joined the economic part of the EU, Kiev is still remarkably inexpensive with affordable taxis both in the city and to and from the airport.
Kiev is also a perfect city for a long weekend but a week over there I feel would be too long.
If you are a smoker a pack of Marlborough lights still costs around 0.75p, with an expensive coffee anywhere in Kiev costing about the same price with a good expensive beer costing I would say no more than £1.50 and to eat well, in nice surroundings, is not going to cost more than £10.00, even with drinks.
Typical Restaurant Bill in Kiev
Using The Italian restaurant Vapiano in the Arena, as an example, here is a breakdown of the bill of a typical trendy upmarket restaurant in Kiev. Tomato Soup 49 UAH, Spaghetti with fillet of beef, white wine, vegetables mushrooms and cream 129 UAH, glass of Premium Chianti red wine 53 UAH, Panna Cotta desert 59 UAH, glass of Italian sparkling desert wine 53 UAH and double espresso 29 UAH making a total of 372 UAH. This though like most things are bound to change, so I say grab a trip to Kiev while you can.
I did mention the buzz I felt of experiencing a foreign city in a foreign country when in the taxi from the airport I saw Kiev for the first time and felt I really had travelled abroad, but there were downsides, like the fact that most of the street signs and shop and business signs were in the Cyrillic script, as were a lot of the menus, surprisingly in the restaurants, which kept some of the lovely Kiev waitresses busy as translators, but not all, as I found a lot Ukrainians saying to me Nemaye or Ne Angliyskiy – ‘No English.’
Also add to that the fact that most buildings are not numbered and behind them are courtyards with many other buildings also not numbered making finding any address a nightmare.
The trip was booked at the last minute, and I did do some research but it’s never enough and found myself having to rely on my tablet in the hotel with not a very good wi fi signal. As a result, I had forgotten about two other entertainment areas in central Kiev, similar to the Arena City, marked on my Google map that I would like to have checked out called the Avalon and D Lux Complex, as well as checking out the streets close by,
Regarding communication, and I know I am stating the obvious, do bring an unlocked mobile phone with you and then buy a local sim card to make and to receive those essential local calls.
From now on I will probably avoid using any UK airport to get my foreign currency. If you have any spare Euros or Dollar notes, bring them with you to get the best, best exchange rate before using your card on the ATM machines in Kiev to get the second best possible exchange rate.
Reading some of the monger forums I have seen mentioned that Kiev is full of scams, and scammers and that the businesses and people connected to the sex trade can be quite ruthless. Keeping well away from the many strip, bar sex club type of places I saw in town, (surely not all of these places can be bad but with only 3 nights there and two bad experiences already under my belt in Budapest and Sofia I was not going to take any chances) I didn’t really experience anything too bad along those lines, but I can sort of believe that from the hardened women I had dealings with who were very firm with the prices they wanted and would not budge an inch.
My constant memory of this trip though will be the surprisingly inexpensiveness of Kiev and the nice views to go with it. Whether out on the streets, serving drinks or bringing food to my table or letting me rub my hard cock over their tits in some old fashioned tenement block down some side street and up some crumbling concrete steps, those Ukraine girls whether waitresses, shop sales assistants, hotel receptionists, private tourist guides or whore prostitutes (or both); both in looks and physique most were a pleasure to the eye.
Will I ever return to Kiev? If the price is right again, probably, but probably when the weather’s a bit warmer. In the summertime I can just picture the Arena City rocking somehow, just like an adult version of Magaluf or Ayia Napa perhaps, or part (but be it a very little part) of Nana plaza Bangkok without the Thais, and, the walk to Independence Square will have I am sure, again in the nice warmer weather, some rich pickings along the way.
By Monger Matt.