Odessa Ukraine to Athens Greece – One more step!

My night starts off around 9 PM, while I am laying in bed thinking, “Oh, I better set my alarm, I have to be awake at 4:30 AM to catch my flight.”

Next, I pack my bag and organize my things, so in the morning, I do not disturb the other people sleeping in the dorm.  I mean, this is a normal thing, I think everyone would do.  However, not everyone gives a shit about others.

I share a dorm room with 5 other guys.  At around midnight all 6 of us are in bed, but one dick, decides he wants to read.  He leaves the very bright light on in the room.  I get up and turn it off, as it is after midnight.  He turns on the other light, which is just as bright.  I don’t say anything, and just try and sleep.

Well, 4 am arrives and I still have not slept because of this fucking bright light, and the guy decided around 2 am to start typing on his laptop.  Oh yeah, I asked him around 3 am if he could just go to sleep, because I have to wake up at 4:30 am.  He says, yes soon.

4:20 AM, he turns off the light and says, Good Night!  I say, “Wonderful, you are a kind person!”

I truly don’t understand people who do not think about how, what they do, can and does affect others.  It’s simple, don’t be a stuck up, selfish person!

4:30 am, my alarm does not go off!  Why, because I am awake, and turn it off before.  No point in making the noise, right!

Anyways, I am already not in a great mood, but I get over it.  I quickly and quietly, get my stuff out of the room and head to the receptionist desk.

My plan was to remind him to call a taxi, and while the taxi is coming, I will brush my teeth, and be ready.  Not what happened.

I first have to wake him up, as he is sleeping on the floor behind the desk.  Then I remind him about the taxi, and he calls.  He tells me 15 minutes and they will call him back to let him know if they have a driver.

This is not looking good.  So I try to ask him to call another taxi place, but as I am typing this on my translator, he says.  “Taxi, Taxi, Taxi” and tries taking my laptop bag.  I stop him and say, “Wait, I am not packed.  I have to toss my tooth brush and jacked in my bag.”  He then tries to take my backpack.  I again say.  No, Wait!  He takes it anyways and starts heading outside.

I am like … FUCK!!!!!!!!!  I toss my tooth brush in my bag and look around quickly for my other stuff. I see nothing as I am more focused on my backpack, running away!

I run after him and he is already putting my bag in the trunk.

Ok, so I went from not sure when a taxi will come, if ever, to, shit my bag is leaving without me in a matter of seconds.

Oh yes, so in the rush, he never gave me my key deposit back.  Oh well, it is only 50 UAH, like $1.10 Canadian.

As I arrive at the airport, I check in and get my tickets.  Everything is looking good. I have an hour before my plane.  I grab some water and relax.

My plane is about to board, and all of a sudden my stomach starts turning.  I have to shit, and I have to shit NOW!  I love IBS-D.  It is great!  I make it to the one toilet, with no seconds to spare.  I sit down so fast I almost fall off of the toilet.  Somehow I managed to shit on the seat, but nothing is on my pants, or underwear.  Score me!  I see an upside to this, except my plane is loading.

I wrap it up and get to my plane just in time.

So here is another bonus to my bad day.  The plane is full but 2 seats, and that one seat is beside me. 🙂

I take some pills for my stomach so I don’t shit myself again.  I still have another flight.

As I am sitting here, thinking, it’s a bit cold.  I think, “where is my jacket.”  Every curse and bad word is now running through my head.  In the rush to the taxi, I left my very expensive Burton jacket sitting on the counter in Odessa.

I love this jacket!

OK, so I try to think positive.  Maybe they can mail it to me, but wait. I don’t even know where I will be from one day to another.

I dunno!

Anyways, we make it to Kiev, where I will be catching my next plane to Athens, Greece.  This makes me smile again, because this has been a dream to see Athens.

As I am waiting in line to go through the security, I always seem to get someone behind me who doesn’t know personal space. Just because you are in a line, does not mean you have to stand on the person ankles in front of you.  However, the guy behind me does.  After the second time, I asked.  “Can you not do that?”  He says sorry and does it again 2 minutes later.  That time I turn around and said, “Thanks”.

This next part I am going to put on the bonus, good side of my scale.

As my ankles are getting bruised, I am watching this other guy get security checked.  They choose him for a random pat down.  These pat downs are very quick, and they miss a lot.  Anyways, as they finish patting down his back, the officer says, “Please sit here.” and points to a chair, while they check his bag.  The guy heard it as, “Please bend over” and the guy touches his toes like he is going to get an anal check.  OMG, I tried so hard not to start laughing.  This was awesome and I apologize for laughing at someone, but this was funny.

Then there is this lady with a zipper sweater on.  The officer asks her to take off her jacket as he thought it was a jacket, not a sweater.  She has nothing on under it but a bra, and actually starts taking it off.  The officer is like, “Oh, no no, keep it on.”  Again, I loved the show and laugh a lot inside.  I love Europe and their free way of thinking!

My next plane arrives and we load.  Great, full plane, and I am sitting against the window, with a giant beside me.  The only thing I hate more is when there is a screaming kid.

Oh but wait,  the seat in front of me is a mom, dad, and a little boy and you guessed it.  He is very well behaved! Not!  The little ass climbs the seat and starts trying to grab my sunglasses.  I say, somewhat nicely.  “GO away!” and give his dad a look.  If I climbed over seats at that age, I would have my ass kicked by my dad, and then if mom got mad, look the fuck out.

They finally, somewhat control the little monster.

Then it happens.  A SCREAMING, and I mean SCREAMING baby is 5 rows back.  Please make it stop.  I am actually starting to contemplate what would be worse, listening to it scream, or opening the door and tossing it, while chancing crashing, and killing everyone on the plane.  Well, we would have at least 1 minute of peace?

So, yes, the plane ride was long, for a 2 hour flight.

But wait, good luck comes my way.  My bag is one of the first off the plane.  Score me!  Customs goes easy, and I am now in Greece.

Some pictures while landing in Athens.

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As I exit the airport, I remember I have Euro’s still from when I was in Finland.  Score me again!

My AirBnB host left me a message saying I catch the bus 95 into the town center, and then A2 to her place.  Sounds easy, and it actually is.  I do take way longer than if I knew where I was going, but that is OK.  I am in Athens, Greece.

Here is one teaser, for the next post!

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Odessa – Beach Life – Great Friends

So what’s been going on the last few days.  Well, I move into my new place, which I rented from AirBNB for 19 CAD per night.  It is 4 minute walk to the beach, and not far from my friend’s Lesya home.

Check out the video here!

While renting my beach house, I noticed a tone of dogs walking all over the streets.  I was pretty sure they are not owned by anyone, and just wild.  Later Lesya confirmed these are wild dogs.  Something you would never see back home in a city.

The one little dog, who I have nick named, “The Instigator” walks up and down the street and barks at other dogs, and when they start barking uncontrollably, he leaves and goes onto the next dog.  This is the first dog, I think I would kick, and maybe even have a competition on punting distance. 🙂

OK, dog lovers, get over that comment.

I would say, that is the only negative I have found while living at this house.  I really like it, and the price you cannot beat, and to add to the positives, it is a 5 minute walk to a nice, small beach, with beer.  And if I have the energy, I can walk the beach 2 KM down, to the more popular beach.  I did this a few times.

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The first Saturday night Lesya met up with me, and we went out for Sushi and drinks.  Our conversation is always random and pretty funny.  Again, our intentions were to walk around, but we ended up just having drinks at the Sushi restaurant.

During the week, Lesya was busy with work, so I just went to the beach everyday and enjoyed the good life.

Checkout what you can buy on the beach for under 2 dollars.

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The next Sunday, it was the first day, were it was no hot, so no beach.  However, this ended up in my favour because Lesya’s beach plans were canceled. We can now hangout.

This is another random, funny day!

We meet around 11 AM, at the bus stop close to my place.  I was hungry and craving Sushi again.  So we walked to the same place as last Saturday.  At the restaurant the waitress, was happy to see us, and tells us she was hoping to see us again.  OK, I don’t remember making any kind of impression last time, but I guess we did.  She even told us, she wants us to come back more often.  Very random, but cool!

During lunch, yes, you guessed it.  Wine was way to good, and the next thing I know I am drinking Ukraine Cognac.  This is actually my first time ever drinking Cognac and for a dollar a drink, I have a few.  I really like it!

After lunch, I am feeling pretty good, Lesya is obviously feeling happy as I can see in her eyes, a little buzzed look.

We walk to a local grocery store where we buy more wine, and she buys stuff to cook us dinner as well.

Lesya buying bottled wine.

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While buying wine, a girl and her husband start talking to Lesya.  My understanding is he is a marine pilot, and Lesya works at another marina office for cargo ships.  They end up exchanging information and the next thing I know, we are invited to meet up later for drinks.  Very random!

After the grocery store, we walk over to Lesya’s house to give her mom some of the groceries.  I get to meet her parents and see where she lives.  It is a nice condo/flat and her parents are really nice.  They do not speak English, but with a little help, we have some good talks.

We head over to my place where she cooks grilled wraps, and I have to say, she is one hell of a good cook.  It’s a few days later as I am writing this, and I am craving them again.

Few pictures of us before the drinks get rolling.

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I did not know this, but in Ukraine, a girl does not pour her wine, the guy always fills the glass, and it better not get empty.  I know back home, if I was to touch one of my old girlfriends wine bottles, they might bite or hit me.  Never touch a girls wine. lol.

The couple we met earlier messaged and are going to come to my place for drinks, and a few minutes later, one of Lesya’s friends also messaged and is now coming also.

I will skip ahead to all of us drinking on the patio.

The guy’s wife is crazy, and drunk.  She talks a mile a minute, and seems always upset.  The guy is also a bit moody.  If I do not pay attention to him, he gets a little attitude, but i’ts all good.  We have a pretty good night.  He brought Vodka and Gin and he kept giving me shots.  By the end of the night, I know I was more drunk than I wanted.  Not what I was planning 12 hours ago.

He also gave me two gifts.  One was a picture of I dunno, I am not religious, and the other was 25 Soviet Union Roubles.  This is really cool, as they do not exist anymore.  I will definitly keep the 25 Roubles with me!

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Lesya’s friend, Korina is really cool.  A very sweet girl.  She only speaks a little English, but enough we have some good conversation.  I can see why the two are friends.  Both really great people.

Well the night eventually ends and everyone leaves.  I see a pretty good mess, and I only clean up the food, so no animals get into it.  Tomorrow will have to be clean up day.

The next day I was a little hungover, and I am very happy I do not have to checkout of the house until 3 PM.  This gives me time to clean up, wake up, and pack.

3 PM arrives and the owners show up, with their daughter.  She speaks English and can translate. 🙂  This is a needed for sure.

She helps me get a taxi and also adds me to Facebook, on her mom’s request.  They want to keep in touch and read some of my past blogs.  They are really nice people.  Someday I hope to come back again and stay in this place.

Well, I am now in a hostel in the city center.  In a day I will be flying to Athens, Greece, leaving this amazing country.  I will miss hanging out with Lesya.

We are trying to meet one last time, but it is raining like mad with some good wind, so we might not be able too.  If not, I know I will keep in touch with her on Facebook. Hopefully we will meet again.

Odessa – Ukraine – Beaches, Boating, and Batman?

Beach time with Mike and Yusif has arrived and I am heading into Odessa city center to meet Mike.  I have been here for a few days and have yet to actually swim in the Black Sea.  This is always really important to me.  I love swimming!

I meet Mike and just across the road is Yusif.  Yusif tells me he had a wonderful sleep.  He woke up to cockroaches in his bed.  My first thought is of the movie, Joes Apartment. LOL.  Yusif doing a little song and dance with them, and they all living happily ever after.  However, he tells me this did not happen, and he has moved to a new apartment.

Instead of walking to the beach, Mike tosses his thumb up to hitchhike right in the middle of the city.  This is a little new to me.  I guess if you speak the language, you can make a deal with a local to drive you to the location you want, for a fee.  Normally a little cheaper than a taxi.  Almost like car pooling, mixed with taxi / hitchhiking.  Not recommended if you do not speak Ukraine, or Russian though.

A lady picks us up and drives us to the beach.  Pretty cool, considering in Canada, I waited 2.5 hours and never got picked up and here we get a lift from a lady!

At the beach, Mike gets us a bed with a large umbrella for 200 UAH ($10 CAD) for the day. You don’t have to rent one of these, but it is nicer than sitting in the sand.

Mike and Yusif sitting on one of the beds.

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The day at the beach was really nice and relaxing.  I am sure I fell asleep for 10 minutes while laying on the bed.  The water was cool, but refreshing, and the girls. Amazing!  I love you Ukraine!

Later in the day, Mike and Yusif take a ride on what is called, Batman.  It a big blowup thing, that they use a Seadoo to pull.  If it goes fast enough, it gets lifted off of the ground.  I did not go on it, because I was worried it might hurt my back.  I have to say, watching the video, I am a little jealous.

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Some random pics from the beach.

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The beach was pretty fun, but its time for Mike’s next adventure.  He is taking us on a boat cruise around Odessa.

Mike’s friend, and his girlfriend, pick us up in their car and take us to the boat.  For whatever reason, I do not remember their names.

Anyways, the boat tour was pretty awesome.  It lasted about an hour and we got to see some nice views of the beach, and water front.

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After the boat tour, we were all hungry and headed to the best place in Odessa for pizza.

I wish I had some pictures of the pizza, because it was awesome.  I ate way to much, that is for sure.

After pizza, that was it for the night.  It is late, close to midnight and I decide to walk back to the hotel from the city center.  Almost a bad mistake!

I was a few blocks from my hotel, in that really nice area I told you all about.  As I pass 3 younger guys standing on the side, walk.  One starts to follow me, and quickly gets beside me.  I had a bad feeling about this and also noticed there is no one else in site.  So, as he says something in Russian, I know the best thing to do, is not to let him know I am a tourist.  I say nothing, but my hand directly in his face, in a stop position.  Give him, I will kill you look and keep walking.  They end up following about 5 meters behind me until I cross the street to my hotel.

I still have no idea what he said to me, but I know it was nothing good.  Maybe asking for money, or asking if I want to fight.  I heard random guys will do this in the streets.  However, I cannot confirm this, as I do not understand what he said.

Another amazing day, hanging with friends, ended with a little heart racing.  Still wouldn’t change any part of it.

A few pictures of the area my hotel is in.  During the day, not so bad 🙂

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Odessa – Ukraine – Let the good times roll!

Now that I have the cell phone issue resolved, I can finally get onto exploring Odessa.

If you read my last post, you will recall the 3 people who helped me find my hotel location, just 5 minutes after arriving in Odessa.  Well, the one guy Mike, asked for my Facebook before I got into the cab.  He told me he would be back from Kiev in a few days, and he could show me around Odessa.  I only knew the guy for 2 minutes, and he is offering to show me around.  Now that proves no matter where you are, there are good, even great people.

The next day Mike adds me to Facebook and also starts a conversation between, Mike, his sister (Lesya), and myself.  He tells his sister, I am a nice guy, and asked if she could show me around until he gets back.  She says yes, and adds me to Facebook and then sets a time and place to meet.

Let me ask you this!  What girl do you know, would meet a total stranger, who her brother only met for 2 minutes, and would show them around their town?  I don’t know many, if any at all.  I mean, I could be a complete ass, mean, a pervert, she has no idea who I am, yet, she was completely willing.

We are going to meet Wednesday at 6 pm, in the center of town.  Today is Tuesday morning, so I have sometime to waste until then.

Tuesday, I just walked around the local area exploring, looking for food, pubs, etc.

While going in and out of the hotel a few times, I became friends with Anastasia the receptionist.  We decided we get together Thursday on her day off, so we are not talking so much during work.  That’s cool!  I am impressed at how easy it is to make friends here.

Well, Wednesday evening is here and I head out to catch the tram into the city center.  I love the trams here.  They only cost 2 UAH, which is like 10 cents CAD.  How cheap is that!

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I make it to our meeting spot, which is the water fountain in the city center.

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Lesya is on her way, as I am a few minutes early.  While waiting, you never know what you will see in Ukraine, and I got a pretty good show, of a drunk / high girl bathing and dancing in the fountain.  I never took a picture, because she scared me. lol.

A few minutes later, Lesya walks right up to me with a big smile and says hi.  She is not shy of meeting me at all and recognized me from my profile picture.

I had not eaten yet, so she takes me to a nice patio restaurant where she orders for me, two Ukrainian food items.  One is a beat soup, and the other is some kind of Haring Fish paste, that you put on bread and eat.  I will tell you, both were pretty damn good and I want to have it again.

Our next stop is across the street to a local craft beer place.  We were going to walk around, but our conversation is going so good, that we decided to just have drinks and chat.

I really like this girl, she is so nice and has some really awesome stories about her travels.  She has been in the USA twice.  Last time was just a few months ago, and when she was younger, she did a high school exchange student thing for one year.

Well, it was getting late and she needed to get home.  She works tomorrow. hahaha, I don’t!  Anyways, her brother is back in town and is walking around downtown.  He tells her to invite me to meet him.

Just down the street, I meet up with Mike, his friend from work, and the guy and girl that helped me the first night.

We basically just walk all over downtown and Mike explains what everything is.  The only problem is I am a bit drunk from my earlier meeting with his sister.  Lol.  She is a bad influence, I take no responsibility for myself. 🙂

Some of my drunk, trying to take pictures below!

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It was a pretty awesome night, and I truly enjoyed finally getting to know Mike, his sister, and some of their friends.  Mike has invited me to go to the beach with them tomorrow, but tomorrow I am supposed to hangout with Anastasia.

The next morning, I get up, feeling a little hungover, but this hotel has a great breakfast.  I also have to see when Anastasia wants to meet up. I think she only works until 8 AM.

When I get down to see her, she acts like I am a customer, and not how she has been acting with me. Hmmm, I am like. OK, either she decided she doesn’t want to get together, or she got into trouble for talking to me so much, by her boss.

I just ignore it, as I have other plans now.  I can meet up with Mike and go to the beach.

Later I find out, she did get into shit with her boss and I completely understand.  In Odessa, you are very lucky if you have a job, and a full time job even luckier.  There is a lot of no income families here and the average person only makes $400 a month.  It is not that cheap here!  So her not wanting to jeopardize her job in anyway, I understand.

The next few times I saw her, she always gave me a big smile, and I smile back, but I don’t bother her unless she comes to me.  Even then, I keep it short.

This post is getting long, so I will continue my beach day in the next post.

continuing …

Samsung, we had a good run!

Last night, my one true travel companion’s screen died and now, like Old Yeller, I have to take her out to the back shed, and pop one in her head.

My Samsung S4, has had some issues the last few months.  One day she is going strong, her memory is great, and the next day, there is no life in her battery.  She is only 2.5 Years old, and in human years, she is in her late 60’s.  Oh well, time for a new cell phone.

Doing some searches on the net, I see there is a cell phone screen repair place not far from me.  Maybe, I can give it a second chance?

I head down to the hotel receptionist area, asking them if they can call the store and ask if they can replace the screen on my S4.

Yuri, the very happy, honest, receptionist calls the store and they tell him, they can do it today for 750 UAH ($36 CAD).  This is great news!  Yuri gives me directions and also his phone number.  He tells me the guy on the phone does not speak English, and to have him call Yuri, so he can translate.

Wow, have you ever heard of such great service from a hotel?  Not, in my travels!

I get to the location and there is no store in site, but there is a cell phone provider across the street called, Cell Planet.  I go over and ask if they repair screens.  They do, but their guy is away until tomorrow.  They call my original store and ask for directions.   I guess the store has moved.

Cell Planet also calls me a taxi and gives me great advice about getting there, etc.

So, I arrived at the location and I do not see the store.  I ask a local security guy and he points me to mall, with a cell phone area.

At the cell phone area, I ask the desk where True Cell is located.  The young girl says, she will walk me there and translate for me.

Wow, again, great help for no real reason.  She could have just pointed me in the direction, but instead, she walks me to the store, and then waits with me for 15 minutes.

After 15 minute wait, the guy says, he can fix it for 3000 UAH.

She asks, why he said 750 on the phone.  He says, he never talked to anyone on the phone.

At this point I give up and ask where I can find a taxi.  She calls one and then also comes outside with me to wait.  We have a really good conversation as the taxi takes about 10 minutes to arrive.  I thank her for all of the help.  She gives me a big smile and waves goodbye as I get into the taxi.

So, day 1 of trying to get a new cell or repair mine has been at a loss.  All I really know is, True Cell doesn’t exist, but does exist if you call, with great prices. 🙂

Day 2, I head back down to Cell Planet to see if their guy can fix the phone.  When I arrive, they tell me he is in at 11, it is now 10 AM.  No problem, there are a tone of used and new cell phone stores in this area.

While I am waiting I go to at least 10 stores looking for possible options if mine cannot be repaired.  This is more fun than I really wanted.  The scams, begging, etc, is crazy.  As soon as they see you are English they think you are dumb, and will pay anything.  They also assume I am an American.  Maybe that’s why they think I am dumb?  Every store gives me prices in USA dollars, and each store I explain I am Canadian, not from USA and only to give me prices in Ukraine UAH.  The best price I could find was on a used Samsung J7, for 4000 UAH ($200 CAD).  Actually an OK price, but I do not want to pay that much for a 1 year old phone.  The worst prices I got were 4000 UAH for a S3.  A 5 year old used phone.  I was told by Yuri later, he could buy that phone for 500 UAH.  Scammers!

Anyways, I look up and see the Sun is at 11 AM, so I head back to Cell Planet.

The repair guy is there and he tells me, it is not worth fixing, the parts here are too expensive because S4 was not sold in Ukraine.  They had some A series I guess.  He then suggest me a great phone (Xiaomi Redmi 3 2GB/16GB Dual SIM), and tells me, the camera is better than mine, and the battery life is 3 times stronger.  Added bonus, is it is 3400 UAH new.

I ask where I can get one, and he says.  Give me 5 minutes, I will go find one.

5 minutes later he shows up with 2, A 5 inch and a 5.5 inch.

I take a look and see they are damn nice phones.  He lets me use his computer to do some research on them, which shows excellent reviews.

So, I am now a proud owner of a Xiaomi Redmi 3 2GB/16GB Dual SIM, Cell phone and it has been a day.  He was spot on with the battery life.  A day later and it is at 70 percent still.

What did I learn from this?  There are two types of people in Ukraine, the very honest, helpful, nice people, and the struggling, dishonest scammers.  However, if you have any common sense, you will know the difference.

My advice if this happens to you.  Never buy right away, do some research on the item, and ask a local who you know is honest.  Do not spend above your budget, you will eventually find what matches your needs.

Thanks to Yuri and Cell Planet for being honest and extremely helpful.

My first selfie on the new cell.

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Kiev – Odessa, Ukraine – My Cell Phone :(

A few relaxing days in Kiev, walking around, enjoying some cheap beers, and one last message from Jasmin.

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I enjoyed my time here, meeting new people and taking in the views, but it is time to move on.  Odessa looks like the place for me and it is only a $30 dollar, 6 our train ride away.

Just before I go, here are some pictures of Kiev and the first one is of the coffee girl.  I will miss her trying to teach me how to say coffee with milk, in Ukraine.  I still can’t.

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I now love trains, they are so much more comfortable than planes, even though they take a million times longer.  The comfort makes up for it.

However, the comfort ends the minute the train arrives in Odessa.  It is just after midnight, and as I walk out of the train station, about to walk the 2 KM to my hotel.  I notice my phone’s screen is bright green.  Odd!  I turn it off and back on.  Now it is somewhat green, with red and yellow lines going through it.

It quickly dawns on me.  I have no idea where the hotel is, I no longer have internet, no more GPS, no more English to Ukraine translation.  In a panic, I pull out the battery, and reboot the phone. Come on baby, not now!

Nope, its (Technical term) FUCKED!

Well, at least I remember the hotel name.  I ask a taxi if he knows where it is.  Nope, he has no clue.  He asks around, no one else does either.

As I walk toward a group of people, this random, guy asks me if I need help.  I said, Oh Yes!

He speaks English and is with two other people.  All young, and all speak a little English.

They help me, and also warn me about taking a taxi from the street.  They explain to him where my hotel is, and the girl tells me, she already told him 100 Ukraine is the price.  I thank them, and the one guy takes my Facebook.  They offer to show me around Odessa in a few days.  I will take them up on this offer for sure.

Wow!  People are too amazing, and this is why I travel.  Too meet people like this.

So, the taxi takes me where my hotel should be, and it is not there.  Oh yea, I forgot to mention.  The group that helped me, also told me, that this is a shit part of town, and they would not stay here.

The taxi driver asks a group of drunks where the hotel is.  I have no idea what they say, but they are all laughing.  The taxi pulls around the corner to the only hotel in a really rundown area.   He says this is it.

I hand him the 100 Ukraine and he yells, “NO, 200!”.  I say, no we agreed on 100.  He yells again, and hits the steering wheel.  I debated taking this outside the car, then I thought.  Fuck it, 200 UAH is only $10 Canadian and it’s 1 AM, in the middle of nowhere.

So, I pay and say, “I hope you enjoy being a useless human!”  He has no idea what I am saying.

The hotel lobby has this extremely cute receptionist.  I think her name is Anastasia.  She tells me this is not my hotel and googles where my hotel is.  It is a 5 minute walk away.  I say thanks, to this overly cheerful, Ukraine girl.

The 5 minute walk to my hotel was a little sketchy.  Picture run down buildings, no street lights, and a drunk, dirty couple making out on the ground behind a broken park bench.  Yes, I feel safe!

I get to my hotel, and the door is locked.  Mind you, I called earlier in the day to confirm a late arrival of after 1 AM, and they said it was OK.  Looking at the hotel, I do not want to stay here either.  As far as I can tell, it is a hooker hotel.  Nasty as shit.

I walk back to see the very cute, Anastasia, in hopes they have a room at a reasonable price.

She does have a room, but even better she has a hostel bed at a fraction of the cost.  Even bigger bonus, is the hostel room is empty.

While checking in, she tells me some fun stories about people she has met while working at a hostel.  I like this girl, she is really fun.

I am finally checked in, showered, and ready for bed.  Tomorrow I will be searching for, phone repair, or a new phone.

What a day of mixed emotions.  Sad about my phone, happy meeting 3 cool Ukraines, pissed at a taxi driver, and then ended off with a big smile, meeting another cool Ukraine girl, and getting an entire hostel room to myself.

To live is the rarest thing in the world!

So I just heard two people talking about if they won money, and surprising it was in English and then I logged into Facebook and saw the quote below.  This caused me to write this blog post.

I don’t know how many of you read the annoying quotes people post on social media all the time, but some days I do.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde

This is so true!  That is where I was a year ago, when I realized life does not have to follow what people are taught to expect.

I was always told, not just by parents, I mean by teachers, friends, media, etc, that to live, you must work, and not just work, I mean, work everyday!  This is so not true, and it still drives me nuts.  When I was home for the summer the most common question I was asked was related to work.  “When are you going to work again?”, “Working this summer?”, “Did you work when you traveled?”.  I was asked this more than I was asked, how was your travels?

One of the dumbest sayings I hear people say is, “If I won the lottery I would still work, what else would I do!”  Oh my god! I can give you a list of 1 billion things you could do, work is not one of them!

Sure, have hobbies you love like, painting, restoring cars,  buying a bulldozer and digging holes for fun, buy a remote control car with a camera and chase your neighbors annoying rat sized dog, stand at the entrance of your local grocery store and help every single person you meet with carrying their groceries, but, do not work!

Hmmm, what would I do if I won the lottery?  Well, first I have never purchased a ticket, I see it as just another tax, as I call it, Dummy Tax.  But if I did, I can tell you one hobby I would have.  I would find where my friends work, pay their bosses to let me sit across the room and shoot elastic bands at them all day.  Or I would start a charity, give all my friends great jobs, and tell them they will be fired if they don’t let me annoy them all day, example from last statement.

Awww, the dreams we have.

Anyways, back to my rant after reading Oscar’s quote.

Start living your life, don’t get stuck in some stupid rut, or job that you just go to everyday, and come home, over and over.  Start working towards getting out of that, and I don’t mean in 20 years when you retire.  I also am not relating to only work.  Get out of the house and enjoy life.  Call a friend you have not seen in ages and go visit, start taking nightly walks, and take a different route every time, and you’ll be amazed at how your life will change.   Everyday you waste sitting, is another day wasted in a life you only live ONCE!

Leave me comments on how you stopped just living your life, or what you would do with lottery money!

Thanks all for reading.

 

Kiev, Ukraine – I am so confused!

The short 1 hour commute from Vilnius to Kiev was quick and painless.  My flight mate was a guy who respected space, like I do on a plane.  So, that was a nice change.

When I landed, I was quickly harassed by a cab driver, but he actually seemed nice and then helped me find a SIM card and then bank machine.  Yes, Yes, I know! He was being nice so I would use his cab.  Well, why not!  He worked for it and the price was reasonable.  It was 35 KM or more to the hotel, and that cost me $600 UAH, or $31 CAD.  I know I could have found cheaper, but whatever.

He was also a pretty cool guy and told me about the current scams to tourist including what ATMs to use and what to look for on them.  People have been adding second scanners that are hard to notice.  But he showed me pictures, so now I know what to look for.

Anyways, my hotel room is a single bed, private bathroom, but fucking weird layout, for all under $20 CAD a night.  I needed a break from people.  No offence to everyone I have met and seen over the last few months, but I got tired of you. 🙂 and need a break.

I am also on the 17th floor.  Some nice views!

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I won’t go into each days details, but so far, they have been similar.  Wake up in a fucking hot room, no AC or fan.  Go down to the coffee cart where the hot 19 year old works and get the same coffee for 20 UAH, $1 CAD.  Mind you this is specialty coffee, not Tims for a buck.  Next, go up to the room, drink coffee, shower, eat banana, poop and then go for a walk around town.

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Evenings consist of, Holy Shit that is cheap beer, for 30 cents CAD.  Yup, been drinking to much.

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Sometimes I sit at the bar where another hot girl works and I dream about her back end when she gets me cold beer from the bottom shelf. 🙂  Oh yeah, worth that 1 dollar.

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I also got a haircut for $60 UAT, $3.00 CAD.

So lets get onto the, What the Freggle Rock was Rob thinking parts of Kiev.

Well, I signed up for Tinder, not Grinder as I saw just before installing.  Made a prfile, added my sexy mug shot, and then started liking all the hot Ukraine girls, in hopes of finding love.

Oh, in case you don’t know me, I do not believe in love and think it is a big HOAX.  Yes, most of your parents love you, but that is called Forced Love, they made you.  Other than that, it’s not real.

However, I keep trying to find that Miss Right between all of the Miss Right Nows.

I got several likes in Tinder, and all super hot.  I mean 9 or 10s.  Way out of my league, but we all know that is why Americans come here.

All of the girls, but 1 asked me for my support.  Which means, I pay, they touch my doodle.  Not what I am looking for.

One girl my age, who is super cute messaged me and asked to meet for coffee and a nice conversation.  Sweet!  Her name is Sveta, and she is 38.

My thought was, she is older and more mature, maybe this is for real.  Nope!  during our coffee conversation I explained to her that I was backpacking and am very cheap.  Within seconds, she said she had to go.  Yup, as soon as she knew I was not a sugar daddy, she bolted away, faster than a gay chasing the Oscar Mayer wiener car.

Sveta Profile Picture

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My impressions of Ukraine women online so far. I very much doubtful there are any that are not hookers, or users.  Too bad, they are friggn smokin hot!

Well, why not try it once more, “but this time with feeling!”

So, I meet Jasmin.  I think she is mid twenties, 1/4 Asian, 3/4 Ukraine. Oh my god, hot.  160 CM tall, super skinny, and cans that make my eyes water, and WTF, she wants to meet.  OK, why not!

It actually goes really good.  We hang out for a day, she never asks for gifts, just for me to pay for lunch, dinner, breakfast *wink* *wink*.  Anyways, I had the best time of my life, until that late morning.

She tells me she has to go, gives me a hug and kiss.  I think to work, but sometimes she mixes Ukraine, with English, so who knows.  Anyways, as she is leaving, I noticed her eyes are watery.  Being me, this means nothing more than a sneeze coming on.

1 hour later she text me this, “I really like you! I don’t want to be sid all days. Sorry. :(”  I know sid, means sad and all days means, because I am leaving, I live in Canada, sort of, and she lives her.  Maybe I should not have told her how long it takes to get a visa into Canada, for Ukraine’s.

I tried texting her back, but a day later no response and she blocked me on Tinder.

Only Pictures I have of Jasmin are one I snapped with my back phone camera, and other from her profile picture.

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So, that is where I currently sit in Kiev, and I think I will just enjoy the sights here and move on soon.  Where I am going next!