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 …

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!