Sunday 16 September 2007

More travellers tales, still Kyiv calling!

11 September 2007
Hotel, Kyiv - 7:50am (local time)
I've just been for breakfast. Reassuringly continental. I think maybe there was other stuff... but the cold buffet just looked too good. You could have salad (?!) and a selection of cold meat and chesses, of which I am very fond for breakfast. The bread was a quite different textrue from at home... less fluffy and more holes. The coffee was extremely strong... still, at least it will keep me going nicely! The best thing was the apple yoghurt. I'm not sure that I've ever seen that in the UK but they have it a lot abroad and I think it is great!

I'm an hour early for being picked up to go to the office now though! Oh, well!

Hotel, Kyiv - 10:10pm (local time)
Exhausted! Went out after work with some of the guys from the office. We walked all the way up Andriyivsky Uzviz, which is very steep! I was very glad when we got to the top. My Ukrainian colleagues told me a tale about a king who forced an army to march up this hill and was killed for his pains! The bar was 'rustic'. We were sat in what I can only describe as a 'winter garden'. It sure did turn chilly. We had beer which is from Lviv, which is in Western Ukraine. We had some snacks; some pork fat cooked in garlic which the english menu described as lard but it was more like fatty ham rind. Quite nice, especially with the garlic. Also there were cheese and olives.

It was quite a traumatic experience when I got back to the hotel as they wanted the bill paying which was 4,600UAH I tried explaining that the company was paying... phone calls to everyone I could think of ensued before I finally got hold of the office Director (whose phone number I had stupidly left in the hotel room). Finally everyone ageed that it could wait until tomorrow morning.

We had pizza for lunch today in the office... and coca-cola. Cool! I noticed that the beer in the bar was really cheap... about a tenth of the cost of what the room service bar is charging, but isn't that always the way with room service.

Of course the computer installation didn't go smoothly (like it was ever going to). Lucky their computer guy was there as all the operating systems etc. speak Russian! It did almost work apart from the fact that the programme won't print which is annoying. Much communication with the helpdesk in the UK but still not resolved! It really was hard to get the computers to do anyting at all what with all the menus being in Russian... have to rely on my memory of what commands/buttons come where... much to the amusement of my Ukrainian colleagues!