Trip Start Jul 16, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ukraine  ,
Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ah, the expat scene - expats; ah, that word gives me the shits. Probably because expats give me the shits. Either it means people that used to be called Patrick - well I've actually got nothing against them - whether they're still called Patrick or not... it's the other kind that gives me the shits. The ones that work overseas but never learn the local laguage and always go to certain pubs that cater to them (by speaking English) because they're too arrogant and too stupid to learn the local language.
I think I might be sitting in one ridht now.
When the waitress spoke to me in English I told her in Russian I had no idea what she was saying. And the other waitress asked me whether I wanted an English menu and I again said 'nyet'.

These places always have soccer on big-screen tv, they're always noisy, the groups of pommy merchant bankers or wankers are always extremely noisy on week-ends... and it's probably indistinguishable in scores of countries all over the world.

I just watched one of these poms skull 1/2 a litre of beer in about one minute. Now they're all handing over money. Ah, might be a stag night? Two of them are a foot away from me doing a bit of argie-bargie and I think I heard I'm not the stag, you're the stag... could just be coincidence.

Oh, I just told the waitress that I think I need a t-shirt that says - please don't speak to me in English. And I just saw a waiter say something to a bird sitting with two blokes. I suspect he said it in Russian, knowing that the only person likely to understand him would be the girl... Kiev is starting to drive me up the wall... or I need to find some place without bloody expats... sorry Zenon.

Really strange scene at the square. Sound of voices singing. I thought it was like in Lviv where there was a group of older people singing but no - they were really young and singing to a guitar but I was far enough away that I couldn't hear the guitar but there must have been some special quality to the sound of these Ukrainians singing in unison that reminded me of the sessions in Lviv.

Getting into the hotel at night past the two guards outside the door reminds me of getting into a compound in Kenya during the <i>mau-mau</i> uprising. If Ukraine is that dangerous I feel sorry for the Ukrainians. Or probably they think it's cool to have armed guards everywhere - little do they know that we think it's the sign of instability and impending danger.

But the rich people love it. I hope this sort of thing changes soon.  It's not a good sign.

Out on the street things were looking a bit better.  Streets are pretty lively but it does have the big city feel which I don't find that friendly compared to just about any smaller city you might go to.
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