It’s hard to describe Kiev. Is it beautiful? Is it big? Is it cold? It’s a bit of everything but I never quite got to put my finger on it entirely. Five days is not enough. I spent too many hours in a taxi, looking up at scenes that whizzed by too fast. I would’ve spent my days roaming the streets if it had been sunny, but alas Kiev is deep into Fall, with rain pounding the streets daily (except that one glorious Saturday) and dusk setting in at 5 PM.
I had never been to Eastern Europe before so I was curious. I kept seeing gold copulas and pastel colored church towers sticking up between the stark, grey Soviet buildings, which made of an interesting architectural dichotomy. The people were kind of aloof but friendly and helpful, though most didn’t speak English. I wouldn’t say it’s a lively city but then again I failed to get my party shoes on, except the one time Sara Brajovic and I ended up in a club called Pravda with just 10 people on the dance floor and half on top of the bar, wasted. I tried Borscht, pickled mushrooms, raw honey and ordered $500 worth of black caviar one night. We stayed at the Fairmont hotel, a majestic 5-star hotel with spectacular views of the city and the river – do you see the bridge they are building?
I love Kiev. It’s cool. It’s a nice mix of European and Russian cultures. I was impressed with the architecture and folklore and so much history. You never feel looked at or an outsider. Merchants don’t get in your face; people are quiet; I didn’t hear any American tourists. There’s a happening Boom Boom Room, a Sky Bar and a Buddha Bar. And they even have soy milk.