Day Five – Furniture Shopping?

Was out late last night due to going for a walk to the beach then getting majorly lost on the way back. It wasn’t student night as I’d hoped. However I enjoyed getting lost cause it meant I got to see a lot of the city, there was very little signs of life except the occasional Kebab shop. Crawled back into the hostel at about 3 am and was out like a light.

 6:30am woke up by the hostel owner demanding I paid him despite him saying the night before to pay when I checked out. His English wasn’t great so he didn’t seem to understand get fucked. He then proceeded to try to rip me off, he seemed to understand more this time, I went back to sleep.

7:30am I think it’s fair to say grandad and Iryna’s happy to see you hello wasn’t met with equal emotion, I hate mornings.

 After this me Grandad and Iryna went to the train station to get me a ticket to Chisinau for tomorrow, can only stay with them for one day unfortunately as I’m already a day and a half behind. Although I’m sure grandad must have some great plans for the day if he’s calling this early.

 The next activity for the day was furniture shopping… I came on holiday for this. So off we went to a small furniture market somewhere in the outskirts of Odessa.    After what seemed like an age they came to a decision of what cupboards they wanted. Whole time I’m wishing I’d simply forgot to get off the train and woke up in Bucharest. However life goes on and we went back to granddad’s house via a small market to buy some worms for fishing. Enjoyed this little stop as it gave me time to fuss the stray dogs that were waiting for the fish market’s scraps. Also the hour journey allowed me to catch up on some much needed sleep, or so I thought, rookie error forgetting about the giant potholes that make up the Ukrainian roads, woke to the feeling of my head nutting the window. Beginning to see a pattern here of these potholes causing me pain. 


 Once we got to my Grandads house, which is still in a bit of a state of disrepair, he showed me round. He showed me the outside toilet (hole in the ground) and to the shower, of which I was told ‘it’s okay you can have a shower at my place’, only difference being my shower at the hostel wasn’t a water butt attached to a garden sprinkler. Cheers grandad.


 

  Funnily enough I skipped the shower. Then we were onto some jobs because I promised him I’d help him with his house, so I ended up climbing his tree to cut branches down. Most fun I’d had all day.

  As the day went on grandad decided that as I was only staying for one day, we should go and have some fun.  So we went down to the estuary near his house for a swim, great laugh despite the cold. Then he showed me how to fish in the river.

  Spectacular scenery and 12 fish later we came back for a woodfire BBQ and I’m happy to say they saved the fish for the next day, they didn’t look very appetising. Was a lovely evening and just showed me that despite the floors of his past he’all always be my grandad. Cheers for a great evening. 

Day Four – Broken Wheels and Long Train Rides

  Missed the 6am train this morning due to a taxi I booked not showing up, suppose I can’t complain it took me nearly half an hour to book it, sign language doesn’t work very well over the phone. 
  So I went out early this morning on my board to take advantage of the quieter roads which was all fun till I hit a pothole and was sent completely arse over tit, but still nothing more than grazes and damaged pride. At least I thought, till I looked at my board and realised there was definitely something missing. 

I guess after a few years of wear and tear the urethane gets quite brittle, completely snapped to the core though guess I must’ve ate shit harder than I thought. 

  Most of the remainder of my time in Kiev was spent searching for a skate shop in order to replace the wheel, however this was all in vain because the only skate shop I found appeared to be of the poser ‘stussy’ kind, with about 4 complete boards in the whole place. I was a tad disappointed to say the least. Although I did expect that the skate scene wouldn’t be incredibly popular out here. 

  I went back to the hostel checked out and started the trek to the station. I call it a trek despite being merely 2km, I was now carrying everything, including a 3 wheeled longboard so it seemed a lot further than it actually was. 

  On the subject of leaving Kiev I’d like to say thank you to Anton and Marianna for helping me get my phone fixed so quickly.

  Despite the mishaps of the day the train itself was a reasonably pleasant 7 hour ride through the Ukrainian countryside, with wifi working the whole trip. I got into Odessa at about 11:30pm with an extra night in a hostel booked due to Granddads ‘it’s too dark to come pick you up’ excuse. Probably would’ve appreciated a more honest ‘can’t be arsed’. However every cloud has a silver lining and this allows me to see what Odessa has to offer on a Thursday night. Please let it be student night.

Day Two – Putin Toilet Paper

Day two: Up early this morning despite getting in so late due to the shear heat. Another thing I hadn’t planned for. Anyway ‘seize the day’ and all that shite had me motivated, so I unpacked most of my stuff into my locker and went out for a few miles of longboard sightseeing.

  My first and favourite sight of the day has to be Putin bog roll found in the markets which lie in the metro under the roads.


 

 Further riding and google maps led me to the Rodina Mat Statue, usually at this point I’d go to google and write some bullshit acting as if I knew everything about it. However Ill keep this honest, all the signs were in russian so I basically just went, took some photos and enjoyed the fact that the surrounding park had very smooth paths which made weaving in and out of pedestrians as fast as you can all the more fun. There were however some stunning views from the statue overlooking Kiev. 


  After a few miles of battling uphill longboarding, combined with the summer sun, I can honestly say I was knackered so I found a bar with free wifi and refuelled for the trip back. Home comforts of arguing with flatmates about who’s gonna ring the landlord via Facebook make the trip all the more worth it, I now have the best excuse.

  On my way back to the hostel I found Kiev’s equivalent of Big Ben (a clock on a hill). I would’ve gone down to read what it was about, however I assumed that it would follow suit and be written in Russian and leaving my belt at the hostel made this a race back to the hostel before I showed Kiev my arse.

  Also discovered an ‘international marriage agency’ assume that’s basically where you can buy a wife, until they get citizenship of course.

  In the evening I met up with Anton and Marianna and they took me to a park where we rented electric bike/scooter things. Great fun, small tip, don’t attempt snapchat whilst riding, potholes and no suspension don’t go well together. RIP old iPhone screen.

Day One – Winging It through Europe

Day One: Sat on the train apprehensive for the trip ahead. Vague plans in mind of where I want to go with simply a flight to Ukraine booked, an interrail pass and a longboard to make my way home.   This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long while now. I don’t enjoy plans and find that they ruin the real adventure of trips such as this, so here I am, putting the “failing to plan is planning to fail” mantra to the test. Reminds me of times spent at Scouts as a child willing the leaders to spend less time condescending and more time actually doing the activities. Suppose that’s what happens when you have your bollocks tied by health and safety. 

        Currently on the flight perplexed by Russian pronunciations, coming in at 00:40 I’ve got a taxi booked to take me to my hostel which more than likely I will be unable to check in to. Beds are overrated anyway.