Tuesday. Today I got up and decided to tackle the adventure of walking into the office all by myself. Everyone offered to send a car for me, but that defeats so much of the purpose of living in such an awesome city. I want to get out and get exercise, experience life in Kiev, and get some fresh air. It is Spring in Kiev after all and it is gorgeous here, much like I imagine people expect Paris to be in spring time. It is the perfect temperatures for doing some walking. Chilly, but not actually cold. If I was not walking, it would be far too cold. But walking, it is good.
Kiev, as a city, reminds me a lot of Chisinau, which to be fair is the only other ex-Soviet city that I have spent time in so it makes a lot of sense that they remind me of each other.
So my walk in this morning went pretty well and I managed to not make any wrong turns. I even had Max zip past me on his electrified bicycle while I was walking. He saw me and stopped to chat for a minute before heading into the office. It was handy that he saw me because he was able to explain the final turns to get to the office as it does get just a little complex navigating the small streets right at the end.
It is handy that so many people smoke at the office as there is always a congregation of smokers out in front making it very easy to find as you walk up the street, and there is always someone ready to unlock the door for me. It also gives me a chance to stand out in the cold and cool down before going into the office. It is a decent walk and while I don’t sweat while walking, if I go from walking hard in the chill to inside a warm office all of a sudden, I will sweat like crazy. But if I let myself freeze outside first, I can do the office without a problem.
Everyone was pretty amazed that I had walked so far without a coat. They were all bundled up and freezing outside. I was decently comfortable in just a normal shirt and jeans.
For lunch today, Anton and I went out for pizza downtown. It was really good pizza, but probably not as good as we normally get in New York or Italy. We are a bit spoilt for pizza selection in our lives.
He also showed me around the high end grocery store in the city. Wow is it impressive. It makes grocery stores back in the US just look silly. While there I got meringues and beers to take back to the office.
There was so much amazing food at the grocery store. Much of it that they made right there. There were even several restaurants, including a wine bar, inside of the grocery store!
We put in a day at the office. Then this evening Anton and I met up with some friends and drove out to far into the left bank and went to a brew pub way out in the suburbs of Kiev. The beer was really good and we had a good time. Very nice place.
It turned out that one of the guys that we were hanging out with was telling me about his business and suddenly I realized that he was the CEO of a company that I knew and had written about, even just today while on MangoLassi! So that was really interesting and we had a good time hanging out.
The men’s room at the brew pub, which was a fancy, modern place, had one of the old fashioned hole in the floor toilets that I would never have expected to find here. This is a first in Ukraine.
I had to take a picture as we are always talking about how we find these around the world. I was really not expecting one in a new, nice brew pub!
It was not a late night tonight. Got dropped off back at the apartment.