Cristian Livadaru's blog

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Update on Kiev

Somehow I didn’t manage to stick to my plan to write more about Kiev, so I will just throw everything in one big blog.
Where should I start? There is so much to write about and my memory really doesn’t want to help me right now. But I have to start somewhere …

Driving in Kiev:

[![Img 9414][2]][2]

No, I’m not with my car here, but I go everyday by taxi. First of all, if you use the seatbelt you are a looser! Seatbelt is something for the weak, the strong don’t need seatbelts. At least that is the impression you get here. I have been counting one day on the way to work and I saw about 3-4 people wearing a seatbelt. Not that I looked in every car since most of them have tainted windows (will discuss that in a second) but the ones I could see into where most without seatbelts. From all the taxis I was in there was none (zero) drivers that used the [![][3]][3]seatbelt.
Ok now to the tainted windows. No matter what car you have, if it’s a taxi, a private car, a Public transport Bus or even a police car, you have to taint your windows to be authentic! Could it be some late effects of communism? Where everybody is scared that “big brother” is watching them? I have no idea. In most cases tainted windows are used for tuning cars, which indeed looks nice on some cars. But why a public transport bus would need tainted windows? I don’t really know. Ok it is a bit exaggerated how I wrote it, there are still enough without tainted windows, but that rather is the exception.
Speed, well this is something that is really not considered as law. Drive pas the police with to much speed, no problem in Kiev.
Go with over 100km/h trough the city with a beautiful R8 … also nothing impossible in Kiev. Actually even simple cars go over 100, especially taxis.
Crossing red light is also something used here by taxis. You are allowed to turn right when it’s red in most cases, but taxi drivers also go straight over the red light, no problem here.
Heavy traffic and in a hurry? Well why not use your SUV and climb on the sidewalk. Where you can drive your car without breaking it … do it. Traffic signs and other things like this don’t really matter here.
Driving here is similar with other eastern countries, not much difference.

Lifestyle:
To put it short … “High” no, I don’t mean high on drugs, I mean high …. the opposite of low. High prices, high cars, high heels … If you are a women in Kiev, you have to wear high heels, the higher … the better. Without high heels you don’t exist.
High cars, Jeeps, SUV are very popular. Although the roads aren’t that bad people still love Jeeps and SUV. But if we go by road quality, I don’t think anybody in Austria would need a SUV.

Spare time:

[![Img 9564][4]][4]So, [![Img 9565][5]][5]what can you do on weekends? There is plenty to see but I won’t write to much about that now. For now I will just concentrate on what to do on hot sunny days. The Beach! Well, it’s not a beach on the see, the black see is a bit to far for just a weekend trip but you could take the Metro to Hidropark instead. Hidropark (Water Park) is a nice place with lot’s of places to lay in the sun and take cool of with some cold beer and in the cool water. The entrance is free, but if you go to a private beach where they offer you something to sit on you do have to pay. It’s 20 UAH for a seat and 10 UAH for an umbrella. The nice thing about this is that it is not so crowded and that you have the Bar behind you where you can get a cold beer.
[![Img 9563][6]][6][![Img 9424][7]][7]Locals also like playing chess or using the equipment for [![Img 9553][8]][8]bodybuilding or just to train your body a bit. I kind of like the idea, to provide tools to keep yourself in shape for free. The tools might look pretty old, which they actually are but they are for free and also do the job.

Metro:

Img 9588The Metro in Kiev is really cheap, it’s only 0.50 UAH, which is only 6 Euro cent. But be Img 9584prepared that it really is crowded. We only used it during the weekend and still it was quite crowded. I really don’t want to know how it is during rush hour. We have also been at the deepest metro station in the world, Arsenalna. It takes you 4 minutes to get to the sufrface. I measured only the time we [![Img 9600][13]][13]where standing on the escalator, walking is not inkluded in this time. The pictures from the Metro are not from Arsenalna, was a bit to tired for that. Pictures of from Arsenalna will follow, still have about 3 weeks to go till we get back home.

And here a final picture, found this quite amusing.

Img 9473

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