Saturday, February 1, 2014



Unlike other countries I've been to, the border guards were singularly inattentive.  One was busy sending a text on his phone when I approached.  He grudgingly put it away and informed me that although I was transferring to a different flight, the $20 Turkish visa would still need to be purchased.

Coming from Germany, the airport was a bit of a shock.  It was a lot like having someone urbane introduce you to their younger, sleazier, greedier and more retarded brother.

Unlike the super efficient German airport, the counters didn't open until an hour or two before the international flight and nobody knew where they would be.  They would make a gesture which conveyed not only their ignorance of the topic asked upon but total indifference to your plight.  The finger thick glass was obviously to prevent customers from strangling the inept lazy staff.

After getting sized up for a possible stabbing by various men in maroon track suits, I was eventually allowed to turn in my luggage and pass through the only thing which seemed clean and in good working order - the huge amounts of duty free counters.

At least here there were no questions of 'onward transit'.


Upon arrival in Kiev, I stepped out into cold which made my coat crackle.  When you come from the tropics into such, you wonder if you've gone insane.  Perhaps South America did make me a bit crazy.

In order to get to the terminal I wanted, I had to take an airport shuttle bus to it.  I consulted with the driver and he confirmed I'd picked the right bus.  It wasn't until I was seated in the bus I saw the sign "Driver gives no information".  Dodged a bullet there.

For some odd reason, the shuttle made a couple of stops at seemingly random places on the street before making it to the terminal.

We waited for the plane, eventually presenting our boarding passes and trudging out to a different bus to take us to the plane.  After awhile in the bus, we had to go back into the airport.  There was a problem - no plane.  It wasn't that the plane had mechanical problems, blown up or otherwise hijacked - they just didn't have a plane.  Nobody had more information.  I've been told by many people "Only in Ukraine."

We were told it would be a couple hours until a plane was found.  Clutching all of my bags, I fell asleep.

A man I'd had a cigarette with and a brief chat to woke me up.  This is where the Logan Luck kicked in.  He told me to follow him.  Sure, why not.  I gathered my things and we headed away from the rest of the passengers.  "There will be no plane.  I have managed to reserve three seats on a bus to Odessa.  One is for you, one for me and one for another lady."

How much would this cost?  $30 - USD.

Fine.  It was pretty cheap and I could afford it.

A quote from the kind man who woke me named Denise "This is Ukraine, who knows.  It's happening when it's fucking happening."  And no, I did not misspell his name.

Now in most airports if the plane is cancelled as it was announced later this one was the airport would take care of either putting the passengers up at a hotel, pay for a bus or at a minimum refund the ticket price.  Not so here.  It is possible that if I spent a dozen hours hotly arguing with someone I may have gotten back the $40 ish dollars of the airfare but it is more likely I'd have just wasted my time.

"This is Ukraine.  Nothing is simple, nothing works right." I am often told.

Only a couple people were hotly arguing with the attendant.  The rest just seemed to accept the situation and began looking for buses.  There didn't seem to be other buses.  Since we had a few minutes until our departure time, I decided to try what was probably gawd awful coffee from the machines.

I was blocked of course by not having any of the local currency.  "Only national currency accepted" read many signs inside the secure area of the airport.  That's kind of a big 'fuck you' to tourists.  Apparently it is the same in Russia and they have chosen to copy this appalling custom.  After getting some 'hryvnia' via my mighty Paypal card I was further blocked by a very special lady persuading her colleague not to give me change.  "What a special person you must be!" I told her.  The guy who was going to give me change did his best to suppress a huge grin.

Next time - the bus to Odessa!


My large bag is about 12KG and my small is 8KG.  I realize that is still 20KG and many would tell you that is a huge amount of weight.  Unfortunately, I can't figure out any clever way to reduce it.  The small bag contains just my computer and cables and yes, it gets used plenty.  The normal adage of 'dump clothing' has already been done and I've not much to wear.  Especially noteworthy as I seem to have entered the arctic circle.

No comments:

Post a Comment


{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

For videos with a Loganesque slant, be sure to visit here. You can also Facebook Logan.