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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

UKRAINIAN RAMBLINGS

WHAT TO DO WHAT TO DO

I suspect that through sheer laziness combined with the un-professionalism of those attempting to do business and desire to save money coupled with lack of funds, I will probably be remaining where I am (Lviv Ukraine for those who have lost track) for another month.

My time at the current lodgings started out well enough but 'the deal got changed' part way through.  And the deal never changes in a positive way.

Oh, if only...

When I first moved in, it was me and the guy who normally lives downstairs.  Great.  Aside from occassional overly emotional outbursts toward his long distance girlfriend on the phone, he's quiet.  After a week and a half, his cousin moves in.  Now don't get me wrong, his cousin is nice and all - but it's still another person.  Who likes to sometimes play loud music.  And we all know how I feel about loud music.

My chosen super power would be blowing up things that play music with lightning!  Probably invisible so I don't get beaten like a red headed step child.  (Note, if you are a red headed step child who got beaten by their foster parents and think that's insensitive - fuck you.   Get over yourself and make me a turkey pot pie before I shoot you with invisible lightning.)

So the place has moved down in comfort.

Logan gets on the internet and begins to research.

I'm not sure of the price in the USA for places that help people find places to stay (do we still have them?) but here they charge half the rent again for short term and a full month's rent for long term.  Not sure if it's just me or that price is on crack.  It does have the effect of turning a 'good deal' (say $200 per month rent) into a pretty 'standard deal' of $300 per month rent.  Which I can get in lots of different places, including 'not here'.

So that seems a bit high to me.  Fortunately, I can take consolation in two things.  First, I've only got another month or month and a half to go here.  Second, the internet should eventually completely decimate their business like Netflix did to Blockbuster.

Not that I'm vengeful or anything.


So anyway, I'm doing research, looking for a place rented by the owners themselves.  And this is where the lack of professionalism kicks in.  You see it a lot in businesses here (like in Asia) where they demand change from the customers because they didn't bother to stock up on any.  I'm beginning to think that for the poor people and poor countries - yeah.  There is usually a series of reasons.  Some are obvious enough that even I notice.

So I'm going through the ads and realizing that a lot of people (including on AirBnb - I did check) seem to have a very unrealistic view of how much their place is worth.

But keep in mind that I'm looking on the low end.  Charging more than a couple hundred bucks for some of the places I've seen moves into a different kind of robbery.

Sadly, a lot of the places listed don't have valid phone numbers, contact information, etc.  See also previously explained lack of professionalism.

Right now, my plan is to see if I can continue staying where I am.  If not, I may as well go to the next town to check that out.  Plus, it gets me a bit closer to Romania.  Sadly, the train schedules to that town seem to have been set up by sadists.  There are some ride sharing options I may explore as I've not done that before.

Update:  They wanted me to stay.  I expressed my only concern (the music) and was told that a set of earphones will be used.  While I have doubts this will actually be stuck to, I will (in the interest of attempting to save money and general laziness) stick around for another month.  Lviv is a good place to drop two months.

I'm going to also work on doing some research this month.  That is the one sucky thing about Europe - more research is needed.  It's not like you can just drop into a place and say "What do you have for $10?"  The answer might be 'nothing at all'.



TRAVELER'S TIPS

If you are going to a party, be sure to have an escape route planned.  After a couple hours of listening to a language you don't understand (nobody will translate for you - plan on that) it will be time to escape.


In doing my research on Romania (my possible next stop after Ukraine) it struck me that if someone had the money to drop $25-$35 per night for guest houses and such, it would be nifty to go on a train or car tour of the country for a couple months.



COSTS (Still in Lviv, Ukraine)

A $25 to $50 (anywhere sane) pair of sandals, $125.  Not kidding.  Pretty much anything imported (shoes, clothing, etc) is completely insane in the prices - but you can still get a nice $2 bottle of local wine.


Apartment agency:  For three months and shorter rental term, 50% of the price of the apartment.  For longer term, 100% the rental price.  In other words, if you want a $200 per month place for a month and they find you one, their fee is $100.  I found that on the WTF side of unacceptable.  In Bulgaria it was something like $30.  No clue what's up with the high price.

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PICTURES

{{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 | Portugal: Faro

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