As promised (or threatened) my first impressions of Kiev. Arriving at the airport I had to go through pass control. I was delighted to see that they had a counter just for ESC guests. You would imagine that they would post English speaking staff there. Well, they don't. We tried to communicate but she then had to get a colleague to support her and in the end they let me enter without too much hassle. My luggage arrived fairly early so I could get into town quickly. I was surprised to see an old acquaintances in the arrival hall though. Hüseyn was already working with me as volunteer in 2011& 2015. Now, again he is the delegation host of Germany and he was picking up the German delegation. He is going to have the best of times.
On my way to the bus (which is a 2min walk) about 15(!) taxi drivers asked me if I want a ride. Fairly annoying. People here don't really speak English. So I was not sure if I was actually on the right bus until the end of the trip. And what trip it was. It reminded me a lot of Bratislava except that the buses to Vienna were more modern.
At the train station I did not see the metro entry at first. I can now relate to my mother when she visited me in Ireland and didn't want to do anything on her own. If you don't speak the language and get lost it is darn nerve-wrecking.
Arriving at kreshchatyk I had to find guidance to get to Mala zhytomyrska. It is one thing if you have a map but another if the street signs are in Cyrillic.
But I got here in the end and what can I say, I basically live within the Eurovision fan mile. I literally just have to walk down my street. Today I will walk to the euro club to see if this is really 25min or even less.
The apartment itself is quite hidden and fairly old. I was a bit scared to walk up the iron (or whatever metal) stairs as they looked ready to collapse. The pictures I already uploaded yesterday.
But the apartment is really cute. It has a kind of winter garden/balcony. What is missing though are window blinds. The daylight woke me up at 4am.
I really like the area we are staying in because it has all those historic buildings. At the same time, I know, my legs will be complaining tomorrow from all the uphill/downhill action going on.
After taking a few deliberate detours on my way to Lviv handmade chocolate cafe (my mom really wants that chocolate) I tool an accidental wrong turn. For about 20min I was completely lost, wandering around, hoping to find something I could recognize on the map I had with me. When I finally did, I was just one block away from the cafe. I guess my sense of orientation isn't completely off.
My mom had send me a picture of the chocolate the wants, however, they did not have the wrapped version anymore. So instead I have now two huge chunks of chocolate blocks. I can't wait for my moms face when she sees that. She better be happy. I spent 420 UAH on chocolate. That is 15 euro worth of chocolate. My whole shopping I did was less than half of that.
Talking about shopping. They have a billa here, which I know from Austria.so I went in and I am telling you it is difficult to buy groceries when you have no clue what you are buying. I mean I recognized the apples and the cereal. But my biggest problem was milk. So here they sell some in bottles and some in bags. And while I can read the 2.5% or 0.5% indicating whether this was full fat milk or not I had no idea what the difference between monoko and kedpip and whatnot is. I tried the first one and did tasted alright with the granola I bought and I did not have to visit the bathroom afterwards. Meaning whatever kind of milk I bought, my body is at least not revolting against it.
Now, I walked to the euroclub location arriving around 3pm. So I went to the cafe first as the club was only opening at 8pm.
At first my plan was to just sit and relax and writing this. Looking for a place to sit the sofas were all occupied and I was about to just take a chair. Then I changed my mind asking a guy at one of the sofas if he'd mind if I would sit there too. 5h later we walked to euroclub together.
Dan is from the UK and we talked about ESC,ESC and a bit more ESC. He was only there for a meet and greet that was canceled last minute and about ready to leave when I arrived.
What really bugs me about the night though: I am such a chicken!!! When we stood outside euroclub Estonia arrived and I did not get a picture :( and it would have been so easy as I had taken one for Dan.
Then Brendan Murray surprised us on stage and thanks to Dan I now have a pic with Brendan. But I behaved so awkwardly! What is wrong with me? Why am I sort of star struck? I don't think it's really that but more the idea that I am not a 15year old fan girl. But whenever it come to Eurovision this 30year old turns to a kinda groupie. Then again, I have been walking a fair amount in the sun (yes, the weather in Ukraine is warm and sunny) so maybe I had a sunstroke rather than a starstroke.
From this years ESC we had also Romania and Czech Republic perform. I did not even attempt to get a picture.
Real highlight of the night was verka serduchka. The 2007 entry has become somewhat of a ESC legend and to see verka perform live was amazing. The house was on fire! Great finish for this day!
I uploaded some videos to YouTube as I cannot upload them on my blog.
Btw:I just tried the other milk and I believe this is what buttermilk tastes like. In anyway it is disgusting.
pennyless fashion designer working towards London