So yesterday I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon and into the night to recover from the night lost to travel and get myself in sync with local time, which is 7 hours ahead of Marion and 8 hours ahead of New Orleans. This morning, I finished unpacking and settling in. Finally it was time to see the city.
The first order of business was to get a local SIM card and currency. This was very easy with the help of the hotel staff. You might find it interesting that in Kiev or at least this part of the city rather than having crosswalks at major intersections they tend to have pedestrian tunnels filled with shops and entrances at each corner. In the nearest such tunnel was a booth where I could exchange my currency and another where I could get a SIM card. So now I have a Ukrainian phone number (+380636529760) I probably won’t use and 20GB of data I can use when away from the hotel’s WiFi.
The next order of business was lunch. And again the hotel staff comes to the rescue. They led me to a place nearby that serves traditional Ukrainian food, Katyusha Varenychna. So for lunch I had 2 types of Varenyky, a bite-size pierogi. The first was filled with mashed potatoes and covered with onions, the second filled with cabbage and covered bits of ham they called bacon and onions. And to drink I had: tea, Earl Grey, hot.
With lunch completed, I began my actual explorations by heading down the block to find the nearest Metro station, which I missed though it could have bit me if it were the proverbial snake, and on down the street to Mariinsky Park. Unfortunately it was too foggy for what is supposed to be a great view of the river, but I did get to see the neighboring Mariinsky Palace, which is like the Ukrainian White House, but decided taking pictures may not be the best idea considering the light but obvious police perimeter and what looked like a motorcade.
All that walking required an out of shape slob like me to rest in my apartment. And figure out where I missed the metro and start planning the next day. After a while I decided to go to a supermarket and get more bottled water and tea bags, then some dinner at the same place as lunch. This time I had chicken kiev in Kiev and something that looks and tastes a lot like my dad’s “greasy potatoes.” And again Earl Grey, because I’ve read that bottled water, soft drinks and alcohol are the best way to avoid digestive problems.