yep, that pretty much sums it up.

What follows below is a day by day account. I assure you I did not make any of this up. Stories this good can not be made up.

Well I made it.

Upon landing at Odessa, I was slightly taken aback when we flew in over Odessa. There isn't (at least from what I could see) any building higher than 10 stories.

The houses that I could see have absolutely no color whatsoever. I thought I was behind the camera of a World War II documentary (I kid you not).

At any rate upon arriving at the airport at Odessa, we taxi'd in.......past some bi-planes...... that I was told were still in service. (yikes) After that we taxi'd past the "old" airport terminal that had been fire bombed by rebels a few years back (or so I was told). After that we taxi'd further more past some retired planes that appeared to be used as target practice from either local kids or the military.

So far its been....interesting.

The interpreter "Tatyana" met me at the airport. All I can say is "OMG". She is 42 years old, has two children, one 22 and the other 4 (go figure) and if she tried hard enough she could pass for a college student.

From the airport we took a local cab.... how nice it is to see the barter system in full gear. I could have traded my crappy Timex for about a 6 hour ride.

Well folks, as I had mentioned before, I thought I was behind the camera shooting a WWII documentary. I thought the airport was going to be the highlight. I was WAY off base. From the airport to the hotel took about 20 minutes. The buildings are quite beautiful as far as architecture goes but leave alot to the imagination for color. Grays, browns and "off"-anycolor" seem to fall within the city schema for portraying stark happiness and joy. I am overwhelmed.

The driving techniques of the Ukrainians is somewhat unique. There are no lines on the roads, the roads are NOT divided, you do not have to drive on one side of the road and on the way right before the hotel, a person needed to get around a truck and used the sidewalk. (No, I am not making this up, I can't make stuff up this good) So far I have only seen a stop light, not a yellow yield or green for go, just red. From what I can tell nobody watches the lights anyways, so I am guessing that it is a decoration from a past holiday. There are no one way streets. The hotel I am in is quite lovely, however to get to it we had to drive through two alleys. The last alley was missing half of its roadway.......down the middle.

There is no grass per se, there is however plenty of mud where there once was grass.

People dress pretty much normal here. I spotted a McDonalds not too far away.....its called a "McDrive" because it has a drive thru (go figure). The women at least the younger crowd, seems to like to wear boots that stop just under the knee and have anywhere from a 2 inch to 4 inch heel. Usually made of vinyl. Fur collars are very popular here.

Well thats all for now. I am meeting one of my friends to night (Kristina). Tomorrow I will be touring around the city with Dmitri and Alexander, and then Kristina again later that day.


This is in no way meant to be a slam against any Ukrainian or Russian decent people ( I love the Ukrainians). These are just my observations during the trip