So day 4 in the Ukraine. I had a little time in the morning and spent it in the hotel lounge. It appears that I have become popular with the girls that work at the bar and two of them had come in on their day off to come in and speak and learn english. So for breakfast I was surround by four women giggling and laughing trying to pronounce the english phrases. So, being the wiseguy that I am I decided to teach them some useful phrases instead of the stale phrases they were learning in class.

How to say hello:

"What's shakin' baby?" (this was a big hit)
"What's up?"

What to say if someone is talking to you but you are not interested in them:
(touch your upper lip) "You have a booger....right ....there"
"I am late for my herpes examination"

And of course the slightly sexual side:
(A line stolen from Top Gun and modified)
"Kiss me now or lose me forever
(A young lady named Svetlana understood english quite well and leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek)
"Kiss me now you fool!"

That was all for english class. So the girls all gave me a hug and thanked me for the english lesson (what fun ))) ). They all wanted me to come back soon. I am already thinking of returning..... against my mother's better judgement

So again Anna and Kristina picked me up from the hotel. The taxi ride to the airport was..... as expected.

Getting through airport security was interesting, They had set up 3 x-ray stations due to a election cadidate landing (Yoschenko). So I am sitting in the airport and I am watching the people. But what catches my eye is a small dog sitting outside the glass doors of the building. It sat there and waited. A man walked through the doors....the dog stayed. Another man walked through....and the dog still stayed. A woman walked through and the dog walked along side her. Had I fergotten to mention that there are dogs EVERYWHERE in the city?
So this dog, a very small dog. About 10 inches high at most and about 18 inches long, dark brown with long fur, very cute. As I watched this dog...IN the airport, he or she began to work the room. He or she did not walk around to the men but rather played on the women and he knew right where to go to get attention. The dog had no collar, so it was a stray as most of them are.
The dog left with a few crackers and bread in its stomach and seemed to be content for awhile.

From Odessa to Warsaw Poland. There I met two gentlemen, not travelling together but both were from opposite sides of Denver Colorado. The older gentleman had married a young Russian lady. Actually she was from Moldova. I talked with her a little bit, she understood English quite well. I told her that I knew that Moldova was a bit of a hotspot for a conflict right now and she agreed. It seems that in order for her to get to Warsaw, the border guards of Moldova were not letting anyone pass and she had to pay someone from the underground or whatever that knew how to bypass the system and get her across the border. NOW, she was going back to visit her parents.... VISIT?!?!?! How about grabbing yer junk and heading for the hills??!!

The flight home was pretty good, 9 hours and 11 minutes. The food on the airlines was ....well ...... airline food but good none the less. There is something to be said however about watching "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" polish. Turns out that the channel changer on my armrest was broken and it only came in in Polish.

Oh! another quick note on the food in the Ukraine. Anywhere we went for food, the food was served with a a gourmet flare. It usually came with several garnish along with drizzled cheese or if it is a dessert like fried ice cream, it would have drizzled chocolate. Generally a decent meal for about 2 or 3 people was $12 to $20. Bottled water like Prerrier was around $1. A 10 to 15 minute taxi ride was around $2-3.
Interpreters run anywhere from $5 to $10 an hour....and you get what you pay for.
Basically inexpensive.

After talking to the bartenders in the lounge, it turns out that their take home pay is about $100 per month and that they work a 24 hour shift with three days off. That equates to about $1/hour of work. In the 24 hour shift, they are not allowed to rest/nap. It is a 24 hour shift. So far everyone I had met has been very optmistic, fun to be with and knows how to have a good time on little or nothing.

So Now I am home, I slept for about 10-1/2 hours. I am going to try and make it to my class tonight and get back on track. The trip was an absolute blast and I am already thinking about when to go back.

Hope you all enjoyed the email "journal". Next time I will actuially try to take and send some pictures. My camera was on the fritz. I was able to shoot a few pictures, but not enough to capture the flavor of the tour.