(Ukraine) Finally Spring coming? – First time ever to rent a flat in the trip!!

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[15/02/28~04/02 (D+1310)] 
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Rear ream was broken, so I had to get a lift to the next city. After passing Ukrainian immigration, I tried to hitchhike just in front of checking point. The guy who wore military clothes and held a donation box said he would help me to find a car. I asked him what he was doing on the border. He told me he was volunteering to help the Eastern Ukraine which was having the war. Many drivers on a car put money into the box which he was holding.
Time went and it started dark. Finally he found one car which was going to Lviv. I felt Ukrainian was so kind and helpful that they didn’t mind helping me with smile. But I was so scared ever on the car, because the driver drove like on a video game. When I arrived in Lviv, I was glad that I was not died yet with heart attack.
The first thing I felt about city was ‘grey’ and ‘vivid’. Buildings were very grey and looked old, but there were so many people on the street.
Broken rear rim broke my tube so it was very hard to find hostels which I checked on online with a flat tire. Also I was looking for an exchange shop, but it was very difficult to find in the night. I found one at Casino building. 1$=26 hryvnia (UAH) (At the next day I found a lot of exchange shops.)
The hostel was only for 95 UAH (3.5$). I’ve never ever seen this kind of good hostel with this cheap price in the world. But actually it was not cheapest hostel in the world.

(I took the picture of the room at the next day.)

 

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Ukraine was in the midst of a currency crisis when I got there. Actually one year ago 1$ was 8UAH. I could not believe how come it went 3 times more for a year. I was wondering the past of UAH currency. So I checked five years of Ukrainian currency. All the time it was same that the graph of currency was only one straight line for many years. Suddenly straight line was broken in 2014.
If I came here one year ago I should pay 11$ for the hostel. But now I only paid 3.5$.

 

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I was very hungry after check in hostel. I found very nice pizza restaurant just at the next hostel. I ordered beer for 0.53$. WHAT? Beer in this nice restaurant was only 0.53$???? (One year ago actually it was 1.75$ for one beer here.)
There were so many shocking things coming to me during staying in Ukraine.

 

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The tasty was so fantastic maybe because I was so tired and hungry. This enough big pizza for one person was only 2.1$. I could not believe it.
If I want to have a good meal in a nice restaurant in Latin America or Africa, at least I had to pay over 10$~20$. But here I only paid 2$. What a shocking thing…

 

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When I was in Canada, I found that Canadian love Sushi so much. So I started liking Sushi since I went to Canada. But the problem was Sushi was always too expensive to me. I think I’ve not been Sushi restaurant by myself because I was so scared of the price. But here I ordered Sushi, Beer, and Miso soup for 3.5$ by myself. I felt too weird such as I became rich.

 

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All this shocking thing happened because Ukraine was having war in the eastern side. So I felt between the heaven and hell. I should not be happy although I could go to a restaurant all the time, which was my ream. It was weirdest moment in the trip.
I decided to stay in this city, Lviv for a month to cure my broken crown which I got in Mexico three years ago. So, I wanted to rent a flat, which I’ve never done in the trip. I was already looking for it before I arrived but it was not easy.

 

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On the weekend, 1$ went up to 28 UAH. When I tried to take money from ATM, 1$ went to 26 UAH on Monday. I only took 300$. I didn’t know how much it would go up, so I decided to take only 300$. (After this week, 1$ went down to 22 UAH. Anyway 22 UAH was still very high number.)

 

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I found some websites for renting a room. Airbnb was definitely not a good website, because the company took too much service fee per night from the host and guest. Fortunately there were some good local websites which didn’t take service fee.

I posted info about it separately.
http://www.universewithme.com/blog/2015/07/07/%EB%A6%AC%EB%B9%84%EC%9A%B0-%EC%9A%B0%ED%81%AC%EB%9D%BC%EC%9D%B8-%EC%95%84%ED%8C%8C%ED%8A%B8-%EB%A0%8C%ED%8A%B8%ED%95%98%EA%B8%B0-%EC%9A%B0%ED%81%AC%EB%9D%BC%EC%9D%B8-%ED%98%84%EC%A7%80-%EB%A0%8C/

I stayed only one night at the hostel and I moved to a flat which I found at the day I arrived on online. The location was fantastic that it was just in front of Opera house, the center of city. The left one on the picture was the building of Opera house.

 

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As entering into the building, I could feel very rusty flat.

 

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The stair was also very old. The picture of the room from the online looked okay, but I was a bit worried when I stepped on the stair.

 

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After ringing the bell and greeting to the owner, I was really shocked because the flat was much better than pictures.

 

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There was a laundry and bathtub on a bathroom. I felt like I entered to the heaven. No.. it was like I was holding the heaven in my life.

 

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It was my dream to put my body to a bathtub and have a relax time. Finally dream would come true?

 

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If following the corridor

 

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Then this beautiful room was showed up. It was totally my favorite style!!!

The ceiling was very high!!!

Someone told me that he (she?) wanted to live in the place where the ceiling is high. At that time I could not understand what it meant.
But now I could understand!! High ceiling made me have feel that I was in the palace.

 

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TV looked very nice as well. But I usually do not like to watch TV, so it would be useless to me. However, a wide TV made the room nicer. The flat was really beautiful that I really loved it. So I used to clean flat just little bit and made a bed every day.

 

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There was a balcony. I was a non-smoker and there was no table. Also the street was a bit noise and people could watch me easily, so I didn’t use the balcony.

On the online the price was 400 UAH (15$) per night. I thought I would rent for 20 days for the dentist. Then it would be 8000 UAH (300$). I just called 5500 UAH (211$) on the email when he told me 400 UAH for one night. Surprisingly he just accepted it without word. I didn’t know to bargain could be easy.

Let’s see…
If I rent this room one year ago, I had had to pay 687$. If I could not get discount, I had had to pay 1000$.
Actually if I arrived here one year ago, I could not think about to rent this apartment.

 

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Opera house was only one minute and McDonald and the center was 3 minutes from my flat. Usually many people made appointment in front of Opera house. So when I had an appointment, it took only one minute to get.
In front of the flat, there was Uzbekistan restaurant.

 

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In Ukrainian restaurant always put how much weight was on the menu. Usually the portion was small that it was only 150g~300g (5 ounce to 10 ounce). So, I usually ordered two menus. I paid total 108 UAH on this restaurant. I thought I ordered the beer as well. It was only 4.15$ for two meals and beer. (If it was one year ago, it would be 13$)

 

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I took all of things out of bag and put separately by use to drawers. Finally I felt like I became a normal person in the normal world.
There was interesting thing that always there was garbage coming out when I arranged things. At the next time the same amount of garbage would come out for sure.
Do you know ‘the law of conservation of mass’? It was like ‘the law of conservation of garbage’ I put iPhone to compare how much size was. Haha

 

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Just at the next to the flat, there was Crimea restaurant. Although Russia took Crimea from Ukraine, always there were people in the restaurant. (I was not sure that local people didn’t go to this restaurant often anymore or they didn’t care.)

 

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I ordered salad first.

 

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I ordered some rice as well, but there was same salad on the plate. I felt like being cheated. (I am just joking. I ordered all by myself.) I wished I had ordered different thing.

 

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Everything was so cheap that I ordered sweet thing. Total I paid 100 UAH(4.5$)
The first week 1$ was 26 UAH. But from now I would calculate 1$=22 UAH.

 

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After two days, I went Crimea restaurant again. Total I paid 75 UAH (3.4$). From now I would write two different prices. One was for now, and one was for one year ago. I would not calculate how much price went up comparing to one year ago. (The main reason is I don’t know how price was changed between now and one year ago)
So I paid (now 3.4$/One year ago it would be 9.3$)

 

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When I was at home, I only cooked rice, pasta, and vegetable. I heard tap water was not good, so I bought water all the time..

 

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Sometimes I had oatmeal. I wanted to have a regular life, so I decided to run every morning. At the first day I ran 4 km (2.5 mi). But the running app could not work with GPS in the city well and many people on a street looking at me with weird face. The air was really not fresh also. Laziness won with many excuses that I gave up running!

 

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But anyway I didn’t give up cooking vegan food. I ate anything when I bought cooked meal.

 

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I researched the dentist on google map and went a few places. The price was a bit similar. One was very high price and another was middle and the other was cheaper. To have one crown was around 150$. The highest price was 300$. If I came here one year ago it would be 300$~600$. I decided to go to the dentist which had the middle price.

 

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I wanted to hang out with people. So, I sent some message to a local people through Couch Suring and Warmshower. Sergii, the member of warmshower, sent me a message about some helpful info with kindness.
We met up and had meal together later. He took me a nice local restaurant. I ordered the meat of a rabbit with beer. Included the tip, I paid 140 UAH (6.3$/ One year ago 17$). When the price was more than 100 UAH, I felt a bit expensive.

 

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We walked around the center.

 

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In the night, we had a beer in the bar and later his girlfriend joined us.

 

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It was said that Ukrainian eats fat. I tried it.. not bad.. not good.. so so

 

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The beer was less than 1$ in this nice bar.

 

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When I was too lazy to cook, I went to the bar just in front of my flat and brought some food. It was only 3~4$. (One year ago over than 10$)

 

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boiling~

 

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I cooked really every day.

 

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One time I broke the rule of vegan food and boiled quail eggs which were my favorite.

 

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Usually I didn’t cycle in the city wherever I stayed. I lived in the center even here that there was such a no reason to cycle. So I didn’t rush to repair my bicycle. When Sergii had the time, we went a bicycle shop together. In the capital of Poland, I asked the mechanic “Should I change brakes?” and he answered “No” in a bicycle shop. But actually the brake was worn out and it broke my rim. So I needed a new rim.

 

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Repair’s cost was 720 UAH. (32$. One year ago 90$)
The mechanic was very kind that he fixed many things which was not included to the price I paid. But at this time the brake touched the rim as well. I really didn’t know why most of mechanic made this mistake. Anyway when I told him about it, thankfully he fixed it quickly.

 

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Sergii was the only guy I kept in touch from the beginning to the end in Lviv. I’ve met other local people, but most of meeting was only temporary one.

 

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After fixing bicycle, we went a bar again. He liked drinking beer. When I finished first beer, he already finished the second beer.
He ordered again interesting food, ear of pig.

 

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I just ordered radish and meet. I could not speak local language, so I usually had simple local food. (Sometimes there was English menu, but my meal was similar many times.)

 

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After overcoming laziness for a week, I started going to the dentist..

 

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My plan was to have a new crown on the moral. A doctor was very kind that she told me what she would do. One of thing was to cure root canal. I used to visit the dentist in Korea, but I really didn’t know what “You will get a surgery of root canal today.” meant in the dentist. Finally I got it.

 

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So, there were two roots on the bottom of tooth. I guessed the doctor drilled those root and put a new one. I’ve already done treatment of root canal before. So my doctor made holes again. After that, she put dental alginate on my tooth to check and above the picture was the result after taking it out. It was too painful to eat lunch well after she took old crown and did treatment of the root canal.

 

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Actually I had another problem on a fore tooth which had already crown. There was decay at both side of it and I could see a black color even. It didn’t look good and also it could make the health problem later. I decided to have a new crown and have treatment decayed teeth as well.

 

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There was the park near the dentist. Treatment took 3 weeks. I asked the owner to rent a room 10 days more. But he didn’t give me discount at all this time. 1$ was 22 UAH that I felt more expensive to pay rent even. (When I paid at the first time, 1$ was 26 UAH) I paid 3200 UAH for 10 days (145$/ one year ago 400$) at this time.
Let me be clear..
I’ve stayed 30 days on the flat and I paid 211$ (First 20 days) + 145$ (The next 10 days) = 356$. One year ago the price would be like 687$+400$=1087$. I thought this flat was for high class. Although I was a budget traveler, I could rent this nice pretty amazing flat with only small money because Ukraine faced an economic crisis with the war. I didn’t feel lucky. But then what was this? How could I explain my feeling? I concluded that I was a devil. Being human was horrible thing sometimes.

 

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I had some excuse, self-justification. I had spent money in their market, so I could say I was helping their economy. I’ve never ever wished the war as well. I loved peace. The peace was the most important thing to me. I wished they recover their economy soon….
But anyhow I felt guilty here because I used this chance.

 

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At the street near my flat, it looked very grey. If the Western Europe was not rich, they looked like it.

 

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Weird new building between old buildings

 

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I found a local market while looking around.

 

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I walked around the market and bought some vegetable. I bought also beans and put them on water. But I didn’t like bean much, so I didn’t eat and just threw away. It was the problem when I was vegan because bean was very important as much as meat and simply I didn’t like this important one.

 

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The weather was quite good and there was more sunlight at the day. I felt spring was coming as seeing flower. Finally long winter was finished?

 

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1$ went down 21 UAH. But it seemed like it would not go down for a while.

 

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The mini grocery at the center

 

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I really wanted to try this one, rice or noodle on the box, but I didn’t try before to save money. Here was different place that I didn’t need to feel afraid of going to the restaurant because I was a devil…(?)

I ordered one small box, one medium box, miso soup, and small beer for 75 UAH (3.4$) Actually I went to a restaurant every day and had a meal one or two times a day because I felt it was so cheap. At that time I only thought about 1$=22 UAH. As writing this post, I realized the restaurant was not cheap, because it would be 9.3$ one year ago.

 

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Grocery shopping..

 

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Yup also cooking everyday… vegan food..

 

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It was my dream to have bubble bath like this. Oh my goodness finally I made it. I bought candles at a street local market with very cheap price less than one dollar. Bath soap was also very cheap like two dollars.
I didn’t know why people work too hard before. But now I could understand it. Money was really good thing… Yeah… Money could bring more happiness… for sure… The more I’v spent time on the road, the more I realized this fact.

Wasn’t it weird?

Most of travelers have realized money was not important by traveling longer on the road. But I was opposite that I realized how much important money was. Where my life was going on now??

 

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At the day I had treatment of root canal on the fore tooth, it was very hurtful and stressful, so I ordered many menus. The pot food was typical Ukrainian food. There were meat and potatoes with cheese on the top. But wow it was so greasy.

 

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Total I paid 66 UAH (3$/One year ago 8.25$) on the really nice luxury restaurant. But I thought even one year ago it was cheap as well, because I ordered many menus. For example one year ago juice was less than 1$. I felt Ukrainian was the cheapest country in Eastern Europe. Someone told me local people could make 200~300$ per month. But because of crisis, their salary would be 60$ in dollar.

 

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Some chicken I bought just in front of bar.

 

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I ate really anything on the restaurant, but when I cooked, it was only vegan food.

 

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After treatment of root canal, the doctor put temporary tooth. But it came out easily later. I was confused that it was normal.

 

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I realized that the restaurant where I had pizza at the first day in Lviv was a chain store. I could find a few more same pizza restaurants in Lviv. This pizza was 2$.

 

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There was meeting on Couch Surfing, so I joined. Above the picture was very unique cheese snack. I thought it was smoked.

 

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I told them I checked many dentists, found good one, and was doing treatment in the dentist. Then they started laughing. The reason they laughed was they didn’t go to the dentist if they didn’t know, but I just go there. They told me very shocking thing that the student in the university could pay to a professional for good score and passing exam. So, they didn’t trust the doctor if they didn’t know because they were not sure the doctor was qualified with excellent skill or just money.
I told them the building of the dentist was quite nice. Then they laughed more and more. The reason why students paid money to the professional was they had enough money. Especially if young doctor had a luxury dentist, it meant her or his parents were very rich.

I felt the shiver down my spine because I just remembered the temporary tooth came out easily. Could I trust my dentist??? Actually there were four or five doctors and the boss doctor was quite old (40~50?) in my dentist. But there were only two dentistry consultations. I thought they had turn to use it. My doctor was actually young girl, I guessed. I was not sure she had lots of experience. She was kind.. but.. I was not sure about her skill now because I just heard scary thing.

I heard that to pay to a professional was very common thing in Ukraine that any student could pay to the professional.

One of dental students I had met told me a few times like this “Oh I woke up late in the morning. I missed the class. I have to pay again.”
The other one told me that he never paid to a professional. On the meeting there was an Italian professional who taught Italian in the university. He told me he never accepted any bribe and even students didn’t do bribe to him because they knew he would not accept the money. It seemed that sometimes student did not offer and receive bribe. But I felt that to offer bribe to a professional in the university was very easy and normal thing here.

 

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We moved to very famous bar, ranking number one on Trip Advisor in Lviv, they told me.

 

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I heard there was vegetarian restaurant in the center. Most of thing was around 1~2$. If it was expensive, then it was 3$.

 

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I doubted a little bit that they opened the can, heated it, and served to me because the tasty of the soup was same as the can on the grocery.

 

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I ordered vegan pizza because I was curious. The white one was tofu. Tasty was.. nah.. not bad…hm…
Maybe the one who is not vegetarian could think vegetarian food is bad.
But actually vegetarian food is not much different from other meat food. It does depend on the cooker.

 

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It would leave as mystery to have meal in this nice restaurant with only 2~3$ included the tip.

 

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The bar, in front of my flat, opened until midnight. So I usually went there around 11 pm, ordered, and went back home. Then I went a bar again and got my order after 30 minutes later.

 

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Again Ukrainian pot food

 

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My room was very beautiful but it was not good to work with the computer. So most of time, I’ve spent on the kitchen which had a table. There were two flowerpots. A bud was getting bigger and bigger at one of them.

 

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During the trip on a bicycle, I got very tired. So if someone asked me to hang out in the night, I denied sometimes. But here I had lots of energy to hang out. I wanted to go to some party to have fun as I did in Canada.
So I tried to go to a few meetings, such as Couch Surfing and Speaking English.

I went this bar with the other friend whom I met on warmshower and his friends.

 

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It was not mine, but I took the picture of it because it was weird. It looked so sweet but actually very spicy.

Although I tried to go to some meetings and have some meeting-up with the local people, I could not make long term relationship. Many of meetings were only one-time. I wanted to go to a restaurant with other people, but actually most of time I was alone. I got bored in the restaurant easily later.

 

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The food I had in the Uzbekistan restaurant was really weird. It seemed like they played with the food. There were very sweet things on the top of rice.

 

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This was worst. It was yogurt or milk? Very weird tasty and the green stuff was too bitter. I tried eat more but then gave up. Suddenly I was afraid of going to Uzbekistan on the fall.

 

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In front of my flat, Opera House.. The temperature was a bit chilly so people wore still winter clothes.

 

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One day I saw that there was flower on the kitchen. It was so surprising that I overcame depression which I got in the winter without knowing the reason. The sun light got more and more and maybe it helped me.

 

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I joined the Mafia game club. The cafe was very interesting that people could borrow game and play for two hours and paid like one dollar. Also there was free tea. I expected hanging out later on the bar, but after game everybody separated.
I walked home on Saturday evening on the busy street alone. I felt like a loser.
There was one bad thing as living in the center. I could not go out with training clothes to buy only water on the main street because people dressed up very nicely. Especially on this Saturday to walk alone to home made me sick.

 

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The view from the cafe

 

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The doctor took old crown and did treatment of root canal on fore tooth, so I could not eat well. I usually didn’t leave any meat on chicken, but it was my first time to eat like this because I could not use foretooth.

I was very embarrassed after a few days because the temporary tooth was pulled out. But this time was a bit serious because root canal was empty. I was worried about bacterial infection, so I made a call to my doctor. She told me I should come to the dentist now. When I got there, there was another doctor which I’ve never seen before. It seemed he was around the center, but came here for my emergency case. (It was Saturday that there was no nurse and customer.)
After this one, the temporary tooth didn’t come out again. I was really confused that temporary tooth could come out very easily… or my doctor could not stick it very well? It reminded me of people laughing about how I found the dentist.

 

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Again food from the bar in front of the flat

 

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I got really beautiful flower. It seemed like flower had a smiling face.

 

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The park

 

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I got a new crown on a fore tooth, but treatment was very painful and I got stress. So I went another sushi restaurant and ordered some expensive one with beer. (The doctor told me I could drink a beer.) Total I paid 178 UAH (8$/ One year ago 22$), which was the most expensive food I’ve eaten in Lviv.

 

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Later I’ve met Sergii, his girlfriend, and his friend in the bar.

 

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Industrial product such as clothes was not cheap. I asked them where the second hand store was. Thankfully Sergii’s friend brought me to the store with the bicycle. It had been long time to ride my bicycle.

 

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I bought shoes, bag, and clothes. It was interesting that I paid per weight. I paid around 11$. He told me one year ago it was much cheaper.

 

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Later I realized there were many small second hand store around the center. Usually they look like this, yellow window.

I had many chances to talk to local people and foreigner through different meetings in Lviv. I had learnt something. The currency went up three times more, but people’s salary was actually similar as before. I knew some local people who worked in a foreigner company. That local people got USD for the salary, so no problem for that one. Also I knew another local people who got high education having two or three times more salary in local currency. But except those cases, most of people were having the problem, because the price increased too much and salary was still the same as the past. For now it was too difficult to go out of the country to them, because the dollar was too strong.

All of a local people, American, European, and Asian I’ve met and talked in Ukraine told me always “as you know Ukraine has war with Russia”
When I was in Russia I’ve never heard “as you know Russia has war with Ukraine”. At the beginning of the trip in Russia, I asked a few local people “How is war going on?”, and all of them told me “We do not have war officially”. So later I didn’t ask any more about it and also there was no any single people told me like “You know we have war” while I cycled in Russia for two months.

Wasn’t it weird? There was no attacker, but only victim.

 

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I had been almost four weeks in Lviv. I was getting tired to go to a restaurant. There were some reasons. I usually went alone, so it was boring. Also actually I had spent much money in Lviv, so I had to save. The food was actually greasy. I could not speak local language and know many different foods. So many times it was similar food.

Above all service was very slow. I had to wait 10 minutes to get the menu. Then I had to wait another 10 minutes to order to waitress. Then food came after 20 minutes. Then wait again waitress came to me,.. and wait again 10 minutes waitress bringing the bill..
Wow… Lots patient needs it.. and specially I was alone… I got much bored. ..
Later I saw some posting on online that one American who stayed in Lviv for months wrote about very slow service and greasy food.

But I could (should) not complain at all, because I really paid small money in a nice restaurant.
Just this slow service made me to go to a restaurant less.

 

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At the fourth weeks, finally treatment was finished. I also did scaling. At the last there was some weird thing. The new crown on the moral touched upper moral more than normal. I told the doctor about it. She told me the test paper didn’t show my tooth touch each other. She said it was only my feeling because I didn’t have crown for two months. It reminded me of brake touching rim. It was not just my feeling. Seriously it was touching much. Anyway as my wish the doctor polished crown more and I could see iron stuff even on a new crown. Hm… I guessed she brought too big crown compared to my tooth size.
Nah.. if I could chew the food, then that’s all right. No problem…
So what I had done in the dentist was pulling out old crown of moral and fore tooth, and treatment of root canal and decayed teeth for both, putting two crowns, scaling, and cutting some gum on other fore tooth. Total I paid 8400 UAH (381$). If I came here one year ago, I should had paid 1050$. Or maybe it could be 800$ because right now every price was increased. Actually if I compared to Poland dental clinic with one year ago price, Poland could be cheaper.

The most satisfied thing was to cut little bit of gum which covered fore tooth. Finally the next fore tooth of new crown had an arch shape. I was worried that the color could be different from bottom after cutting gum. But interesting thing was actually it was same color.

 

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One of my wish was to go to Opera House. I had been looking for the people who wanted to go to Opera house since I came to Lviv. There were some people who could drink a beer with me, but I could not find the people who were interested of Opera House. So I decided to go alone.

Do nothing because there is no people to do together or do just alone and enjoy alone.

I chose to enjoy alone.
Whatever life must go on.

 

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Today I would watch ‘Carmen’. I was wondering I should dress up nicely. But when I got there I realized people didn’t care about clothes much. Just some of them had really nice dress like wedding and most of them were just like people on the center.

I paid 150 UAH for third seat (7$- One year ago 18$)

 

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It was my first time ever to visit Opera House. Carmen was an opera in four acts. Every end of act, there was breaking time. People was selling alcohol and drinking it. To me everything was so interesting. I was so excited to be in Opera House.
I guessed there were subtitle on the top of stage in Ukrainian. I was wondering that actors and actresses were Spanish or Ukrainian spoke Spanish because Carmen’s background was Spain.

 

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After reading Wikipedia’s explanation, I could understand Carmen very well.

https://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EC%B9%B4%EB%A5%B4%EB%A9%98

They played over four hours. I didn’t know actually it could take longer. Maybe that’s the reason they took the break at every act.

I thought it was fine to take the picture at the end, so I took the picture when they greeted. It was said that Carmen was one of the famous opera in the world. To me it was the best opera that I was so moved!!

 

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At the next day I visited Opera House to watch ballet. I paid 85 UAH (3.8 $ – One year ago 10$). Actually even the price of one year ago was so cheap. I’ve heard that many Polish who stayed on the border came here by bus all together to watch opera and went back home at the same day.
The price didn’t mean quality here. Although it was so cheap, their performance was so fantastic and amazing. This time I chose wrong seat that I could not see music instrumental performance.

 

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The ballet’s name was Coppelia which is a comic ballet. Frankly speaking if I didn’t read Wikipedia, I would never understand what the story was.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copp%C3%A9lia

Ballet was also very impressing. I learned that opera was amazing thing and I should watch time to time if I have chance at the next time.

The picture was taken at the end of act. After leaving Lviv, I could not listen to opera music because it made me miss opera too much. When I listened to the music of opera, I did want to go to Opera House again. But yup for sure.. not anymore ..for a while….

 

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There were some army guys in front of Opera House. I could see people wearing military clothes often. The war was at the eastern side. I didn’t hear any sound of shooting gun in Lviv. Frankly speaking I could not see that they are having war because the city was very vivid and peaceful. I only felt war from local people’s talking and their economy.

 

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It was less than 2 dollars. I felt sorry that most of people were afraid to come to Ukraine. (It was March). For sure the western side was very safe. (I cycled there alone and I didn’t feel any danger but actually people were so kind to me and didn’t forget smiling.) Actually if tourists come here now, they could have lots of thing with small money.
I thought always there were both side on the currency’s affection. If the currency decreased, there would be people who could make more money with this chance. If the currency increased, the other people could make more money. But Ukrainian case was different. There were not many people who could get chance from it.
Many factories stopped so they could not export. Also tourists were too afraid to come here.
In my opinion on this summer there would be much tourist in Europe than last year because Euro was weaker and weaker. Like it.. Someone should make more money with this chance.

If there are people who don’t decide where to go for a holiday, I would recommend Ukraine such as the black sea or western side. (I’ve met the guy from the capital of Ukraine. He told me the capital was very safe as well.)
Also language barrier was not high, because there were always people who could speak some English. Even if people could not speak English, at least they tried to talk with body language and smiling. (I think it depends on people how they feel. I felt language barrier high when people make a face and do not use any body language while speaking in a local language.) Also people were trustful that they didn’t cheat me on the market.

 

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Again I went Sushi restaurant. After eating it, I had a stomachache.
When I went Speaking English Club, there were so many people more than over 40 members. Many of them speak good English that I thought they were high educated people. I asked some girl ‘Could you introduce some cafe in Lviv?’. She told me ‘My salary is too low to go to cafe that I don’t know many of them.’ Suddenly I felt sorry to ask that.
(The restaurant, the meeting place, was chain shop that it was big and nice. Coffee was less than one dollar. (One year ago it would be like 2~3$) I was wondering that 2~3$ is expensive to pay? What is their real salary? )

There was one big thing I really didn’t talk in front of local people ‘It is really cheap’. When I was in Serbia which had 200 Euros salary per month, I told a local friend ‘Hey beer is so cheap here’. He told me ‘It is very expensive to us because our salary is too low.’ At that time I felt so sorry to say like that. So I decided to not say ‘It is very cheap’ in front of local people. (The local guy who told me like that drank over 10 beers at that day. Hm..)

Actually when I was in Africa, I already felt about it. To have money could make me feel shame. So I really loved to cycle in Europe because I didn’t need to feel shame or sorry to local people when I ate or bought something.

 

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I bought winter boots over 30$ at the last year, but now here spring came. So, I didn’t need it anymore. I tried to sell on the second-hand page on facebook, but nobody wanted to buy. I asked Sergii ‘is there someone who could take this for free’. But he said he doesn’t know. He suggested me to throw on clothes box on the street.

 

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Another one from sushi restaurant.. taste was not bad…

 

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I went the coffee shop which is famous for the most expensive and luxury in Lviv.

 

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Lviv has so many beautiful cafe and bar. But this coffee shop looked a little bit better.

 

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The mirror on the ceiling

 

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I had ‘today’s coffee’. But it was too sweet to drink. I asked why it was too sweet. She told me it was right one. I thought ‘today’s coffee’ was americano. But then she took my coffee and gave me a new americano. Wow… I didn’t mean this.. I just wanted to have more water or something like that. Maybe they changed coffee for free because it was expensive restaurant that service should be good? Interesting…. New culture….

Later I ordered fried things.. but it was too greasy…
And I had stomachache again.

(Total I paid 7$. One year ago 20$)

 

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There was a big shopping mall which was far from city. It took 30 minutes? 1 hour to get there by bus. I bought something before starting cycling again. There was a big bowling stage, place for Ice-skating, theater and so on.

 

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I took the picture at the day before leaving.

Actually I was sick almost every week like I got better and sick again.. From the second week of treatment, my throat was swollen. I got better, then soon it was swollen again. I even had hangover although I didn’t drink much sometimes. Also at the last week I was suffering from stomachache. I really didn’t know why my immune system became weaker.

 

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People playing chess in front of Opera House

 

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In front of my house….. haha..

Lviv was the weirdest place I’ve ever been. Lviv made me feel very rich.
It was my dream to stay in my own flat and I made it
It was so comfortable to stay alone that I could just go out without clothes after taking shower and drank some water in the kitchen.. so much freedom..
I had bubble baths.. went to Opera House..and restaurant every day…
It taught ‘Money is so good thing’.. There was only one thing I wished that I had more people around me in Lviv.
Yeah there would be no perfect thing all the time.. It was enough already..
I felt too comfortable and uncomfortable to stay Lviv. My devil life was finished after a month.
I thought I didn’t do any wrong thing. But I felt too much guilty to a local people.. sorry…….…..

 

I made two minutes vlog of one month staying in Lviv.

 


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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hey Jin,

    Thank you for writing such an interesting post about Lviv. Only one remark to help you out with the prices: they haven’t changed much dollar-wise, they just grew in hryvnia, so, say what is now 100 hrn (approx. 5 dollars) was around 40-45 hrn before. This is to say that Ukraine is a great place for tourism indeed, even if the infrastructure isn’t amazing sometimes, it is definitely very affordable and worth visiting.

    Cheers,
    L.

    • Hello Lilia,
      Thank you for good information. So……. actually the price I wrote about one year ago would be totally wrong in USD?.. Everything was too cheap even one year ago in dollar??? How about then people’s salary? I heard that many of average people have had similar salary as before……?
      I cannot understand well… how come some nice hotels costs only 5~10$ for one night then?? You know to build a building costs lots of money…..
      Hm….
      Sorry for many questions. Just I am wondering.
      Jin

      • Jin!
        Talking about prices you are basically right. I lived there 4 years and between 2014-2015 the prices in UAH changed but just little bit and the foreign currency was 2-3 even 4 times more so everything very cheap, at least 3 times less. Be safe!
        Javier G.

  • Lviv is (and was) quite cheap even by Ukrainian standards. Before currency crisis hotels in Kyiv were by West European prices, food was like in Warsaw. Lviv was cheap for people from Kyiv then. So, there are significant price differences even within Ukraine, this also applies to dental treatment. I don’t think it would be that affordable for you in Kyiv even with today’s prices.

    At the same time, Greece doesn’t have this devaluation (it uses euro) and is at the risk of total collapse. So, don’t worry about bringing the money into the country, you actually helped the economy a little bit.

    • Thank you for writing more detail info of local place. I guess maybe the road condition could be better there? The western side was really full of holes on the road. Actually it was good for me because a car drove very slowly and I felt safer.

  • Dear Jin, this trip to Ukraine was superb. I felt so as I was also on this trip with you. Ukraine is very very beautiful and above all it was very cheap as compared with rest of the Europe. Consulting a dentist was really awful and the paid you bore for all treatment was very sorrowful. On the top of it the comments you gathered from local warm showers community about the dentist were quite amazing. In a civilized world it is hard to believe that you can purchase a professional degree such as dentist and then play with the lives of the people. Any how you were right to consult the dentist who helped you in removing your paid. I think that a toothache can make your life miserable.

    The beauty and simplicity of this country was fascinating. Please keep on updating the journals on more frequent basis as it seems that we are also travelling with you in this universe. Have a nice time in your journey.

    • Dear Ahmed Noman,
      Thank you for leaving comment again!
      See you in the next posting! :)

    • Yup, I cycled on the Western Part. On the next posting, there would be more beautiful pictures :)
      Thanks!

  • Wonderful post about Ukraine, I really enjoyed reading it and seeing all the pictures and regarding the dentists in Ukraine, if he/she has not attended an university somewhere in Western Europe to become a dentist, then you should usually be a bit careful with dentists.

    Next time try visiting Kiev and Odessa in the summer.

    • Hello Paul Johnson,
      I am so glad to read that you enjoyed my journal. This journal took more time than other journal. So I am very happy to get your feedback :)
      Ukraine land is beautiful that I wish I have a time to visit Odessa :)
      Thanks!

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