Friday 9th July
Wizzair, London Luton to Kiev, non-stop. Mercedes Benz, Kiev to Sumy, several stops. I didn’t take any photos of the plane sorry. From what I remember it was big and purple if that helps, and the car was black. You don’t get TV’s on Wizzair flights but surprising the Merc had one although rather worryingly it was set up for the driver to watch. I guess videos of semi naked Russian pop stars provide a welcome distraction to the regular monotony of near head on collisions and traffic cops waving small batons. I don’t know if the pilot of my plane had a TV but I think he had a lisp.
A largely uneventful journey that lasted 12 hours from ‘door to door’ with the only notable exceptions being Igor at passport control nearly smiled and said “Welcome Mr Vinny, have a super stay in Ukraine”, and I now feel much closer to God after several near death experiences. (1)
Andrey of Hearts Connections is waiting for me at my apartment. As previously observed by AvHdB he is young and my initial thought was, as its 11.30pm – shouldn’t you be in bed? I agreed to meet Andrey the next morning, had a quick shower and went walkies.
Sumy centre consists of half a dozen pedestrianised streets that run parallel to each other. Other than a few youths hanging about drinking then the place was just about dead .. surprising for a Friday night. Found a beer tent, got some piva and people watched for an hour or two. Most guys looked like chavs and the girls were mainly fat and poorly dressed. It was like being at home except nobody was fighting, shouting or being sick. Went back to apartment, went to bed.
Saturday 10th July
Got up, met Andrey.
We had communicated several emails before my arrival which resulted in me sending to him a list of ladies who interested me, a few of my photos and a short generic introduction letter. Once we eliminated the ‘sick’, ‘out of town’ and ‘he is too nice for me’ then we were left with 7 ladies who clearly had nothing better to do over the next few days. Some of these ladies had written me a nice letter that for $7 I could reply to. I didn’t reply. It’s not the money you understand, I just prefer to communicate face to face and besides, from experience, then when I tell ladies who have not met me about by many wives and children then for some reason they disappear. Much better to tell them to their face as most will be polite enough to finish their coffee before they leave.
My first meeting would be with ‘Olga’ at 3pm. In her letter she asked if she could use a terp “because my English is not perfect, and it can make our communication easier.” Although I’m missing the gene that allows one to talk via a terp I agree because a) its free and b) I arrange with Andrey that if after an hour the meeting still has some life then I will dump the terp and ‘go commando’ …. sort of speak.
I spend the rest of the morning and earlier part of the afternoon watching teenagers getting married. This wasn’t my plan, it’s just that my apartment overlooked the rags office. Also, when I ventured out again there seemed to be some tradition taking place whereby the newly married couple go walk-a-bout around the centre. By now I had taken up residence in some street café so every few minutes another happy couple would emerge from around a nearby corner. I wrote teenagers because most looked just that. I swear that one groom I saw could have been no older than 14. The exception to these were one couple, she looked 25 and he in his 40’s. Her face was quite miserable and he gave the impression he was very sad. Actually, it was around that point that I realised everyone in Sumy looked sad. Even the pigeons, who normally don’t make an effort to express their emotions, looked decidedly peeved off with their lot.
It was now 1.30pm and I hadn’t eaten for 24hours, I was peckish. I tried to converse with my waitress with regards the possibility of food but I may of well requested that she take all her clothes off, sit opposite me and play arm wrestling – best of 3. The conversation ended with me saying odin piva and she agreed.
Back to my apartment, shower, change clothes, walk the ten minutes to Hearts Desire’s office. As I approach their front door I can see Olga is early and she’s sitting on a sofa waiting. She doesn’t look quite as good as her photo’s but I knew that as Andrey had already sent me her video. I introduce myself because that’s the way I roll. She introduces herself too and we went and stood outside. I think we are waiting for the terp. Having tried to start a conversation a couple of times then I realise she doesn’t speak any English. This should be fun I think and my stomach rumbles in (dis)agreement. I think my tummy is interested in ‘Game’ (or anything else edible) and is trying to get my ‘Frame’ to a restaurant.
If you want to read the rest of this, you can find it here: Visiting a Ukrainian girl in Sumy