Walking The Streets of Kiev / by James Pollak

This is Dima. After spending two days wandering Chernobyl and Pripyat I arrived back in Kiev and began the hunt for a bed. After catching the bus - I still remember everyone just throwing their currency into a small tray next to the driver - through the city and a short stroll, I found the hostel I was to call home for the night.

As it was my last night and I'd found some kind of abandoned structure to explore the following day, I opened the door to my room expecting a somewhat welcomed uneventful night. However Dima was sat at a small table in the room, with some bread, cheese & vodka. I looked at the top bunk I was allocated, back at all my stuff I had dragged up the stairs and all I heard was "sit!", Dima pointing to a chair directly opposite him at the table. At first I felt I was sitting down for an interrogation and with little but broken words spoken between eachother he poured me a vodka and demanded I have some cheese. After a toast to the four walls of our tiny hostel room, I could see this was just his way of two strangers connecting where language on both sides wasn't a strength. Another vodka down, Dima was adamant he was taking me and my camera on a tour of the capital city of his country. That was to be the beginning of an eventful last night in Kiev.