Gonzo in Ukraine – part two: burnt fingers

I arrived in an empty airport. Those places are always eerie but this was on another level. I guess Ukraine is not at the top of most people’s list as a summer destination. At the border control, I was greeted by a sign advising me not to bribe the officials. It felt a bit like when someone adds “no, seriously” after paying you a compliment. The fact that someone thought that it had to be said, spoke volumes.

Continue reading “Gonzo in Ukraine – part two: burnt fingers”

Gonzo in Ukraine – part one: travel prejudices


The flight from Heathrow to Boryspil should have been an indication of what to expect. I shared it with a group of Ukrainian students returning from a school-trip. iPads, beats headphones and the latest trainers made me assume that these were the offspring of Ukraine’s ruling class. They behaved just like any teenager in the “West”: in equal part plainly enjoying themselves and making their best effort not to show it too much. At sixteen, being happy isn’t cool. You’re supposed to have outgrown infantile bliss.

Continue reading “Gonzo in Ukraine – part one: travel prejudices”