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.
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.