Underpaying in the Ukraine – Balkans trip anecdotes and photos

This blog mainly concentrates on providing information that will help in living or travelling in Malaysia. However, I do blog a little about trips abroad. On my recent trip to the Balkans I’ll do a series of short blogs providing one anecdote per country, and then a few assorted photos of the country unrelated to the anecdote.

the Ukraine Buddy Bear

the Ukraine Buddy Bear

I could only spend half a day in Odessa as the trains there from Chisinau, Moldova run there and back only on weekends, and I’d arrived in Chisinau on a Saturday after the morning train had already left.  So I caught the morning train to Odessa on Sunday, and the afternoon train back. Thus I had changed only 10 euro – and it was pretty hard to find a change bureau in Odessa anyway.  Not at or near the station.  Or on any of the roads in to the centre. And all I intended to spend money on was lunch.  The guidebook had recommended Mamans as a small restaurant with home cooked food.  I figured 10 euros should be more than enough.  As I couldn’t read the street signs at all I had to navigate the city by landmarks on the map.  I did actually find Mamans – but not the alternate restaurant that I was also considering.  So Mamans it was.

Mamas restaurant

Mamans restaurant

Mamas restaurant - one page of the menu

Mamans restaurant – one page of the menu

Mamas restaurant backs onto a park

Mamans restaurant backs onto a park

Mamas restaurant

Mamans restaurant

Mamas restaurant

Mamans restaurant

Mamas restaurant

Mamans restaurant

Mamans turned out to be far more upmarket than the guidebook suggested, but if I ordered carefully my 10 euros would suffice, and besides, I couldn’t find any other restaurant mentioned in the guidebook.  A couple of the waiters could speak English, so I could order.  However, I was served a little differently than I had ordered, which I put down to communication problems.  But when it was time to pay the bill it cost more than I had calculated, and more than I had, due to their mistake.  The waiter did not want to take responsibility for their mistake, and I was happy to pay more – to the extent that I had it – but not any more.  But I didn’t have enough Ukrainian  гривня (hryvni) They didn’t want Moldovan Lei or Romanian Lei. He offered a way out, saying perhaps I could return in the evening.  But I hate lying – I would be on the way back to Moldova.  In the end I persuaded him to take what I had, and I headed back to the station.

A FEW PHOTOS TAKEN TRAVELLING TO AND IN ODESSA

the train from Chisinau to Odessa

the train from Chisinau to Odessa

first class

first class

second class

second class

Odessa station

Odessa station

Odessa station

Odessa station

opposite the station

opposite the station

a typical street heading towards the centre

a typical street heading towards the centre

many colourful buildings

many colourful buildings

many colourful buildings

many colourful buildings

near the port

near the port

a scene I liked

a scene I liked

20160925_ukraine-38-copy

Odessa was like any other European city with restaurants and cafes with tables on the footpath and people soaking up the sun and enjoying themselves

Odessa was like any other European city with restaurants and cafes with tables on the footpath and people soaking up the sun and enjoying themselves

the Opera

the Opera

I couldn't read the street signs

I couldn’t read the street signs

I couldn;t read the timetable on the station wall either

I couldn’t read the timetable on the station wall either

the train back to Chisinau

the train back to Chisinau

the bar in first class

the bar in first class

what the bar sold - beer, peanuts and water

what the bar sold – beer, peanuts and water

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