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.
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.
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