Kiev, where old grannies will give you a hand

visit kiev

I was going to visit Kiev! I arrived in Ukraine through the airport of Kiev. At the airport I soon realised that nobody spoke English! This promised. Before reaching my hostel, I would be living a small surprise. After finding out the exorbitant prices that taxis charge to drive you to the historic centre, I decided to take the bus. Once in the bus I understood that this was going to be more complicated than I had foreseen… The driver didn’t speak a work of English nor did anyone around us. It was not straight forward but eventually I got my ticket, got a seat and was driven to the city centre.


After a good while, an old lady sitting opposite of me tried to start a conversation. She was interested in knowing who I was and where I came from but could not speak a word of English. She was sitting with her granddaughter and almost forced her to ask me those things while the girl obliged and translated my answers back to the grandmother. It was lovely to engage in such conversation.


Finally I was at the city centre of Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe at the margins of the Dnieper River. I tried to find out my hostel but had the same issue as before, nobody could speak English and nobody seemed to know where my hostel was. I was rescued by the same old lady from the bus, who had kept an eye on me and quickly understood that I was not going anywhere without help. She invited me to her taxi, again with the granddaughter kindly serving as an interpreter. At least the taxi driver knew where to find my hostel.

I was rescued by the same old lady, who quickly understood that I was not going anywhere without help.

Suddenly the taxi comes to a stop and the ladies step out of the taxi. They had arrived at their destination. The young girl turned to me to tell me that they were home but that I should stay in the taxi. The taxi driver would take me to my destination and I shouldn’t pay anything more. Her grandmother had paid the complete fare until my hostel! Generosity arrives in the most unexpected ways…

Photos: @ Rui Daniel da Silva

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