The Booze, Sex and Marriages – An Exploration

4 07 2008

It is now my fifth time in Odessa, Ukraine, and every time I came I enjoyed the city’s architecture – the magnificent opera house in particular – the Russian language studies and just the comfortable weather. In December 2007, the overcast cloudy and foggy weather can be depressing, as in any other city.

As much as I love Odessa, its inhabitants and the culture, there are features within this 1.1 Mio inhabitants second largest Ukrainian city that feels out of place.

There are features that Odessites are not very fond of, and are particularly noticeable when you are a budget traveler. The wonderful Black Sea Hostel, which closed some point in late 2007, was my point-of-reference, and in my travel story about Odessa, published in The Vienna Review in Summer 2007, I wrote, as follows:

“Leaving the harbour and the historic part of the city, the Ekaterininskaya Street brings us back to the Black Sea Hostel; not to be mistaken for the Black Sea Hotel, whose questionable reputation is the stuff of local gossip. The hostel is located close to the centre and lovely, administered by and English-speaking staff. Hostel guests receive a free English map of Odessa, as well as advice and directions to any sights one wishes to visit.

Most guests here are not usually tourists from abroad, but are either there for Russian language courses or temporary work contracts. Over a glass of rich red Odessa wine in the evening you soon hear tales of the varied, often colourful backgrounds of those with whom one is sharing a room.”

I should add, that only for the price of US $ 20 / night (about EUR 16) in the summer season, you also had free Internet available, friendly English-speaking staff knowledgeable about Odessa and its culture to direct you – in a city where still not many people speak English and where there is no Tourist Office, this was a bonus for free none of the major hotels could provide.

Since it’s closure, however, my hostel experience in this magnificent place has been quite an ordeal and cumulated this time when I resided at the Hotel Zirka at Uspenskaya Street, not far from the city center. Well, in case you ever took place in scientific sleeping experiments, the rooms in this hotel and hostel might seem familiar, as none of them has a window (picture to follow). The ventilation is good for one to two persons, so this was ok for me, but the room could host up to 6 guests. I would not challenge a stay under these conditions, particularly when electricity fails – which it has twice, the first time right after my arrival. I am grateful to my little torch attached to my keypad – it has been of great service here.

But it is not those little petty things I got primarily annoyed with – not to speak that rooms are evidently only cleaned when the key is left at the reception. This hotel/hostel has also double-bed rooms under similar conditions, and as young Russian and Ukrainian couples seek to enjoy their intimacy on a short beach holiday, the earlier or later evenings are evidently spend in bed.

I hadn’t spent much thought on that issue until a few evenings ago I returned early to my six-bed room to rest from the hot sun and sea atmosphere and have an early night sleep. However, I had to abandon that idea as the unmistakable noises next door – from unzipping a dress to more intimate, nevertheless noisy, Russian calls to moans and what not else. On my end, not even putting on music did help to minimize the sounds from next door. The frequent crashes into the wall right next to my bed made me realize why I felt like being in the middle of the pleasurable ‘activity’ as an acoustic voyeur: I am just a few centimeters away from whatever was going on next door, separated by a thin wall. So, there was only one course of of action: Escape immediately to a nearby bar or restaurant and hope, by the time I get back home, my young neighbors are off asleep.

The morning, however, brought another experience when I left the room: the smell of left-over beer. None was to be seen spilled on the floors, but the waste bags on the corridors made it only too evident. In a cheap hotel, the booze is taken up to the room, consumed and spilled. My neighbors – who evidently were up and out already – had evidently done the same to minimize the cost of spending money on a purchase in a restaurant. Beer is – as back home in Austria – often cheaper than soft drinks, and the hot weather increases the consummation, also among young women, as I noticed. You find often in the early evenings, colleagues or couples in parks sitting having a beer together, bottles purchased for a few cents from the street vendor. So, this feature evidently extended right into the establishment that I am staying.

“The harbour city of Odessa is probably one of the Ukraine’s most enigmatic. A visit is an unforgettable experience, particularly in spring or summer, when the beautifully arranged gardens and broad alleys stretch out before you. However, a word of caution: such a trip is only for those who know some Russian, or have a healthy sense of adventure.”

The quotation above was the opening of my travel story, and now – one year later – I still would say the same. However, the city is regularly visited by marriage-seeking men of Western Europe and America. If you only stay a few days, you will not notice them too much, but if you know the city better, they are almost an in-built feature here, particularly on weekends.

When walking across Deribasovskaya, you notice these odd couples, the girl – evidently Ukrainian, trying to impress with long, exquisite hair, short skirts and suggestive tops, holding a bouquet of flowers in their hands, while the man, evident through his way of dressing, is of wealthier possessions, and talking loudly in clear or bad English.

Ukrainian and Russian women are to be renowned for their beauty, and Odessa itself seems to prove that, with marriage agencies all over the city, promising the ideal and rich husband in the West. Some of them are more disguised as others, like as the American Business Center, into which I walked into one of my previous visits, just to use their Internet services for my emails. Others are much more open and direct, having printed leaflets which aim to get as many girls to sign up.

The other day, I did return to the American Business Center, and I was not alone as at the first time, and the young girls gave me as much attention as if I were a wealthy business man about to tip them for their service. The other person, by accent an American, came for something else, and when the words “booking of girls” fell a few times, I paid more attention to the facilities I was right at that moment, in particularly to the default website that came up: I had ended up at a marriage agency, and that explained why also the internet (50 GR, then about EUR 8 per hour) was so expensive.

At this particular agency, there are standard fees for meeting a girl from the catalog for about two hours plus translator. The man present that afternoon was possibly in his mid-forties with bold head, anything but strikingly attractive or seemingly rich; and the more girls he got to meet the merrier he seemed to be. and, of course, this was business for the agency, never mind what hopes they raise for girls. In the end, they just get an average American/European, and end up possibly with their disappointed for their life.

Women here in Odessa are particularly annoyed with this business, and I see their point when walking through the streets of the beautiful city center: Something feels distinctly wrong and seems out of place when watching these unequal couples sitting in a Cafe, trying to flirt with the aide of a translator. I rather walk back alone to my hostel/hotel without illusions or disappointments.




2 responses

5 07 2008
» The Booze, Sex and Marriages - An Exploration Bad English: What The World Is Saying About Bad English And Their Music

[…] Booze, Sex and Marriages – An Exploration Posted in July 4th, 2008 by in Uncategorized The Booze, Sex and Marriages – An Exploration … excquisite hair, short skirts and suggestive tops, holding a bouquet of flowers in their […]

26 07 2008

abolish the holy roman pedophile church

vv sprid

Democracy, science, etc. during the 100 years = and not abolished the non-developed, true, liberating and non-disinterested projects (to kk).
Self (paedophilia, fine buildings, thick smack stomachs and wine as pisseriet in ancient monasteries = fin righteousness). Gamle Luther gave the course a boot and became “I protest” (Protestant).

2000 years of skithistoria
Original, superior, women prostitutes, genera Bora / Medicis influence of horse-trading, haggling and murder and lie and ränksmiderier on this helvetstron (cf. old Byzantine hell where bla women had influence = may well have been a female pope once)

It may itself seek info

Legend, prophecy (based on human empirical work and obvious prediction and conclusion = vicious helvetskyrka).
There is no (tips on lotto and will continue with the conclusion of tex Satan takes over the horse because all I have experienced).

Did themselves on the beach as it says in johannes revelation
A genklonexperiment in the catacombs orchestrated by nazistpåven Råttan Benedict ( “I’m going to make a new world”)
What world is this?

A question is who are the barbarians?

In the Middle Ages (like hanging after all this kärleksreligion äggtjuv and fisketjuv in England and France, among others).
Dom söp down the judgement in bla Provence (and sold the harvest expensive and lived loppan themselves).
Exiles in Revenes.

A righteous revenge for all paedophilia, prostitution gross (bla Russian monasteries = no sexual needs could not be performed there) and bla Catholic smaller states (Genoa tex galärflotta as a punishment and the legalization of brothels)
It was hanging up the judgement in the trees and took just rov

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