The state of tourism in Crimea (and maybe even in all of the Ukraine)
As we all know, Russia annexed Crimea recently. Putin actually went out of his way to criticize the state of the vacation facilities in Crimea. If the Russian dictator says that his star acquisition has garbagy hotels, you know it must be pretty darn bad. This is while he is trying everything he can to actually promote tourism there, so it seems counterproductive. But I suspect he is being truthful. I didn’t head down to that area from Kiev when I went there, but I got the idea.
The entire Ukrainian tourist infrastructure could use a capitalist overhaul. Tired hotels, rude and nasty service, drunk cops staggering by: It’s quite the scene. As I have mentioned several times, the level of hostility towards customers there is just breathtaking. Behavior that would get you fired on the spot in a Bakersfield McDonald’s isn’t even in the worst half of aggression amongst employees at a diner in Kiev. Having said that, the whole area has enormous potential. The richness of Russian and Ukrainian culture is huge. The art, the music, the architecture at times: it could really be a wonderful place.
At night on the main street in Kiev, thousands of Ukrainians get together in small groups to drink bottles of vodka together. There is hardly a space left to sit. After a while, the fights and screaming start. People start to face off, yelling in slurred speech and trying to maintain their balance. Rough place, man…