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Author Topic: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018  (Read 4923 times)

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Offline IvanM07

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2018, 10:28:17 AM »
Several red flags here man,

Sex on the first day of meeting, 90% discount from a restaurant she likely picked, traveled all over the world including south America not just typical places nearby, and she picked out a $1500 ring that as trench said isn't typical to have an engagement ring.

Any of these on their own would be a red flag and cause for caution but together I think she's trying to screw you over. Cancel the K1 if you already started.
"Everytime you remember something, your mind changes it just a little, until your best and your worst memories are your biggest illusions." -The Expanse

Offline Boethius

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2018, 12:40:23 PM »
Several red flags here man,

Sex on the first day of meeting

Not unusual for a woman in her late thirties/early forties in Ukraine, given the lack of men.  Women have needs too, you know.

Quote
90% discount from a restaurant she likely picked

Across the country from where she lives?  That would be a scammer extraordinaire!

The 90% coupon is just a marketing ploy.  It happens every night. for all patrons.
 
Quote
traveled all over the world including south America not just typical places nearby, and she picked out a $1500 ring that as trench said isn't typical to have an engagement ring.

I'm not certain the travel is a red flag.  She may have traveled to all those places with one man, or two different men, or some solo.

Engagement rings are not a Ukrainian custom.  But Ukrainians know it is a Western custom.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 12:45:15 PM by Boethius »
To love someone means to see him as God intended him. - Fyodor Dostoevksy

Offline IvanM07

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2018, 12:42:04 PM »
Not unusual for a woman in her late thirties/early forties in Ukraine, given the lack of men.  Women have needs too, you know.

Across the country from where she lives?  That would be a scammer extraordinaire!

The 90% coupon is just a marketing ploy.  It happens every night. for all patrons.
 
I'm not certain the travel is a red flag.  She may have traveled to all those places with one man, or two different men, or some solo.  Or some of it could have been work related.  I know UW who travel the world for work.

Engagement rings are not a Ukrainian custom.  But Ukrainians know it is a Western custom.

Cool, you're right as always Bo, all is right in the world ignore me and carry forth on the K1  :popcorn:
"Everytime you remember something, your mind changes it just a little, until your best and your worst memories are your biggest illusions." -The Expanse

Offline Boethius

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2018, 12:53:09 PM »
I'm just saying that not everything you pointed to is a red flag.  The restaurant definitely was not a red flag.  I've been to that restaurant.  It's a marketing ploy.  Everyone gets a 90% discount every night.  But yes, you could be correct.  She could have arranged a 90% discount for everyone in the restaurant, in a city over 800 km from where she lives.

Having sex with someone you built a connection with is not a red flag.  Ukrainians don't have the same hang ups about sex as do Americans.  Plus, there are what my husband called "sex deprived" women.  He used to get hit on all the time, almost always, by women in their thirties, because there is a lack of men due to high rates of alcoholism.

If you look for red flags, you invariably will find them.  We don't know how she traveled abroad, but Steve probably does.  I'm not saying there are not "flags", just that there are plausible explanations for everything as well.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 01:04:33 PM by Boethius »
To love someone means to see him as God intended him. - Fyodor Dostoevksy

Online BillyB

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2018, 01:04:43 PM »

Steve has communicated with his fiancée 3 months before visiting her. I don't consider him marrying a stranger. Only he knows the quality of his correspondence with the lady he's going to marry and they may know each other very well before making the decision to marry.

She's well travelled but she may also make good money. I don't think she's after Steve's money. She paid for some of their taxis and train trips. She doesn't always eat out and  she cooked food for Steve, washed clothes, and cleaned the apartments. If she's clumsy doing those chores, then a guy could be suspicious a woman is faking it. If she's skilled at those chores, then she'll probably be a good wife. Steve's fiancée also chose a ring with a .2 carat center stone. It's not like she wanted to empty Steve's bank account on that decision. Let's not scare him into getting cold feet just yet.

Online Hammer2722

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2018, 01:33:17 PM »
Steve has communicated with his fiancée 3 months before visiting her. I don't consider him marrying a stranger. Only he knows the quality of his correspondence with the lady he's going to marry and they may know each other very well before making the decision to marry.

She's well travelled but she may also make good money. I don't think she's after Steve's money. She paid for some of their taxis and train trips. She doesn't always eat out and  she cooked food for Steve, washed clothes, and cleaned the apartments. If she's clumsy doing those chores, then a guy could be suspicious a woman is faking it. If she's skilled at those chores, then she'll probably be a good wife. Steve's fiancée also chose a ring with a .2 carat center stone. It's not like she wanted to empty Steve's bank account on that decision. Let's not scare him into getting cold feet just yet.


Yes on the rings. He paid 1500.00 for the whole wedding set. Not just the engagement ring if I recall. I just paid almost 5k for mine and my wife's engagement and wedding set so $1500.00 is not that much reallly.
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Offline ML

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2018, 04:04:24 PM »

Yes on the rings. He paid 1500.00 for the whole wedding set. Not just the engagement ring if I recall. I just paid almost 5k for mine and my wife's engagement and wedding set so $1500.00 is not that much reallly.

I paid something like $2.99 for a packet of 3 rings for me at a teenager's trinket shop.
Wore one of them twice, for wedding and to visit immigration.  I can't stand ring on finger.
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Online Trenchcoat

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2018, 04:56:38 PM »
I don't think its a full gone conclusion that she's not straight up, only time will tell on that one. I think that there are some flags of suspicion - that she may use men for holidaying, that her smoothness with proceedure is down to that, that she comes from an area Steve is unlikely to be able to visit as its near the conflict zone so too dangerous for a foreigner and that Steve has rolled into buying what to most people in Ukraine would be relatively expensive rings.

All that may come to not mean a thing and she may be genuinely into Steve.

What I'm learning along the way in this search is a need to play a tighter game. Being able to visit a girl's home town up front does this, proposing with Roses instead of a Ring does this, avoiding holidaying or clothes shopping does this, avoiding putting up photos where I may look very wealthy does this, etc - that not doing these things while not meaning I've got a bad one does mean I leave myself more vulnerable to a bad one should I be with one. Getting a bad one to shove off by showing her she has little to gain is no bad thing I think. It's also reasuring that when playing a tighter game I'm not worringing about - Is she really with me for this? or that? dubious reason.

If a girl were to question me on a ring thing I would say I just wishes to respect her custom seeing that she is Russian, Ukrainian, etc. :D If she has a problem with that then that could well be a Red Flag.

I think Steve as a first outing is handling it how many of us handle it, without having done this scene before his game is likely to be pretty loose and hence vulnerable. So its just down to luck and hopefully he's intuition to see if it comes through for him I think.

Please though Steve continue the trip report :)   
 

Online Davo2

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2018, 05:10:39 PM »
Even though I would have taken a bit longer as I definitely don't want to repeat what I've just been through. At the end of the month I'll finally be free of my mistake, a bad choice I made 20 years ago. It's taken me 3 years and 130k to reach a conclusion.

At the end of the day, the path of international dating / marriage is a high risk high reward enterprise. It's all relative. If he had made 3-4 trips as many do, he still would have only replicated 2 months of dating locally, before proposing. 1, 3, 6 trips.... You're still in the honeymoon period where you are both presenting your best side and it's maybe not the real you or her. Even after 4 trips,  It's an insanely short period of time to get engaged, when you actually think about it. It's acceptable here on this site, but I'm sure most of your friends and family would privately be thinking you've lost your marbles.

There wouldn't be many guys who actually knew their wives before they started living together and to be honest you're lying if you say you did. It takes years and I can tell you right now, you can live with a woman for 20 years and still not fully comprehend what she's capable of or her true personality.

Steve, congratulations i hope it works out for you and without being a downer, you have the same chance as everyone else of being successful in a modern marriage. If you have known her for a week or like me 5 years before you get engaged, your odds are the same as winning a coin toss, maybe more if some of the international marriage stats are to believe. You have the chance to get to know her now and see if your instincts are  correct.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 05:41:36 PM by Davo2 »

Online SteveInBoston

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2018, 05:28:40 PM »
Lots of comments!

Let me address a few items:

The Most Expensive Galician Restaurant.  <--- The "title" says it all - the prices on the menu are astronomical but everyone gets a 90% "discount" - basically, remove the last 0 from all menu items for the actual price.

The places she traveled:  with her ex husband.  Except for Spain, Portugal and Greece.  Greece was just after they split.  Spain and Portugal was a recent trip to visit a friend who was getting married to a guy from Barcelona.

Wedding rings - seems not to be a popular thing in Ukraine.  Maybe a simple wedding band at the most.  She humored me at my insistence - I was pointing out $5k - $10k rings online, she steered me to something simpler.

She is wealthy by Ukraine standards, normal per Western.  She and her ex husband owned several retail stores. 

Sex on our first day:  She's 40, I'm 49.  Neither one of us has hang ups about it.  Also, this is after 3 months / 350 pages of Whatsapp chat and occasional voice and video calls.   It would have been odd/awkward if we were not intimate - 2 weeks of planned cohabitation in hotel rooms/apartments with 1 bed...

She has dated other men, as I had dated other women.  I think I mentioned that we shared our dating stories with each other in Odessa?  After I returned, she spent a day in Kiev with her sister then took an overnight train east to her city.  The following day she went to a nail salon to fix a nail that she split during our trip.  Then to the bank, and then to the gym.  Following day she drove to a nearby town to meet her friend and talk about me.  She stayed overnight in her friend's son's bed - one of those race car beds.  She woke up the following morning with some rashes.  She was worried about an infection or an allergic reaction, but discovered her skin was irritated by sand in the bed from her friend's son's sandpit.  She cleared out all the sand, spent one more night there, irritation free, and drove home the next day.   

How do I know any of the above is true?  Shared photos, miss you video calls and about 10 pages of Whatsapp messages each day.  There is always the remote possibility that all of it are elaborate lies, but that would be extremely impressive.  I think I have a pretty good handle on our relationship.  Thank you all for your concerns and warnings - I will keep my eye out.

Oh, I started the K1 visa.  NOA1 received June 22.  Timeline for NOA2 is estimated at January 7 or so according to visa journey.  What is the rush?  She is 40, I am 49.  Both of us desire children.  I don't have any from previous relationships, she had a miscarriage which was one of the factors of her splitting up with her ex.  We will probably need to visit a specialist.   Time is ticking...

Next post:  Bukovel and Difficulties with Demonstrators.
 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 05:40:39 PM by SteveInBoston »

Offline JayH

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2018, 05:44:15 PM »
Ok -- I am good on explanations - so thankyou.-- particularly on travel.

The issue of a much travelled girl is the "how she could be doing it" . There are numerous ways that can happen.
One is the obvious that ML alluded too.

On travel-- this is different to earlier times -- it is possible to get incredibly cheap flights from Ukraine to many countries  now. Charter flights ( that are basically a subscribed purchase) that could go to eg Spain.Egypt,Turkey ,Maldives,Thailand  etc etc could cost as little or less than $100 return . Girls will save for a year or more for a 7-10 day holiday -- sometimes to a fixed price including meals accommodation that is very cheap by western standards.

Regardless of what some backward thinking cretins think -- a girl with a job can be doing relatively ok -- and in some types of work very ok.
That all needs to be considered these days before jumping to any conclusions prematurely.

SLAVA UKRAYINI  ! HEROYAM SLAVA!!!!
Слава Украине! Слава героям слава!Слава Україні! Слава героям!
 translated as: Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!!!  is a Ukrainian greeting slogan being used now all over Ukraine to signify support for a free independent Ukraine

Online Trenchcoat

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2018, 06:53:09 PM »
Well Steve it looks like those Flags if suspicion are unlikely to be a problem in your case. Many that are can indeed be unfounded in reality. So well done to you in sounding it all out so early on in this venture ;)

I know from looking up over some women I have been interested in that the chances of fertility are not good for women in their forties. The percentage chance is pretty low each month, that and problems can be a risk. If she has had a miscarriage already then that probably adds to the potential problems. I think though if I were in your place there is little other choice than to shoot for it and hope for the best. I think you have a lot balls going for all of this at your age so well done and good luck with it all :)

Online myrddin

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2018, 09:01:46 AM »
Thanks for sharing your story, Steve.


The shade of red can change with age and experience.
Personally, I think the engagement was a bit quick, but ultimately that decision is up to only 2 people.
 I see someone who dealt with advice, issues, and his own experience before making his own choices.  I'm guessing you read a lot here before joining officially.


Congratulations, and best of luck
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Online jone

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2018, 12:43:20 PM »
I, for one, enjoyed the trip report.  There is nothing unusual about falling in love and getting engaged.  However, I will say that until two people have lived together and found common ground on cultural issues, it is difficult to assess the success of the relationship.

I recommend finding a place, mutually acceptable, and live together for a month or two.  Such living arrangements make up for a whole lotta "oh, you think that?" type moments.
Kissing girls is a goodness.  It beats the hell out of card games.  - Robert Heinlein

Offline southernX

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2018, 06:55:10 PM »
gday steve

mate , i can say only you two know if it is right or not , time spent together does not always let you ''know ''your partners true self

people are adept at hiding parts of themselves if they want or need to to gain others approval in many subtle ways

years ago i got married after an 18 month engagement and 4 years of living with my partner at that time [now ex wife ]

i wanted to be sure it was right , se we took our time, however after 18 years i found she was not the person i though i had known by her actions and it was surprising how she had almost lead a double life , in secret and betrayed my trust

small things at times i ignored and did not pick up on later became timelines  where i had been betrayed badly  which later revealed themselves to their fullest extent

we dont always know people like we think we do , but we do know  ourselves and what values we have , and what we need to be happy if we do enough self discovery

when i met my now wife we very quickly discovered a strong bond and it just grew very intense very quickly , almost beyond belief to be honest when i look back ..
like you we communicated for several months before i travelled to meet her , like your story there are similarities , but some differences , but mostly the bond of trust and attraction was strong between us and we both felt that intrinsically

hard to explain that to ''others '' but i trusted my gut instinct and my experience with her over our short relationship time with a lot of reflection on the choices i could take

 we got engaged on my first trip after 3 weeks together now  nearly 9 years on and we are still strong and have grown together in ways i could not have imagined back then , !!and im very glad i trusted my own judgements as my wife has enriched my life so much for the better , we both are not perfect and we have had differences over that time , often over very small things that have escalated funny enough  ;D , but they have bonded us even more and the trust and commitment has grown ever more

back then friends , family cautioned me that i might get hurt emotionaly and financialy !!    question i  asked them is what is the difference from my prior long term relationship and divorce ??  in the end you just have to trust your judgements and take a risk or not , make achoice or not and then be the best person you can be to make it work !! as nothing is gauranteed in this life

my wife is strong , independent , has high moral values , works hard at anything she puts her mind to achieve, is very direct in her views or opinions and does not suffer fools gladly , she is intense ,soft , compassionate , caring and kind  loves deeply and is incredibly loyal !! and can be as determined as she is stubborn  :deadhorse:

in my experience this is not for every one and certainly needs a high level of trust and preparedness to be challenged by another strong person in many ways if you are to succeed

you wont be a knight  saving some poor girl in distress thats for sure  :)



you cant change others , and you cant control others , all you can reasonably do is be your best & make if difficult for them to not love you and respect you , and to support them to be the best they can be imo

travel your own journey with this adventure and trust yourself first imo

keep us posted as you continue on the adventure ,

best wishes of what life has to offer you both

SX
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 07:12:08 PM by southernX »
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Online SteveInBoston

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #40 on: July 23, 2018, 09:16:19 PM »
SouthernX,

Thank you for sharing.  I feel the same with T that you felt for your now wife - I hope to have a great relationship like yours.

Jone,

That could happen.  I am going back to Ukraine to spend a month, possibly two, with her.  I have to set up things at my job to work remotely.

Back to the trip report:

June 7:

I had a strong desire to visit the Carpathians - my grandfather was from eastern Slovakia, somewhere in those mountains. So, I rented a car for 1 day in Lviv.  I checked various rental companies, local and international, and ended up renting from Avis, mostly due to having unlimited miles for the 1 day rental (other companies had a 200km limit).  I might have been able to min/max by calculating the extra mileage fees, but decided to just go with Avis.

We took an Uber in the morning to Lviv airport.  We got the car - a Volkswagen Polo - and headed South.  Our destination was Bukovel - a ski resort town south of Ivano-Frankivsk.  T picked the destination - she and her ex used to go there in the winter. 

The drive down was unremarkable, other than the poor road conditions in Ukraine.  The main route from Lviv to Ivano-Frankivsk was pretty good, on E-471 and H-10.  But there was a section on H-10 where the road was almost unpaved - perhaps they were going to re-pave it soon?  A notable part was T getting concerned when I blew through the first town on H-10 at full speed - apparently there is a maximum speed of 50 or 60 km when going through any town, even if the speed limit is not posted.  I think I was going 90 or 100.   I did slow down through the next towns.

The worst section of road was about a 10-20 km section of H-09 south of Ivano-Frankivsk.  Very rough shape.  The rest of it was fine.  One oddity was when crossing over the Prut river in Yamna - there were a lot of police and many parked cars along the road.  As we passed the center of Yamna there was a large gathering.  While waiting in traffic T asked a policeman at the side of the road what was going on - there was a demonstration planned that day.  Something about the locals being fed up with the poor road repair and high traffic.  It wasn't much of an issue driving through...on the way to Bukovel, that is.

Bukovel:

Nice resort town.  The mountains there were not tall, but there were some impressively long ski runs.  T was excited to show me the regional style of restaurant - typically round or hexagonal buildings with Carpathian cuisine - I forgot the name.  We drove up to Voda Club, a beach club on a man-made lake.  We passed it and saw someone riding a bike on a zip line.  We had to try!

We pulled up and purchased a couple of tickets, I think 200 or 300 UAH each, and took the plunge.  The setup was 3 sets of zip lines.  Each set was two lines, one above the other, with no "slope" - the cables were level across to a landing on the other side.  The wheels of the bike (rim only - no tire) were on the bottom line and a support post from the back of the bike was attached to the overhead line.  It was a sturdy setup, and we were also in a harness clipped to the overhead line for safety.

The bikes had electrical assist - a button on the right handlebar grip.  The gears were set pretty low, and they forbade me from shifting gears.  All of this was explained to me in Russian, but I got the gist of it from the gestures and them pointing to various parts of the bike.  2 rules - do not try to turn and do not shift gears. 

Off we went.  The first "step" is a bit daunting, not knowing how stable the bike would be and seeing the 20 foot drop below you.  I peddled out, and slowly T reached up to me on her "track".  Soon she passed me and built up a pretty good lead before I realized that the electrical assist was faster than me peddling on the low gear setting.  1/2 way across, when we were above the lake, one of the staff members overtook us on the 3rd track.  He was peddling - probably set to a high gear.  He got to the other side and prepared to assist us when we reached the landing.

We got to the other side, the guy set up the bikes for the return trip, and yelled at me as I tried to shift to a different gear.  This time I got the lead over T by mashing the power button as far as possible.  But about 1/2 way across T overtook me again - I couldn't compete with her power/weight ratio.  Rats.

The return trip was awesome - now that both us was used to the setup and realizing there was nothing to worry about, we enjoyed the view of the mountains and ski slopes.  We reached the starting area, unhooked and took off our harness, and headed back to our car.   

Lunch was at one of the restaurants T wanted me to try.  We had rabbit veriniki, fried mushrooms and borscht.  My first borscht!  It was pretty good, but T said there was better elsewhere. Especially hers, made with roasted beets and pineapples.  I have a doubt about that, but didn't mention that to her.  We shall see (in the future - apparently borscht takes a while to prepare).

We stopped at a few hotels to see what the rooms were like and check the room rates for this winter.  It was too early to get a confirmed rate - seems they set the prices in the fall for the ski season.  They provided some estimates - about $200 - $300/night for the rooms at slopeside hotels, $100/night for rooms at hotels a few hundred km away.  Perhaps we'll return this winter and stay in one of those places.

Local Yokels:

Remember Yamna?  Well, at around 5 PM we left Bukovel to head back to Lviv.  Approaching Yamna, there were a line of cars stopped with their engines off.  And more police hanging around.  T asked one of them what was happening.  The gathering of people we saw in the morning were demonstrators.  They camped the bridge over the Prut river, preventing any traffic from passing.  This made T livid!  A little at the police, for not doing anything about it, but mostly at the demonstrators.  She thought the road blockage was stupid - it prevented honest people (truck drivers) from earning their living and interrupted tourists like us.  She stated they should get out of the way and squat in front of the mayor's house if they wanted the local government to do something about the roads.

After waiting a bit, and finding out from the Police that the demonstration and road block would go on until sunset (about 9PM), I decided to do a little bit of back-roads driving with the aid of Google Maps.

First, it was surprising that Google maps had the local backroads charted.  Second, the local backroads were actually cow paths.  Unpaved, with deep wheel ruts.  This caused our car to bottom out now and again as we drove through.

At one part of the road we had to go uphill a bit.  On an uneven dirt road with small and large rocks.  A local mom and her little girl looked worried as I gunned the engine and spewed rocks.  I stopped to let them walk by and get a good way down the road before I resumed.  With some loud clunks of rocks hitting the undercarriage, we made it to the top.  Barely. 

We navigated our way to the other side of the hill, where google maps showed a bridge across the river to rejoin H-09.  At the bottom of the hill --- 4 cars waiting to cross the small bridge, where, you guessed it, more demonstrators were squatting.   Rats.

We parked the car, got out, and T located the head of the small splinter group.  She argued with him until he relented a little by telling her that we could go back, talk to the police about an urgent need to catch a train, and the police would escort us past the blockade.  T explained all this to me, but I broke the bad news:  there was no way the car could go back up the hill we descended.  We had a hard time going up the hill on the other side - this side the hill was just as steep and longer/taller. 

I settled T down by staying calm and getting out some food and wine we packed earlier.  I set up a little picnic right in the middle of the protesters, on the other side of the bridge.  They kept looking at us and wondering what we were about, but I just smiled and distracted T from thinking about the demonstration.

About an hour later the splinter group decided to stop guarding the bridge and set up their blockade on the main road.  T and I were relieved - we got in our car and headed our way back...almost.  At the other side of the bridge the demonstrators made the cars turn right - back toward the center of Yamna and the main blockade.  I put on the left turn signal and pointed the car left.  The demonstrators blocked my car and one of them approached the driver side door to talk to me.

I think he was trying to tell me what he and his group were doing, why the demonstration was just and proper, the grievances they had, etc.  I smiled and said "Ya Americanich.  Menya zovut Steve.  Ya gavaru pa russki ni ochen horosho.  Kaktori seychas chas.  Gdye Andreskyiy ulitsa."

He looked at me, and then back to the guys in his group, said a few things, and tried to talk to me again, in Russian.  At this point T said a few things to him, and then another guy from the group pulled him back and motioned for us to pass.  I said "spasibo" or "dakuyu" or both, and we got past the roadblock.

I asked T what she said to him.  She said she told him that she was trying to show me how great Ukraine was, that he and his friends were making Ukraine look bad, and that he was embarrassing her in front of me.  She was fired up!  I calmed her down again and pointed to something positive - the road ahead of us was clear.  The demonstration cleared up what would have been rush hour traffic.   :D

In the waning hours we noticed several old women waking along the side of the road here and there - babushkas.  T made me laugh when she said the babushkas were so small.  She was amazed how short some of the women were.  Apparently eastern Ukraine has taller babushkas. 

At the next gas station I pulled over to let T drive, at her insistence.  She was concerned the long day made me too tired to drive, and she was right.  We got some drinks - coffee for her and some orange juice for me, and she drove us back to Lviv.  After dropping off the car at the airport and getting an Uber back to our apartment, it was past midnight. 

An interesting and fun-filled day.


Next:  Train to Kyiv and BBQ at T's sister's place.

Offline ML

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #41 on: July 23, 2018, 09:46:26 PM »
gday steve

mate , i can say only you two know if it is right or not , time spent together does not always let you ''know ''your partners true self

people are adept at hiding parts of themselves if they want or need to to gain others approval in many subtle ways

years ago i got married after an 18 month engagement and 4 years of living with my partner at that time [now ex wife ]

i wanted to be sure it was right , se we took our time, however after 18 years i found she was not the person i though i had known by her actions and it was surprising how she had almost lead a double life , in secret and betrayed my trust

small things at times i ignored and did not pick up on later became timelines  where i had been betrayed badly  which later revealed themselves to their fullest extent

we dont always know people like we think we do , but we do know  ourselves and what values we have , and what we need to be happy if we do enough self discovery

when i met my now wife we very quickly discovered a strong bond and it just grew very intense very quickly , almost beyond belief to be honest when i look back ..
like you we communicated for several months before i travelled to meet her , like your story there are similarities , but some differences , but mostly the bond of trust and attraction was strong between us and we both felt that intrinsically

hard to explain that to ''others '' but i trusted my gut instinct and my experience with her over our short relationship time with a lot of reflection on the choices i could take

 we got engaged on my first trip after 3 weeks together now  nearly 9 years on and we are still strong and have grown together in ways i could not have imagined back then , !!and im very glad i trusted my own judgements as my wife has enriched my life so much for the better , we both are not perfect and we have had differences over that time , often over very small things that have escalated funny enough  ;D , but they have bonded us even more and the trust and commitment has grown ever more

back then friends , family cautioned me that i might get hurt emotionaly and financialy !!    question i  asked them is what is the difference from my prior long term relationship and divorce ??  in the end you just have to trust your judgements and take a risk or not , make achoice or not and then be the best person you can be to make it work !! as nothing is gauranteed in this life

my wife is strong , independent , has high moral values , works hard at anything she puts her mind to achieve, is very direct in her views or opinions and does not suffer fools gladly , she is intense ,soft , compassionate , caring and kind  loves deeply and is incredibly loyal !! and can be as determined as she is stubborn  :deadhorse:

in my experience this is not for every one and certainly needs a high level of trust and preparedness to be challenged by another strong person in many ways if you are to succeed

you wont be a knight  saving some poor girl in distress thats for sure  :)



you cant change others , and you cant control others , all you can reasonably do is be your best & make if difficult for them to not love you and respect you , and to support them to be the best they can be imo

travel your own journey with this adventure and trust yourself first imo

keep us posted as you continue on the adventure ,

best wishes of what life has to offer you both

SX

Wow SX, you became a philosopher !

But nice words.  :-)
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Online Trenchcoat

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2018, 02:08:09 PM »
Probably best to let your girl do the talking Steve both with protesters and Hotels. Things will no doubt go better that way. With Hotels they may well charge a higher price if they hear a foreign guy, those prices seemed a bit steep. Check online through Bookings.com or Airbnb, no doubt you can get cheaper than asking in person. I'm guessing it's the same for Hotels like for Taxi's, if you just turn up and ask on the spot the price will nearly always be higher but if you book in advance the rate is way better.

Online SteveInBoston

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2018, 06:10:02 PM »
Trip Finale - Kyiv

The last post to finish this trip report

June 9 - Train to Kyiv

I want to point out the apartment I stayed in in Lviv.   Close to everything, large apartment, friendly owner and very affordable.  Just watch out for the wanky stairs, especially at night.  Owner is Ірина Кубай, her place is listed in Airbnb as "Cozy 2 rooms apartment in city centre".  190 USD total for 5 nights/6 days.   

One caveat:  no AC.  Seems most traditional apartments in Lviv don't have AC.  Could be uncomfortable in July and August.

We took the 11:27 train from Lviv to Kyiv.  We stopped at a Lviv Croissants store on the way to the train station - just for me to actually try something from there even though we talked about it every time we passed by the shop on our way to other restaurants and stores.  Pretty good chocolate croissant.

The train was soviet style - cabins instead of open seats.  T purchased 2 first class seats, which meant 4 people per cabin.  At first we had an issue because my 26" roll-along hard-side luggage did not fit.  Then T noticed the people in the next cabin lowered the top bunk and used it as a platform for their luggage.  Problem solved (the first class and second class cabins are the same - a 4 bunk room with the bunks folded.  In second class 6 people are assigned to each cabin).

About an hour in on our scheduled 5 1/2 hour trip I climbed on the top bunk and took a nap, with my feet raised over my luggage.  One of the other passengers, a man, did the same but didn't have the luggage to deal with.  T stretched out and took a nap on the bench seat, and the 4th person - an older woman, read a book on her phone.   

About 4 hours later the train stopped - the engine gave out. We had about a 90 minute delay while they motored in another engine to take the train the rest of the way to Kyiv.

We arrived at around 6:30 PM in Kyiv.  We took an uber to the A-Loft hotel, which was pretty central to everything downtown (it is on Esplanadna Street, pretty close to the soccer stadium).  We checked in and left our luggage with the service desk because we were late to a BBQ party at T's sister's house.  We took the same Uber to N's place, which was south of the city.  T could not provide exact directions to the house, so she had the Uber pull over at a nearby restaurant. 

Enter Sasha!  Sasha is N's husband, who drove up next to us.  We left the uber and Sasha drove us to the house, which was down a few winding streets in a residential area.  Very colorful guy, and very friendly.  It was his birthday (hence the BBQ) and he already had a few drinks.  He even spoke some english - he worked security detail for a British company for a couple of years.

I met N again (one kiss on the cheek), and Sasha fired up the grill again and BBQ'd some meat - pork and chicken chunks on spits. I met some of Sasha's friends, they congratulated us on our engagement, and had a great evening eating and drinking.  I also met one of T's nephews - the other one was away at a friend's house. 

One very remarkable thing - N has a dog named Leika (possibly a miniature pincher mix, medium size, about 30-35 pounds).  She was a stray they adopted, which I later found out is unusual in Ukraine (people go for pure breeds).  They also adopted a kitten, maybe 4 weeks old?  Their dog, Leika, started lactating when they brought the kitten home.  She has been breastfeeding the kitten ever since (this all happened one week before my trip).  Very cool dog.

Just after sundown everyone started leaving and N drove us back to the hotel.  We claimed our luggage from the front desk, went to our room and retired for the evening.


June 10 - Kyiv

Nothing really remarkable.  We went out for lunch and dinner, and went to a few shops on Khreschatyk Street.  T purchase a few outfits at a new designer discount store, and I got to play the boyfriend-waiting-outside-the-dressing-room role.


June 11 - Return Flight

A-Loft hotel - a nice, western style hotel at a great location, nice rooms, reasonable price (I think $105/night?)  Nothing great and nothing bad.  As I age I prefer Airbnb or other apartment/house rentals over hotels.  I would have stayed at another Airbnb place, but a hotel seemed more convenient for my last two days in Ukraine.

We checked out and we took an Uber to the airport.  T went with me to keep me company and say farewell.  It was sad but not tearful, mainly because we made plans to meet again soon, at the end of August.  T has a group of friends who rented a 4-berth sailboat in Greece.  They had room for more and invited me to join.  So, on the last week of August, I will meet T in Greece and we are going sailing around the islands for one week.  Then we are going to spend an additional week exploring Peloponnese.

I took Swiss Air on the return leg, connecting in Zurich.  The plane experience wind shear during landing and had to abort and circle around.  First time I experienced something like that - it was a bit scary.  The second attempt was much better and we landed without any issues. 

Zurich has a US passport control section for US bound flights.  I had to hurry because my inbound flight was late, but I was quickly processed - a couple of basic questions about where I went and how long I stayed there.

The Customs and Immigration control at Boston took longer to clear.  It was annoying that I had to go through immigration/passport control again.  I wondered what was the point of passport control at Zurich if I had to go through the same thing again in Boston?  I can understand having separate customs control, but a second immigration/passport control?

Another annoying thing was the customs form I had to fill out on the flight from Zurich to Boston.  It is the old customs form, which makes you list out all purchases and declare if you have any food (I was bringing back Lviv chocolates as gifts).  In Boston, they made me go through an electronic customs declaration kiosk.  That system only makes you declare items if the total value is more than XX ($400?) and asks if you have certain foods like meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables.  They need to eliminate the old paper forms which are outdated (non-produce processed foods are not controlled, I believe). 


Well, that is the end of my trip.  Successful, fun, and the start of another adventure - the K-1 visa process!

Let me know if there are any questions about the hotels, restaurants or other things I experienced on my trip.  If you need advice on girls...I can share what worked for me but I am far from an expert.

Cheers.

Online krimster2

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2018, 06:35:24 PM »
good deal congrats!!!
but the adventure is only just beginning for you
any idea of K1 visa waiting times these days?
вы думаете, что любой из этих людей, даже российских, подозревает, что я русский?

вот как я могу создать американскую личность
Я могу взять напрокат

Online SteveInBoston

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #45 on: August 05, 2018, 08:15:22 AM »
Hi Krim,

The USCIS website lists the processing time as 5 - 7 months at the California center (it seems all K-1 visas are process through there now rather than the closest regional center).

Visajourney forecasted my NOA2 to be around the first week of January.


Offline ML

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2018, 01:25:27 PM »
Steve, thanks for sharing your trip report.
Also nice to see that some can still write fairly well in English; a dying skill.
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline Jumper

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Re: My first trip to Ukraine - May-June 2018
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2018, 01:10:52 PM »
Nice trip report,thanks.


Congratulations!


So you'll soon be in the Peloponnese,
I lived there  in a village a few years, you'll have a great time.
If you stray from the more touristy areas you'll think you are in the 1920's,  and that's actually pretty cool in most ways. 

Wish you continued success!
.

 

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