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Of course, we all love Ukraine and are proud of our country. But the view from the outside is always interesting: there is an opinion that foreigners often associate our country with low prices and beautiful girls. But what else?
The hotel chain Premier and New Time conduct the social project “Personal Experience”. We announced an international competition and invited a foreigner who will travel around Ukraine and share his tourist impressions.
The idea of the project is to show Ukraine with its tourist realities and opportunities through the eyes of a foreign guest who is discovering the country.
Our hero Richard Benton is an American from Minnesota, who first came to Ukraine in 1993 and learned Ukrainian in a year participating in the exchange program. Since then, he once was in Lviv, teaching Hebrew in 2006 and now in 2019.
Richard sent a video in which he voiced three reasons why he wants to go to Ukraine - to practice Ukrainian, to refresh pleasant memories, and to evaluate the progress he heard about, because at the time he lived here he didn’t even know one person who would have a private car.
Richard began his journey from Kiev and was very surprised at how infrastructure changed, restaurants opened and hotels with high service appeared.
Borispol 25 years later
-In my first arrival 25 years ago from Boryspol I was traveling by bus. Before you go, the driver waited until the bus is full, it could take a lot of time. Now from the airport to the city I quickly got on the new suburban electric train.
About the hotel
-In the hotel (Premier Palace Hotel) I was greeted well and quickly settled. I remember this hotel during my first visit; even then it stood out and was a symbol of the center of Kiev.
About English in Kiev
On the streets, people became smiling and friendly. I conducted an experiment today and asked passersby questions in English. I was pleasantly surprised that even those who do not speak English still tried to help me.
The trip turned into a fascinating adventure: you had to play pantomimes, portraying a train, to get to the train station and to write numbers, to negotiate prices. In general, exhibit wonders of ingenuity. But this did not spoil the impressions of the trip and the country in general.
It would be fair to say that Ukrainians now live much better than before.
When I came to the cult place - the Bessarabka market - having heard my English, the saleswomen smiled shyly, but persistently gave everything to try - mostly they were products that we (in Minneapolis) cannot find - pickles, salo and horseradish. And when I realized that I had not provided cash, they pulled out a terminal, hinting that I could pay with a credit card. In the market, stale products will no longer be sold to you, they will say compliments from the open heart and without any irony.
In 1993, St. Andrew’s Church was under repair. I saw that now they were repairing it too. But I hope that this is not the same, but a different repair.
Kiev is a very clean city. I was impressed by the fact that the townspeople take care of their home, without throwing trash on the street and making efforts to keep the buildings clean.
On the streets there are only new foreign cars. How can this be? - surprised our hero.
We Americans are friendly, but very careful. We are happy to smile at strangers, but with difficulty we make friends and very few people are allowed into our personal lives. On the contrary, with the Ukrainians, they seem gloomy and stern at the first conversation, but if they open the door for you, they also open their hearts with it.
1. Do not be afraid to talk to people.
Ukrainians love foreigners, and even if they speak English poorly, they will help you. There was a case when I came to the bar and did not know what kind of beer I wanted. The waiter began to offer me samples, until I found the one I liked. As a result, it turned out a wonderful evening with a lot of interesting acquaintances.
2. Learn a few Ukrainian words.
Many here speak Russian as a first language, but if you start speaking Ukrainian, even despite your mistakes, your efforts will be appreciated anyway.
3. Do not be afraid to try the local food, even if it seems strange to you.
For example, salo. Ask sellers to cut off a tiny piece, and be sure they will not refuse.
Ukrainians tell a lot about their country, and travel is the best way to learn new things.
* Premier hotel chain - is a national hotel operator with 15 years of experience. Today the chain consists of 19 hotels in 14 Ukrainian tourist destinations. The vector of development of the company, as an ambassador of Ukrainian tourism, is focused on the management of hotel facilities, hotel consulting, capital construction, franchising and education in the field of hospitality. In 2019, the network will expand due to the opening of an apart-hotel in Bukovel, Premier Hotel Bukovel and a completely reconstructed hotel Yunost Premier Hotel Odesa in Odessa. All hotels of the network are united by a single standards of quality of facilities and services.
* Project partner Turkish Airlines was founded in 1933 and has been flying to Ukraine for more than 25 years. Flights are operated in 6 cities of Ukraine: Kiev, Odessa, Lviv, Kharkov, Zaporozhye and Kherson. The total number of flights is more than 70 per week. Turkish Airlines performs flights to Kiev on wide-bodied Airbus A330 aircraft, each seat of which is equipped with a personal entertainment system, both in the business and economy class, which contains numerous music, films and games for children. Passengers also can use the services of Wi-Fi and Live TV.