Day 21 – Kyiv bound for Krajina Mrij and Mad Heads – 23/6/12

An early morning train back to Kyiv, and a lonesome journey for Zenko back to Donetsk (due to Buniak screwing him over), meant that everybody was up at 5am. As was decided from the previous day, Petro and Stepan were going to drive back to Kyiv with Andriy and Ewhen taking the train with everyone else. With this in mind Petro and Stepan decided to have a couple more hours in bed whilst the others had started their journey.

A long journey for everyone, train and car, things got even worse on the road as Stepan was pulled over for speeding. The standard “no speak Ukrainian” came out but the officers weren’t having any of it. Caught on camera doing 97kmph in a 60 zone there was no getting out of it. The first thing that came to his mind was having to beat the five Euros that Ewhen haggled, but this turned out fruitless as he ended up paying 200 UAH. Petro for once was not asleep in the car and caught all on film. Back on the road with Stepan now angry for losing the bet, he purely by accident took it out by getting some road kill, before then feeling bad and then swapped drivers.


Petro now behind the wheel and Stepan catching up with all the days missed from the diary, we both looked up to find a massive blood splat on the windscreen. Welcome Petro Chymera into the Bill Oddy road kill club. (Controversy would follow as when Ewhen saw the stain in Kyiv wasn’t convinced that it was either road kill nor blood.) Was this yet another club Petro wanted to be in but not part of? Previously he pulled over when he saw a police car for no apparent reason. Even the police officer probably thought why is that idiot pulling over for?

road kill or not roadkill? that is the question...
road kill or not roadkill? that is the question…

With Andriy (Buniak and Luczka) Chrystyna and Ewhen now back in Kyiv by mid afternoon, along with Andy and Orysia Chymera, Taras Cuiriak and Gelembyn, all headed out to the Krajina Mrij folk festival. Here we saw the likes of VV, Oleg Skrypka, a Georgian band called Mgzavrebi that sang Ukrainian songs as well as a few local bands. The highlight however, was Bohdan Gelembyn coming back with what was a small liquor store of alcohol after getting fed up of queuing up at the official bar.


Early evening Petro and Stepan finally arrived, after getting lost once again with directions. No keys to the apartment and everyone else at the festival, it was time to go on a Kyiv pub crawl. Going into various local bars, we started at our ‘local’ Dockers where purely by chance we saw a Mad Heads poster that said they were playing that night. We reserved a couple of seats and a quick few vodka’s later we were back on the pub crawl, stopping off at a traditional Ukrainian restaurant on the way, by which point we were now completely arseholed and talking more rubbish than usual. Even the waitress started to laugh at us.

Drunk and tired we decided to go back to the car for a half an hour of power nap. This was a bad idea as it soon turned into 45 minutes, then an hour. Fully refreshed we went to Dockers for Mad Heads. Reserving our seats was pointless as there was no such thing in the end, but not complaining we went straight to the bar. Here, we ended up bumping into our Canadian-Ukrainian friends Andrijko and Zenon along with the rest of their contingent.

Mad heads soon started playing and got the crowd going, not least the legendary mullet man trumpet player! Singing and dancing with the Canadians, it wasn’t long before the rest of the UK contingent that was at Krajina Mrij turned up too, with Petro’s wife to be and Mariya also making an appearance.


Partying as one big group, Mad Heads were amazing and after the gig Petro and Stepan managed to grab a photo with their new found hero, mullet man. Everyone then called it a night after that except for Ewhen and Stepan who continued the drinking.

Beer and Vodka was at the top of the menu as we decided to move into another bar. Sat outside it got a little nippy so we headed inside. Both now struggling, it was Ewhen that was first to fall as his eyes were firmly shut. Stepan woke Ewhen up, and it was agreed that we would leave our full beers and go to bed – sacrilege!

Stepan went to the toilet before leaving to find Ewhen sat on another table when he got back talking to some local randoms. It turned out that they weren’t locals at all as they were Spanish and Portuguese who were working as volunteers during the Euros. With the talk of leaving our beers put to the back of our minds we carried on drinking and talking before then calling it a night ourselves.


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