Dean O'Brien's Blog

O’Briens Pub – Kiev

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Upon entering O’Briens Pub, depending on the time, you could be mistaken for thinking that you have walked into the classic bar scene from Star Wars.  Being an ex pat bar it seems to have become an attraction for the misfits in Kiev.  Ranging from those who have just arrived on the plane to those who have been here far too long and are well past their expiry date.  They all gather here like stray animals at the watering hole.

Men stare into the abyss of the bottom of their pint glass and are only too happy to tell you about their lovely Katya who left them high and dry.  They’ll tell you about how things were ten years ago when they ran their own businesses back in the UK and decided to abandon their wives and kids back home to start up afresh in Ukraine with the lovely Olga.

You’ll be graced with the stories of how they landed in Ukraine with their half of the divorce settlement to start a new life.  And how shortly afterwards their beautiful slavic sex siren drew them into lucrative business deals which never came to fruition.  Their tired eyes tell a thousand stories.

I can’t help but think that in hindsight, had many of these westerners been prepared to adjust more to a Ukrainian way of life their stay could have been more productive.  Most people ‘live and learn’ but not here.  These guys, like gamblers standing around the roulette wheel still think they are in with a chance.  Inevitably, many return to their homelands with stories of what ‘could have been’.

O’Briens still has that magnetic pull though for many though.  Western comforts such as the ‘all essential’ Sky Sports, good service and english menus means that those already missing home can reap some comfort.

Leaving the pub can have its down side.  The Police can often be found lurking outside waiting for those who are, shall we say ‘three sheets to the wind’.  Im afraid that the rumour of  ‘rich westerners’  still rings true here and the demand to see your documents soon turns into a glorified shake down.  Yes indeed, street robbery takes on a very different persona here.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

May 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm

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