In at the deep end

Kiev Hostel Politics

September 6, 2008

Hostels in Kiev are a weird weird thing…
I stayed in (reportedly) the best Hostel in Kiev (Kiev Backpackers).
Which, had a decent enough location, was clean enough and no lock out.

However the Norweigan guy running it was one of the most abrasive people I’ve ever met.
If you asked him a question, it would immediately be thrown back at you as stupid, and too much effort to answer properly.
He was vocally racist against Russians and Ukrainians (right in front of them in the restaurant, hope to god they didn’t speak English).
Not to mention the fact I’m almost certain he charged me 360 grivnah for the first night (about 50 euros!), though I evened the score by getting a free night without him realising).

However if you look at the alternatives on you’ll see similar stories (and worse) at the other hostels in Kiev.

In fact he was telling me of an English guy who set up a hostel in Kiev with a very similar name to his, which created an ongoing debacle whose highlights include the English guy leaving a dead cat slit from top to tail in front of the Norweigan guy’s hostel,  operating on a tourist visa and without a hostel licence and threatening the Norweigan’s wife and 7 month old son, or so we’re told.

All in all I think there’s a niche in Kiev for a reasonably priced and more importantly sane hostel owner…

Still he did have a couple of pretty young things working for him who were always insisting on a joyride, so it wasn’t all bad!