PLACES TO MEET LOCALS IN POLTAVABY ALEKS KRAVCHENKO
Probably one of the best ways to get to know the country and its culture is by meeting locals and it is like that almost irregardless of where you go. I remember my last trip to a foreign country. Before going there I went online and tried finding people who lived in the cities I planned to visit. It was not an easy thing to do since the country I was traveling to was a socialistic country, with very few internet portals of their own. So, it was close to impossible to find someone online.
But since Ukraine is not a socialistic country, though we are on the way to an authoritarian regime (only my personal point of view here), there are quite a few ways to meet local residents of Poltava, that is, if Poltava is a city of your destination. So, before listing places in Poltava where you can meet locals, I suggest you go on Skype, download and install it if you still don't have it, and search for Poltava, Ukraine. There must be hundreds of people and it is most likely that they will speak some decent English to become your friends for the time of your stay in our city of Poltava.
Now, let's head on the the physical locations where you can meet people in Poltava when you are here. Before I start, there are quite a few places to meet locals in Poltava but I will be listing only the most popular ones among those that I heard. Also, not all of the places that I list I would recommend to a foreigner, again, "solo" my personal preferences and opinions. One more thing. I will break this small list into "Recommended" and "Others". Recommended are those that I would recommend you going there. It means it is very unlikely you will get in trouble while in there. "What about Others", you may ask. Well, you should go there but at your own risk. I am not saying they are dangerous, not at all. But since I am a local Poltava resident and I have met lots of people from foreign countries and since I know the mentality (oh boy, do I?) of both, Ukrainians and foreigners, I believe you can trust my judgement.
RECOMMENDED PLACES TO MEET LOCALS IN POLTAVA
"Equator" shopping center (dear visitors from the US, read it as "shopping center")
Location: street Kovpaka 36, or in Russian:
Please, don't use public transportation in our city. You are not used to the way how things work here (my experience is taken into an account here). You people are way too polite to use our public transportation. Not criticizing you at all. That is a good thing, and too bad that most of us, the Ukrainians are not like that. Well, I guess it has got to do with the history and economical situation in our country of Ukraine, but that is a source for a separate article. So, stick with the taxi/cab idea. Just print out the address I am typing in Russian and hand it over to the driver.
So, what is it that you can do at "Equator". There are quite a few things you can do there. Amother other, you can:
- Play bowling
- Play billiars (pool)
Shopping malls have become popular places for people to go to not only in Western country, but also in Ukraine and Poltava specifically.
Let me provide you with details on bowling, billiars and ice-skating at "Equator" shopping mall in Poltava.
Working hours: 11 a.m. - 3 a.m.
The cost: they charge you per each hour. The cost highly depends on the day of the week and the time of the day when you play. It may cost you US $8 per an hour (Mon. Though Fri till 6p.m), at the same time it may cost you US $21 per an hour (on weekend nights).
Note: careful when throwing those balls. If you hit the TV set, it will cost you US $2000. Never done that and don't recommend you doing it either :-)
Billiards (a.k.a. pools)
Working hours: the same as above.
Cost: US $6 per an hour
Working hours: 8 a.m. till midnight. On weekends and holidays till 1 a.m.
Note: they give you the ice-skates (included in the cost of the ticket), so you don't need to bright yours.
Also, keep your ticket till the very end of the skating session. You will need it to leave the skating rink!
Eating out and shopping
"Equator" is also a nice place to get a bite to eat and shopping. It is a popular place for locals to go.
"Kantina" night club
Location: street Gogolya 33, or in Russian:
This is the only night club that I recommend you going to. There are others and many of them but this one seems to be decent and not that loud and is for different ages of people. It is located in the basement of a well known hotel in Poltava (not going to tell you the name since I want you to use my services.... how greedy! A hint though. Try Googling "Kantina Poltava" and you will come across the hotel as well. What am I doing? Robbing myself. Bad for Alex!)
So, what is it that you can do in Kantina:
- Play billiars (yep, popular game in our country)
- Smoke hooka (a.k.a. waterpipe, shisha, kalian etc)
- Discoteque (many people in the US don't know what that is. The synonyms are: .... synonyms dictionary does not know what it is either. Where did I get this word anyways?! Yep, I misspelled in. It is "discotheque", silly me. Also, "disco" is the same thing. You get the idea.)
OTHER PLACES TO MEET PEOPLE
Well, I feel myself a bit tired so I won't be posting other places to meet locals in Poltava. Why? Because I don't want you to get in trouble. Please, please stick with the recommended places.
End of story. For questions or comments, or if you are in trouble, give me a call and I will see what I can do.