We want to live like you and us Uber robs

A reporter for the newspaper Lidové noviny Petra procházková went to Ukraine. Website Lidovky.cz publishes her notes from Ukraine.

Monday, 31.07

In Odessa, too, it is better to go with Uber than on regular taxis. As soon as we got off the train at the station, we rushed the crowd of sweaty men with big bellies, who shouted: “Beach, coast, hotel, accommodation, we are here for you every day and cheap!” To take seven people at a distance of four kilometers, they wanted 900 hryvnia, which is about a thousand crowns. “Hmm,” I said, and went on a tram for three of the hryvnia.

“Uber? It bastards, so disgusted one taxi driver told me a few days about how this nasty American company breaks into the Ukrainian market and Ukrainian creates a simple mortal problems. Here these American novelties to anything. They do not Rob clients? But they are robbing us! Decent taxi drivers who all his life carry customers at regular prices!”

I have argued that a fixed price of 900 UAH for four kilometers it seems a little unreasonable. The official taxi service for a distance of 50 hryvnia. “But somehow we must live all the children there are sick people in the family, and people want a nice car and to live as you live! It shows that you foreigners!” he replies. Thank you for your candor, Odessa taxi drivers.

Sunday, 30.7

Interestingly, the Park colonnades over the famous Odessa beaches, which at this time swarming with tourists, different the Dodgers in every way try to Rob the guests of the largest port in Ukraine.

Here you can find a couple of drunken young people who wander past the empty beer bottles and pretend that it is not they all drank. “Who is to throw one ball knock down all the bottles, he will win a bottle of wine,” shouts the girl and waving his bottle of cheap white wine over the head. Young man flexing the ball and attracts passers-by.

Corny? Not at all. It’s amazing how many fathers of families trying to persuade wives to stop for a minute on the way to the beach and to try. Of course, to no avail. They pay 20 UAH and go on.

Then they run into a battered sign attached to a strange structure resembling a gallows. “The last three minutes, he will win 500 hryvnias”. “Mom, come on, try it, you can…” Mom goes and tries. After a few seconds it crashes, like a pear, into the hands of her husband. They pay 35 UAH (around 30 CZK) and are further satisfied that the entertainment was cheap.

Saturday 29.07, 15.00

“Previously, we didn’t have an army, and now at least something”, — says Sergey wisely. He sells computers. Sergei was born in Odessa. He is a Ukrainian who since the childhood speaking Russian (now he gets to eat Ukrainian to be a trend) and loves the Navy. Recently, he got great pleasure watching the Ukrainian-American exercises held in Odessa. Many foreigners showed the Airbus A400 Atlas, the frigate Turgutreis F241, many divers, submarine Turgutreis F241, the cruiser Hue City CG66…

The Ukrainians have only recently recovered from the blow, which in March 2014, they caused Russia. On 22 March the Ukrainian Navy flags were replaced by Russian flags on 54 out of 67 ships of war, which belonged to Ukraine. Now they have it does not belong. The Ukrainians have lost the only submarine “Zaporozhye”. “Only what the command of our fleet, it’s the gestures and chatter. They urged: “Hold on, glory to Ukraine”, and the sailors, meanwhile, passed to the Russian side. Along with the ships,” sadly recalls Sergei, pointing at what remains of the Ukrainian fleet. “She’ll revive,” he whispers.

Saturday, 29.07, 9.00

Scam around Czech visas allegedly continues. Despite the fact that a month ago, the EU started to put the Ukrainians on their territory for tourism without a visa, those who want to stay for long or to work, you need to go through humiliating procedure of collection of different permits, documents and authorizations, patience and, most importantly, a sum sufficient to pay all the fees, bribes and commissions.


First of all it is necessary to pay firms that will give you the opportunity to just get in an endless queue at the Czech Consulate. Here in Odessa is also offered at every corner to reach out to those who seek a visa at the Czech Consulate. The tents, which previously helped to apply for a tourist visa, has been largely closed, and the queue in front of them disappeared. It’s any easier for Ukrainians wishing to travel to the West.

Friday, 28.07, 9.00


“So everything here is from 2014. Before here daily train arriving from Russia. The crowds of people. As a rule, they were expecting a bus and carried on to Europe, and then back again. And while they were waiting, things were put into the storage chamber. Now all in the past.”

A small man with a roughly shaven face in the orange station looks very sad. According to him, once the Chop was the crossroads of two worlds. There were Russian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Slovak and other Nations. Trade flourished, tourism, everywhere sounded different languages. Since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in chop quietly. One station is almost abandoned, and the second takes time from the time of the train, but he does not have enough passengers.

“Russians are not coming here any more. Even if the war is over”, — says the head of the storage chamber, where for the last month of your things brought only we, a group of Czech travelers. Head, apparently not overwhelmed with Ukrainian patriotism. We are located in the South-West of Ukraine and here with Ukrainian patriotism — and nationalism had always been tight.