Friday, March 27, 2015

Where to Meet the Hottest Girls in Kiev?

By Harald Baldr. Kiev, Ukraine

The best establishments to meet girls plus where to stay and dine 

A) Nightlife in Arena Complex
The creme de la creme of beautiful Ukrainian girls in Kiev congregate in the Arena Entertainment Complex at the end of Khreschatyk Street. Everything nightlife related worth visiting is within walking distance of said street. Trawling around daytime Kiev is a pleasure from a single male's perspective. However if you prefer meeting girls in clubs and bars, here's my reviews of the most popular party places in town from best to worst.
Inside SkyBar: Models as far as the eye can see (photo credit: SkyBar) 
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pumping Iron in Kiev Ukraine

By Harald Baldr. Kiev, Ukraine

Lifting weights at the world's most hardcore winter gym

This gem of a gym alone is worth travelling to Kiev for. It's also a massive money saver (hence this Tuesday article) whilst here as daily/weekly/monthly gym memberships when travelling are always exorbitant. Kiev is certainly no exception to that rule. I know the equipment looks makeshift but every machine works great. There are exercises you can do here I haven't seen in any of the 60-70 gyms I've lifted in around the globe. People of all ages and both sexes workout here. The majority I'd say are men in their 50s and up.  It's busiest around midday.  I prefer going in the afternoon. If it rains in the morning or looks overcast, you'll have the place to yourself or be one of only a handful of people there.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

White Women's Last Stand

By Harald Baldr. Kiev, Ukraine

Winter in Ukraine: War, models, tax evasion & bumfights

"How does it feel to live in the last place on earth with hot white women?" My American friend had just found out about me relocating to Kiev. He was anxious to hear about the famed beauty of Ukrainian girls. Maybe he's right and this is indeed the white woman's last stand. Walking around talking to girls in Kiev it certainly feels like it. The density of stunners per square metre here is much higher than if you could somehow stack Rio, Stockholm and New York on top of each other.
-7°C  perfect day to rock a skirt & look at tanks

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How to Get a Discount On Airbnb

By Harald Baldr. Kiev, Ukraine

Steps that will save you up to 50% on apartment rentals

Staying in private apartments using Airbnb beats the hell out of hotel living. You get more space to revel in, can wash your own clothes and cook your own food. R.I.P. days of wasting 100 bucks on a run down hotel room. Point being, Airbnb > Hotels. Prices there are way more competitive than for the equivalent hotel room. Yet, there are ways to push them down even further.
Brazil: from US $90 down to $60
Tip 1: Invest in future discounts
The first times you rent someone's place it's absolutely imperative that you get good reviews. Be clean, don't get complaints and treat the place like you would your own grandma. The number one concern for a host is; will you go Marilyn Manson on the property (that's mid 1990s Manson)
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Think you are free? Think again!

 By Harald Baldr. Kiev, Ukraine

Individual freedom is dead just about everywhere

In the land of the formerly free (US of A in case you were wondering) you must notify the authorities about your worldwide income. Having a private secret bank account abroad is a big no no. Moving abroad doesn't enhance your financial privacy either.

The government wants to know what you're doing financially even if you reside or conduct economic activities on foreign soil. It believes it's entitled to a share of your international success and will jail you lest your compliance be forthcoming. You see, keeping all the money you earn is a sin. Why? Coz the majority wills it!
Free because or else!

The Thai vice police
In Thailand you are not allowed to check live sports scores on websites such as Soccerstand. The inaptly named Ministry of (dis)Information blocks the site and thousands more as it contains banners from online betting sites.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Are Drug Traffickers Evil?

 By Harald Baldr. Kiev, Ukraine
"The bastards deserve what they got coming to them. Taking their sorry lives potentially saved hundreds". - Australian statist 
On death row for pleasing people
Tempers have been stirring down under lately in response to a couple of Australian drug traffickers on death row in Indonesia. The quote above lamenting the fact that the traffickers haven't been killed, caught or dismembered earlier was in response to a candlelight vigil held in their honour.

Ignorant government worshiping stooges literally queue up to voice such views every time the topic of drugs comes up.

It sickens me when people, whom I know are avid drug users themselves or at a bare minimum have friends and family who are, wish death upon the brave individuals who bring said product in to a country.

Drug traffickers, or as I'd rather call them, the business people who transport said goods from one location to another (what's so evil about that really?) are simply engaged in the business of satisfying consumer demand. Their business is no less ethical than that of burger shop that supplies people with the hamburgers they crave.
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Friday, March 6, 2015

How a Collapsing Currency Destroys your Savings

By Harald Baldr. Kiev, Ukraine

Why you should think twice about the safety of saving in bank deposits
X-rates in early February
Fearing for her savings of 80 000 Ukrainian hryvnia in July of last year ($7200 at the time), Lisa, a public sector employee in Kiev, asked her bank to exchange it into US dollars. The bank replied that this was a bad idea and that she should keep her savings in hryvnia.

Since then the hryvnia has more than halved in value against the greenback. Lisa still has 80 000 hryvnia in her account but in dollars that's now only $3200. "This is really bad and I don't know what to do", says Lisa with frustration written all over her face. 

Her story is not unique and everyone with cash savings have been hit. People with the means to bank in other countries often choose to do so. Anna, a student from a wealthy family, has for several years done her banking in Poland where her savings are denominated in euros. 

"I earn less than one percent interest but my money is safe", she says. "Sometimes Ukrainian banks don't even give your money back so it is not safe for savings here".

Some win, others lose when a currency falls
Ukrainians from all walks of life have had to come to terms with the plummeting international purchasing power of the hryvnia. Some people do however benefit.

House rents are usually fixed in local currency whilst contracts are signed for a year at the time. For people with a dollar income such as web designers with international customers this is a boon. Their rents are actually falling relative to their income. This stands in sharp contrast to the vast majority of locals whom earn their income in hryvnia.
Local produce on outskirts of Kiev

The price of subway fares doubled from two to four hryvnia over night in mid February. On March the 4th McDonald's raised the price of a Big Mac meal by 20% from 40 to 48 hryvnia. An extreme bargain viewed with western eyes at $1.96, but not for Kievan residents.

Still, this is only the beginning. The biggest price hikes will inevitably hit goods that are imported.

When a currency falls, the price of foreign products will inevitably rise in local currency terms. Gasoline prices at the pump were amongst the first to surge. Other imports are bound to follow suit when inventories are replenished as the sales price must reflect the higher cost of bringing the product in to the country.

Where the bottom is for the hryvnia is anyone's guess. Until then, Ukrainians have few alternatives other than to stand idly by and watch the worsening terms of trade and the ensuing inflation eat away at their salaries, savings and quality of life. 

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