Other Travel Reports
Business travel in Eastern Europe!
“Imagine you are stuck in the departure lounge of a Balkans airport in winter, swirling snow blocking the runway, all flights suspended. Around you there are poor refugees on a last-chance flight to
the west, flashily dressed Serb and Albanian criminal warlords, ... testy frontier policemen, and the dozens of political consultants, aid workers, UN apparatchiks, NATO soldiers and freelance spies all belonging to
that multinational hotchpotch of good intentions known as the international community. The air is full of cigarette smoke. The lounge reeks of impatience, damp Kalashnikovs, and boiled poverty.” 1)
To be fair, that description would also apply to a myriad of other East-European airports, and would equally be highly accurate.
So what did I think of when I started this job? One conjures up images of smart ladies and gentlemen in power dress, flying in and out of the world centres of international trade and business, staying in world class
hotels, meeting the world’s leading business tycoons, earning millions along the way and having fun while they’re doing it.
I actually wouldn’t have minded doing that for a while.
Instead, my colleagues and I spent much of our time in grotty airports with grotty towns attached. Major cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg have caught up with their western equivalents in many ways, but that still
leaves many other places which may have a certain rustic charm, or which are just plain unpleasant. It’s astonishing what Investment Banking can involve.
A note to other ex-pats - how do you know you’ve been in CIS countries too long?
In these pages you will find some interesting tidbits & trivia, plus a number of photographs (taken by my colleagues and
myself), none of which lay claim to any artistic fame, but which may still provide you with a certain impression of what it’s like. The trips cover the period between 1993 and 2002.
Enjoy and come back!
Bukhara - “The Holy City”
Tashkent: historical photographs
How to survive a Hospital Stay in Kiev
Article on Kiev striptease on the Kiev page!
CompuServe “Homepage of the Week” 14.5.01
A copy of the original review is here
(the original CompuServe address is no longer valid.)
Last revised April, 2007
1) Source: The Economist, October 18th 2003
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With many thanks to all contributors! Special thanks to Eve for her valuable input!
Some maps courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.
Some maps Microsoft Encarta.
Some maps Encyclopaedia Britannica
Some images National Geographic Society
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