Kyiv welcomes whole Europe (and Australia)

In my last article I already started writing about my trip to Kyiv and the most important delights of Ukraine. But there’s a certain reason I didn’t mention yet why I actually decided to go to Kyiv this year. This reason was the Eurovision Song Contest! In 2016 Ukraine won the show in Stockholm with the singer Jamala who sang her song half in Crimean Tatar which is a Turkish language. That’s why Kyiv got the honour of hosting the contest in the International Exhibition Centre. Arriving late in the evening I took the taxi from Zhulhany Airport to my hotel at the metro station Livoberezhna next to the International Exhibition Centre. The taxi driver looked at my bag with the logo of last year’s contest held in Stockholm and asked me in Ukrainian ‘So you came to Eurovision?’. While he drove me along some slab aparment buildings from the Soviet epoch we started talking about how the city and the whole country gets prepared for the show. I was really surprised with how much enthusiasm the Ukrainians took the challenge of welcoming whole Europe (and Australia) in Kyiv. Billboards sponsored by a famous coffee brand adorned the whole city anouncing ‘Kyiv invites you for coffee’. At my hotel I already met some Estonian fans telling me that their representatives Laura & Koit Toome are staying right here at the same hotel. At this hotel was also my colleague from Germany who wrote the world’s first doctor thesis about the Eurovision Song Contest. Going to the Maidan the next morning I experienced something I would never expect. When the metro arrived I only saw a mass of journalists. Between them Kyiv’s Mayor Vitaliy Klichko got out of the metro. The Eurovision Song Contest is a unique chance of meeting singers and musicians from Malta, Cyprus or Azerbaijan. In the evening I went to the Euroclub with my colleagues where people having an accreditation celebrate with the stars. While ordering a beer suddenly the Croatian singer Jacques Houdek stand next to me. I really felt thin and small in that moment as he is really huge! In the VIP lounge I started flirting with the pretty and cute Greek singer Demy. I told her about my last trip to Greece and that I even visited the places in Athens where she has produced her video clips. The Polish singer Kasia Moś even left a video message for me. I really have to thank my colleague who got it organized for me. It’s so unbelievable to talk to the stars you usually only know from TV or the Internet. And it’s an unforgettable memory to see them performing. Kyiv, you have done a great job even though the headlines about this Edition of the Eurovision Song Contest haven’t been that pleasant before. Nevertheless I really enjoyed it and I will travel to Portugal in 2018 next year! Now you probably ask yourself why the Eurovision Song Contest might be that interesting for polyglots and travellers … Well, stay tuned for my next blog article and I will tell you!


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