The Heatwave Continues
Usually temperatures of 30C are the norm in Ukraine in late June and early July. When they come, as now, during the peak of the summer tourism season, it makes all of us still stuck at our desks during office hours feeling relieved that air conditioning was invented and also rather mortified to head outdoors, even to go home. I envy those kids – and babushkas – you see playing in city fountains these days…
But to be honest, I actually like this kind of weather and I never find it difficult to sleep. In Saskatchewan, my home province back in Canada, we have a saying that goes “Prairie people don’t look forward to warm weather so much as the chance to thaw out once in a while.” Coming from -30C, +30C seems perfectly wonderful to me.
Beating the heat can be a problem when stuck in the office, though. Unlike in Mediterranean climes, where a midday siesta is the norm, Ukrainians work on through the day’s hottest hours. They can only dream of places such as Hydropark – its numerous beaches the obvious starting point for those not working during a summer heatwave – or an outdoor pool such as the Yunist complex at 7 Bastiona (admission is Hr 100 for 4 visits), the city’s only public outdoor pool (so far as I know). Another consideration is to check out one of the city’s indoor ice skating rinks, such as Pioneer, which can be found at 1 Dniprovsky Uzviz (across the street from the obelisk at Park Slavy). Pioneer has a café and bar service plus DJ music and even an outdoor terrace with fabulous views of the Dnipro River and the golden domes of the Pecherska Lavra.
Temps are expected to stay in and around 30C for the rest of this week, so do yourself a favor and find a good spot in which to cool down. And don’t forget to put on some sun screen.
Movies in English
It’s still a matter of touch and go when wanting to see movies in English (or in their original language, at least) in Kyiv. Kyiv cinema still advertises, often falsely, that they are showing movies in their original language but with subtitles. I found that out this weekend while attending a screening of the French film “Enfances”, a collection of short movies offering fictitious insights into the childhood lives of such filmmakers as Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Ingmar Bergman and Orson Welles. I had to watch it in Ukrainian, but my fiancée helped translate the parts that proved completely unintelligible for me.
On the upside, Butterfly Ultramarine (1 Uritskoho, near the Vokzal) almost sold out its Green Room for their Sunday night showing of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight”. It was deafeningly loud, but the movie hit all the right notes and the theater all the right buttons (save the volume) for what was perhaps the best American film I’ve seen in recent memory. English entertainment magazine standard What’s On seems to have the right listing of Ultramarine’s English films on their movie page, so check that out for a better sense of what’s going on – most Kyiv websites, even that of Ultramarine, really can’t help you here.
On that note, however, Zhovten (October) cinema at 26 Kostyantynivska in Podil often has myriad foreign and English language films on. The trick is not simply knowing about them but getting there in time to actually buy tickets – such screenings are often sold out due to the theater’s low prices and students’ love affair with the old relic.
For more information on Kyiv movie theaters, check out www.kinokolo.ua/cinemas/. There you’ll find a listing of all city theaters, including separate links to those places with working websites. Caution: you’ll need to know Russian – or even Ukrainian – to navigate them.