I had the privilege of travelling to Kiev, Ukraine for Business. For me this was first trip to eastern europe. Thus far i had only been as far as Hambug, Germany. Which even at it's height was in West Germany, and i believe in the UK control area, so it wasn't even that different. I'm writing this on the plane but i expect the culture difference to be close to that of china, but with out the squat toilets ...
In a way this is good prep for me as i've always wanted to ride the train from Moscow all the way to 北京, and maybe even on to Pongyang, DPRK (insert joke here).
The Standout things
* Everyone seems to like drinking tomato juice, in lieu of fruit juice.
* Haven't seen a samovar yet.
* Yes, they drink a lot of vodka.
* You never drink vodka without eating ... unlike the UK
* It's not as destitute as you would think
* A lot of people speak english, especially in service industry.
* My Russian is awful
* It kinda looks like that level from Call of Duty 4 modern warfare, you know, this one, seriously.
Sad i was only there for three days, three cold days, where i didn't go outside much. But hopefully i should go back in the summer so i'll have more to say and show then.