It was bitter cold in Kiev. I had just finished my day excursion to Chernobyl. It was a group trip and we reached late at night. Next day was a day of rest for me before I left Ukraine for India. I slept till late in the afternoon and then ordered a late lunch in my room – Beef stroganoff, with bread and mushroom soup along with chocolate ice cream for dessert. I noticed that one had to pay the waiter who brought room service instantly for the meal. Most hotels had the system of paying on the spot for your meal. You had to clear dues instantly. I was more used to Indian hotels where the food, beverages and room service is added to the tab to be paid right at the end when the customer checks out.

Anyway, a friend from Singapore called up and asked me to pick up a yellow page directory for him. I decided to venture out in the cold to the square in the middle. There was an underground market right in front of my hotel and a shopping plaza that sold clothes, fashion ware, fast food and electronics. The underground market was much cheaper and catered to a lower income group. The underground market had a lot of character with small ice cream and soda shops, photography shops and shops selling street clothes and t-shirts along with winter wear.

I strolled around Victory Square. At the centre is a huge monument, a tall pillar with a gold plated top with an angel spreading wings on top of it. Victory monument is 30 meters in height. It is a towering figure at the centre of the square. It has statues of soldiers in combat and was built to celebrate Ukraine’s victory in World War II.

I was strolling down the streets in the area. It was chilly and there was a slight drizzle in the air. As I walked up on the sidewalk near the square, a Ukrainian lady approached me. She was fair, wore sunglasses and a swollen cap. She had a brown skirt and a brown jacket on her to keep the cold away. In one hand, she carried a blue scarf and a polythene bag full of coffee. “Hello, you a tourist to Kiev. Ah, you from which country?” she enquired with a slight smile on her face. Her eyes showed concern for me. She was inquisitive. “Well, me, I am here to see your country. I am from India, you know, Delhi. Yes, madame, Delhi dilwalon ki.” I was excited to acquaint with this lady who looked to be in her mid-thirties. “I can serve you hot coffee. It is very cold out here on the street. Maybe, we can go someplace quite. It will help you relax and you will find the coffee very good.” she said as she struggled with her polythene bag. She had good amount of make-up on her and she wore purple earrings. She moved her hands towards my face and said “See, smell my hand. I have lovely perfume on me. Smell it, it is very good.” she stroked my cheeks and I smelled her hand and her fingers. She smelled of Jasmine and rose. A very spicy aroma of scent filled the air. She had filed nails polished with a dark red nail polish. She came closer to me. I could feel her breathe which was forming a cloudy vapour in the air near my face. “I like you tourist. Maybe we can go to your hotel and I can make you relax. I have beautiful body. We can have sex. I am good at sucking. You will like me.” she was being inviting but somehow she looked old to me now. “How old are you? Are you younger than forty?” She wanted to close the deal now. She had offered herself as the bait for my sex this evening. I had an open invitation to get laid in the middle of Victory Square in Ukraine. “Only 60 euros mister. Every tourists have sex in Ukraine like this. It is very common.” I stayed close to her and then gently stroked her forehead. She moved back as if to admonish me “No mister, you pay extra 20 euros for touching my face. Extra money for that now!” I tried to get my bearings back and looked into her eyes “No, I don’t feel like it, darling. But it was nice talking to you.” I gave her 20 hryvnias for the coffee and waved her goodbye. I looked back to see if she was still there but she had vanished. No doubt, she was looking for her next customer. But I declined the offer and went to sleep that night all alone in the cold.


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