Thursday, August 25, 2011

Strip Clubs and Clubbing in the Ukraine

Koz takes me out for my last night in Kiev with his friend Alex, who's job is protection of human rights in the Ukraine. I'm impressed with his chosen profession, and am absolutely certain it doesn't pay as well as other vocations such as "mobster." Trust me when I say he has his work cut out for him.
Koz tells me we are going to the hippest club in town, the newest, the best. He's concerned as there is a dress code, and I have no real dress shoes. Alas, he's correct, the surly bouncer at the door points to my foot wear and refuses us admittance.
We go to another nearby club. There's a $20 cover on this Saturday night, which is a tremendous amount of money for Ukrainians to pay merely for entry. The price of drinks approximates that of Los Angeles, which insures my ten-plus year streak of sobriety remains in tact.
The ratio of women to men is far better than any American club outside the Playboy Mansion. The 56% to 44% female/male ratio I mentioned before holds true, and it's like this all over the Ukraine. Men here still do the hunting, but the gazelles rarely run away.
We see three girls we met outside the last club. It's Oksana's birthday but she behaves as though she was dumped, fired, and lost both her parents a few hours earlier. As powerful as my great mood and energy usually are in cheering people up, they are no match for this Ba-Humbug Superstar.

The club itself is lively, not just with a good DJ, but sexy performers on stage, dancing, doing their best to whip the crowd into a frenzy. 
1:30 AM
Blond girl, we start grinding on the dance floor without a word spoken. A half hour later she voices above the earth shattering noise using sign language that she wants to smoke. We walk outside. She asks me something in Russian, I answer in English. Her eyes go wide with surprise.
"Where are you from?" she asks.
"California," I respond.
I nod my head.
“California??” she questions again, as if she had misheard my head nod.
“Yes, California.”
“You vacation in Ukraine?!”
“Why not?"
“Why you vacation in Ukraine?!!” she asks absolutely bewildered.

The Vodka Bar
At 3 AM we walk to a club called the Vodka Bar. I think they specialize in rum.
It's another $8 entry. Ukrainians on average earn $500 a month. An equation factoring in cover, the price of drinks, and volume of alcohol being consumed, provides mathematical proof many here have taken out a second mortgage on their home to pay for the evening.

Koz heads to the bar to get drinks, a girl overly suggestively blocks access to the counter, "You don't get to order a drink without talking to me," her body language states loudly and clearly. Her boyfriend reads the same. He doesn't so much glare at Koz as emit a violent death-ray from his eyes. I'm surprised Koz didn't just keel over right there, mortally wounded.
He's in Koz's periphery. I take not one, but two steps towards them so I can intercede should this large brute try to sucker punch Koz as he walks by, which looks increasingly likely. Somehow he makes it to the bar unscathed, I keep my eyes trained on Brutus, his death glare slowly dissipating as his girlfriend turns her attention back to him. Finally convinced that all is safe, I put my body between the doomed couple and my friend.
"Dude, I thought her boyfriend was going to attack you for a few seconds there."
"I saw his look," answers Koz, shuddering slightly, allowing the death ray energy he absorbed to fall away.

The blond I was grinding with at the other club walks by, grabbing my ass as she does. I laugh, momentarily wondering where her boyfriend might be.

It's late, many people are blitzed drunk. One unhappy looking man walks past us. He feels like a hurricane of negative energy, blowing away anybody in his path.
"Did you feel that? See that?" I ask my friends.
"Big time," Koz and Alex reply, a repulsed look on their faces. It doesn't take a psychic to know how this man feels inside.
The challenge is, there's a lot of that energy in this crowded Kiev bar, more so than anywhere else I've been. A little bit of alcohol tends to turn up the level of joy and ease in happy people, and conversely acts as a radioactive marker to identify the sad and unhappy, letting Darth Vader know whom to recruit for his army on the Dark Side. That wasn't Darth Vader who just walked by though, that was the fricking Emperor.
I feel uncomfortable, it's nearing 5 AM, I tell Koz and Alex I had fun, excuse myself, and start walking back to my hotel.

Penthouse Strip Club, Kiev

Invariably I make a wrong turn. I come to building with a neon sign, "Penthouse" printed vertically in red letters, the icon of a nude woman beside it. I have to at least check it out. I walk up a set of stairs, a bouncer escorts to me to an elevator which has an operator on duty- the first midget I've seen in Kiev, a 50 year old woman. The doors close, she presses a button, the elevator lurches from side to side. Different colored lights pop on and off in seeming random succession. I can't tell if I'm we're going up or down. With the light show, the unpredictable movement of the lift, and the elderly midget guiding this machine at 5:30 AM, I wonder for a moment if someone slipped LSD into my water.
Ukrainian pole dancer
The doors open, the female dwarf extends her arm and opens her palm, graciously inviting me to exit. I'm greeted by a female hostess who walks with me down a posh corridor, mirrors on one side, white sofas on the other. I get to the main entertainment area. Three men receive the affections of twenty women, a girl with fake breasts gyrates to a Motley Crue song on stage, waxing the pole with her oily body. Even in the ultra-dim light, one can discern the very heavy make-up being worn. These aren't strippers in the American sense, all these girls are pros.
The naturally long legs of Ukrainian women, augmented by high heels is rather tempting, but they're not doing this for enjoyment, it's all about "Showing them the money," and I'm not spending any here. I quickly excuse myself. There's no elevator out. I walk up a set of stairs and exit out on the street. As always in the Ukraine, it's buyer beware, the "Penthouse" was in fact, a basement.


  1. LOOOOOL XD The "Penthouse" was in fact, a basement... iiiiironyyyyy lmao!!!

  2. Brings back memories of clubbing in Yekaterinburg and dealing with dodgy policemen


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