Friday, 14 March 2008
Kiev: Eventum, contractors and ten more churches to go
Today in Kiev, we had a great time with MySQLers in Engineering and Support. And I got competition in the area of photography from Oleksandr "Sanja" Belkin. Other than that, this blog entry is again of the sit-back-and-relax type, not going into lots of MySQL detail. That's not to say that we wouldn't have gone into detail, though, although we saw more churches under the leadership of our Kiev team than we had seen in a long time.
This is how much I like my Sigma 8mm lens
We started the day by looking at Sun's on-boarding procedures for MySQLers in the Ukraine, sipping tea and coffee at the Hotel President. And we went through Sun's business model, through the importance of retaining the Eventum systems for Support, about how MySQL-time contractors are managed as part of Sun, as well as other topics familiar from other MySQL locations. Our Sun colleagues noted that our values, topics and concerns seem to be the same across our locations, and that MySQLers across the teams know each other quite well. With our IRC culture, Radio Sakila, our Development Meetings and other meetings, the strong bonds between MySQLers might not be that surprising, but I'm still glad it's noted by our colleagues at Sun.
After the "formal" meeting (which did conform with ZSP, the Zero Slides Policy), we went for a walk across Kiev. Our first stop was the City Hall, where hundreds of yellow buses were honking their horns.
There was a bus strike going on in Kiev
Valeriy, Alexey, Sanja, Bogdan, Julie, Dave
Then we went on to the main Independece Square, with a statue of a "kosack" leader. Yes, I know, these guys are probably spelt differently in English than in Swedish. But I refer to these fiercely independent guys on horses that carried swords and played the balalaika-like bandura instrument.
A kosack, a horse and myself at Kiev's Independence Square
Sanja (of Lugansk and Maria Engine fame) has a big camera
Sanja is from Lugansk, 672 km away from home but next to Kiev's well-known Internet Explorer monument
I like the Kiev architecture.
The Sofia Cathedral ...
... counts as several churches in my book
My favourite St Petersburg architect, Rastrelli, was hard at work also in Kiev
You remember Misha? Misha Bulgakov? Our local MySQLer who helped us in Moscow? Well, guess what, we jumped into a statue of him in Kiev!
Misha Bulgakov and me, both sceptical
Then we went for a Georgian restaurant, famous for a Soviet era film comedy "Mimino" about a Georgian and an Armenian (of whom a Japanese commented "all Russians look alike"). Our Ukrainian hosts educated us about Lviv (famous as Lemberg, from the Austro-Hungarian era), Kamennets-Podolski, Uzhgorod and other cool sights in the Ukraine. Personally, I enjoyed seeing the Crimea eight years ago, and am still looking for an excuse to visit Odessa on the Black Sea coast.
The Georgian and the Armenian from the Soviet comedy Mimino
After dinner, it was about time to head back for the airport. Just ten more churches! So we took the Funiculaire uphill, for a view of the Dnjepr river.
The view over Dnjepr river
Ten more churches to go
This one counts twice
.ua is EU friendly
Time flew, and we needed to find our way to the hotel, so we took the metro.
Julie on the way down the endless Kiev metro escalators
A Kiev metro we barely missed
Dave, Aleksey and Julie felt I took a picture of their knees
Valeriy, Bogdan, Aleksey and Julie
It's fun in the Kiev metro
And now, the last leg of the Corporate Jet tour is coming to an end, as we're landing in a few minutes in Hamburg. Yup, we'll also do Munich tomorrow, but for that, we will have to take Lufthansa, as opposed to Decadence Airlines, which we've used so far. Ah, I have to confess, I could bear with another whirlwind tour of Europe with Decadence Airlines, despite sleep deprivation, not to mention a few issues with the Russian officials in Munich (not getting a visa), Helsinki (getting a visa but incurring huge extra cost), Moscow (not getting an immigration card), and Izhevsk (not having pilots, as the flight was randomly postponed by 1h).
Thank you all Ukrainian MySQLers, especially Bogdan Degtyarov and Lawrentii Novitzky, for excellent arrangements!