I’m visiting our development team in the Ukraine for the fourth time. This is the first time that I went alone, the previous times I was accompanied by a Russian speaking colleague. It proved to be a challenge; most Ukrainians know as much English as I speak Russian (I know ‘privyet’, which means ‘hello’). The previous times I stayed in our own house. It used to be our first office in the Ukraine, but there is no internet available anymore, which is a bit counterproductive. So I decided to stay in a hotel. The pre-arranged taxi driver was waiting at the airport with a sign ‘Kasper’, so that worked fine.
We managed to find the hotel, but at the hotel I wasn’t even able to explain to them that I had a reservation and wanted a room for 5 nights (with internet!). I ended up calling a colleague (thanks Dmitry!) and he explained in Russian what I wanted. After his intervention everything was clear and I just had to pay. We managed to establish that paying with a credit card was an option, but unfortunately they were not able to get a connection to the credit card company; I had to pay cash. At the airport I got some money from the ATM, but that wasn’t enough for my 5 nights stay. After a long discussion without words we decided that I would pay two night’s cash and I would pay the rest later this week. I had to pay 606 Chrivna (the local currency), I only had notes of 200 Chrivna but they could not change that. We played some more mime-theater and we got to the conclusion that I could pay the 6 Chrivna (50 euro cents) tomorrow. Then I had to connect to the internet, after all that was the reason I was staying here. That went smooth; I got a password and went online. They gave me a room and a key and I got installed. I wanted to go online with my computer, but the WI-Fi signal wasn’t strong enough. It worked in the lobby, but not in my room. I went to the lobby to explain my problem; I had a whole script in my head in order to make them understand my problem. I was in luck, in the lobby I found my colleague Dmitry who was going to take me out for dinner. He arranged for me to have a room closer to the lobby tomorrow, so I will have internet.
Dmitry is the manager of the Ukrainian ISN company. ISM has over a hundred people in the Ukraine. The easygenerator team (17 people) is just a part of that. We talked manager’s stuff and had a great Ukrainian meal. After dinner he dropped me off at my hotel. After a great night sleep I woke up early and decided to walk to our office. I’m there now. We have a lot of work to do. Determine what to take on for the last milestone for the ‘Las Vegas’ release, make an outline for product development for the next 12 months and we have interviews scheduled with potential new team members. All our team members speak English, so that makes live easier.