Saturday, June 19, 2004


We have a crew in the Ukraine at the moment working for the Poltava Petroleum Company. I was sent on Friday 18th June to deliver some needed equipment, including a computer and a Downhole Memory Tool (MMS-A-041-C). All went well until I reached Boryspil Airport near Kiev. The customs officials took one look at the Downhole Memory and immediately sent for a senior customs officer. None of them spoke any English and I speak very poor Russian so my explanations did not enlighten them at all. A local driver had been sent to collect me so I fetched him and allowed him to do some arguing for me. He phoned the client, who also spoke to the customs officer. At the end of lots of arguing it was decided that the Memory Tool would not be allowed into the country. The driver took the computer and left me to my fate. My passport was retained and I was left in a corner waiting for bureaucracy to remember my existence. They eventually remembered me, returned my passport and provided me with a receipt for the tool. I then left the airport and found my hotel (Hotel Boryspil in the city of Boryspil). On arrival at the hotel I went straight to sleep. A few hours later I woke, took my clothes off and went to bed. I woke at 4:30am (2:30am BST) and returned to the airport to try and retrieve the Memory Tool. After an hour of asking almost everybody what I needed to do to get the tool back, I found someone who seemed to understand and who brought it to me. I checked it onto the flight home. On returning to Birmingham I found that none of my bags had arrived and was told that they would be delivered to my home later in the day. The bags finally arrived a day later, apparently none the worse for wear.
There are two Boryspil hotels. One is within a few hundred yards of the airport, the other is in the City of Boryspil. If you get a taxi at the airport the driver will certainly take you to the nearest, whether you have a reservation at that one or not and charge you the rate for the more distant hotel. There is little point in using the hotel in the city. It is not convenient either for the airport or Kiev. It is better to get the airport hotel or one in Kiev.


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