Time to let you guys in on a little secret. Not the world’s greatest secret, perhaps, but pretty snazzy nonetheless:
Odessa is a wild and crazy party town whose ridiculous festivities put Ibiza to shame.
Odessa, boisterous wild child of Ukraine
Well, maybe not shame, but it’s quite the spectacle. And what’s more, no one seems to know about it.
They go to Odessa, sure, but they stay in town, where it’s a comparatively quiet, laid-back kind of place where they can hit on mail-order brides in translated English at the Irish pub half a block from the hostel in comfort and tranquility, and perhaps savior the magnificent wonder of the magical staircase while they’re in town.
And here’s what people say about regular Odessa:
“The only picture I had in my head of a Slavic woman was a wrinkly old grandma in a headscarf. Imagine my surprise when I came here to discover it was just one big fashion show.”
“The outfits they wear to church are the outfits a Western girl would wear to a night club.”
“Go away, I’m busy staring.”
Don’t worry, ladies. I have been informed the men are handsome as well. The stage-top go-go dancers at the clubs even include muscular and shirtless men, whose rippling abs look as though they shall soon burst forth from their fleshy prisons at any moment.
Partying it up in Arcadia
But the real action is over in the Arcadia district, and since it’s a brief cab ride away, most tourists are too drunk and lazy to make it all the way out there. The locals, on the other hand, have known about it for years, and descend upon the club scene like a pack of ravenous wolves descending upon the sweet, succulent flesh of hapless victims. Summertime in Arcadia is like a stylized Hollywood depiction of American college kids’ spring break debauchery.
I was in Odessa for 5 nights, and met enough cool people at the hostel that we had a good time just hanging out in our rooms. But as those nights began to repeat, I began to angrily demand we venture forth into the wonderful world of Arcadian merriment.
“We’re going to have fun guys! Lots of fun! No, no going to sleep! We’re going to go party, dammit! Shut up, it’ll be fun!”
As I am an inexhaustibly hardworking Energizer Bunny in all of my beloved endeavors, I finally succeeded in dragging my fellow backpackers down to party central.
Sadly, I was detained by police officers later that evening for reasons that were entirely not my fault.
Bribes elicited: None.
Me two, ex-Soviet police officers zero.
Victory was mine.