Visitors to Kyiv that can read Ukrainian might do a double-take when they read some of the city’s street signs. While most are straight-forward pointers to various destinations, there are now a few with a more tongue-in-cheek purpose. The self-described “hooligan guides” at Walk Kyiv have added a number of street signs to the city that point toward imaginary destinations or make light of issues within the city.
Some signs gently and humorously draw attention to social issues in the city. For instance, a sign in a local park identifies a strip of bushes as a public toilet, because the area was used as one by Swedish visitors during Euro 2012 while city cops looked on and did not interfere. Another draws attention to an “architectural feature,” an ugly white plastic balcony added on to a historic building sometime in the 1980s.
Others are more whimsical. One, emblazoned with an image of an accordion points the way toward the unofficial underground dance hall where Kyiv seniors have held weekly parties for at least 20 years. Another sign that sports a silhouette of a raven and the word “Nevermore!” guides visitors to a trio of gregarious birds that have taken residence in the courtyard of a housing building. Still another marks the beginning of the queue for a particularly popular vendor of Perepichka, a type of batter-dipped deep-fried sausage.
There are currently 11 of the hoax signs throughout the city. Walk Kyiv provides a map of where visitors can find them and the story behind each sign on their website. When you go to Kyiv, be on the lookout for the work of this local humorous group.
Photo: Walk Kyiv