REISEVERGNÜGEN – Einen Kopfsprung nach Odessa

I travelled to Odessa from the 11th to the 23rd July. I'd always wanted to go since I was a child. It always seemed like such a romantic place, full of Soviet sailors, spies, gangsters and dangerous women. In the end, it was more about the beach and the food. I spent a lot of time walking around Privoz market. It's a vast market in the centre of the city, where everyone seems to go to shout, shop, haggle and insult one another. The faces you see from the vendors are from all over the former Soviet Union; Ukrainians, Russians, Armenians, Tajiks, Georgians and so on, all selling their amazing food. The quality and flavour of it is incredible, far better than what you find in our supermarkets at home. I noticed some of the sellers would look like the food they were selling. The tomato woman was big and round with a red apron. The fish ladies wore blue aprons with plenty of frills and big eye make up and loud lipstick.

You're not allowed to take photos in Privoz market, people don't like it, but I found if you were subtle or you asked them first, their often grumpy looking faces would crack into beautiful smiles, and they'd start talking and laughing with you. I couldn't understand a word mind you.

Another place I spent a lot of time on was the city beach, which was full to bursting point with locals and Russian tourists, escaping from the heat. You could just see everyone living their lives down their in family groups, gossiping, flirting, eating dried fish or corn on the cob and drinking beer. Like with the market, it was fascinating just to sit and watch people. From 5pm when the sun lowers, people come to promenade, dressed up as if for a night out, and have their photographs taken by their friends, parents or lovers.

It's an amazing city, full of life, colour, smell, beauty, dust, trees, animals and noise. It really gets under your skin and I'll definitely be back.

Vielen Dank an Azar Kazimir für Text und die großartigen Fotos. Wir kennen Azar durch seine sensationellen Designarbeiten für das Michelberger Hotel und Fountains of Youth. Seinen tumblr sollte man unbedingt folgen.

Buch, Mit Vergnügen, Berlin für alle Lebenslagen