Ukraine Firm Offers Drinking Buddies

With the holidays approaching fast, are you in need of a drinking companion? Hire one, offers a group of entrepreneurial Ukrainians.

For just up to 150 Ukrainian hryvnias (18 dollars), an entertainment firm in eastern Ukraine will provide you with a drinking buddy with whom you can talk everything from politics to art to women or simply bemoan the condition of the world.

Yulia Peyeva, head of Kind Fairy that organizes weddings and birthdays says offering drinking companions for hire have been one of her firm's most in-demand services since they opened last December.

"It is a pleasant companion who can enliven a boring evening," Peyeva told AFP from Dneprodzerzhinsk, a town of 300,000 on the Dnieper River.

"Virtually all of our people are talented. They can play guitar, sing or recite poetry. Today you may want to talk about art and tomorrow to read Faust," she said, referring to Goethe's most famous work.

The service is also popular among people who are reluctant to seek therapy but find it comfortable talking to strangers, she said.

Peyeva insisted the firm, whose staff includes psychologists, does not encourage binge drinking nor does it provide escort services. "We are not a dating or matchmaking service."