03 September 2006


There's so much to say, so I never end up saying anything. I just want
it to be complete, but that can never, ever happen. Not unless you've
been here. Had the experience. So, for now, a quicker thinger.

Went to a football game a few days ago with some friends. Watched the
local team physically dominate the Donetsk Metalurg team. our team got
about a bazillion shots on goal, landing none of them. The game ended
in a tie. The rain made the field slick, so the players were having a
bit of a time trying to control the ball. The entrance to the stadium
was mayhem. People screaming, crowding for tickets. Our friend Casey
barrelled to the front and bought a handful for 20 uah a pop ($4). He
said, "the hooligans are buying seats for 10, so I bought ours for 20.
Hope no one minds." Football fanaticism is a pretty big problem in
Europe, it seems, and maybe everywhere in the world besides the US (we
have Am. Football for that (see: Oakland Raiders)), but we saw no
problems inside the stadium. Maybe because the police were their
taking mostly everyone's beer away, a surprise move, I must say.
Circling the field, every ten feet or so, was another police officer.
Usually they don't make me feel safe, but that night they did.

The more I live here, the more I realize American is a police state
(something I know so many people have already discovered). It's
strange how we are the "land of the free," but we have so many laws
that bind us, that make us feel safe. It was something I was never
conscious of until coming to Ukraine--how those laws, both written and
unwritten, make you feel safe. Living in a different culture helps you
pull your nose away from the mirror and see the whole picture, and I'm
grateful for that.

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