the q, that is.
it's time to start working in the classroom again, come monday. i doubt any of you feel sad for me, and i don't blame you. i would complain that having nothing to do is rather boring, but i'm very good at filling my time and my life. i have no complaints on that front.
on tuesday, we had a big ol mardi gras party. our citymate, edwin, hosted. he's from nowlins, so he knew how to do it right. we made masks and ate beans and rice and gumbo and the famous king cake--replete with the seven pound, six ounce baby jesus buried under the sugary green and blue crust. no idea what i'm talking about? i didn't either until two days ago.
the king cake's a big deal. if you find the baby jesus--which one fo the ukrainian guests did--you hafta host the next party. as he's moving to america with his new american bride, i guess we'll have the hoedown next year in the states.
the spirit of the party was thrown into stark relief by a comment one of karen's students made about new orleans during class. she mentioned how a lot of people felt katrina hit the gulf coast because god wanted to punish the area--specifiaclly n o--for its sins. nothing else i've heard in this country has made me so slack jawed. the hate that religion breeds...it's so old testament. and the main reason i stay aloof from (of?) religion. all that religious leaders (and political pundits who have become the spokespeople of the church) can talk about is hate and seperation. and, frankly, i'm fucking tired of that kinda talk.
yesterday, we went to a club in lviv. it's the first time we've went out to a late night venue in the city--safety being our #1 priority whilst living here. our friend, who lives in a neighboring town, knows a guy in the band, and we got invited out. and we are so glad we went. besides the fact that the music simply rocked our socks off (and the singer could sing his everloving face off), it was nice to be around ukrainians that reminded more of the states than of ukraine. by this i mean, they looked and acted different than each other. everyone had a different style. everyone seemed to be respecting everyone else. no one was passed out on the floor hammered. all of the negative things i could say about ukraine were absent in that concert venue last night. instead, we met smiling people. happy people. people just having fun and dancing to music. everyone was young adn just into being themselves, it seemed to me. in short, we saw a face of ukraine that we haven't seen until now. it was a fresh breath of air. we hope to go back to that club.
after the club, we walked around the center looking for a taxi. we found one and, karen and i believe, the driver was the first guy in ukraine not to think we were foreigners. we chatted about the weather (his forecast ended up being, of course, incorrect) and the route to our house. he never once asked if we were foriegn--which EVERYONE else does. well, more like, they just make a statement about it--"you're a foriegner"--and proceed to stare.
and am i about done with the staring. everywhere we go. and i mean like 10 or 20 minutes worth of staring. just cuz we're speaking a different language. i wish they knew how staring, to us, is an act of aggression. and just plain rude.
anyway, life is chuggin along. looking down the calendar to our cos date, which karen implores me not to do because it "gets my hopes up." but, when the day comes, i'll not be sad. we've had a good run, but i'm tired. tired of being stared at, as you now know. but also tired of a lot of other things.
but, i suppose, the ukrainians around me are more tired of things that i am--a new try at a new draft of the constitution being just one thing--so i'll put my head down and keep going.
i guess that's how i feel right now.