No American, or, for that matter, Ukrainian (Russian, ex-Soviet, whatever) person I know has brushed me off when I talked about that one New Year’s Eve. The Special New Year’s Eve. Special for many reasons, but here is the obvious one – the one that involved me getting surrounded by friends of friends on a stairwell, and being called a “vulgar American” and, even, “pig” (“But I’m just drunk and trying to make a joke” – didn’t cut it, when I started crying.). This had been a Good Party, thrown by a Good Girl. It had been a party with guitars and singing and pricey champagne. I walked out of it, at six in the morning in torn stockings and a none-too-warm coat, and kept walking for miles, because everything, everything – even the trash on the sidewalk and the hungover gas station attendant’s belaboured whistling, was better than a Good Party, with Good Kids like that.
“Well, I’m not surprised!” My old friend from primary school told me later. “Shit happens. There are enough morons to fill nearly the whole of Kreschatik on every weekend. And half of them have diplomas!”
Similar stories involving Americans get a variety of responses (even if you’re talking to someone you consider a good friend) – some of them unpleasant. I’m all for diversity of thought, but …. It makes you wonder.
Sometimes it’s OK to feel wronged. I’m getting used to that idea right now. Where to go from here? Hmmm… To Kreschatik, I suppose. 😉