Monday, November 5, 2007

битися (That Means Fight)

Have you ever been sitting quietly in your hotel room when some kind of strange, and violent, donnybrook broke out in the hallway just outside, causing you to turn up the television's volume because you can no longer hear Rory Gilmore's fast-paced dialogue full of cultural relevancy only to find that the show is so much better when you can't hear a word the girls are saying?

I walked outside to thank the brawlers for giving me this revelation, but they didn't take kindly to what they perceived as American interference in their affairs.

"You tell us what to do?" one man asked accusingly.

"No, no. You misunderstood me. I wanted to thank you for..."

"What you mean, misunderstood? We no misunderstood. You misunderstood."

"Um, yeah," I replied. "Well, anyway, I just wanted to..."

"What you mean, you want? We no care what you want! America no tell Ukrainians how to live lives."

"Uh," I said.

"What you mean, uh? Ukrainians no uh. You uh!" And the two men charged at me. Before I could pull out my non-Primatech gun, I was knocked to the floor. Fortunately, the two men were still more peeved at each other and were absorbing most of the punches themselves. Thinking quickly, I tossed my glasses to safety.

Before I knew it, we were inside the elevator. "How'd we get here?" I asked amid the turmoil.

"What you mean, here? Ukrainians be here first."

I tried to get to my feet, but I was stuck in the madness. Limbs were flying every which way and I did my best to duck them. A Ukrainian foot managed to hit an elevator button and a few seconds and a ding later, we were in the lobby.

"Hey!" I yelled, "Somebody call the cops."

"What you mean, call?" the front desk manager said, "You no tell Ukrainians how use phone. We use phone on your head." He leaped over the desk, switchboard in hand, and fell onto the three of us.

Enthusiastic Ukrainians in the lobby started jumping in as well. I could no longer tell what was going on. I could feel myself rolling around, like I was in a dryer. There were no openings for me to see the outside world, just an endless sheet of jean-laden limbs. I began to worry about my oxygen supply.

Through all of the Ukrainian cursing, I could hear car horns. We were outside! More people seemed to be joining in. Then I heard whistles. It was the police and they yelled in Ukrainian to break it up. And that we did. It took a few minutes, but everyone calmed down, or at least stopped attacking each other.

I got up and looked around at the mayhem. Smashed Nissans. Flattened cats. Flaming people.

The cops rounded us all up and took us into court.

In Ukrainian, the judge asked, "What happened here?"

I spoke up, "I was just trying to watch The Gilmore Girls when..."

"What you mean, Gilmore Girls?" he said, pounding his gavel. "You come Ukraine to watch America TV? Ukraine TV better than Gilmore Girls!"


1 comment:

Veronica said...

Through all of the Ukrainian cursing, I could hear car horns. We were outside! More people seemed to be joining in.

That's what I like about Ukraine, they're united people.
Sounds like a lot of fun ;)