Friday, November 19, 2010

Rolling Black Outs

The city of Odessa is notorious for its black outs.  You can tell how expensive the clothes in a store is based on whether or not they have a generator outside keeping the lights on during a black out.  On my first day at the office, the lights went out, and since then, it has just been the norm.  You deal with it.

Last night, we were at a bar after my friend's birthday celebration when the lights unexpectedly went out.  There was a roar of cheering and laughter, followed by a drunken rendition of The Beatles' "We all live in a Yellow Submarine."  Of course, that was the only line any of the patrons knew, but that didn't stop anyone from having a fine time with it.

Before the lights went out, we met a very drunk Ukrainian girl at the bar that insisted in being all up in our faces, drinking shots someone else ordered, laughing louder and more obnoxiously than I do, and just all around being annoying.  She would ask strange questions, and look at us with these wide deer in the headlights eyes that suggested maybe she was more than just drunk.  She asked me how I heard about the bar, and I pointed at our group of friends, trying to get her to go talk to them instead.  My evil plan worked, but unfortunately, our groups just ended up merging, adding a new element of comedy to the scene.  

One of our English friends, who is not afraid to tell it like it is, got upset that she kept hitting him every time he said something funny.  All of a sudden the lights went out and he said, "Hit me again, and I swear to God I will pound you harder than you can imagine and no one would even know what happened 'cause the lights are out."  She just laughed like a jackal.  By this point, I was just beyond annoyed and she could probably tell I was giving her dirty looks, which I do not do often.  She told our friends, "I don't even want to know her."  Which I thought was hysterical, given the obviously mutual feelings I had for her.  

We seemed to have the situation under control, until she got a set of utensils with her meal.  One of my friends was smart enough to take the knife away from her.  I know it sounds dramatic, but two minutes later she actually stabbed our English friend with the fork she still wielded.  He retorted to her stabbing by explaining, "If you stab me again, I will take this fork and jab it into your eyes."  Again with the jackal-like laughter.  I told her in Russian, "Не шутка!" meaning, "No joke," as I reached for her fork to take it away from her.

After we disarmed her, she ravenously tore at her burger - we then decided it was high time we made our escape.  The lights were still out, and the bar was smelling suspiciously like paint, or gas - worrying us that this might be yet another insurance company fraud attempt.  Bars suspiciously "accidentally" burn down often in Ukraine, meaning the owners can collect large sums of money from their insurance carriers...and you thought the insurance fraud was bad in the states.  

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