Journal Entry January 24th, 2007

I'm 25 and I have two wrinkles.  This depresses me.

My walk to school takes about 35 minutes at a rather swift pace.  By the time I get to school I am sweating with all the layers I have on.  By the time I get home, I am rather excited and pooped (literally and figuratively-there are no bathrooms at school yet.).  Once I see the blue fence (the same matte cerulean) outside school #6, I know I've reached the homestretch.  All I need to do is round the bend at the "nursing home", dodge a few mud puddles, straight ahead 3 minutes.

Anyway, I'm walking pack from school on my birthday a bit stressed because I have told my host family that I would cook for them, as per tradition here.  This will be my first time cooking in a Ukrainian kitchen.  They're different.  I'm a little out of practice to say the least.  It's been 4 months since I've cooked anything and I wasn't a pro to begin with.  It's really windy and for the past 31 minutes I've been walking into the wind.  I am anxious to get home and plan my lessons for the following day, knowing that the night is going to entail a lot of vodka drinking (it did).

I see my house, but I also see a rogue "piven"- aka rooster.  Never a good sign!  He's black.  He's big.  He looks pissed to see me.  I, too, am pissed to see him.  You see, I have a fear of rogue roosters.  I immediately stop because he starts making some noise at me.

"Shit! What do I do now", I think.
I look around.  There's no alternate route to the front door.  I notice that the other chickens have ostracized this guy too.  So, I back away as not to piss the bird off any more.  
"I'll have to wait it out", I think to myself.

Meanwhile, there is a car up ahead parked outside the neighbor's gate.  He's facing me and watching this whole thing go down.  I know he's heard that there is an American in town and there's not a doubt in his mind that he is watching her now.  I know he's thinking this girl (me) is crazy.  (He's not far off.)

This exacerbates the situation.  This bird is in my way and he's making me look like an ass in front of this man.

"Who's afraid of a stupid rooster?!", I wonder in an attempt to calm myself.  
I decide to just kick him and begin to take a step in his direction.  Well, the rooster isn't having any of this and fluffs his feathers and makes a horrible noise. 
 "Fuck!  How long am I going to have to wait here?"
As I wait, I think about he old children's joke about the chicken crossing the road and I begin to curse that joke too.  Why DOESN'T the chicken cross the fucking road?! Huh?  That's what I want to know.

Finally, the man in the car turns the ignition and begins to move.  "Perfect! I'll time my passing of the rooster with his", I decide.  That way he'll be between the bird and myself.  If the fucker wants to attack me, he'll have to go around the car, buying me time.  

The plan is a success.  I get home 55 minutes after leaving school.  As I open the front door I laugh to myself,  "I've just been cock-blocked on my birthday."

Ukraine puts a whole new twists on things.