Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A New Russian Moral Fable: or Ow, My Ass Hurts

One of my students was sexually assaulted in the entrance foyer of her building last week. Russians generally have nice enough apartments, but they're in hideous crumbling concrete Soviet blocks for the most part, with the mailboxes beaten to shit and hanging free, graffiti all over the stairwells, and elevators that are alternately full of piss and shit or don't work at all. Often the lightbulbs aren't replaced.

This is because people own their own flats; nobody but the state owns the building, and so unless the people get money together or fix things themselves, they won't get fixed.

So she went in the front entrance, got grabbed by a guy with a knife, who drug her up into the stairwell and made her strip and tried to force her to give him a blow job. She refused so he cut the top of her head with the knife -- finally someone heard the screams and came out to investigate -- chased the rapist away and out into the street.

Imagine opening the door when your daughter rings the doorbell and she's standing there naked, hysterical, and covered with blood. . . Jesus.

Now somehow, they found the guy and arrested him; something about he went to hide in a ratty lowlife bar around the corner, and the cops somehow knew he would, and went and found him there, threatening to beat the bartender within an inch of his life if he didn't point out everybody who'd come in in the last thirty minutes.

Open and shut case, more or less; bloody fingerprints and all that, and he has a record, and apparently there are about five unsolved rapes cases much like this one.

The girl wasn't seriously hurt -- though she thought she was going to die from all the blood, scalp wounds always bleed like a bastard, and of course there's the usual mental trauma.

The cops, by way of solace, I suppose, told her a story about a recent case they had -- a 54 year old man was sitting at a bus-stop and four young guys came up to rob him, and then beat him up, and then drug him back into a park and gang-ass-fucked him.

Now why exactly four young men would want to gang-ass-fuck a 54-year-old man, when this is essentially a city full of young women, I don't understand exactly; okay, I understand rape is supposed to be a crime of violence, not of sex, but hell, it's not like they were locked up in prison or something. Maybe they just got out.

Anyway, too embarrassed to call the cops, he nearly died of internal hemmorhaging before admitting what had happened in the hospital.

Is there a lesson there? Uh. . . well. . .

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Fat Chick Project

The other night English Teacher R1 and I ended up at the Club Rossia, the shitty cheap gayish bar in the reconverted Soviet theater. We went to meet a couple of girls that I know, but one of them had to leave, and the other one immediately drunkenly tumbled over the banister at the balcony and knocked herself out.

Amazingly there was no permanent damage, she got up and dazedly managed to walk out on her own.

After getting pretty hammered, I decided that I was going to be a good samaritan and dance with some fat chicks. (It should be said there weren't really any other good looking girls in the place.) I did, but of course before too long all the fat chicks were running and hiding from me. . .

So much for charity. Kind of reminds me of the time a couple of years ago when we decided to go hand out bananas to homeless people down by the central market, and ended up getting mobbed by several dozen gypsy children and teenage gypsy mothers pushing their snotty-nosed, dirty little babies in our faces and trying to pick our pockets.

Then a few cops came over and chased them all off with clubs.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Made Pee-Pee

Well now that's strange. I apparently pissed on the floor last night. (Here at my apartment, which I guess is better than doing it at English Teacher P's.) And even stranger, I did it on the floor right outside of the toilet. Weird. And my pants weren't wet at all; if I made it that far, why couldn't I make it to the toilet? Or the bathtub?

I've pissed the bed twice in my 20-year drinking history, and that would be the second time I've peed on the floor. I have no memory of it.

English Teacher P had a birthday party last night; afterwards, at 2:00am, the two English Teacher R's (one being a 36 year old guy from Belfast, the other being a 35 year old guy from Maine) and I decided to go to the current trendiest bar in town, where we were denied entrance by the brutal lesbian who does the face control. Completely arbitrary- ETR1 and I have gotten past face control there several times, when not being any better or worse dressed than we were, although perhaps a bit less visibly intoxicated.

ETR1 starting shouting insults about style fascism in bad Russian; I just tried to go in the other entrance, just to be a pain, necessitating the brutal lesbian running over to stop us.

Then I got a good idea; I dared ETR1 to try to bribe the woman, deliberately choosing the humiliatingly low amount of 50 rubles. (About 90 cents at the current exchange rate.) Oh, it was priceless. Just beautiful. The look on her face, and she started to say, "OF COURSE YOU'D HAVE TO PAY MORE THAN THAT!" before she realized we were fucking with her.

I think even the bouncers got a laugh out of that one; I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

My original idea was to try to bribe her with a pair of Levi's, but of course going home to get a pair would have been a lot of trouble. Wonder if she would have got the joke.

Went to the House of Pain afterwords, where I suppose the highlight was me vomiting - just a bit -- into an empty beer glass. Don't think anybody noticed. A real classy evening, you best believe it. I even made out with the best friend of a girl who has a crush on me, but she was so drunk she was passed out in a corner for most of the evening.

One of the toasts at ETP's party was, "Here's to second childhood." To which he responded, "I don't think I've finished my fist childhood yet."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Little Nap, And Then Let's Get Drinking

English Teacher R doesn't, or at least hasn't, gone out with us that much. We went out last Saturday to a trendy new poseur bar after a drunken party at English Teacher P's. We had a pretty good time; towards the end of the evening I lost track of him and assumed he'd left with a girl or something like that.

The next day he SMS'd me and said that he'd fallen asleep in the toilet and the bouncers had had to kick the door open. Then he'd gotten on the tram to go home -- it was 6:00am at this point -- and gotten into an argument with the conductor when she tried to charge him 9 rubles, forgetting that the price had gone us two days before.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New Ideas For Teacher Training

It came to me, while discussing her shattered expectations with our new teacher, that the average CELTA course ought to include a climax much like that of CIA training, where you are abducted and subjected to a brutal interrogation which will seem absolutely real.

You can be taken to a crappy apartment and locked into it and forced to eat crappy food and do your laundry in the bathtub, and maybe forced to drink huge amounts, and then be forced to wake up early and bathe in cold water, then be subjected to a few hours of people yelling at you in an incomprehensible language.

If you last a week, they'll let you go, and you can have your CELTA certificate.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Here's Your Authentic Fucking Cultural Experience

We got a new teacher a few days ago.

She spent the first 24 hours crying in her flat because everything was so grey and cold and awful. She saw some rats outside her apartment.

Here's your real cultural experience, baby. Thank the Internet, which seems to be putting a lot of people where they don't belong.

Hey, these rats are nothing, you should have seen the ones in Bangkok. . .