I know you’re wondering, what is the nightlife like in a Rovakian village? Like here, it revolves around drinking, dancing, and merrymaking. There are subtle differences, however, that remind you that you’re in an eastern European village and not downtown Boston. The differences mostly concern the quantity of meat served and the location of the merrymaking.
A lot of meat is served. That is an understatement. Trays and trays of greasy, delicious carcasses of all shapes, sizes, and species. Even species that don’t exist, like the cowpigoat—what you get when you combine ground meat from these animals into one behemoth patty. Meat is the focus of the party; alcohol just softens the edges. Vegetarians? You’re much more likely to see a dragon*.
(*I’d point out that we’re in Transylvania, but that would disclose the real location of Rovakia!)
The location of merrymaking differs as well. In a Rovakian village public drinking occurs at the elementary school/bar. The lessons end, evening settles, and desks with pencil slots are hulled out to the paved play area. Meat and alcohol are sold. The school has become a pivonica, which basically means “little bar.”
There are performances in the football court. A woman in sequenced purple lycra sings Rovakian ballads into a microphone while swaying her hips and following the pitch with her hand. The crowd loves it. Two men on motorcycles park on the court and sequentially rev their engines, adding an billow of engine smoke to the omnipresent haze of cigarette smoke. The men seem to compete based on whose smoke receives the most cheers. I don’t really get it, but I’m just a dumb American.
I had fun at the school/bar. Actually it was the most popular I’ve ever been. This middle class girl from the suburbs of Pittsburgh was exotic in the Rovakian village. Everyone knew me, or knew of me. I could get a desk immediately.
I had fun after the school/bar as well. We had a cool kids hangout at the monument to the Communist soldier. We sat around in a park, in the dark, drinking and/or smoking. My sixteen-year-old self would be so jealous.
One night I found myself alone at the monument to the Communist soldier—well, alone with a villager Bratislav. There was romantic tension between us because that morning Dumitru (if you don’t know him, read my previous blog entry) had sent us to fetch water together (if you don’t know what that means, read my previous blog entry). I was not, not interested. Bratislav was cute, in a paunchy, grimy, barely speaks English sort of way**.
(**This is not a way to be cute. It is a delusion induced by extended fieldwork. If someone is not attractive to you Day 1 of excavations, do not believe it when they appear to be attractive on Day 31.)
We were meant to be—well, meant to make out in the supple grass under a periwinkle sky (and a Communist soldier statue), as one does with lovers in Rovakia.
But even in Rovakia, between speakers of different tongues, making-out is preceded by babbling small talk. Dumitru had told me earlier that day, “My dear American friend. You get the water with Bratislav. He is good villager. Very smart. He just finish the university in food chemistry. Very good Rovakian. Will make good children.”
He finished the university in food chemistry? I like chemistry and food. We could talk about that.
“So you studied food chemistry in college?”
“Yes, I study the food.”
“What did you study about it?”
Hesitant stammering as he summoned his English. “I do the thesis on how to kill the pig.”
Before you laugh, realize that this was the THIRD time I’ve had a conversation with a Rovakian suitor about how to kill the pig. It’s just one of those things you talk about before smooching. So the point is, things were going well. We were so going to make out in the moonlight (and shadow of the Communist soldier).
“And what do you do now?”
Hesitant stammering… “And now I grow the pigs and kill the pigs in village.”
Wow, you have to go to college to grow the pigs and kill the pigs in the Rovakian village? Well, good for him. We, like, had so much in common. We both went to college. We both eat pigs. We were so going to make out in the whispered breeze of a thick summer night.
We started to make out. Oh dear, the situation escalated. It was clear that he wanted more. His penis was out, prominent and erect in the moonlight. This was too mortifying—worse than when Andrej tried to hold my hand!
I refused. I insisted that we could not have sex.
“But why?” he asked, baffled.
“I do not have the diseases.”
“I could have the diseases. How do you know?”
“Oh no, no. I look at you and know you do not have the diseases.”
Wow! X-ray STD vision! I tried another line of defense.
“I could get pregnant.”
“Good! I love the children!”
“I do not have time to have the children.”
“I have time. I will take the children. I will take them in the village.”
His logic was as infallible as his charm. I had to leave.
“I have to go.”
He gave his last effort. “I want to make love to you. Don’t you want my cock?”
His cock was still there, so erect and illuminated in the moonlight. I withered from mortification. It was like one of those scenes in a movie that is too embarrassing to watch, but I was living it. I had to get out of there. I couldn’t find one of my shoes. Somehow the moonlight was bright enough to spotlight his penis, but not bright enough to find my damn shoe. I had to get out of there. I walked home, down the hill, past the school/bar, with one shoe.
You really feel like shambles when you walk home with one shoe.