so, tonight I celebrated a friend’s birthday. when I got home, I met my neighbors – two beautiful young ladies, Anna and Valerie. as I was walking towards my apartment, I heard a distinct accent – I was quite sure it was Russian. when I got closer to the girls, I asked them if they were speaking Russian. in fact, they were speaking Ukrainian, which is very similar to Russian.
they grew up in the port city of Sevastopol, Ukraine. they told me how they have to take a ferry to get to the downtown. how cars cost twice as much there as they do in America, because the credit system is so flawed. how people go to college, not to get a great job, but to get a job. how you have to know someone to be someone. how the cops will let you off with a friendly wave, if you give them a few dollars – if you have a few dollars to give. how rude the average citizen is, and how they are totally unapologetic. how racism thrives, and Blacks (as few of them as there are) are persecuted (killed) for the color of their skin, when I thought racism abounded here in the USA. how hard it is to get to America, and how, should they ever decided to return home, they will be permanently banned from returning here to America.
as I listened for over an hour to the various stories, I started to think about how great a country this truly is. how, whether our next President is Obama or McCain, we’re going to be alright. I’ll still have a roof over my head and food to eat.
I hope I’ve made two new friends who have some cool stuff to teach me.
God Bless America.