I spent at least 30 minutes this afternoon running around Olympic Park, accosting strangers and asking them whether they spoke English and/or knew anything about Kentucky. The most common response I got was a blank stare, followed by a shake of the head. "No, what is Kentucky?" "A state in the United States."
"Oh, Ken-too-kee," they often replied, shaking their heads as though to reprimand silly me for pronouncing the name so wildly incorrect.
I nodded like a puppy after being asked if she wants to go for a walk and gestured behind me to where Alex was stationed in front of a camera Meredith was manning.
We were working on a story about international perceptions about Kentucky for LEX18. While Alex conducted the interview and Meredith and Madison shot both video footage and still photos, Ashley, Cassie and I ran around interrupting passerby and asking them to be in the video.
Up to this point in my life I haven't suffered as much rejection as I did during that short half-hour period today.
I must have talked to somewhere between 15-20 people, of which barely five agreed to an interview. It was a low blow, but I squared my shoulders, told myself this is what journalism is about and, fortified with that and the knowledge that we were to return to the Black Sea rings after the shoot, I carried on.
This was already the second story we'd shot since 10 a.m. The first was about pin traders, and you will soon be able to read all about it on LEX18's website. (And click here for an article I wrote about Kentucky skier Jay Panther, and here for a video I helped write about an Asbury graduate working at the Olympics).
By the time we finished interviewing people about Kentucky, my feet were throbbing and threatening to detach from my body, and I was nauseous at the thought of the long, half-mile-plus walk back to the train station.
It didn't take long at the Olympic Rings to revive me, though. Here we shot the intro and outro to both stories before standing around to take pictures like the American school group we are.
The good news was still coming, though. After the picture-taking sesh was over, we took a bus to a restaurant, where we were able to sit for well over an hour (and my feet finally regained some feeling). I had the most delicious chicken I've ever had the pleasure of tasting: tender chicken stuffed with mushrooms and cheese and rolled in crispy potato slices. The first bite I took filled my mouth with a taste like the nectar of the angels.
And not to rub it in your faces anymore, but we also got to ride in a taxi back to the hotel and then buy ice cream. Yeah. We're basically living the life here, guys.
And tomorrow? Tomorrow we take a tour of the IBC (International Broadcast Center) building, spend some free time in the Olympic Park, and then hopefully head up to the mountains for some sightseeing. The motto for tonight? #ForTheMountains.