Staring with a gaping mouth at every piece of crap around me was my most favorite pastimes as a child. I was gawking at everything: people, trees, buses, copulating cats, local drunks, funerals, weddings. My parents didn't like it - it could get you in trouble. In Soviet society, people hardly liked to be an object for gawking, but it didn't matter. I stared at them stealthily.