Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Phone Call

So we have our Fresno phone which anyone can call using our local
Fresno phone number and we have a house phone that is the local
Armenian phone. Mostly when this phone rings it is Kalem calling me
from our relative Roseanna's house and so I usually answer with the
typical, "AahLow". I try to banter on with him as much as I can in
Armenian and then just move into English when my SPANISH fails me!
BUT sometimes this phone rings and it IS NOT KALEM. These times are
usually hysterical for me and very frustrating for the person on the
other line. I start off with, "AahLow" and then when they say who it
is and whom they want I usually respond with, "Yes, Jonelle Em" (I am
Jonelle). They go off for a while in Armenian and I try to catch
every ninth word. I usually respond with, "YES, JONELLE EM!" They
try yet again thinking if they continue to talk with even more
difficult Armenian vocabulary that I will miraculously understand and
answer their pressing questions. I respond with, "Yes Chem
Haskanoom" (I don't underunderstand). They mutter something which
must be a blessing, I'm SURE! and then hang up. This happened quite a
few times before Kalem taught me the phrase, "Scala Hamar" (Wrong
Number) but I still would get call backs. This one guy tried three
times and finally I just said, "I'm an American named Jonelle and I
really DON'T understand a word you are saying!" He Hung Up on Me! So
the other day a woman called and she started talking. I listened
waiting for a break to insert "Scala Hamar" but to my SURPRISE she
said Kalem's name and a few other words that I UNDERSTOOD!!!! I was
very excited in fact I understood that it was the woman from Star
SUPERMARKET calling about Kalem's "Club Card" (the ones that take only
TWO MONTHS to process). She was wanting his American AND Armenia
Passports, his Social Security Number, and I think she said something
about his blood type too; not so sure on this point. I actually
responded to her in good enough Armenian that she confirmed what I
said to her!!! (I felt a wee bit like Bart Simpson in the episode
where he was the "foreign exchange student" to France...I need'nt say
more...for those who know KNOW and those who don't...well...). I felt
really good about that phone call soooooooooo, two days ago the phone
rang at 11:30am; thinking it was Kalem I answered with my best
Armenian-Man-Deep-Coffee-Cigarette-AahLooow" unfortunately it was NOT
Kalem but a woman who was looking for Serob. I again understood and
was trying to let her know that this was not his number. She sounded
like she really needed to talk to him and since I was feeling
confident I told her, "Me Rope" (One minute) and I set down the phone
(remember it is plugged into the wall...not cordless), opened the door
and ran up the stairs to Serob's door. I knocked and waited but their
was no sound. I made my way down the stairs when I heard the door
open and Mrs. Serob call out in a most annoyed way, "Inch
Ah?" (Basically what do you want?" I ran back up the stairs to see
Mrs. Serob in her jammies and bathrobe (like she just got out of bed!
oh I love this country....I just wish someone in my house would let me
sleep until 11:30am!) Needless to say she did not look pleased and
you already know of my fear and trepidation when it comes to her! I
told her in Armenian that a woman wanted to talk with Serob. She
asked me Who the woman was. I told her sheepishly that I didn't
know...the annoyed look intensified. But as I motioned her to come
down to our place she reluctantly agreed but asked me two more times
who was on the phone (did she think it would somehow come to me
because she was using Armenian Annoyance Torture on me?) So here is
Mrs. Serob in our apartment talking on the phone with the mystery
woman and I was pleased to say that her annoyance was not only
reserved for ME! She talked for 6 minutes in her bed clothes in our
apartment with the door open and me standing next to her (I am not
sure why I did this?). When she finally hung up she ranted about how
the woman was crazy and she wouldn't call again. Mrs. Serob walked
out the door and was half way up the stairs when I yelled,
"Shnoragalootoon" (Thank You!) She stuttered a half step turned her
head only a fraction but WITH A SMILE she replied, "Shnoragalootoon"
TO ME!!! Score: Mrs. Serob 2- Jonelle 1 1/2

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