Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pretty Woman

One of my favorite movies of all time is the well-known-but-totally-UNBELIEVABLE-tale called Pretty Woman.  There are countless quotable lines from the film and classic scenes but I, Jonelle Suzanne Garo Kazarian, got to live one of them this past week!!!  No!  I did not become a "Hye"-class call-girl in the Yerevan Garmeer Luz District, but I did get to go on a "Shopping Spree", of sorts.  Recall the 1990 film when Julia Roberts tries to go out  on Rodeo Drive with a fist full of money to buy some decent clothes?  Well, since I am the conservative-pastor-missionary-(and don't forget) SUBMISSIVE wife; I packed pretty much as if I was going to a village in Armenia circa 1991! (note...this was the last time I was in Armenia and I was here for a missionary project!)  This time around, if you recall, I was studying for my MFT exam and then deathly ill the two weeks prior to leaving the States.  Needless to say my packing was LACKING!!!  Obviously the saying is true, hind sight is 20/20 but I was batting a 20/200 in the suitcase department (note: this is the cutoff for legal blindness in the United States...that would be 6/60 in metric...but again I digress!)  My clothes are tastefully baggie in the pants, overly loose and very plain in the tops, and my shoes are, well missionary-esk.  PROBLEM GA!  The women of Armenia, specifically HYASTAN are proverbial HOTTIES!!!  The pants are oh-so-form fitting, the tops are BLING, and the Shoes...don't even get me started.  Just picture 4 inch spike heels attached to any shoe, boot, sandal, etc...So plainly I REALLY stick out with my habit and sensible Aerosoles.  So since I don't fit in and Kalem, aka Richard Gere wanted me to practice speaking Armenian to actual Armenian people instead of my computer screen; he took me to the "Iranian Faire".  This is an "open-air-market" and I used OPEN-AIR extremely Loosely!!!!  There is nothing open to this market, they are tightly jammed stalls winding up a slight grade for about 1/2 a mile with blue plastic tarp covering every access to the sky.  The walkway is no more than 4 feet at it's widest point and the Iranian's don't even own the stalls anymore, but it is STILL called the Iranian Open Air Market...just work with me here.  As we came to the street Kalem says to me, "Are you ready?"  I looked and got the feeling of holding my breath as I jumped off the high-dive platform of an olympic pool!  I mean it is all the excitement of the bartering challenges of Tijuana or Cabo without the needed attitude nor language skills!  I loved making my way through the masses of people crammed in this serpentine highway of commerce.  I watched ample sales women stuffing their celophane cash drawers INTO their bras, toothless peddlers of black-saltless sunflower seeds (which is crazy to me since even the coffee has SALT!! it really doesn't), and golden toothed smooth men offering their wares as the best on the pogotz (street).  It was all well and good until Richard, I mean Kalem wanted me to talk!  He taught me this phrase, "Ench Cahn Arjee?" How much does this cost?  I was supposed to saunter up to these vendors ask how much something cost and then buy it for our household.  Easy enough right?!  WRONG!!  Terribly WRONG!!  It went something like this, "Nerets ek, Baron Ench Cahn Arjeh?" to which the man would look me up and down and THEN give me a price that was mumbled under his breath.  I scrambled to try to hear the numbers and THEN to try to remember what number was in fact assigned to those verbal utterances....3 minutes later I am still standing there trying to cipher, he is staring at me like I have mental problems, and I end up saying, "Uh, Shanoragalootoon" and walking away.  Richard was not happy with me!  So he pushed me into a nice stall with women's jeans.  A woman in her 50's and a young man about 19 were ready for us.  I inquired about the jeans, she responded in ENGLISH!!!  Do you see how I am not pulling of this-oh-yeah-I'm-a-local-thing?!  We asked her to only speak Armenian and the fun began.  I tried on 3 different pairs of jeans and with each one I came out to model, the 19 year old clad in black and Chips sunglasses would lean back in his chair and pitch his head over his left shoulder to offer his opinion.  This was starting to be a good time.  I liked one pair and the 19 year old another;  Richard didn't care either way but the sales team was so approving of this new style for me that I was wrapped up in their spell...{Jeana is this what you do at Macy's?}  So we bought the jeans promised to return when I needed another pair and were on our way.  Just for fun and practice I asked another vendor how much her jeans were...THEY WERE LOWER!!!!  You know how I love a bargain and you know crazy this made me, but Richard was loving my Armenian lesson of the day!  And in case you are wondering...my jeans are so YEREVAN...so HOT!!! (especially for a MISSIONARY!)  I am beginning to fit in...at least from the waist down...TOMORROW I BUY SHOES!!!!!

1 comment:

Mariel Howsepian-Rodriguez said...

For shoes, I vote on the baby blue over-the-knee stiletto boots with gold star studs. (Yes, I DO have a pic of a Hayastani hottie wearing those.)