Monday, April 28, 2008

The Way It Is...

Last night I tried to make Madzoon for the second time.  The reason I even tried to make it was because our cousin, Nana, said it was so easy and they always make theirs.  She was teaching me one of her wonderful dessert creations when she pulled out a one-liter Rubbermaid container with the creamy white yogurt.  I thought she said she added a small amount, "Achkee Chap" (that is literally measuring or sizing with your EYE!) of starter (which is just some yogurt or pre-made madzoon) to one liter of milk and put it in the fridge.  Of course I tried to do this...and it was SO easy...and so WRONG!  Then I went to the internet and read that you need to BOIL the milk first (yeah, yeah, so maybe you're smarter than me...) When I told her Saturday that my madzoon didn't come out she looked at me and said, "Jonelle-jan why don't you just buy it from the store it's so much easier?!"  

Or the time when our gas water heater went out and Mrs. Serob and her handyman were in our bathroom and kitchen for about 30 minutes (I thought I was going to eyes darting around the room to see if anything was out of place...of course her eyes were darting just as fast and her questions didn't stop from the time she entered until she's a good thing it takes me a long time to formulate my responses...cuts down on the total number of possible questions!!!)  Yet again, I digress!  So they told me the heater went out because we weren't opening the small window between the shower and the heater.  If we had only left the window open the heater wouldn't have broken.  Two days ago Serob's dad found Kalem and told him that we forgot to close the small window in the bathroom and that we should never leave it open!
Or two weeks ago when I threw on my derby to pick up the kids from hair was especially crazy that day!  When I got to the school Teacher Ida inquired as to why I was wearing a hat in Spring?  I replied, "Eye-sore, shad vat maz or!" (Today, very bad hair day!)  Ida, Jana-Moraqueet, and Serpoog didn't understand my reference and said, "Oh, hevant es?!" (your sick?) Then the three went on to discuss how it is very important to wear a hat when you are sick.   When I finally got their attention, I told them again about my bad hair, but this time with more facial expression and wild hand gestures (I find that I resort to this type of communication is too bad Armenia's national language is not SIGN LANGUAGE!!!  I would be a viking!).  Today when I walked out into the warm brightness of this sunny day, loving being in a short sleeved shirt and longing for shorts...I was met by none other than my, swollen-with-child, light-of-my-life, judger-of-all-things, MRS. SEROB...and what does she say to me?..."Why aren't you wearing a hat?  The sun is too bright, it's not good for your HAIR!!!!"
I will stop with only one more example, but I could go on for days!!!!  When we got our LADA NIVA...4x4 Mini SUV of course it had no seat belts.  When Kalem asked his cousin Ashot, the mechanic, to get us some, Ash laughed and said..."Nobody wears seat belts in Armenia!"  But Kalem persisted and we got two for the driver and front passenger seats.  Of course we didn't wear them...I mean the cultural pressure is intense here, not to mention that our three precious children are sans car-seats and seat belts, just bouncing, rolling, falling to the floor mats every bump and pothole.  So of course one of the several times Kalem gets stopped by the police...he gets a ticket..."FOR NOT WEARING HIS SEATBELT!"  
It can be frustrating at times living like this but you have to Armenia, that's just the way it is!  jonelle;)

1 comment:

Karen G. said...

I'm looking forward to the day you publish your travel journals as a novel. Now, be careful talking about those bad hair days in another language. In French, "mal aux cheveux" (sick in the hair or hair-ache) signifies a hangover!