Monthly Archives: April 2017

Knickers, twisted

If there is a nuclear accident here in Armenia I could be in more trouble than most. First, I have managed to lose — or simply failed to pick up–the very expensive, giant horse pills which Peace Corps issued, and … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, clothes, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, laundry, Mother/daughter dynamic, Nuclear power, personal failings, Social niceties, straight-talking sister, travel, Underwear, Village life | 1 Comment

A Sweet Solution to Armenia’s Problem with Abandoned Cars 

Grand Candy is perhaps the greatest secret Armenia keeps from the world.  The company, makers of wrapped, loose candy, boxes of chocolates, gallons of ice cream and mounds of pastries–have been keeping Armenian consumers sweet since 2000 and now have … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Armenia, Candy, Food, Grand Candy, Marketing, shopping, Social niceties, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

Lost for words. No happy endings. 

Let me start by saying that I know English is a nightmare to learn, what with all our irregular verbs and silent letters and eccentric colloquial quirks. Compared to English, Armenian is easy. Most verbs conform as though drilled by … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Language, Language learning, Learning, personal failings | Leave a comment

A Still Morning

The people across the road have a still and this morning are making 70 liters of grape vodka to sell at the market. I know it is good because after breakfast I went over to test the product. I ran … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cooking, drinking, Homebrew, Moonshine, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment

Some dance to remember. Some dance to forget.

We are not allowed to travel after dark. We may not leave our villages without permission. We will never drive a car in our country of service. The rules governing the lives of incoming Peace Corps Volunteers are strict and … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Borders, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, Great weekends, joy, Mount Ararat, Peace Corps, Politics, shopping, travel, Village life, Women | 1 Comment

Border Post: Part One

I have been thinking a lot about borders. This is the first post in a series of four that threatens to be quite boring, but which is at least topical. Brace yourself and persevere if you can.  Borders are like … Continue reading

Posted in Belfast, Borders, Cross-cultural understanding, errors of judgement, Northern Ireland, Politics, Terrorism | 2 Comments

Spin the Bottle and Speed Dating, Armenian Style

We have played Jeopardy and a saliva-free version of Spin the Bottle. We have danced to mnemonic rhymes. We have brought in family pictures and discussed them at length. We have done it all in Armenian as part of our … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Language, Learning, Village life, Women | Leave a comment