I turned up to my village English club this afternoon to find students sadly lacking. “Voch inch” I said to myself like a good Armenian ” it is a lovely day for a walk”. I picked my way down the stony hill admiring the light over the gorge. “Amerikatsi”. An old woman sitting on a rock outside her gate sounded the general warning.
I said hello in Armenian and she asked me where I was from ” Goris” I said ” I live in Goris”.
“What are you doing here?”
“Walking, looking and taking photos. It is a beautiful day”.
” She’s walking, looking and taking photos” reported the woman to no one in particular. “She thinks it is a beautiful day.”
I continued my walk past a donkey saddled for work, a cow or two grazing by the roadside and another couple of cows sitting in the sun. A woman was sitting on her step shelling walnuts.
“Ooh walnuts” I said
” You are welcome to eat some” she said. I did.
By then I could see the younger half of my English class playing volley ball in the street, a length of string strung between the houses. The girls ran towards me squealing. Kisses all round.
“We don’t have class today ” Shushan said. “I see” I replied “so I am enjoying myself and having a holiday”
“It is my birthday” said Heghine ” come and eat cake”.
We sat outside Heghine’s mom’s kitchen door and had cake and peach juice. Heghine’s mom didn’t seem at all surprised to find an American stranger speaking English in her back yard. She made me a cup of coffee. The view, the company and the food were all delightful. The girls picked some narcissi and tulips for me and went back to their game. Class. It’s overrated.