For the halt and the lame, living in Hayastan can be a challenge. No set of stairs will be the same depth or width from top to bottom . Handrails are a rarity. And in some cases– even, notably, Yerevan’s famous Cascade–the steps will simply stop at top or bottom, without a destination reached. Shallow steps crafted from the same stone do not have their edges marked with colored tape– my cortical vision often fails the test.
I and my poor, sad knees will not miss these jarring surprises, nor the fact that the flat surfaces on each side of any door are rarely at them same level. The entrance to the marshrutni office in Goris is particularly bad. I have lost count of the times I push the door open and step into nothing. The drop is fully eight inches. Usually I order my ticket while sprawled on the floor with people stepping over me. It isn’t dignified.
Set against this though are the things I am already pining for. I will leave Armenia in June 2019 which means I will never see another Apricot season here. I am already eating double the amount of jam to make up. What will I do without fresh thyme tea? Only three more hair cut and colors at $10 before I go back to paying $150…
It is coming into Ghapama season– my favorite Armenian dish. This is pumpkin stuffed with rice, dried fruit, nuts and honey. I intend to eat it at every opportunity for although the ingredients can be found back at home, I am sure it will never taste so good again.
See the recipe here. My friend Ruzanna is one of the cooks featured.