Category Archives: shopping

Packing for Peace Corps

These scissors are the single most useful thing I have in Armenia. I didn’t bring them with me in either of my two enormous bags weighing 50lbs each, but found them in my Peace Corps medical kit. These are scissors … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, clothes, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, errors of judgement, Food, Household tips, joy, know thyself, packing, Peace Corps, personal failings, shopping, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 3 Comments

Shopping Essentials: A Volunteer Writes

The money is meant for pot-scrubs,a frying pan and perhaps a liter or two of bleach.Canny volunteers might invest in an electric fan to see them through summer, or a stout pair of boots for winter, plus a potato-peeler, a … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, clothes, Cross-cultural understanding, fashion, joy, labour party, shopping, travel | 2 Comments

At the Shops

Everything in Armenia looks like I built it. Skirting boards stop short of the door trim. Plastic piping pokes through jagged holes in plasterboard and tiling tails off when the money runs out. The whole country is not quite finished … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Candy, Capitalism, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Household tips, Nostalgia, shopping, Social niceties, Village life, Women, work | Leave a 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

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

 Pack up your troubles…

“If you haven’t got it by now, you don’t need it–just relax.” This advice came from a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) currently serving in Armenia. It is three weeks before my own service begins.  Ah yes, relaxing. In preparation for Peace … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, joy, Peace Corps, personal failings, shopping, travel | Leave a comment

Learning to Travel Light

My straight-talking sister, having requested an update on my whereabouts, texted me just one word: gypsy. My guess is that she did not mean this in a “respect for the Romanies”, or even a “banjo-playing, gaily- coloured flounces, and horse-drawn … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, clothes, know thyself, packing, Peace Corps, personal failings, shopping, straight-talking sister, travel, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Belfast: Our happy new year. 

Purple floor length coat with tartan trim. Avoca— made in Ireland.  Nine pounds. Just reduced. War on Want charity shop,  open today so people can donate what they didn’t want for Christmas. The tag says Small. It isn’t. Good.  The … Continue reading

Posted in art, Belfast, clothes, friendship, Great weekends, joy, shopping, travel | 2 Comments

Making (no) sense of Morocco

You just know that this camel is a good storyteller for his face is droll.  His stories will have a world weary cynicism and a fair amount of bad language, because his life is of the “you have to laugh” … Continue reading

Posted in Marrakech, Morocco, shopping, travel | Leave a comment

Tips for Lady Travelers

My beautiful Riad is in the northernmost part of the Northern Medina, close to a launderette, a number of scooter repair shops, some foundry workers and an Islamic saint’s tomb which non- Muslims are not permitted to enter. The riad’s … Continue reading

Posted in drinking, eating out, errors of judgement, Marrakech, Morocco, shopping, travel | Leave a comment