Category Archives: Social niceties

Lunch Potato Dinner Potato

Bile has always been my favorite body fluid, with its Elizabethan associations of vituperation and coruscation. Imagine my distress then, when I learned that, due to a gallbladder silted with more stones than an Armenian gorge, my own bile was … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, fear, friendship, Healthcare, Illness, laundry, Sickness, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, travel, Women | 4 Comments

Sunday lunch

The mass at Tatev monastery is a real workout. The service lasts at least two hours, during which the congregation stands. At intervals the faithful must dip to touch the floor, kneel for protracted periods on slabs of stone, and … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Christianity, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Food, friendship, Great weekends, joy, Language, Language learning, Religion, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Women | Leave a comment

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

The Road to Goris

I am laden down with a liter of homemade rose wine, a giant box of chocolates and half a hundredweight of homegrown dill and tarragon. These are my current host family’s gifts to my new family. Perhaps they hope to … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Great weekends, Language learning, Peace Corps, Social niceties, Village life | 3 Comments

Armenia the Beautiful

Video credit: Peace Corps Volunteer Olivia Route. Olivia’s short film about her springtime in Armenia is less than five minutes long and worth watching. Everyday for the last couple of months she has recorded a few seconds of footage on her … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, joy, Mount Ararat, Peace Corps, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, travel, Vacation spots, Village life, Women | Leave a comment

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