Mentioned briefly in the last post was my first Armenian barbeque. I’ll expand now. Meals generally are a big deal here, especially dinners. Immediate family for sure, along with the occasional extended. Barbeques, kind of like in the U.S., take on another dimension. More people, more meat and more alcohol. This can translate into good times in both lands. There are, obviously, some subtle differences, as well as similarities. I should note that it was an occasion afforded them due to some money they had just received. So what better way to blow it than on a barbeque? Anyway, the men huddled around the grill, like they do when looking under the hood of their broken car for hours. [Armenians seem to love this by the way] Once it has been determined the meat and potatoes have reached perfection, they are then removed from the skewers with the sacred “lavash” [Armenian bread used like an oven glove in this instance] and placed into a large, very large basin. Meanwhile, the women are making salads from produce picked earlier in the day from the family garden. Was it good? Hell yes. Did they drink vodka like there was no tomorrow? Yup. Were the toasts poetic and only understood by those who speak Armenian fluently? Affirmative.
Another first happened this week: laundry. Some background. The clothes were piling up in the corner of my room, and realizing the only Armenian detergent brand was named after a post-binge drinking behavior, my reluctance is justified. But that didn’t mean my mom was happy when she saw the amount of clothes. [Her: “These clothes, how many days?” Me: “Two weeks.” Her: “Ahh!”] Patiently she guided my through the intricacies of doing laundry the Armenian way. This included a small washing machine [by small, I mean two pants maximum at one time small] a bath tub, a plastic basin and a long wired clothes line that stretches from the balcony to a tree in the garden. The process actually wasn’t that bad, until it was time to properly fold them once they had dried. Apparently there is a certain way to fold a t-shirt. I’ll say this, my own mother tried her best, but only this Armenian mother could convince me so.
Next Post: The cleansing power of the Armenian Apricot.