There are none out here. It changes every 24 hours. You are never sure what will happen. This country keeps you guessing. At one moment I could be reading Outside magazine, and next I could be hawling bee houses into the backyard at 11:30 pm with my host father. Generally, I am able to sneak in some form of morning exercise. What follows is anyone’s guess. For example, this morning after my run I came down stairs and proceeded at some pathetic attempt at studying Armenian, when the front gate opened and my neighbor hurrled at my stomach a 10 oz plastic botttle of homemade apricot clear liquid death and said “khomenk! (Let’s Drink!) That was 11:00 am.
Then there was yesterday. I was able to sneak away from work for an hour (which I made up later in the day) so I could meet with our sports school director and chess teacher. Only one was there (director), and he suggested, instead of chess, I play some basketball with three other 10, 11, and 12 yr. old Armenians. I was in dress shoes, polo shirt and jeans. Trash-talking extends well beyond the borders of the U.S. There will be rematches.
And then there is what happens after I get off work. That’s a helluva crap shoot. Any of the folllowing scenarios is likely to, or has already occurred: Host father calls and tells me to hurry to his buddies house cause we are eating (translation: friend is brewing his own apricot clear liquid death and I must sample), NGO director summons me to his house for additional eating and drinking before I return home to eat again, or I am to accompany my neighbor on an “excursion” to this beautiful field to harvest produce … for distilling clear liquid death. One of the biggest shockers is the consistent viewing of American films and TV shows (in Russian) nightly with my family – everything from LOST, to Californication, to Shanghai Knights to Van Damme hits – and then there is some knock at the door at 10:00 pm and I re-enter Armenian life.