Shnorhakalutyunner Talis (Thanksgiving)

I have to admit that it doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving time at all. It just hit me today that the holiday might be approaching, and that’s after we had a local Thanksgiving celebration in our marz.

Saturday everyone in our marz gathered in Martuni to celebrate Thanksgiving. I was a little concerned over this gathering, as it meant I had to cook something for the first time in Armenia (I’ve been making myself breakfast, but that doesn’t count really) as well as transport it to another town. I went for a simple butter cookie recipe in our PC cookbook. I bought the ingredients. I asked if I could make something in the kitchen. I was all ready to go. Then I actually made the cookies and I remembered why I used to buy cookies so often back home. It was a lot of work for little yield! But they were pretty good, and the other people gobbled them up fast.

There was some great food at this event. It felt so good to just pig out and overeat in true American fashion. There was turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread, vegetarian dolma, Polish dumplings, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, beer battered pickles, biscuits, potato salad, apple pie, squash pie, and walnut pie. My favorite was probably the walnut pie. I didn’t know such a thing existed. It was delicious.

I also realized my tastebuds are either desperate, or have fully matured, because I can now pretty much eat anything. On top of eating pies that I would never try when I was a kid, I also thoroughly enjoyed what was basically a terrible piece of turkey. I was chomping down despite its toughness, until Ulla commented, “Your turkey…is bleeding…” Sure enough, her analysis of my medieval sized turkey leg was correct. That was enough for me.

I must also mention one of the funnier conversations I’ve had with Armenians to date. I hitchhiked to Martuni. I got picked up by a couple of 20-30 something guys with a little boy in the backseat. They were incredibly nice and asked me questions the whole way. As the basic questions (where are you from, how long are you staying, what do you do, how old are you) subsided, the conversation drifted to other topics. The driver made a gesture with both fists clenched and extended his arms out, asking me something I didn’t fully understand. It must be skiing. Yeah, I’ve been skiing twice. In Armenia? No, not yet. It was in America! He then smiled and clenched one fist while slapping his other open palm against the fist. Oh shit, they’re not talking about skiing. They’re talking about…yeah. The passenger then turned with a huge grin and made the unmistakable, universal hand signal that we all understand, and at this point I was trying not to laugh about me telling them I had done this twice in America. I finished the rest of the ride politely declining their requests for me to skip thanksgiving and go with them to Yerevan to find prostitutes, then walked into the village smiling at this ridiculous conversation.

With that said, happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you have pumpkin pie, eat an extra piece for me. I’ll hope to find some at our All-Volunteer conference this weekend, where there is a Thanksgiving dinner for us prepared by PCVs. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and know that I am thinking about you from the other side of the blue dot that is Earth.

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3 Responses to “Shnorhakalutyunner Talis (Thanksgiving)”

  1. Peter Says:

    I’m still cracking up about that story. Don’t worry, literally everyone at Mileage Plus has read about it Kev 😉

  2. icenugget Says:

    Just don’t include it in one of your emails to millions of customers! 😀

  3. ben oberg Says:

    Dead Bird! happy Thanksgiving bud!!

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