Things That Make Me Smile

I’ve said it before and I have to say it again: There are so many times when I wish I could transmit a live video feed to people back home!

There were two occasions recently. The first happened when I was walking to my tutor’s house. I was about to turn onto the main road when I felt something watching me. In my peripheral vision, I spotted something odd about the nearby garbage bin (they are like 4’ high square bins, usually overflowing). I glanced over and saw two blonde/orange ears pointing skyward with two black eyes underneath. There was a dog in the trash can just staring at me! But I could only see it from the eyes up, so it was like a real-life Oscar the Grouch. I started laughing. When I looked back for a second take, there was no sign of him.

The other one was today in Yerevan. Background: There are many public water fountains on the streets, even in rural areas. These usually have no valve, but are instead constantly “on.” On usually means a tiny dribble, but can also result in a hilarious geyser effect now and then. Walking down the sidewalk, I saw a 50 something Armenian dude casually pressing his thumb down on the faucet of a water fountain, squirting the water all over his taxi. You would never see someone using a water fountain to wash their car in the states! And so non-chalantly at that.

Oh yeah, I also saw Abraham Lincoln on the side of a bus as part of an advertisement. The ad was in Armenian and I didn’t have enough time to read it (usually I need at least 1 minute per word). But it got me thinking about our global penetration. I can see the namesake of my state plastered on the side of a bus in this country, but I didn’t know where Armenia was before Peace Corps. Crazy. However, the effectiveness of using foreign presidents for advertising is another post entirely.

Today was a long one but a good one. A day trip to Yerevan (so 6 hours in a marshrutka) for a meeting with a lady from PC Washington who is in charge of training in our region. In a group, we discussed the CBD (Community and Business Development) program that I’m a part of. Our post is going through a lot of changes, and my program is no exception. I picked up some Yak Trax at our office. I figured it was time now that the winter is almost over. I also got an Armenian language book that I’m pretty pumped about. Plus, I talked to our PST Coordinator. She really liked my application to assist with PST. I think it’s a 99% sure thing that I will get invited to help with that 🙂

A couple really bright spots on the horizon are approaching too. I’m hoping to attend the Armenia vs. Russia Euro qualifier in Yerevan near the end of the month. There is a large group of PCVs interested in attending, so hopefully we can get discounted group tickets. That would be such a blast. Armenia really rose in the FIFA rankings, and of course, Russia is a good team with some world-class talent. Also, I am proud to say that I just bought my plane ticket to Poland! I will leave with Aga and visit her homeland. It will be incredible to get a real experience in Poland. I can stay with her family and maybe with Ula too. That will be for a week in early May. PUMPED!

I will finally pay respect to Casimir Pulaski. Thanks for all those days off from school man! Dzień dobry Polska!

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5 Responses to “Things That Make Me Smile”

  1. Peter Says:

    Dude,

    That’s awesome that you might make a Euro qualifier! I bet that would be a great game too since I’m sure the home fans will not want to let their big neighbors off the hook.

    Even cooler that you get to visit Poland! That is one of the countries I didn’t make it to when I was there and really regretted it. What part is Aga from? I’ve heard some great things about Krakow.

  2. Wayne Burt Says:

    Kevin – I love reading your blogs. You have a great talent in writing. You’ve been able to explore in depth some things I knew only superficially. In every blog you’ve written something bringing back memories that allows me to again walk those same streets. Thanks. Enjoy your trip to Poland. wb

  3. icenugget Says:

    @Peter – Yeah I think Armenia could give them a run for their money. While Armenians love Russia, they would also love to beat them in soccer. Aga is from near Poznan, a major city about 200km east of Berlin. Her dad lived in Chicago for a while (no surprise there is a Chicago connection somewhere), so I think I will be able to talk at him but not with him (he can only understand English) 🙂 Aga has a friend that can maybe take us to Krakow. She said its her favorite place. Also, Ula lives in Warsaw, so there is a good chance I will get to see 3 of the biggest cities in the country.

    @ Wayne – Thanks for the kind words and for reading the blog. I am happy to keep everyone updated and I think we also get some interesting discussions going here. I thought of you several times during the Egyptian revolt. Good thing you went when you did.

  4. Kelsey Says:

    1) I wonder if there would be a noticeable increase in advertising effectiveness for using DEAD foreign presidents on public transportation versus LIVE foreign presidents…how do we think a major picture of Barack would fare?? Or George W? 😉

    2) Yay for Poland!!

    3) now that you are the “Deputy Postmaster”, do I need a new address for you?? I wanted to mail you real mail soon!!

  5. icenugget Says:

    1. Using a dead guy is definitely the safe route to go! A George W bus might not make it to its destination.

    2. I know!

    3. No new address necessary, but it is posted on the main page on the right side. The only important part is Vardenis 1601.

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