Nor Tari 2: Kyufta’s Revenge

We are in the middle of the New Year celebrations here in Armenia.  For everything you miss about the holidays back home, Nor Tari makes up for it, offering something unique and unrivaled.

I won’t go into so many details this time around since I’ve already covered the basics of Nor Tari before.  This year is different for me of course.  First of all it’s hard to buy food right now.  The stores were crazy before NYE and now they are almost all closed.  Bread, my lifeline, is nonexistent.  This leads to some interesting meals, such as my breakfast yesterday:  Leftover lentil soup from Laura and Kool-Aid (thanks Mom).  Regardless, I enjoy being a trailblazer and knowing that I am the first person on the face of the planet to ever eat lentil soup for breakfast and wash it down with some OHHH YEAHHHHHH!

Not living in a host family has its benefits.  I can avoid the celebration if I want to but I also have enough connections that I can easily spend all day with families if I choose.  So far I’ve spent the first couple days with Ev and her host mom.  Yesterday we went to her host mom’s daughter’s house and had an absolutely great time.  There was persimmon vodka (I had no idea such a thing existed) which was delicious.  I hate persimmons but love their vodka, go figure.  The food was outrageously delicious.  First course was a carrot and garlic infused roast.  Then came the attack of the salads.  Grape leaf dolma ambushed us while we attempted to clean our plates.  And then there were the cakes, the coffee, the candies, and of course basturma.  Basturma is a cured meat that is extremely tasty.  Think of bacon as a cold cut but not so nasty like bacon would be.  And besides, it’s cow meat I found out.  It’s a beautiful red hue.  And the father had prepared some special pig cold cuts which were incredible.  I’m not quite sure what he did, and he wouldn’t tell me because his process is a secret!

That brings me to my next point:  this is the time of year where all the language learning pays off.  I trudge to my lessons some days and totally don’t feel like going.  Other volunteers have all stopped going to tutors and I seriously question why I’m still doing it.  But then there are days like the last couple I’ve had where I have the opportunity to sit down and get to know some wonderful people in their own language.  We share stories, explain things, joke, and just have a good time.  Those moments are so nice and serve as a reward for all the work you put into learning.

I also wanted to mention something that is kind of random but seems fitting at this time of year, when we all have a fresh slate and the world is ours for the taking.  Due to vodka consumption I went to bed at 9 p.m. last night and woke up for good at 2:15 a.m.  Before I had resigned to the idea that I wouldn’t fall back asleep again, I was lying in bed listening to music.  It’s normal for me to just lie there thinking about the most disconnected things you can imagine.  And it’s also normal for me to have an inner dialogue rambling away at any moment.  Despite those two things, or maybe because of them, I had a moment of clarity that is difficult to describe.  Cutting completely through the interstate highway that is full of cars and trucks carrying thoughts like, “When am I taking my next shower?”, “I’m running today”, “What am I eating for breakfast?” and “I love spaghetti”, drilling through the pavement to the core of my odd brain and thoughts, something happened.  I felt for a moment all of the experiences I’ve had in my life.  I didn’t explicitly think of everything I’ve done because that would take more than just a moment.  But somehow I felt the sum of it all.  And it was a peaceful, fulfilling, proud, happy moment.  That was really fascinating for me because then I thought back to prior years and if I would have felt the same thing.  I think the answer is no.

Why am I going on about this?  Well what I want to say is that I made some difficult decisions to get to this point.  The course is not always straightforward nor enjoyable.  But I can say that deep down I really am fulfilled now in my life.  Two years ago that was not the case.  But I acknowledged that and made challenging changes.  Now here I am writing you about mushy stuff.  See how that worked?  So what I REALLY want to tell you, reader jan, is that if there are things in your life that don’t seem right or that you are unhappy with, well then you should do something different. 

Don’t be scared to make a change in your life.

I am so happy that I did.


Blog logistics time.  It’s vacation time, which means I have a lot of free time.  There are also some topics I have neglected but have a burning desire to shower upon you.  Ipso factso, I will finally post about khorovats and marshrutkas, both core components of my Armenian life.  I’ll also have a CouchSurfer from the Netherlands coming today.  Perhaps you don’t know about CouchSurfing, so I’ll do a post about that too.

Have a nice day.


2 Responses to “Nor Tari 2: Kyufta’s Revenge”

  1. Emma J. Says:

    You experienced pure enlightenment 🙂

    Also, I’m hosting a couch surfer soon! It will be my first one….

  2. icenugget Says:

    Something like that 😉

    Congrats on the CSer! Where is he/she/it from?

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