Welcome to my home

Welcome to my home

Friday, November 28, 2008

I wrote this without revision...so take it for what it's worth

Well, another American holdiay has come and gone. In the few days before Thanksgiving I did my best to explain the concept of the holiday to my host family and a few various community members with whom I have frequent cause for interaction. But, it was quickly made apparent to me that unless you are an American, or have the chance to see the holiday as it is celebrated with a lot of Americans around, it is a very tough holiday to understand. To us (that is, Americans) it seems simple. Sure, it's a day to give thanks. Easy enough, right? But for some reason or another the holiday doesn't translate very well.
"So, it was a bunch of really dirty people that had no food?"
"And then the Native Americans gave them food?"
"And then they killed the Native Americans?"
"No, they ate dinner with them."
"And now it's a holiday?
"To say thank you."
"Do the Native Americans still give you food?"
"No, we killed them?"
"After you ate dinner with them?"
"No, well, yes."
At this point in the conversation every single Armenian, without exception, beat their hand against their mouth while making a whooping war cry reminiscent of some movie they had seen.

So, rather than allow the conversation to repeat itself for my students, I did my best in the English clubs I run to explain the Tanksgiving Story via hand drawn comic strip on the chalkboard. But, that wasn't too successful, probably because I was relying heavily on stick figures as means for communications, and contrary to popular belief, stick figures are not ideal for conveying complex emotions. I don't know. I guess some things were just meant to be mysteries. But, Thanksgiving evening my grandpa did bust out the homemade vodka to celebrate. He didn't really grasp the full concept, but he understood that it was important to me. I swear, my grandpa is the man.

On a slightly different note...

Ever since I moved to my village, I've heard rumors whispered around the streets for some mythical German that supposedly lives in the village. And having lived in Germany, I thought, "Well, wouldn't it be dandy if I could meet this person. Maybe sit down and have a nice little conversation about the West." But, my efforts to locate this person up until now have been fruitless. Everytime I ask people directly, they just look at me like I'm an idiot. (Sidenote, that is usually the look I get from them anyways.) So, for the past few weeks, I've abandoned my quest to locate this fellow foreigner within the village...until two weeks ago.

There I was, walking home from work, and what should I hear, but the frightened sound of a small child screaming for his mother about the German. So, my ears perked up and my eyes did a quick swivel to finally put a face to this person. But, alas, I am the only one on the street. And, as I walked past the child, who was now clinging to his mother's dress in fear, I hear the kid say, "Does it speak Armenian?" to which the mother replied, "No, it speaks German." to which I replied, "Nice weather we have today." in Armenian...ah to be German. Nothing makes sense anymore. I advise to just give in to lunacy.

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