Friday, April 30, 2010

Just a normal day...

I went to visit my host mother, Ruzan, at her store today. She works at a place that is for the most part a butcher shop, but they also sell other food items and until recently were also selling gold jewelry. I once and a while stop by her store as it is on the way to the aftogayan where I catch mashrutkas to Yerevan. I came in and sat down while her and she boss, Armen, were grinding meat. I offered to put on some coffee for the three of us. While I was waiting for the little plita to heat up our teeny tiny cups of coffee, fresh meat was delivered to the store. I've never been too excited about buying meat in this country as you may see from the above photo. It usually sits around all day like this, sometimes on a piece of cardboard. Then, when you order it they chop it up on a large wooden block with an axe. My uncle is a butcher and I know how cutting meat is an art to be perfected. But here, you have to be careful when you eat meat because there are always shards of bone embedded in the flesh. Also, they aren't too concerned with sanitizing like we would with raw meat in America. They just wipe up the surface with a wet towel (no soap or bleach) and resume cutting on the same surface all day long, day after day.

This is an electric plita. Every store you walk into will have one of these hidden somewhere so the shop keepers can refuel with coffee periodically throughout the day.

Our mismatched cups and saucers waiting to be filled with the most tasty slow-cooked Armenian coffee. Armen was telling me that his coffee is so much tastier because it is prepared over low heat very slowly. mmm hmmm.

Later in the evening I returned home and told the events of my day to my landlady, Heriknaz. Their home is just a few meters from my front door. Its nice to be so close to a family, and also very amusing. Heriknaz is from the village Getap and, like many Armenians, has only traveled to a few places within the country. She is a very simple minded woman, but is always curious about what crazy American things I am up to at all times. He has asked me before if, when I had a horse, did I milk it? And, if I knew how to count Armenian money. 700 dram, do you know what 70o dram is?

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