Istanbul Holiday

“A whole new world! (Don’t you dare close your eyes) | A hundred thousand things to see! (Hold your breath, it gets better)…“ As we sped down the thoroughfare on the pale yellow vespa, pedestrians before us darted here and there like tadpoles in a current. I was nervous we’d hit someone, terrified a harried taxi driver would run us over and exhilarated because I had … Continue reading Istanbul Holiday

ինչքան լեզու գիտես` այնքան մարդ ես:

I think it is no coincidence that I was placed with a host family by the name of Tonapetyan. Loosely translated into English, this surname means “celebratory chef.” If you’ve read even one of my blog posts, you already know: the people of Armenia, who have faced years of food shortage and tragedy, love eating and festivity. Im zarmika ko nman e! I said to … Continue reading ինչքան լեզու գիտես` այնքան մարդ ես:

Սառը, but Not Frozen

They said I’d miss fresh vegetables (which, naturally, I do.) They said I’d pine for daylight, and yes, I feel a little blue. They said the cold could reach such crazy negative degrees, that I might just trade my birthright for the scented summer breeze. They warned me to be careful, or I’d wipe out on the ice… I’ve now seen walkers plummet (not once, not … Continue reading Սառը, but Not Frozen

Shnorhavor Amen Or

Here in Hayastan, it’s customary to ring in the new year by piling the dining room with fruit, nuts, cheese, meat and an assortment of drinks. It excessive and extravagant and intended to entertain the scads of guests that will file in sporadically throughout the day, some with warning, some without. The richness of refreshments on the table is mirrored by the richness of relationships … Continue reading Shnorhavor Amen Or

Every Perfect Gift

“Some of the pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But now that the children actually stood looking at him they didn’t find it quite like that. He was so big, and so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also solemn…” “‘And now,’ said Father Christmas, ‘for your presents.’” … Continue reading Every Perfect Gift

Touch Base Soon, Tbilisi?

This year, I visited both Georgian capitals for the first time. It may go without saying, but Atlanta doesn’t hold a candle to Tbilisi. My trip began with several amusing transportation debacles reminiscent of prior European journeys. I had planned to leave on the Thursday night train from Gyumri, arriving in the Georgian capital on Friday morning with a full day ahead of me. Naturally, … Continue reading Touch Base Soon, Tbilisi?