8 days, 4 girls, 1 city.
Vacations are wonderful things, especially when you can go somewhere you’ve never been before. At least that’s the way I think.
Over New Year’s, I went to Prague, Czech Republic, with two other Peace Corps volunteers from Armenia, and a friend from back home in the U.S.A. This beautiful old city was a first for all four of us. But instead of learning a ton of stuff about Prague, I’m afraid that, unwittingly, Lori got a real sense of what life in Armenia is like, through unending comments from the rest of us.
“These buildings are so pretty!” “These streets are so clean!” “Oh, look! ……” “A MALL!” “Seriously? We all get our own menu?” “BURGERS!” “I can get a LARGE coffee?”
She probably also learned more Armenian than she ever imagined, because when we tried to communicate to someone speaking in Czech, we reverted to the one foreign language we knew well–Armenian. And sometimes, even when we were just talking amongst ourselves, Armenian words or phrases would just slip out. We just missed the tram? “Vochinch.” You agree with me? “Ha.” It’s raining outside? “Apsos.”
The weather was mild, there was no snow or ice on the ground, and our apartment was warm inside. There were people of many different nationalities walking around. Some of them were eating while they walked. No one stared at my blond hair, and tons of people were wearing crazier clothing than I was. It was liberating.
When you’ve lived without a lot of conveniences for so long, you forget what it was like to have it all. Everything was a novelty to the three of us.
The most exciting thing of all to me, though, was meltable cheese. My first expressed wish when we arrived in Prague was, “I want to buy cheese and melt it and eat it.”
We were renting an apartment for the week, which we had found through a website called Air BnB. Our aim was to buy groceries from the supermarket to cook at the apartment, which would hopefully save money on food in the long run. We bought groceries, including cheese. When we got back, everyone made sandwiches.
I melted my cheese on a piece of bread, and I ate it, savoring every single delicious bite.
It boded well for the rest of our trip.
Us three volunteers are finishing our service in Armenia this coming summer, and have been thinking about what we’ll do when we’re done with Peace Corps. We thought we’d take advantage of Lori’s extensive knowledge about the “real world.”
“Tell us what it’s like to live in the United States and have a steady, full-time job, and a real salary.”
“You have enough money to buy as much melty cheese as you want, and you can get it whenever you want to eat it.”
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