Eavesdropping on other people’s conversations is not nice, I’m sure your mother told you so. But airports are full of conversations and interesting scenes and if you live the expat life and spend lots of time in airports, how do you avoid hearing what other people are talking about? I, Miss Footloose, have not been able to find a solution for this problem. So when at times I hear fascinating diatribes and discourses, such as in this earlier post, I
try not to feel guilty simply enjoy them. Here, for your possible entertainment, another little scene I witnessed a few years ago at Zvartnots Airport in Yerevan, Armenia.
“I’ll be happy to be home and get some real food,” the American woman says. She and her three friends are waiting for a flight to Paris, as am I. From what I’ve caught of their conversation I gather they’ve been on a vacation here in Armenia, have done the tourist thing, and are now on their way back to the US full of memories and stories. They’re a happy-looking tribe and apparently have had a good time. Except for the eating part, it seems.
Real food? I’m thinking. This is Armenia, not the land of processed much. The markets in the summer overflow with fruits plucked fresh from the trees and most meat is carved fresh from various animal carcasses. Wonderful bread of various kinds is available everywhere, fresh all day long.
“Well,” she says, catching herself, “I mean, you know, the food is good, but it’s all so fat! That barbecued meat is so fatty!”
I’ll give her that. The Armenians aren’t much into fat trimming, and fatty meat does well on the barbecue. Horovats, or barbecue, is an Armenian specialty and it’s delicious. It’s what’s done for parties and picnics. You can also buy it by the roadside, or from many barbecue shops in town for lunch or take it home for dinner if you don’t feel like cooking.
I’m wondering what the woman means with real food, and I am rather surprised to hear her complaint. What’s not real about Armenian food?
All three women are of generous proportion and possibly (I’m guessing here) not strangers to fat and sugar-laden American processed food, which, last I heard, is not real food. Just check the labels.
The three women commiserate, yes, they’d like to go back to their American diet. “What I really crave,” one of them says, “is a – - – ” Unfortunately whatever it is gets swallowed up in a crackling Armenian flight announcement so it is lost to me. I have to admit I would have loved to know, because I’m shamelessly curious.
Miss Real Food says she’s going to get some coffee. Her friends decline her offer to bring some back for them, and she wanders off to the coffee shop. She returns some time later, carrying a cup of java and a paper plate with an American-style doughnut on it, sticky white with powdered sugar.
“Look what I found!” she sings, and bites into it with relish. Her baby blue eyes widen with delight as she chews.
“This is so good!” she says.
I guess she found herself some real food.
* * *
What pearls of wisdom have you overheard in airports or other public places? I know there are some gems out there, so please hit that comment button and entertain me.