Yesterday for the first time in a month I heard Armenian in the street. The dus and duks were flying around; the hard sounds rolled right out into the street.
They didn’t look Armenian to me. Where were the pointy shoes? Where were the mullets? Where were the cigarettes?
But I heard it; my ears knew it before my heart did. There I was listening to Armenians. And the best part, I understood them. I walked right up and said, “Duk hay ek?” They said that they were indeed Armenians. They asked me if I was Armenian which to me felt like a small honor. I explained that I have lived in Armenia for two years, that I am a Peace Corps volunteer returned for surgery, that I had to stop them and speak some Armenian because I was afraid I’d lost that closeness with the language.
They were from Boston. They said it was such a pleasure to meet an American who speaks Armenian so well.
I told them that the pleasure was surely mine.