I’m not sure why I neglected to blog this until now. I blogged about other parts of the evening.
Back in Armenia my group went to a “traditional restaurant.” It was in the basement level of another building and although I no longer remember the name of the establishment is apparently quite famous. It’s a bit touristy, but it has enough character to make up for it — what with the medieval Armenian music and the heavy wooden seats and tables.
It’s also the restaurant where I had the rare pleasure of tasting sheep brain. It sounds pretty bad, but it tastes fine. Oh sure, it’s pretty weird. It has a texture somewhere between fish and jelly, but the taste wasn’t unpleasant. It mostly absorbed whatever you put on it, so mine tasted like lemon.
Minor faux pas before we left though. We ended up with a fair amount of leftovers, so we asked for a box. Except not really.
See, by that point in the evening we had interacted with no fewer than a half-dozen different waiters, servers, managers, etc. It’s one of those places where people buzz around your table, empty cups are refilled as soon as you place them down, and empty dishes disappear without you noticing. But all of these things happen in “drive-bys.” Some waiter passes by and something disappears or appears.
Asking for a box is something that requires stopping a waiter, but we weren’t sure who spoke English. It was decided, stupidly, to mime it and I was chosen — presumably for my superior charade skills — to do the miming. Someone caught a waiter’s attention and I started talking in English while making “box-like” motions.
I got as far as “Excuse me” when the waiter interrupted.
“Would you like a box?” he said in fantastic English.
“Yes please,” I said.
My table is roaring with laughter now. That waiter, a fairly young man, mounted the stairs, turned back and said, “I’m a very clever boy!” and took a little bow. We were still laughing when he returned with the box.