layers upon layers
‘That’s the nice thing about foreigners,’ said the fat woman who had stopped in at the corner shop, ‘they’re always willing to acknowledge you.’ She was, as the poet said, spherical, like a globe, rather bilious in her fur coat, and completely blocked the narrow square of floor between the door and the queue for the shop counter. Until that time I’d always heard the word ճանաչել in the sense of ‘to recognize’ or ‘to be acquainted with’, but as I was the foreigner thus commented upon, and as I had never seen this woman before in my life1 – though I had committed the error of making eye-contact, as she was blocking my way into the shop and I desperately needed yogurt2 – I was obliged to revise my understanding.
The shop keeper rolled her eyes, and rang up my yogurt.
- She was, I think, one of the many who come into town for New Year’s, either from the villages to purchase supplies, or from out-of-town to visit relatives. [↩]
- As one does. [↩]