Wednesday, November 3, 2010

(Armenian) Amish Adventure

On Monday during my lesson with Lebron, we read a review of a reality show called "Amish in the City," where five Amish teenagers move in with five L.A. teenagers...and hilarity, culture shock, and miscommunications assumingly ensue. I tried to explain to Lebron what exactly the Amish way of life is - the religious aspect, the language and geographic location of Amish communities, the shunning of individuals who deviate from its tenets, the clothing and modesty issues, and the whole "no modern conveniences" thing. I even managed to work in a brief shout-out to my all-time favourite actor, Harrison Ford, and one of his best movies (in my opinion, although when is H-Ford ever in a bad movie, right?), Witness.

Exhibit A: the intense Harrison Ford face in full force. "It's not our way, John."
"It's MY way."

After doing what I thought had been a great job of pre-teaching "Amish," I asked Lebron if he understood the word now. He nodded. "Oh yes," he said confidently. "My father was Amish."

Seeing as how I had just run into his father backing out of their driveway in a fancy black BMW, and that Lebron has told me about his father's extensive business trips to Barcelona, I was fairly certain that Lebron Senior was not, in fact, Amish. The fact that we were studying English by IKEA-lamplight in a mansion and not by candlelight in a barn somewhere was another tip-off.

"Umm...are you sure?" I asked.

"Yes, yes." Lebron said. "My father was Amish. In Armenia. He grew up very poor, wears clothes like these people, had cows and chickens. Then he leave Armenia and he stop being Amish."

I bit my lip. "Okayyy...well, not really...the Amish usually live in the States, and speak Pennsylvania Dutch...and it's a religion..." My voice trailed off. Lebron looked at me in confusion. "No, no," he said. "You are wrong. My father was Armenian Amish." This was said with a note of finality, and with that I decided that maybe I should pick my battles. This was not one I could see myself winning, so I ceded to Lebron (much like the Timberwolves last night, hmm?)

Today being our next lesson, I brought in a clip of Weird Al's parody "Amish Paradise," and tried to point out the lack of Armenians in the music video. Still to no avail. Lebron is convinced his father was an Amish Armenian before coming to Russia, and in fact, I must admire his dogged belief in this, despite The Man (me as the English language teacher) telling him otherwise. It's a very Harrison Ford-esque quality, don't you think?


  1. lol mad props for being so resilient in trying to teach him what an Amish is. You just have an amazing knack for writing. 20 points 12 assists, an easy double double, Lebron just brushed his shoulders off after and sat on the bench in the last quarter haha

  2. Like your blog can you follow mine? I am on yours now.... us expat RU bloggers should stick together !!!

  3. Love the photo of HF. And what did Lebron think of Weird Al?

  4. Hi English man in Moscow! just checked out your blog and am now following it :) love the slideshow on flats to rent here!

  5. Hi Katie

    Hi I am with your mom...I think I have it!!!

  6. Hi Gramma...welcome to my blog! :) Miss you!