There are about six posts I want to write before we leave Armenia. This isn't one of them. There are four or five posts I've left uncompleted; this isn't one of those either.
So we have a compost pile.
Germans do compost piles, even more than Americans. Germans are enthusiastic gardeners and most are (by American standards) pretty green. Also, Germany's recycling laws are pretty stringent. If you're already sorting your garbage four ways, you might as well make it five.
Armenians, on the other hand, not only don't do compost piles but they deeply, profoundly, don't get them. What they see is making a pile of garbage in the yard. You can try to explain but, really, it just doesn't click.
Hence the following tiny but telling incident:
We have a cleaning lady, Zena. Comes three times a week. She's an older lady. Doesn't speak any English. Hard worker, but very set in her ways.
We've had a compost pile since we moved here. Nothing fancy. We sort out basic composting stuff -- apple cores, banana peels, old vegetables, stale bread. The usual composting rules apply: no meat (attracts critters), no dyes, not too much paper. We have a plastic bucket with a lid next to the kitchen garbage pail. About once a week Xena takes the bucket and empties it onto the compost pile in the yard.
Well, a while back the bucket broke. Don't know how, though I suspect small boys were involved. Anyway, it got a big crack in the bottom. Hard plastic, so no fixing it. Some of the compost is wet, so organic yucky stuff started oozing out of the bottom.
Solution: line the bucket with plastic bags. Simple, no? And that was fine for a while. Until one day Claudia happened to glance at the compost pile...
Zena had been neatly tying up each plastic bag and throwing it, whole, onto the pile.
That's all. I tore the bags open, liberating the variously fragrant contents onto the main pile. Whoever moves into the house next... well, if they move in soon enough they'll probably be horrified by the pile of garbage in the corner of the yard. By summer, though, it will just be a place where the grass grows taller and greener. Nobody will ever spread it over the rosebushes.
We'll miss our yard, composted or not. We'll miss this house! But that's a story for another post.