Saturday, January 30, 2010


No matter how delicious the mango iced tea is, don't drink two or more large glasses on a full stomach. And don't have any of that garlicky focaccia and parmesan dipping oil with it, no matter how good that tastes. Just don't.

Don't drink any mango iced tea in Watertown, in particular. And especially avoid it after wandering in the Armenian Library and Museum of America (lace exhibit, ceramics exhibit, clothing exhibit, musical instrument exhibit... extremely graphic and emotional genocide exhibit).

Don't let that charming young server keep refilling your glass, no matter how enthusiastically she proves that she is Armenian, too (after your uncle flirtatiously disputes it) — by showing your table a tiny peek of the Armenian flag tattooed on her slender hip.

Later, when you are driving in the car, in Watertown, after drinking a vat of overly sweetened iced tea, you will realize just how exceptionally rough and potholed are the roads of that city. You will register each jarring bump in every fiber of your wretched innards. Finally, you'll come to Belmont, where the roads seem miraculously smooth in comparison. But by then, you will be sweating profusely and wishing you never heard of mangos or iced tea.

Yet you won't be able to feel a bit sorry for yourself because of what you just read in some of the museum's text labels and saw in unforgettable photos. You may not even be Armenian (I'm not). But sometimes, we are all Armenian. If you know what I mean.

I have found that the wiser path is to stick with ice water.

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