Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, which is celebrating its year-anniversary this weekend. The group was created to fill the void left by Six Sentence Sunday, only Weekend Writing Warriors uses eight sentences.
This week’s snippet continues where we left off last week. In the Summer of 1941, Alina Petropashvili is on her way home from the bazaar in the Georgian neighborhood of Fereydunshahr, Iran, when a very beaten-up-looking man collapses and begins begging for food and water. Though it’s never been her habit to give to beggars, she makes an exception just this once. She goes back into the bazaar and gives him some water to start off.
“Thank you very much, K’albatoni. You’re a very kind lady. God should bless you.”
Alína looks through both of her bags. “If you’re very hungry, perhaps you shouldn’t eat so much food right away. Too much food makes you sick on an empty stomach. Bread or cheese wouldn’t be very good for you.” She pulls out some walnuts, cracks them with her hands, and sets them on the ground before him.
Batoni is the Georgian word for Sir or Mister. K’albatoni means Madame.
I chose Fereydan as the region where Alina and her Armenian friends settle after escaping the USSR because not only is it one of Iran’s many cities and towns with a big Armenian population, but it also has one of Iran’s highest concentrations of Georgians. It’s notable as the only place where the Georgian language is still used. The vast majority of Georgian-Iranians have long since only used Persian. Though since even Fereydan’s Georgians have become Muslim over the generations, Alina and her daughter Tamar have to go to an Armenian Orthodox church, which is close enough for hand grenades.