Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kitchen Democracy

A couple of months ago, my two male site mates wowed my family by cleaned up after the Mac & Cheese Off.

Well, maybe “wowed” is the wrong word, but they definitely befuddled.

After cleaning the dishes, Donny and Josh explained that in America, there is the old adage “You cook, I’ll clean.” At first, my host bros were unimpressed. In Azerbaijan, it’s rare to see anyone act outside gender roles. No matter how much I tried to get my host bros to wash the dinner dishes, I encountered resistance.

That’s why, three weeks ago I was struck speechless when my youngest host brother told me I was washing the dishes wrong and pushed me out of the way. He pulled up a chair and attacked the dishes with a single mindedness I have come to appreciate.Even more astonishing, he did it several days in a row (much to the kudos of both his mom and myself).

Hmm. This cultural exchange thing isn’t so hard.