Archive for August, 2006

Hey, policeman, where’s your stick ?!

August 31, 2006

Our car stops at a busy intersection some 100 meters away from Garegin Njdeh Square in Yerord Mas. The traffic lights do not work. The cars are near to fling over. The drivers do not want to make way for each other. Everyone steps on the gas and almost overrunning each other slow down causing a major pile up. Fortunately we are able to pull up in time and not to run those vehicles. After some attempts to move to the right or to the left, being at bay and already mad of the loud noise of signals, we finally struggle forward.

The car has hardly passed 100 meters and we notice a police car in a nook of the main street, so that the cars coming against can’t notice them from the distance. Certainly they are stopping the angry drivers who are racing along at top speed just having been caught in a traffic congestion and late of their work. And certainly the easiest way to get rid of those policemen is to pay 1000 dram which is not the price of the fine, but that of the bribe.
As we pass by, I say that I’d like to warn the policemen that there’s a problem with traffic lights at the intersection of which probably they are not aware, so that they have better practice their stick there giving directions to the drivers. “We are already late of our meeting, secondly, do you really think they don’t know about it, then why have they chosen exactly this place for settling down? There’s a point there: more productive way to take bribe”,- said my mum. Well, she knows better, I’m not a driver. But I still hoped that they don’t know about the problem.

The next day our car reaches the same intersection. The lights do not work again. The same messy situating. We are all but run by a lorry, but thanks God, we survive again. Now I admit that it was naive not to take my mum’s words for granted. No police car this time. So I suppose thе traffic lights haven’t been working for a long time and no one cares a dime.

The same day. I’m in a van which is driving up Tigran Mets Street.

Part of the carriageway is restricted into single lane working because of repairs and resurfacing causing another traffic congestion. It takes the driver 15 minutes to reach G.U.M. market where the situation is even worse because of another intersection. While the van slowly tries to fight its way and while the passengers make sounds of fear, I look through the window where on the sidewalk two policemen are arguing with one of the car drivers instead again demonstrating their skills with their sticks. More ten minutes and getting over the risk of being run by other cars the passengers take deep breath.

f the policemen do not bother to lift their sticks except bribery cases, isn’t it better to give it to those who at least will try to lift it in cases like these? Oh, yeah, I forgot, other cases are not lucrative, as the drivers for who they clean the way won’t pay them 1000 dram for their service.

A suggestion – let the motorway patrol be taken to a magician for gaining practice. At least the latter knows how to work their sticks.

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And there’s a village life

August 24, 2006

 

I took a long recess…

Well, well, I’m back. As I wrote in one of my blogs the only thing which has  been occupying my mind recently was to escape from the city to a village for several days. And I managed!!! As soon as my friend mentioned about her grandma’s house in Hanqavan I was already ready to pack my things and start off. Don’t want to tell how we got there, though to mention that we changed several buses in which all people were packed like herrings in a tin, and pungent odour in the air making it heavier and foul. And those were the signs to predict that village life had a start right from that bus.

Beautiful hills with fir-trees here and there, fresh air, meditating silence suddenly interrupted by sounds of animals and popping of the bus engine which dropped us off at feet of the village. Akhundov is the Turkish name for the village as once it was inhabited by Turks, later it was renamed and got an Armenian name Pyunik, but so far people call it by its old name. It is not exactly in Hanqavan, but two villages away. A narrow street, I mean that made of stone, soil and mud and animal sediment, which led up the hill. Little cozy houses with big gardens on both sides of it. Special smell of animals usual only for villages. While I was inhaling that air eagerly my friend hold her breath, she was not used to it. Her grandma’s house was nearly the last one up the hill. By the time we reached the place all the neighbor villagers were already aware that people from Yerevan had come and they were peeping out from behind their gates and garden fences. (more…)

Patients are “having parties” every day…

August 14, 2006

On mentioning Proshyan street,one usually grasps barbeque and kebab street. Poor Armenian writer Proshyan would never ever in his worst nightmares figure out that  his name would be associated with barbeques and feast, especially while he was writing his famous “Bread Problem ”.   Long narrow street with restaurants and “korovatsanot”s on the both sides. But it is not only luxurious and expensive restaurants of oligarchs that find their place on that street. Right behind those restaurants parallel to the main street Hospital N3 is situated. I think the image is distinct: row of restaurants and a hospital standing lonely  among them. I hope you guess what I’m hinting to. No, It is not about the medical system that I’m going to discuss now, which is as lousy  as any other sphere in
Armenia, though it considers more thorough observation.

Recently I went to that hospital to visit a relative. She was taken to the hospital after   she was all but made to sign a paper  at  the hospital  in Nork stating that the doctors were not responsible for her life, though it was just an appendicitis operation, but her state was aggravated when she called an ambulance and they gave an enema thinking that she had nothing but stomach ache, thus making the situation worse.

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Start with yourself

August 13, 2006

The following words were written on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the Crypts of Westminster Abbey: 

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.  But it, too, seemed immovable.  As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.  And now as I lie on my deathbed. I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.                                                                                                                           Anonymous

Khaghoghorhneq – Grape Blessing

August 13, 2006

It is “Khaghoghorhneq” today (“Grape Blessing”, gush, how difficult it is to type that word in English letters!) The church celebrates it together with Saint Mary’s Day. href=”http://www.armenianchurch.net/worship/mary/assumption.html”>The Armenian church gives the origin of the holiday.

Blessing of the Grapes is one of the most beloved ceremonies in the Armenian Church calendar. Most of us would recall people who refuse to eat grapes until the fruit is “officially” sanctified by the local clergyman.

[…]

Grapes do have a certain symbolic significance in Christianity (think of all the references which Jesus made to wine and “the vine and the branch”, references which are still repeated in the Divine Liturgy.
[…]

The occasion on which we celebrate the blessing of grapes is a major feast day called “Assumption of the Holy Mother-of-God” and it too, underscores a wonderful insight unique to Christianity. The story of assumption concerns St. Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and ho having completed her life on earth, she was taken up in body and soul—“assumed”—into Heaven. This was a special courtesy, performed by Christ many years after his Ascension, as a loving tribute to the mother who bore and raised him.

Just to say that every year we used to go to the Surb Mariam Astvatsatsin Church at Nork-Marash on foot, and it usually took more than two hours from my place. I didn’t go this year but I don’t mind eating the blessed grapes my folks brought from the church. Not that they are blessed and I expect to be blessed as well, just I sort of felt I want to eat nothing but grapes today. So I’m cutting this short and getting to eating more, hope I won’t have problems by the evening 😉

“Hay Lao” and how we sang

August 10, 2006

Some time ago a friend SMSed me asking to sing  backing vocals  for his song, as he wanted to have it recorded. At first I thought he is kidding, never knew that he sang, but got more surprised to know that he also composes his own music, although I knew that he also writes poems in Russian and Italian. He gave me his book, well, the poems are too lyrical for me, but they are nice if you are a romantic person. The book is called “I’m still breathing”. Liked this one most of all. (more…)

International Day of Peace

August 2, 2006

Every year on September 21st thousands of people worldwide celebrate International Day of Peace . This holiday was established in 1981 by a Resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to concentrate the efforts of UNO in promoting the ideals of peace as well as to show how the solidary actions of people worldwide may have positive impacts on establishing Peace in the World.

In establishing the International Day of Peace, the United Nations General Assembly decided that it would be appropriate:

“to devote a specific time to concentrate the efforts of the United Nations and its Member States, as well as of the whole of mankind, to promoting the ideals of peace and to giving positive evidence of their commitment to peace in all viable ways… (The International Day of Peace) should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

” This will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our Organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the Organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace. May this Peace Day indeed be a day of peace.”

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