Archive for December, 2006

Blogging and New Year

December 26, 2006

It’s snowing outdoors, it’s magnificent, everything white and clean…though more cars piled in a traffic jam in the streets…and more problems and “I hate New Year”s piled on the shoulders of this show-off nation with every drop of a snow-flake. In several days the New 2007 Year will knock at our doors and the same and well traditioned madness will start again, or rather it will continue with the same haste.

And here I remember my first post “Oof es nor tarin el” which I made at Onnik’s Oneworld Multimedia, hereinafter designating myself with one more synonym-blogger. Wow, it’s already a year that I’m blogging, not every day, not every week though, but well, at least I hope what I had to say was to some interest to anyone.

Funny thing, if not this New Year insanity probably I would never do my first steps and blog anything, as it was the main thing to force me leave all the tiresome New Year preparations at our place and release my complaints and thoughts by jotting them down, which Onnik welcomed at his blog. They say “Anything happens for reason”!

Yet, nothing has changed since last New Year, just with one exception that being superstitious some people probably will not have ham on their tables, as 2007 is a Year of Swine according to the Oriental Horoscope, think less pigs will be slaughtered this year, at least one good part of it (wish every year was pig’s year).
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Slovakian Memoirs

December 25, 2006

National Theatre of Bratislava

Before I’d start my trip someone said “This will be your first visit to Europe, albeit the small part of it”. Slovaks call their country “Heart of Europe” on the banks of the river Danube. Although Slovak Republic was established in 1993 after the Czechoslovak Federative republic split up and it joint the European Republic in May 2004.

What can I say? On the way from the airport to the hotel I was looking through the window of the car and asking myself “Where is Europe?”. No, I was not expecting a lady come out and say that she was the one who I was looking for. My anxiety was in the environment surrounding me which rather resembled something Russian. Yet, that was the beginning, when I hadn’t managed to see anything (I hope I won’t sound retarded).

The point of my visit was to participate in the NEEDS Domestic Observers Forum. The theme of the three day Forum was “The Use of IT in the Electoral process and the Implications for Election Observation Methodology”. The whole thing was really interesting and useful as me as a representative of “It’s Your Choice” NGO got very important information about the use of IT in electoral process and e-voting in general. But that’s not what I want to talk about now.

Most of the daytime we spent at the hotel’s conference hall, consequently I didn’t have much opportunity to see Bratislava by day. The first two days it was only at night when we’d go for dinner somewhere in the Old Town, some 15minutes walk from the hotel. And it was only on the third and forth days that I decided to wander alone in the city, without anyone rushing me to do this or go there.

Bratislava appeared to be really very small, especially the center, probably it’d take you about an hour walk to get from the center to one end of the city. The main center was very contrasting as one would see some old building neatly colored in different colors and with red tiled roof and a stunning glassy building right next to it. That reminded me of the central Yerevan in a way with it’s new stunning buildings not fitting into the image of Tamanian’s Yerevan. But things were not that bad in Bratislava, though I didn’t like the same Terranova and New-Yorker shops again in one of the central streets dissolving the image of the old town. Probably this is already becoming habitual for Terranova and such like shop’s, regardless of the countries themselves. The thing was that Bratislava had two centers, as I got it – the whole center which also included the Old Town in it. I saw those huge glassy buildings in the center in many places, and guess now they are customary for every country, and construction of new buildings were going in Bratislava center as well, but what really grasped my attention and deep respect was the Old Town preserved with all it’s details.
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Go for the Petition!

December 19, 2006

This is something that I tackled over not once and it requires definite attention from everyone’s part. We all know how traffic laws function in Armenia, i.e. there are no traffic rules at all and people do not feel secure and under the patronage of the government. And this results to accidents and death of people. It’s high time that we took over the situation and made a change by ourselves.

Read on the blogs over at Blogrel, Oneworld Multimedia, Life in Armenia.

Promote the petition by signing it here.

I don’t feel secure for those who I love and care, do you?

Safe and Sound!

December 19, 2006

It’s sooo pleasant to sleep in my own bed, was longing for it all these days I was away from home!!

Yeah, I’m back, safe and sound and not attacked by skinheads, also not a skinhead was suffered during my trip to Moscow, which could be the case if any 😉 Despite all the bad signs, to which now I start paying more attention than I used to, my plane didn’t crash, although I must admit that probably I lost half a kilogram during each 6 flights I had and God’s name on my lips I was praying for safe landing. Thanks God I’m back!

My impressions about … mmmm…everything I heard, saw and witnessed will come later when I really get some rest after unpacking my things and tidying up the mess at our place – result of my absence…!!! Can anything be done here without me!!??

By that time just to say in several words that the trip was killing tiresome mainly due to the problems I was encountering in every step. And probably that was the reason that I was thinking that I shouldn’t go to anywhere at all, or at least stay at whenever I was at the moment. First of all my Moscow-Prague-Bratislava-Prague-Moscow tickets weren’t delivered to me by DHL on time and they arrived only when I was already in Moscow and I had to get new tickets from the Czech Airlines in Moscow. Then I couldn’t get visa from Slovakian Embassy in Moscow as far as the agreement between two countries is different and for Armenians getting visa is far problematic than that for Russians or say Kirgizians for who it’s a matter of some 5 minutes. But luckily I got it on the last minute when I was already thinking that I’d miss the plane. On the way from Prague to Bratislava it was suddenly announced that they might pilot back to Prague due to bad foggy weather. But it landed after flying around some more 15 minutes. All the signs were against me!
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Trip to Slovakia

December 9, 2006

Got to make haste now as I’m leaving for Slovakia in several hours and haven’t packed my suitcase yet. The trip is full of promises albeit a bit tiresome and with obstacles on the least that I will leave for Moscow first, and come back to Moscow and stay several days before my flight to Yerevan, that is if I’m lucky and not beaten up by skinheads 😉 (shall I dye my hair and become blond? Naaay, won’t do the trick, I’m too Asian)

I am going to participate in a two day forum on details of which I’ll blog as soon as I’m back to Yerevan safe and sound. My impressions about my four day trip to Slovakia and four day trip to Moscow will not pass omit at that point.

Meanwhile, wish me God Speed!

End of my practice

December 5, 2006

As it was already a month that I was teaching English at one of Yerevan schools I was to have an open lesson as a conclusion to the teaching I carried out during the month. As far as the plan for their educational year included mostly lessons on Great Britain, I decided that it would be much preferable to cover something related to it and my choice stopped on the capital of Great Britain- London.

Pity that I was so much excited that I forgot to take pictures with my pupils. The only thing I can post is that of the poster.

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The lesson was entitled “Let’s have a walk in London” as the poster I made for the didactic method had the same title. Each pupil was given assignment to talk on the sightseeings, historical and architectural buildings of London. Two pupils announced the beginning of the lesson telling about Great Britain and its capital London which was the theme of the day. Six pupils presented a staged performance on how two Armenian guys who due to the circumstances found themselves in London ask a group of young Londoners to help them.
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Trained for the rule

December 1, 2006

It’s already about two weeks that van drivers try to stick to the newly executed traffic rule and stop exceptionally at the bus stops. But this certainly refers to the central Yerevan only, even on that not all the bus stops are defined yet.

Well, if compared with the image before this, it’s obvious that the change must serve to the better, as before the drivers would take passengers and drop them off at wherever they would like. Though I myself entered into some bickering with drivers who would refuse to stop at the place I wanted preferring to stop some 200 meters away bringing the argument that it was the bus stop, to which my argument always was that why did they take me from a non-bus stop then. If before the rule was for everyone I would obey without аny confrontation.

In the first two days of the execution of this rule, while the police cars were wandering in the central parts of the city shouting some incomprehensible sounds through their loud-speakers and giving orders to the mini-bus drivers as where to stop and where not, everything was in a mess. The passengers couldn’t understand why the buses weren’t stopping and why they had to run after them. The passengers in the buses couldn’t get why the drivers wouldn’t stop at the places they would ask. “What do they want from our lives?”, shouted a driver referring to the police. It was more than clear – they wanted to bring order. But…

The order was established to a certain extent only and not as it was expected.
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