Saturday, August 20, 2005

Armenia and the Armenian People

Although I haven't spoken to many Armenians, those that I have spoken to have been friendly and intelligent. Shop keepers have gone out of their way to help me, as have the staff at the Internet cafes that I frequent.

People here seem relaxed but slightly bored. They often seem to be waiting for something, but what that something may be is unclear.

Armenian women wear flashy clothes, with lots of jewelry. The men look smart by English standards. They wear dark shirts with dark trousers and leather shoes. Few wear sports gear.

Yerevan is very, very dusty. Dust is, I imagine, unavoidable in any dry country but I can't help thinking that the people in Yerevan make things worse for themselves by using cement and concrete at every possible opportunity, and leaving piles of rubble everywhere. In Eygpt, Turkey and Greece I often saw people sprinkling water on the streets to keep the dust down. It's a practise that doesn't seem to have caught on in Armenia yet.

Spending one's time wondering the streets of Yerevan would be extremely plesent, if it wasn't for the cars. Wherever one goes, regardless of the hour, one is plagued by traffic noise, air pollution and the constant threat of being run over while crossing the road. The streets are full of a wide variety of shops, many of which are of interest to the browser, although the concentration of beauty salons can be quite upsetting at times.

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