Yerevan. Summer 2011. Some Observations

Yerevan. Summer 2011. Some Observations

Here are some old love-to-hate goodies and some new material on life and times in Yerevan, Armenia.

– Buffets! Pronounced “boof-fet” and not “buffay”, these are cafeteria-like eating joints. Maybe I had never come across them before for my own part, but they seem to be the latest thing. I have been to two, and there are doubtless more. They are generally inexpensive and the food is ready to be eaten on the spot. Convenient.

– Persian! There is a lot more Farsi to be seen and heard on the streets of Yerevan than ever before. I saw a random flyer stuck to a street light entirely in Persian, and those kiosks everywhere where one may pay utility bills or add money to one’s cellphone number are available in Farsi as well. Kheyli jaleb.

– The old roller-blading dude! Does anyone know his story? I don’t think I knew he existed until last summer. And here he is, randomly roller blading around, all over the place. I overheard him talking to a Far Eastern-looking person in English, and his language didn’t seem too broken – at least he had it in him to use certain choice words. Is he from around here? Bewildering.

– Chaghatsel es. Ha, eli, chaghatsel em. What is up with people in this country always mentioning the fact that one has gained weight? It isn’t really pleasant. I think it’s a misplaced sense of oushadroutiun dartsnel. I get it, you are concerned or at least interested in my well-being. But, please, don’t remind me that I look fat! Straitening. Ironically. :-)

– Square-cut asphalt. Who repairs roads as per quadrilaterals in the world? Who, I ask you? This has been a long-standing problem, as the folks who repair the roads demonstrate. Not what it’s cut out to be.

– The skvaznyak. I have never been able to understand the irrational fear that accompanies the people of Armenia when it comes to drafts. It is a fatal error, in the opinion of many, to find one’s self on the path of moving air. Somebody explained to me once that if one were wet or sweaty, then a draft might indeed cause a cold or something. But the skvaznyak! Would the skvaznyak be satisfied with a mere cold, I ask you? Check out And beware the skvaznyak.

– Cleansing aspersions. What is up with spreading water around for no reason? I know I have asked about this before, but it is still not khelki mod for me to accept that sprinkling water will either clean a place, or cool it down significantly, or make dust settle. This practice makes no sense to me. Whatever happened to mops and brooms?