Generally speaking historical moments are not something you can plan your schedule around. They are things that happen unexpectedly and end up being so important they change the face of history and thus get written down for future generations to learn about. In April Armenians successfully changed the political picture of their country by collectively taking to the streets protesting against the government in a movement that was so peaceful it has come to be known as the “Velvet Revolution”. Today, as I write this, Armenians are voting in an early parliamentary election because the acting Prime Minister is seeking a stronger mandate in order to continue with the reforms. Between today’s election and the velvet revolution in April they celebrated 100 days of freedom and I was there to witness it.Continue reading “Armenia’s Velvet Revolution celebration and what to do when history happens around you.”
Once upon a time I was walking down the streets of Yerevan when my sandal broke. The sole had become partially unstuck – which made for some very awkward walking. But as I’m not Cinderella hence no magic spell was about to turn me into a pumpkin when the clock struck midnight the whole idea of running barefoot back “home” didn’t really appeal to me. Thus I shuffled along, slowly making my way back to the hostel where I had a pair of trainers waiting for me.
A few minutes later one of my friends remembered he had seen a cobbler nearby the previous day so instead of heading to the hostel we went in search of the cobbler. His “nearby” and my nearby weren’t the same – particularly as walking with a falling-apart-sandal was proving more annoying by the minute. Then, there he was. I pointed at my shoe, he pointed towards his chair. I sat, took of my sandal and handed it to him. He examined it, carefully cleaned it, glued it back together and handed it back. I used the universal sign for “how much do I owe you?” He replied with a smile and a universal sign for “nothing, it was my pleasure”.
P.S. With my shoe fixed, walking back to the hostel took less than 5 minutes. So yes, my friend had been right when he said nearby.
P.P.S. don’t know why I didn’t want to take my shoes off though, I’ve walked barefoot in NYC so why not Yerevan?
That I love markets is no secret. Why I love fresh produce ones even has a post all of its own. So it should come as no surprise that when I arrived in Yerevan I was delighted to hear there was an amazing one close by.
Actually, amazing doesn’t quite do it. A better word would be extraordinary or maybe spectacular? Anyways, it blew my mind. From the outside the building is nothing special but once you step through those front doors you enter a different world. One where dried fruits reign supreme. Continue reading “GUM Market in Yerevan”