Friday, June 20, 2003

The following log I tried to log this morning at 8:10 AM but thanks to Armentel, I had no connection. Anyway, here it is.

I just woke up to go outside to enjoy the morning sun and as I stepped out on the balcony, rain started to pour down. Right now the sun is out and it's pouring.

I've noticed that these last few days, my lungs and eyes have been burning and think it has to do with pollution in the air. When we dove in on the 13th, I could smell the difference as we entered Yerevan.

I would attribute this pollution to the lack of electric transportation, an excessive amount of unregulated (in terms of omission) automobiles and probably factories and trash burning (which you can smell going on all the time, including right now under my window). We are now seeing one of the many effects of a mismanaged and improperly regulated country.

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Monte Melkonian's funeral and the final day of memorial gatherings.

In the morning, we went to Yeraplur, which is a cemetery where those who lost their lives in the war in Artsakh have been laid to rest.

At 7 PM we attended an event at Kino Moscow, which was sponsored by the defense ministry to honor Monte's life. It was followed by a stand-up banquette, that like the last banquette I attended given by a defense minister, I lost my appetite (and I was hungry).

One thing I noticed was the defense ministers body-guards and in particular this one that looked like this character who I think was called "Buford" from Mel Brooks movie "Blazing Saddles". I'm not short, but next to this guy I felt really small. Fortunately for me the look on his face which was the "I kill people" look, really didn't scare me as all I could think of was Buford eating beans in the movie and passing gas and I think he was actually smiling at me in a friendly way.

Anyway, we didn't stay until the banquette was over as I get the feeling that the Defense Minister's smile and bad teeth were frightening Seta's son, who kept telling me he wanted to go home and began to cry. It was okay with me as I was starving and want to go so I could get some non-offensive food in my stomach.

I got a call from my friend at the KGB yesterday with the information I requested about the car that ran us off the road on the 13th.

The car is registered to the mayor of Kapan (a city in Southern-Armenia). The address connected to the car is 5 Alec Manoogian Street and though the car was a purple Mitsubishi jeep, it's registered as being black (the first technical violation I can come up with).

I guess this is finally my opportunity to visit Kapan (which I've only done once and that was almost 10 years ago), at which time I'll do some sightseeing and pay a visit to the Mayor.

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