Saturday, July 19, 2003

This is not a good sign. Five logs in a row from me. Where are the other loggers?

Today was a full day of work and a trip to Stepanagert.

One of my many tasks included a visit to the main Artsakh bank to find out why they are charging so much for wire-transfers?

I met with the assistant director and told him that ever since they switched German banks, the service fees rocketed and equated almost 8% on my last transfer, compared to the 1.5% I was being charged before.

The assistant director gave me an alternative way of transferring funds which charges a flat $7.50 plus .5%. Why I was not given this option before is beyond me and I'll have to let our branch manager of the Martuni division of the bank know about it so others who are having money sent from abroad can enjoy this advantage.

I went to Rosa Myrig's house for dinner and after a nice conversation and tea, I stepped out on the porch to leave and was greeted by a bunch of grass hoppers who were attracted by the porch light.

Rosa Myrig and Hurant started to stomp them saying that tomorrow they will feed the critters to their turkey. Though I'm not into stepping on insects of any kind, I felt that bad karma will not come to me since it's not like we were killing for the sake of killing, we were doing it to feed the turkey.

As I walked home in the dark, I turned back a few times to watch the two of them running around the porch, smacking away.

In my e-mail today there was an announcement for a job opening that is right up my ally. The US Embassy is hiring a receptionist/security guard at the main gate.

I could picture myself greeting the visitors and doing my best to talk them out of leaving Armenia and encouraging then finding a reason to kick them off the compound.

One thing is for sure, whoever gets that job is going to be very busy, as according to some recent statistics released, the US Embassy has interviewed some 5 million people who applied for an exit visa from Armenia.

As for the math, it seems that there were quite a few people who were turned down and after the standard period of time, they once again applied.

As for the money spent for said interviews, that comes out to some $2.5 billion dollars of non-refundable service charges our people paid into that small embassy in Armenia.

Think about this one. By the US Embassy talking in $2.5 billion just on interviews, all the aid, loans and other services that the US government has "given us" were in fact paid for by our local population and the US tax-payers have in no way paid out anything to us. That also means that part of the Armenian Assembly's work has been to get the US government to give back some of the money it has shaken down our people for over the last decade.

After all this, we still owe them over $1 billion for "loans" that the World Bank knowingly gave to corrupt officials that we, the people, the ones expected to pay back said loans most probably didn't even benefit from.

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