Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Yesterday while in the internet cafe, I had the privilege to interact with some youths visiting Martuni from Yerevan.

Yerevan Youth 1(YY1): (speaking to Martuni Youth who was using computer): You mind if I use the headphones of your computer to listen to something?

Martuni Youth (MY): Will it effect what I'm doing?

YY1: No.

MY: Okay, go ahead.

Yerevan Youth 2 (YY2): Hey, don't get upset and what's with the nasty tone of voice (this question directed to MY)?!

MY: I didn't use a nasty tone.

YY2: Yes you did and it was uncalled for.

MY ignores YY2.

YY2: It's not like we asked you for something in that tone, so don't talk to us that way.

Ara: He didn't use a nasty tone and I thought it was a very normal tone.

YY2: I was not talking to you, I was talking to him!

Ara: Well I was talking to you and don't know what your problem is, but he was using a very normal tone when talking to you and as far as I can see, you are not using a normal tone with anyone.

YY2: No, his tone was not normal and I didn't care for it.

Ara: Well I found his tone to be normal.

MY: So where are you from (trying to change the subject to ease tentions)?

YY2: Gomidas [Yerevan].

MY: Are you in the Army?

YY2: No, just here on vacation.

MY: That's good.

YY2: Where are you from (asking me)?

Ara: America (I would have said Martuni, but I could already see that this guy was picking a fight with me and the "A" word always has a calming effect on such people).

YY2: America? I have relatives in Los Angeles.

Ara: That's nice.

So the youths of Gomidas lost interest and went outside.


What I've noticed is that the people of Martuni are very kind and warm to visitors and even when they are being attacked, it's as if they at first don't know they are under attack, since here in general, people don't bully each other here.

So here walks in these punks from the streets of Gomidas, Yerevan, looking for someone to start some kind of confrontation with and the Martuni youth was polite and when need be, ignored the antagonistic strangers.

Of course, the "American" has to always intervene and from the get go talks rudely to the street punks of Gomidas to put a stop to their "fun".

I guess one of the things I like about Martuni and after being in Yerevan for almost a month is that the people here are so much purer and a bit naive (in a nice way), than the street hardened youth from Yerevan.

For me, I felt the purity I cherish so much being under attack and for me to stand up to these guys who were clearly larger than me physically was not even something I had to consider. It also didn't hurt that the room was filled with muscle that in a fight would have defiantly sided with me.

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