Monday, November 10, 2003

I was going to go to Stepanagert this afternoon after having some repairs made on my car, but it took my mechanic a little bit longer than I was expecting to do the work.

As I was testing out the breaks to make sure that all the air was taken out of the lines, I drove on the main road and in the opposite direction came a jeep with it's high-beams on and practically drove over me figuring that the road must belong to him.

I turned back around and returned to my mechanic's shop and found the jeep parked there.

I walked up to the jeep to see who could be so important that they felt that it was okay to blind me with their lights and found that it was General Levon Yeranosyan, the guy that was written up on HETQ ONLINE (see my log of October 28, 2003) about how he is digging up and sell off our strategic pipes to Armenia and Iran even though according to the minister of defense no pipes are to leave Karabagh.

After saying hello, I asked him what was wrong with his band new Toyota Land Curser? He told me that it was some minor thing that was causing it to loose power and asked my mechanic to fix it. Fortunately my car was finished so he was able to help the General.

Outside my mechanic's shop was waiting a couple of youths heading to Stepanagert and asked me if they could have a ride? I agreed and at 7:30 we departed.

Not 5 kilometers out of Martuni the back drivers side wheel came off. Yes you heard it right, the darn thing just flew off!!! I brought the car to a grinding halt, with sparks flying as the brake disk dragged on the asphalt. To say the least I was not too happy since my mechanic had taken off all the tires on my car and put them back on while making repairs. We could not find the tire, but did recover 2 bolts.

As we were looking of the tire in the fields, General Levon came across us and asked what had happened? I told him and he said in a not to happy tone that the mechanic was unable to fix his car, resulting in him having to drive slowly to where he was going.

We mounted the spare tire and fortunately since my spare is not like the rest of the tires (alloy rims), it uses a shorter bolt which I have 5 of, so the lack of bolts was not a problem. We also checked the other 3 tires and found that the bolts on them were not completely tight. Not good, but thank goodness it was the rear left tire and not the right rear as the fuel pump and lines would have been damaged and who knows if the sparks could have ignited the car and if it has, it had almost 15 gallons of gas in it, which would have meant I would have been walking or worse.

We headed back to Martuni and found my mechanic who apologized. It's strange, but these things just don't seem to bother me, though I did half jokingly asked him if he no longer loved me? At his shop happened to be my summer tires, which I took one of them with me as a spare. He said that tomorrow morning he will go find the tire and fix whatever damage there may be.

We once again departed for Stepanagert and being that it was very foggy, I was not able to drive very fast, but none the less we caught up with General Levon, passed him and then I tried to keep him in eyesight just in case he broke down, but he was going way to slow for me, so I drove on.

On the way into Stepanagert though I was not in a talking mood and just wanted to listen to the sounds my car could make just in case something else could come loose, the youths who were both 20 years old stated to ask me where I live and where did I come from?

I was very short and vague in my answers and one of them asked me if I was a Dashnag? I guess he assumed this as a friend of mine recently gave me a cassette for my car that has a couple of pro-Dashnag songs on it and before the car had lost it's tire, I had it on and in fact for the first time tonight I noticed the words of Dashang being the best thing and so on.

After I denied being Dashang, I asked them what they were doing with their lives and they both said that they were learning to be auto mechanics.

I asked them if they had finished their time in the army and they said they didn't serve in the Army. I asked them why and one of them said that he has a bad heart. As he was saying this, the other one giggled a bit, so I asked the other what ails him and he said the same thing.

I asked them how much it cost them to get a doctor to give them a paper to state that they have bad hearts and they said the whole thing cost them only $2,000 each.

I asked them where they came up with that money and do they work or do their parents work? One of them said that his father works for the government in the Prime Minister's building (across the hall from the PM, last door on the right) and is named Samuel Hayeryan (I've heard this name before someplace and will asked tomorrow who this is?).

I asked them if war happened to break out, what would they do being that they have not had any formal training? They said that in high school they had some training and they will fight. I later asked someone else what they think and they said that those that will pay to not serve in our army will also be quick to pay to get a ticket to Russia if war breaks out. I guess it's hard to argue that since such things did happen in the early 90's.

I dropped the youths off and tended to my business, finishing at 11 PM, and making my way back to Martuni by 1 AM.

This was a long day that I wont be forgetting soon, though it seems that lately, once I write something, I soon forget it, especially the unpleasant things (I guess this is my natural defense to keeping sane).

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