Saturday, October 13, 2007

Same old things...

I’ve been quite lazy in writing impressions of life in Armenia and the main reason would have to be that married life presents itself with a whole new set of priorities and as much as I have to write about, much of the stuff I am exposed to outside of my family life are the same old things I’ve been writing about for the last 5 years. I’m not interested in sharing my family life with the world, so other than rehash, there really is not that much to write about.

Let me give you a quick rundown in what is going on in my world right now so you can see how much of it is similar to the past.

- Mayor elections in Artsakh are on Sunday. My wife’s uncle Artyom is running for a 4th time. It’s an interesting process that I am participating in for the first time. We have nightly meetings at Artyom’s election headquarters. I’m sure it’s a much more serious process in the West, but here for the most part we talk about who we think will vote for Artyom (this goes on for maybe 15 minutes), trying to get an idea of how many votes he will win by. For the rest of the night we drink tea and gossip. I’m thinking the reason we meet for so long is we have a “good reason” to stay out all night with the boys and avoid our wives (this is also why the women are not allowed into the headquarters and why my wife is so interested in what we do all night). I think the other reason we may meet so long is so the other candidates will think we are working away really hard on how to win and since I’m sure they have less votes to count and if they meet as long as we do, are consuming more tea and candy than we are. Since I'm the one to leave first to go home to my wife, since I'm not intersted in avoiding her, tonight I caught one of the opposition supporters outside our headquarters and it looked like he wanted to see what we were up to? After startling him, we engaged in small talk. He asked me when I going to give him a copy of pictures I’ve taken of him over the years (he is a former police chief and present day director of the local wine factory. He is also related to our present day Prime Minister, who is not intersted in Artyom winning since Artyom refuses to join the PM's political party)? I told Slavik I didn’t know about the old pictures, but we could take a picture together after Artyom wins. He said that he didn’t need a picture after such a sad event. We shook hands and he disappeared into the dark.

- I’ve had some transmission problems on my wife’s car that started right after I had it serviced on in Yerevan last week. It had me very concerned as I’m going to be selling her car and the people who worked on the car have told me that I’m in need of a new transmission. Nonetheless in a semi-crippled state, we drove the car back to Martuni, not understanding what was wrong with it. So after pulling my hair, my truck driver Lavrent comes along to look at the car and discovers that the transmission oil was just a little bit over the maximum level. He drained out ½ a liter of transmission oil and low and behold, the problem went away. Then I discover that Artyom, the Mayor, has a manual in Russian for Opel cars, which is what we have and in our model which has an automatic transmission, there is a sensor that if the oil is low or high, the transmission goes into a safety mode that you basically have to manually shift gears. I want to call the two mechanics in Yerevan who basically ripped me off in the tune of $300 for doing nothing and tell them how incompetent they are, but know that doing this will not change them, nor will it make me feel any better.

- I’m still building and there is no end in sight. Our house is still not finished. Our second house is still not finished. Though there is movement forward on the new factory building, I’m working on enquiring more commercial property to expand on the lot I already privatized earlier this year, which means I will end up starting to build more buildings. I guess I like construction projects to be never ending and to tell you the truth, it does not bother me a bit. The real problem is that when the end of building is near, for some reason I elect to expand it.

- I signed into an artist management contract with Nick, our talented musician. We are hopeful that within the next few months, we will sign into a contract with a major music group, which I already have solid contacts with and are ready to listen to Nick's demo. Of course when then happens, our lives will really change directions. If things materialize the way I think it will, life will have a little bit more variety. Of course I won’t give up human rights activism, and with some of my proceeds, I will hire a competent staff here in Martuni and Kashatagh to continue my work I won't have time to do. Depending on how successful Nick is, will determine how much more I can invest in development here.

- Life is changing for the better for me and my wife with the additional of a new life in the next couple of months. We are expecting our first child and are both very much looking forward to the joys of parenthood. These last few weeks I’ve been taking in and enjoying uninterrupted sleep full nights, knowing that in a couple of months all that will change. It will be interesting how I will change and once again be more forgiving to the environment around me. I remember this peaceful feeling 6 years ago when I cared for a newborn orphan for over 2 months, that my cousin adopted. With all the crap we see and experience on a daily basis, a much welcomed diversion will enter in our lives and from what I remember, the simple things through the eyes of a child, brings solitude and peace to ones soul. I’m sure looking forwards to the change. Of course this does not mean that I’m going to become mister nice guy, it just means that I’m going to be more relaxed while bad knocking people around, since I know that there is someone at home who needs me and will give me unconditional love.

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