Internal Migration – Every Friday

You would only fully understand this post if you were born outside Yerevan. You see, everything in Armenia is concentrated in Yerevan: education, business, jobs, career.
Add to this the strength of traditional Armenian families, traditional Armenian parents, claiming that they won’t leave their father’s graves and move to that hell – called Yerevan and quite displeased with the fact that their sibling has decided to move to the capital after all that “they’ve done for her!!!”.
…and the final touch: mothers having high blood pressure or imitating heart attack because they miss the child away from home so much!!! The result is internal migration – every Friday evening, after close of business day.
4 years in Yerevan – and I’ve spent more time on the road Yerevan-Gyumri more time then in Church, all my life (OK, I’m not that religous, I admit ;)). 4 years in Yerevan – and I’ve read more books in the minibus, then I’ve done in my 5 years of University study! (Now that’s an impressive figure).
The travel is done in those minibuses – usually Russian GAZELs or Fords powered with natural gas. The sits are crammed together, making sure that each minibus takes 15 people at least x 1200 drams each. That means that with my 1,81 cm height and relatively long legs I can only fit on an aisle-sit, or suffer the consequences. Nobody’s ever heard of air-conditioning of course, and Armenians also have this ideofix, that drought from the open window can kill you, so its often a topic for arguments.
Nobody pays for kids, and kids rarely get a sit on their own. Sitting on the legs of the caring parents when its 36 degrees Celsius outside, and a little more inside the minibus can be a ‘HOT’ experience, so this little one in the photo decided, that he’d rather stand in the aisle.
All in all I’ve grown accustomed to those 2 hour trips to Gyumri on Friday evenings, with all these young faces going home to see Mom & Dad, only to come back Sunday evening or Monday with the FIRST minibus if they make it. Why not? Isn’t this life?

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant

1 Comment

  1. I have traveled back and forth between Spitak and Yerevan in marshrutkas so many times over the past seven years and the funny thing is, that I still enjoy the trip, despite the annoyances that come up occasionally and the almost always overfull marshrutkas. I love watching out the window and looking at the landscape, it’s always different. Time always flies on these trips.

Comments are closed.