The two big-fat-hippo backsides in Yerevan’s zoo

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I’m not a big fan of Yerevan’s zoo – the place stinks quite badly and some animals look really unhappy and dirty. Still, my son, absolutely loves the place and keeps asking to take him there again.

The fantastic photo above was made and posted to Facebook by a good friend – Hovhannnes Shoghikyan. The photo of the two big-fat-hippo-backsides captured in Yerevan’s zoo made me write this post – mostly to post this photo somewhere. Yep, these are some amazing hippopotamus butts right there!

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Speak of corruption… keep your money ready

I recently worked with “Banadzev” production company on a story related to corruption. I was presented there as a “young blogger” who “condemns” corruption – which I surely do.
Somehow it happened, that on the days when the program was broadcast I fell badly sick. Went to a hospital with diagnosis: “Hepatitis A”. An ugly illness, I tell you. Because this is an infection desease, it is covered by Armenia’s free health care system.
I went to the hospital and the nurses there said:  “Hey, your face looks familiar”. The other one recalled: “oh, you were on Public TV, speaking in that program about corruption.” “Yes”, I confessed, too sick to add anything more.
I was locked in the hospital for a couple of weeks and was cured more or less. The doctor came to me in the end. “Your illness is covered by the state,” she said. So you don’t have to pay for the cure, for the medication, “But you have to pay 20,000 AMD for the hospital staff.”
So I paid it. I didn’t get any receipt. So I understood – it was something you could describe with the word “corruption”. Still, I was too happy to be cured, to object.
In the end the doctor said: “I saw you on TV the other day speaking about corruption. Well done! You’re quite right! Corruption should be eliminated!” Continue reading “Speak of corruption… keep your money ready”

Armenia-Turkey: historic document is being signed, so what's the fuss?

The two-part document calling for normalization and regulating various aspects of Armenian-Turkish relations is being signed today in Zurich between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey. As a guarantor of the importance attached to the protocols, the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will attend the event, so will a number of other major figures.
The protocols can and are being criticized in Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, which is a sure sign, that the documents are indeed a result of compromise.
Meanwhile, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun), is living through a period of revitalization – the party is organizing protest actions, rallies not only in Armenia, but abroad. It was surely expected, that the party, which exists primarily for fulfilling the “Hay Dat”, Armenia’s call for justice against the Ottoman Empire, would be energized in the wake of signing the protocols. Meanwhile, the fashion in which ARF is protesting leads onlookers with the feeling, that the Dashnaks don’t believe in their protests themselves, but they just have to do it.
Frankly, I’m glad to know, they the ARF protests will have no impact, glad to know, that for once the monopolization of political power is going to render results and president Sarkissian with his Republican party will push forward with signing the deal. In fact, this is one of the rare cases, where I wholeheartedly welcome the policy the government is implementing.
PS: I’m having to go through a great amount of effort to write this entry, as I’m locked in the hospital with “Hepatitis A”, with nearly no access to internet. So, today, let’s become a little more optimistic and hope, that with signing of the protocols, something big and positive will indeed change in the Caucasus.

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