They used to call me Russian Comy (Communist) in my US high school — Salinas High. It was in 1995, Armenia had been an independent country for 4 years and I was a proud citizen. Sadly, the big World Atlas on the wall of the government class didn’t know anything about the collapse of the USSR.
“Where are you from again?” was the usual question.
“Armenia,” I would answer.
“Romania?”they’d ask back. “Albania?”
“Hmm…. where’s that?”
At this point I would try to find it on the map.
“Ah, yeah! Russia! You’re from Russia!” they’d say with a knowing look…
I kept explaining, complaining, making unhappy faces… after the initial two-three attempts I stopped showing it on the map. Nothing worked. I was officially the Russian guy, very often — the Russian Comy.
I was traveling last week and every time I told someone about my country, they all knew exactly what it is and where it is. No, it is not Russia, it is not Romania or Albania.
It. Is. Armenia. My country! Proud, independent. And I love it that way!
Happy 26th Independence Day!