Trippin' through Armenia
About coincidences, dreams which end up being real, first snow and getting back something I never knew that I lost it.
"Roll up your sleeves, we head out for winter I know. The nights will get colder.
And I'll make my bed-make sure I'm all fed and asleep. And wake when we're older."
-'Roll Up Your Sleeves', We Were Promised Jetpacks
"What if we stole the truck now?" I suggested for fun, sneaking through the window where the truckdriver was talking with some slaughters by the street. "C'mon it would be SO nice! We could go to Gyumri and Yerevan by truck!" Pierre acted like having a big steering wheel in his hands and pressing the horn. "And after the trip to Armenia we could take it to Rustavi and park it in our backyard- imagine: 'I am going to bazari,do you have the keys for the truck?'-'Noo, come on, I need it to go to the Scoutcentre today!'" In this moment the door opened again and the driver sat down in the cabin, where we had been waiting for him. I couldn't wait until he started the truck again and being shaked around from this place above of all other cars. There are this kind of moments when something is happening which is so far from all that you know that you feel like dreaming, and if I didn't had Pierre and Duba with me I wouldn't be sure about if it actually happened. I mean, my first hitchhike-experience was already very surprising (see my last Blog 'Trippin' through Georgia'), but this topped everything! If someone told me during my A-Levels that in not even half a year I will be sitting in a truck with two french boys on the way to Armenia, I would have laughed and declared him for mad. But here in Caucasus I feel like everything is possible-even being taken by a truck during hitchhiking.
"May your car burn!!" Pierre shouted in total exhaution, as another car passed by. After our first hitchhike-luck which lasted until the border to Armenia we had a difficult trip, changing the cars more than 10 times and waiting for long times by the street, as on a Thursday not many cars were passing by. We were still 50 Kilometers away from our aim Gyumri and it was getting cold with the sun setting behind the snowed under mountains. It was beautiful-the white tops of the us surrounding peaks were dressed in the last sunrays of the day and the only thing that reminded of civilization were a handfull of lights in the distance and one or two cars passing by every five minutes. And exactly that was the problem: no cars passing by. But as we had no other option except waiting for a car to finally take us, after maybe half an hour standing in the cold, waving to the cars someone finally took us, so we could get to Gyumri where we went to the first bar we could find to catch some internet. As the luck somehow was still on our side it was exactly the one where the other volunteers (we knew them from the On-Arrival-Training) waited for us. We were very tired but happy to see them again and we went to their favourite bar and tried something typical Armenian called Doo Doo-Shots, which is basically vodka, lemon, Tabasco and an olive. We couldn't stay for a long time, because I was very tired and I already fell asleep in the Taxi when we were going to the flat of Jozef and Martina, the volunteers who hosted us...
The next day I woke up and everything was plunged into white light from behind the curtains on the window of the room we were sleeping in. I removed them and I crowed happy like a child: "It's snowing, guys-it's snowing!!" Our trip couldn't get any better, I thought. Duba and Pierre were mumbling and slowly waking up meanwhile I was happily watching the snowflakes dancing infront of the window. The whole day we spent walking through the snow, enjoying the way how it uses to cover everything what may seem ugly or broken-this is why we experienced Gyumri as a winter-wonderland and not as other cities we saw during our trip so far.
We left it the day after, because we wanted to spend the weekend in Yerevan. We arrived in the early evening to the flat of Martin and Pawel-other EVS volunteers who hosted us. In the evening they invited a lot of people to their flat and we met a many youngsters from all Europe and also got to know many Armenians. After 12 o' clock we went to a club with Technomusic, something which I didn't hear for months as it's very new still in the Caucasus. There are some things which I only realize that I missed them when I finally have them back-and dancing to this kind of music was definetly one of them. I felt like having to absorb every second of the 4 hours we danced straight before we stumbled home with aching legs and feet, not used anymore to dance that much in one row. I fell asleep smiling, with the feeling of having gained something back without precisely knowing that I had lost it.
The sunday we seized for exploreing Yerevan. We went to a kind of big bazari called Gumi Shuka. It was very beautiful, but similar to the bazaris we have in Georgia. One thing about Georgia and Armenia is that they have a similar cuisine and both nations say that they invented the dishes. On this point I think I will better not take somebodys part, I am just a random foreigner and maybe it's better to stay out of this..!:D Our last night in Armenia we spent at the flat of one of Dubas friends from France. Her name was Eva and she kindly prepared an Armenian dish for us. After being very full we went to sleep early, as we had a long trip ahead the next day.
On monday I woke up to the sun rising behind the skyline of Yerevan which I could see through the window as Eva is living a bit outside of Yerevan. After buying some last things in the supermarket we took a Taxi to the outskirts where we wanted to start hitchhiking. You wont believe how happy we were when we finally passed the border to Georgia! We encountered the Passport-Control with a loud and happy 'GAMARJOBA, ROGOR KHAR??' as we felt like kind of coming home :D But after the border things got really difficult and it took a long time getting to Marneuli, the city where the truck left us the other time. So we stood there in Marneuli, tired and exhausted, with the thumbs up and when I saw a truck coming along on the street I was very close to turn around and go on walking, because we lost hope that another truck would take us again, but I still had the very tiny hope that maybe this one will stop, so I stopped and tried to look up to the cabin where I expected the driver sitting. And actually, yes, it stopped! We opened the door and we couldn't believe who was sitting there-the driver from the first time! He recognized us and we were all laughing as we got in and Pierre gave him a package of cigarretes. So our trip kind of ended like it started, with a lucky coincidence and a situation which afterwards feels like a dream, if there wasn't still the photo of Pierre smoking a cigarrette in the truck on my phone.