Thursday, August 05, 2004

Furniture Street becomes Casino Street 

It was a long and relatively uneventful flight to Yerevan. I have had problems getting my laptop connected at the hotel. But a young man just came to my room, did it his way rather than my way of hacking with scripts, and he had it done in five minutes. Local knowledge is a great thing. Regrettably, this is a modem line. I am so spoiled.

I arrived on the overnight flight that got here Weds. morning around 4:40am. Armenia is one of two countries to have electronic visas available, and I tried it. You have to copy the thing to paper and show it to the passport control people, but I did and next thing I know I'm stamped and on my way.

It used to be that the drive from Zvartnots airport to Yerevan center was on a road known as "Furniture Street" for all of the small furniture stores that lined the road. They are now gone. Garish lights guide you down the road past at least a kilometer of casinos, each with a bouncer and a hostess in front. At 5am. The government apparently tossed all the card shops out of Yerevan while I was away, and they went to the highway out of town instead. No word on where one now buys furniture.

Need to work right now. Back when I can.