The temperature seems to be warming up now hovering at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit/21 degrees Celsius. Now that the spring rains are hopefully dying down, the latest storm having arrived last night, the cafés are all opening up in confidence, many of them swishier than ever. Every year despite the fact that during the month of April it for the most part rains constantly, there is fear that the apricots will be washed out. A few years back the crop was affected by an unusual amount of rain coupled with untimely freezing temperatures in some areas, effectively driving up the price of apricots by three times or more. I haven’t heard much concern so far, however, which means that people are not worried about it or no longer care one way or another. Spring brings heightened apathy it seems.
The political climate is pretty boring, even as we approach the parliamentary elections to be held on May 12. The Republican Party of Armenia is being very arrogant in its confidence that it will by far win the majority of seats. Prosperous
I have been trying to gear up for the elections hoping to participate as a monitor representing It’s Your Choice (www.iyc.am), as they were recruiting Diasporan Armenians especially for the task. However, despite having written to them several times and calling a line that no one seems to answer, I essentially gave up hopes of becoming one, especially when I went to an informational meeting that was cancelled at the last minute—an cancellation notification email wasn’t sent out and there wasn’t even a sign posted on the IYC office door alluding to the fact, which I found to be very odd. But I heard through the grapevine that all the monitor candidates had already been pre-selected amongst the Diasporan Armenian clique that lurks about here. And it seems that Transparency International is actually behind the monitoring program, not IYC, then personal connections also come into play, and so forth. Unfortunately I have never been part of the in-crowd in social circles, so no monitoring opportunities for me unless some kind of diplomatic miracle happens.
Exploring the regions hasn’t been possible in the last couple of weeks due to a mysterious short-circuit draining my Niva’s battery down completely over the course of 5-7 idle days. Since I drive on average about once a week, this situation has caused me some grief, especially on May Day when I was itching to leave the city on a gorgeous afternoon. I have been trying to use this car battery charger/air compressor that I bought over a year ago to give it a boost, but it seems I have to leave it connected for a few hours. Once I get the Niva running I will be off like a dart to an electrician I know who hopefully will diagnose and solve the problem. I met him a year ago when I had another power drain problem that no one could determine the root of except him—it turned out that one of the previous owners had installed an alternator for a Lada Zhiguli 2101, which is essentially a pure Fiat. Nivas use the same parts as the 2106, so there was definitely something screwy.
But so far, an overall dull, rainy spring. Hoping for some excitement soon enough.