Notes From Hairenik
December 5, 2007
It’s starting to get cold here. Although I have natural gas providing near constant hot water on demand, the radiators that are still in place as leftover relics from the Soviet days do not work with a gas-powered heating system since it was never installed. In the old days a central boiler located in the rear of the building provided heat for the entire block. My landlord cut away all the steam pipes years ago and instead converted the radiators to work with electricity, so you fill the thing with water and simply plug in the radiator, which has a heating element inserted into the base of the unit. There are two such radiators in the house. I also have two portable oil-filled radiators that I bought when I was staying at my previous apartment on Nalbandyan Street. Since the makeshift radiator in the living room—or the “round room” as I call it since it is shaped like a half-circle— is on the fritz at the moment one of the portable radiators is doing the trick for the time being.

I still have yet to sell my Niva. It’s really time to move on. The only thing that is keeping me from selling it is waiting for the registration/title, known here as the “passport,” to be issued. Right now I am driving around with a temporary title laser printed on A4-sized copy paper folded into eighths and wedged into my wallet to prove that I own the thing in case someone asks. Unless I have the Niva’s passport I can’t sell it, although supposedly a guy from the Ararat region is interested—he checked it out a few weeks ago and gave the thumbs up. Now I am waiting for him to show me the green (or orange if he pays in dram). The passport is supposed to be ready by now, but I don’t want to trek all the way to the other side of town struggling through traffic and dodging cars who are in turn dodging potholes, only to hear the woman working in the office tell me to come the following week. So I am playing the waiting game; maybe I will risk going Saturday morning when there is generally less traffic on the road. We’ll see.

Politics is beefing up in anticipation of the presidential elections to be held in February. But since Armenian politics is boring for the moment anyway I won’t comment about it.

Working long hours to keep me occupied, about 12-14 hours a day spent away from home. Too bad I can’t spend more time there, I really love the place. Sunny, warm, inviting, relaxing, centrally located, user friendly—what more could you want? Everyone who visits feels like being home away from home, so it’s nice to have guests at ease when coming over. It has even been described as being “paradise.” The apartment is sort of like a club house in a way, with a secret membership. There is a secret password to get in, too.

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