Notes From Hairenik
February 21, 2009
I'm leaving for Boston early tomorrow morning to help out with closing our family business. Seems with the devastating economic crisis no one wants jewelry any more. Customers have been drying up since the main attraction stores have closed shop. Now because of skyrocketing rental fees three chain restaurants are turning off the grills permanently. My mother has told me that Lexington center is a ghost town. If it wasn't for Starbucks, CVS and Peet's Coffee no one would bother to go there. Even bank customers are few and far between since they're undoubtedly taking advantage of online banking.

Getting away will let me breathe some fresh air at least. Two weeks ago I started to feel tepid attitude fatigue. The all-around crabbiness, subtle rudeness and sarcasm as symptoms of the "vochinch" syndrome grate on the nerves. Everyone seems to be discontent in some way about something, save for close friends and dear ones near me. Maybe it's the cold that's bugging them. In the summer it will be the heat. There's always an excuse for bad behavior.

The rudeness I encounter rather frequently is contagious. You go to the store to buy something and are met by a clerk with a disgusted look asking, "What do you want?" Even when you tell them they find a way to continue being rude. Eventually I crack and respond rudely in kind before finally walking away without purchasing anything. It's a viscous circle. And it's long ago become too much to take.

But I can't say that such a scenario takes place on a daily basis. Some people are surely more polite than others. Nevertheless, you can grow weary of the bantering and bickering. They make it easy for you to engage them so you become miserable too. I've found that sometimes its best to stay home or go to a supermarket where you can pick and choose for yourself and pay for the stuff, barely talking to anyone in the process. Armenian logic is also maddening.

Back when I was in love with everyone and everything in Armenia I found the arguing and rudeness charming. It didn't bother me in the slightest. Four and a half years later I feel worn down. Even the crass behavior of some Bostonians is no match for that of Armenians. They're something else.

There will most likely be something in the news that I'll want to comment about during the next two weeks. The anniversary of the March 1, 2008 tragic events is fast approaching. Although I thankfully won't be here for the protests and rallies scheduled to take place in front of the Matenadaran, I'll most likely write something about it all here.

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Blogger Ani said...
Unfortunately, the Depression is both economic and psychological. If you find anybody chipper in Lexington, let us know (unless they're Hare Krishnas...). And pretty soon, we might all have to be Hare Krishnas, they live really cheaply.

I think if that World Happiness Index poll was taken today, the bar would be so low that one couldn't even read the results (remember, Iceland was the happiest country then! And now, they haven't an economy at all).

Anyway, the mood sounds especially sour in Yerevan, so at least you'll get a change of scenery. Bon voyage!

Anonymous Dr.Raffi said...
Dear Garo...
how nice is your article,teastey...and full of sadness!!!
me too escaped from Armenia...and Armenians of strang world and strang peoples!!
but at least you know they are strangeres and not Armenians...