Notes From Hairenik
The Armenian Weekly recently published an article that I wrote about a gasoline vendor who is based in the Aresh district of Erebuni, Yerevan. Here's an excerpt:

Habajian has been filling gasoline since 1998. His business is registered with the government and he, like any small business owner, is obliged to pay taxes regularly.
A truck filled a tank in his garage that held one metric ton of gasoline at least once a week. The gasoline was then poured into 5 or 10-gallon water jugs to be transported to the front of the house and filled into vehicles.
Now, because of the latest in a string of lawsuits filed jointly by his immediate neighbors, Habajian loads the jugs in the trunk of an old Latvian hatchback that barely runs. He tells his customers who pull up in front of his garage to follow him 100 meters down the street, stopping in front of a tiny auto parts store where he fills as much gasoline as his clients need.
The issues with his neighbors began in February. When the authorities arrived to inform him of the complaints, he removed his gas tank. Subsequently, the media televised that the tank had been removed.
The government is required to inspect his premises for safety violations; yet despite protests from his neighbors, nothing dangerous was ever determined to have been transpiring while running his business.
Although owning an independent gasoline station in Armenia is indeed possible, the related operational costs and tax payments offset the advantages of running one. The overwhelming majority of cars are fueled by natural gas, which makes the volume of gasoline sales low by comparison.

You can read the entire article on the Weekly's web site.

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