Yesterday afternoon as I was walking down Melik Adamian Street -- which runs parallel to Nalbandyan Street -- behind the Government Building on Republic Square, I just happened to see some guy remove a small kangaroo -- I am assuming a joey -- out of his trunk and place it into the cargo space of a black security SUV, the kind with the alert lights on the roof. The animal’s feet were in a plastic burlap-like sack that had been fastened with what appeared to be heavy-duty twine. The kangaroo was alive and naturally seemed frightened.
It never surprises me just how bizarre things are in this country, that such a random event can be witnessed in the middle of the afternoon. I can’t say if the guy was transporting the animal on behalf of a minister or someone from the Republican party (perhaps a Republican minister in all likelihood) since their headquarters is conveniently located across the street. But it doesn’t change how indecent, indeed how immoral what I saw was.
I’m sure someone can make the argument that cruelty towards animals happens everywhere in the world, and it’s not unique to Armenia. But how obvious is it made elsewhere? They knew that someone would see them -- it wasn’t like I was pretending not to notice their shenanigans. I made sure I got a good look at the animal and how they were handling it. But they didn’t care, like it was a normal thing to transport a kangaroo in a security vehicle.
Then I started to wonder what they were going to do with it. It can’t be a new pet for someone’s kid because a kangaroo is not something you would have hopping around the house, and you would need a spacious back yard so the animal can get exercise. No, I realized that they -- whoever they are -- were most likely going to eat him.
I was thinking about that kangaroo all day long, trying to understand what it all meant, why was it necessary for a minister/someone close to a minister or whoever to need a kangaroo. Then I started to think about where the money came from to purchase that animal, most probably on the black market, and how that money had been misappropriated, since people in government have been skimming off the top of foreign assistance and loans for twenty years, the same money that is supposed to go into nation-building initiatives and to aiding citizens. Instead, part of it is likely going towards what is most definitely an illegally acquired kangaroo for someone’s kicks.
Whenever I try to convince myself not to be concerned about or surprised at the random absurdity I witness any longer, for my son’s benefit at least, I find myself being shocked again, left to wonder when Armenia will mature into a normally functioning society. Yesterday’s episode made it quite clear to me that I have a very, very long wait.
Labels: Personal Experiences, Social and Cultural, Thoughts and Musings