“Why did they bring me here? Why? I felt so much better at home. I was lying in my tiny warm box feeling safe and protected. And oh, so happy was I when little Sophie took me out secretly and played with me with her sugary hands. I so much adored her tiny soft girly fingers. And how cared and loved I felt during the cotton bath that always followed Sophie’s playing. And here? I do not care an ounce about these admiring glances, I do not need the owner’s praises concerning my look and my value, which he always calls ITS PRICE. I don’t care about it! I feel so priceless here. Sitting here all day, surrounded by all kinds of jewelry just drives me mad! Of course, I admire the Welsh medallion, the Dutch lustrous earrings and the Australian pearl necklace. But they will never make me home, they will never replace Sophie’s loving smile and subtle hands. I want back home, I want Sophie’s rotund hands”– thought the aged ring, looking out of the vintage jewelry store’s window.
My special thanks to George and Konstantin for taking me to this incredible world
I’ve had a three-hour adventure at the miraculous land called Vernisaj today. Vernisaj is a bazaar in the center of our city. Every weekend sellers from all the parts of the country come to this place to sell EVERYTHING that can be BOUGHT! These, as a rule, are ancient handmade carpets, bags, paintings, ceramic pots and vases, books, animals, tools (from medical to mechanic), clothes, accessories, jewelry, national souvenirs and so on and so forth. Thus, if you have no plans on your weekend, Vernisaj is the right place to visit.
The sellers of Vernisaj made a deep impression on me! The prodigious ambition of selling their goods gifts them with a divine ability of speaking any language that is needed. I am serious! Just try to look at something, and you are sentenced to acquire all the information referring to that definite product in several languages. Each buyer is individually approached. By saying individually, I mean INDIVIDUALLY! The same product can change its aim, price, age and features from language to language and from customer to customer.
The buyers of Vernisaj seem very patriotic judging from the goods they sell. However, their patriotism disappears the moment they see a TOURIST. I really don’t want to sound too sarcastic and rude, but they HUNT for the tourists. Their mood, their attitude, the expression of their eyes and even their posture changes when a tourist approaches their territory. They torture the poor foreigner by demonstrating every single item at the store. Sometimes, the only salvation from the remorseless sellers is buying something.
Some sellers happen to be more shifty than the others. They organize tiny shows for the customers. One such entertainer was a man demonstrating the unbelievable features of a glass cutting tool. This reminded me of an American TV SHOP (that sells knives called Miracle Blade), when you can’t help admiring the incredibility of the product you are NEVER going to buy.
Another funny and enjoyable thing about this piece of Heaven called Vernisaj is the bargaining process. There is an unwritten law to “ALWAYS BARGAIN! THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOU’LL SUCCEED IS RATHER BIG!” The prices in Vernisaj are very flexible. You just need to follow some rules to make a good purchase:
- When you like something, don’t show your admiration immediately. This reduces your chances of buying it at a low price.
- After knowing the price, make a surprised face. This is always relevant, as the first price is always high. The seller will immediately tell you the second price.
- Offer him your price; do not forget to stay adequate
- He will disagree and will tell you the third price, which, as a rule, will not differ much from the one you offered and will suit you.
- The product is yours
If you are not planning to buy more products from that store, be quick to leave the place, once you get your purchase. Otherwise, you will be forced to learn what ELSE you could buy from the store.
As a lucky non-tourist I was able to stay in the shadow during my walk. It gave me the possibility to look around, enjoy the funny situations I witnessed, overhear the conversations of others and feel the colors and energy of my homeland.
P.S. I really liked this tiny land called Vernisaj and I really admired the energetic and ambitious “polyglots”. I wish them good luck in their business and I wish our Government provided better conditions for these people to work in.
I am twenty – one! Doesn’t it sound great? It really does to me! They say it is the best age one experiences! This is the age when you are not that old and already not a child! This is the age to act.
This is the age I act! I am twenty-one! While conceiving this I feel like doing everything: these words charge me with energy! I am twenty-one: there is no time to relax, no time to get bored, to frown, to get disappointed, to hesitate, to retire.
I am twenty -one! This is my time to live! This is my time to make steps, to get into the world, to claim my points, to establish my place on the Earth.
I am twenty-one! I am happy when the weather is gloomy and even happier when it’s sunny! I am twenty-one! I can sleep only two hours a night and be full of energy for the whole day! I can eat ice-cream in winter and wear a scarf in summer. I am twenty-one, and the time is never enough for me! I am twenty-one. I can choose a profession and change it the next day!
I am twenty-one! I like studying at the University, but feel humiliated when I am notified about my home tasks. That’s Ok! I am twenty-one!
I am twenty-one! I am a bright example of a new generation. I hardly come to an agreement with my parents but am always eager to claim them MY points! I protect my generation and criticize the elders! I have that right! I am twenty-one! I like announcing about my being an ADULT! This is the word I never fail to forget. I am twenty-one! I am so fond of being an adult!
Above being an adult I love the fact of my independence! This is the subject over which I can argue with everyone! I can talk about it for hours without a single sign of withdrawal! I am twenty-one! Protecting my independence is a must!
I am twenty-one! This is my time to see and experience everything, my time to travel, to get acquainted with the world.
I am twenty-one. I like discussing politics, economics, psychology and other spheres I am actually unaware of. I like spicing my speech with terms like “modernization” and “globalization” and thus feel wiser.
Indeed, I feel strong and wise! I get furious when called a child at home, University or at the workplace! I am not! I am already twenty-one!
I am twenty-one. I like being called “lady” instead of “girl”, “Madame” instead of “petite”, “Signorina” instead of “tipa” and “sweetheart” instead of “hey you”!
I am twenty-one! My mind is full of rolling thoughts and my heart is full of love!
I am twenty-one, and I that feels immense!
Let this not sound like a school composition “Autumn” to you… I am really eager to write about how this fall feels to me…
Though it’s already the middle of October, my heart welcomed the fall only today… Looking out of the window I started to admire the colors of the nature… the freshness and humidity of the air… I loved it! After the summer heat and dryness this fall seems like a blessing to me…
This fall is so different for me… This is the first fall I feel so full from inside… This is the first fall that makes me feel joy instead of melancholy… This is the first fall that gives me energy instead of boredom…
This fall is different… It makes me enjoy the dirty city I live in… Enjoy the company of the people surrounding me… Enjoy the rains that ruin my plans… Enjoy the short days and long nights… Enjoy the feeling of love… Yes, this fall is different…
They say spring is the time for renaissance… this fall feels like spring to me… They say summer is the light-hearted season… this fall seems like summer to me… They say winter is the holiday season…this fall seems like a holiday to me…
This fall is different… It’s not like the previous one…
This fall is different… I make it different… You make it different…
Yesterday was a very special day for me. I was in an Armenian university (let me avoid mentioning its name) as a student after a year of break. It was a kinda pleasant feeling to be a student again. But I was not insured from stresses and shocks.
Unfortunately I am one of the numerous linguists that have the fate to study among girls throughout all their student lives. I wonder why this specialty is preferred solely among the female sex… Well…that’s another topic of conversation…
Studying among girls is not just being surrounded by female students. It’s a torturing living among various perfumes, lipsticks, eye-shadows, high-heels, nail polishes, artificial hair, lingerie and boyfriend talks… a hell created by ladies in other words…
After spending an hour as a student at the Lady-Hell, I felt my head go round and my eyes hurt. Later the doctor told me I had managed to develop a lady-hell syndrome, which is also called cosmetic overdose.
What was most terrible among all the fancy dresses and red carpet makeup was the Fake Burberry worship. Each student had at least one accessory that had the Burberry checkered fabric. Sometimes I happened to see girls that had only one or two elements of a NON-BURBERRY fabric in their outfits. But the thing that finally struck me to death was the Burberry checkered napkin box on the dean-helper’s desk. “Dear me,” I thought, “I need a piece of this damn fabric to survive in this Burberry-oriented world”.
While thinking where to get the must-wear fabric from, I saw two girls going down the stairs. The caring friend was holding the other’s hand to support her in the extreme activity of walking down the stairs on the heels of about 20 centimeters. “But why?”, I thought? “Why do these girls choose to undergo such difficulties?”
This was the part of the pre-lesson shock. I also managed to have some in-class shakes. When we entered the auditorium, all the girls took out BIG notebooks from their TINIEST bags. I couldn’t believe my eyes. HOW DID THEY MANAGE TO DO SO??? Later I was told that it demanded years of experience, and which is more crucial, a strong wish. I also tried to strongly wish to put my notebook in my bag, but hurt my finger instead
Let me avoid the detailed talks about in-class make-up, in class-mirror time, in class-hair refreshing and in-class nail polishing. As I understood later, such things were inseparable from the lecture procedure.
Such are my first impressions about the Lady-Hell. That place gave me a possibility to laugh, cry, get angry, get surprised, feel isolated and feel proud, be ashamed and be indifferent. It also gave me possibility to represent you the “mysterious” world of the “mysterious misses”.
P.S. Don’t take everything too seriously but don’t forget that the post is based on real facts
In order to avoid strict professional definitions concerning the concept of business etiquette, let us just say that business etiquette is the way we behave ourselves at the office among our co-workers. Business etiquette is the way we dress, we walk, we speak, we eat, we smile and we use our body language.
Business etiquette is a rare topic of conversation in Armenia. We often treat our colleagues like we treat our relatives, sometimes by being rude or, what is worse, being too friendly with them . Very often we explain our behavior as natural and criticize the western countries for their “unnatural” behavior. STOP! Let us try to follow the business etiquette rules and stay natural simultaneously.
Here are some business etiquette tips that can be very helpful:
Remember that people make their first impression judging from your appearance, especially your outfit. The ones dressed in ironed shirts will always be treated with more respect and care. Try not to appear at the office dressed as if you are going to the beach or to a party. As for women, they shouldn’t wear aggressive makeup and wear too much jewelery. The office is not a place to show off. You should first feel comfortable in your outfit and should not be in the center of everyone’s attention.
The body language can be of highest importance at the workplace. Don’t overuse your hands and facial muscles while talking to your colleagues, to your boss or while making an important presentation. Even if you’re nervous and uncomfortable don’t show it to everyone. You should be treated with more respect and trust if you make impression of a confident man. For instance if you put your hands in your pockets and frown every single moment, you will make an impression of an unconfident man in front of the listeners.
If you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late. This really is true about the working etiquette. If you’ve got a meeting, be in place 3 minutes earlier. However, don’t be 15 minutes earlier. That’s not to the point either. When you’re working in a team and there’s mutual dependency among the team members, always be on time. Remember, you are a team player, don’t ruin others’ schedule.
4. Speech etiquette
While you’re making a discussion over an issue, try never to speak too much. Your colleagues may also have some opinions on the point. Always listen to all of them before making a final decision. Even if you think that the other’s suggestion is useless, never be rude and bring valuable arguments to prove him the opposite.
5. E-mail etiquette
While writing official e-mails stay official and to the point. Follow the e-mail writing rules. The receiver should not spend all his working time on trying to understand the issues you touched in the e-mail. Be simple, be short, be polite!
Keep your private affairs private. Don’t make them public. Don’t make all the conversations a topic of discussion for all the office members. Don’t discuss all the promises and hopes with everyone around. We are friendly and open nation, but we also should learn the business etiquette norms that are accepted in all the developed countries.
LISTEN!!! No matter you are talking to your boss or to your employee always listen to the end before claiming your points. Remember, you are not the one that have great ideas.
8. Never OVERCommunicate
While at the office, remember that you’re here for working and not having pleasant conversations with everyone around. Communicating to the colleagues is great, but never cross the line. Frankly, no one is interested in your personal affairs. Don’t bore your colleagues. Friendly talks are always needed and pleasant but know where to stop. You spend most of your day with your colleagues, it’s so easy to annoy them
9. Eating manners
We spend a great deal of time at the office and sometimes the lunch we have in the day is not enough for us. So we sometimes eat sitting right at our desks. That’s a normal and accepted thing in the offices. However, never forget that you are surrounded with many people who are working. Never eat smelly and noisy things in the room. Don’t annoy your colleagues. Besides, be extremely neat while eating at the desk. Your desk is your working area and not your kitchen table. If you can keep the office eating etiquette then BON APPETIT
10. Respect other’s cultures
In this century of globalizations we deal with so many people representing various cultures. Be attentive. Don’t hurt them. If you’re working at the office where there are people of different nationalities, get to know to their cultures not to make wrong steps. Sometimes you might do your best to please your colleague from other country and have the very opposite affect as a result. For instance, you might talk to your Armenian colleague keeping the distance of a meter, but while dealing with your German colleague don’t go too close, don’t enter his personal area. So, respect your colleague’s culture. Don’t make him Armenian, make him comfortable, instead:)
Following all the above mentioned points is of crucial importance. If you are a good specialist in your sphere but you don’t have a business etiquette elaborated for yourself, you decrease your chances of success to 50 percent.
The office is the place we spend most of our time! Let us make these hours pleasant and productive!
We bought tickets and entered the zoo area. We walked…..walked…..walked…..and walked a little more and were about to think that the zoo was desolate when some “nose caressing” muck smell greeted us warmly.
“We’re on the right way”,- assured George, and we continued our journey following the smell not to lose our way.
After a several-minute walk we finally found the animal cages. The first animals we saw were brown bears. There were four of them and they all looked very kind. I think it was one family with two parents and two kids. The kids were playing with each other, while the parents were looking at us with bored and tired eyes, as if saying: “Hey, why are you looking at us with such stupid smiles? We are bears, ordinary bears, nothing more”. So, hurt and totally ignored, we left the bears and went on to the next cage.
The next cage was populated with swans. They also didn’t show any interest towards our persons. Wanting to somehow have their attention we bought cookies and started to feed them. Suddenly all the swans swam to us and raised their long nice necks for a piece of cookie. Let me add that all the cages in the zoo had “DO NOT FEED” notices. However, when we asked the cookie seller whether we were allowed to feed them or not she said “Of course, you are allowed, my friends”. So we decided that the word of the seller was more powerful than some big notes in big red letters.
The next cage was the habitat of two huge angry tigers. They were very beautiful (as for George). For me it was hard to notice their beauty through all the dirt on them. They looked tired and extremely bored to me. Maybe they had even forgotten that they were tigers. Yes, the conditions had obviously killed the tiger instincts in these animals leaving solely the cat part in them.
Then we approached the area where the camels were living and intensively spitting. As for us, they were the funniest animals of the zoo. Their indifferent silly looks made us really happy. We did absolutely everything to drive them mad by imitating their spitting manners and making silly sounds. One of them really got angry and was about to spit on us, but we managed to run away laughing like two elvish children, having just done some devilry.
So, already in high spirits, we went to see the lions and spent the most part of our time in their company. The reason of our long visit was George’s decision of having a heart to heart conversation with the latters. Besides, he was not determined to leave the area until he witnessed a lion roar. Let me tell you that it’s not an easy thing to force a tired, sleepy and stubborn lion roar. However, the poor lion was unaware that we were even more stubborn. George started with pleasant compliments towards the wild creature asking him to show his teeth, afterwards, several minutes of “george-roar” followed, then he passed on to Mesrop Mashtots by reproducing the Armenian alphabet several times to find out on which sound the lion reacted. Mesrop Mashtots was also unhelpful in this. Then he again turned to “george-roar” method. This time I supported him with “alisa-cry-roar-laugh” sounds. I did my best to make the damn lion roar, and not because I wanted so much to see it, I was just eager to leave the lion zone:) In the end we decided to turn to the last possible variant of making the lions furious. We went several meters away from the cage, thoroughly concentrated and ran to them as fast as we could with all possible “george-alisa-roar-cry-shout-laugh” sounds. And what do you think??? One of the lions ROARED!!! YES! We did it!!! We won!!!
Very happy and satisfied with our victory against the king of the animals we then visited the fox, the scared and delicate deer, the ugly hyena, the funny raccoon, the pony horses, the sleeping Amazon crocodile, the lynx, the pride white tiger, the amazing peacocks, that didn’t even deign to open their tails even after a good portion of cookies, and the cage of the elephant. The elephant was already asleep, so we could just enjoy the elephant pictures on its habitat walls.
We didn’t have chance to see the rest of the animals, as some of them were already asleep and some others were inside the closed lodges because of the chilly and rainy weather.
P.S. I have done my best to introduce everything with humor, but, frankly speaking, it’s not funny at all. You should have seen the states of the poor animals. They shouldn’t be treated so inhumanly. They should be cleaned and fed properly and have bigger territories for living. If we want our children to go to the zoo and get to know to various animals we should make the best for these creatures. If our country is incapable of that, let us just manage without any zoo.