21 years ago today, Bill and I got married at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. On that day, we had rain, a bitchy florist, a caterer who packed things up before my mother-in-law could say goodbye to us, a fainting spell from my father-in-law right before our vows, a photographer who took pictures of the fainting, and an unlucky visit from Aunt Flow. The good news is, our marriage is thriving regardless… and it will continue to thrive after today’s craziness, too.
This morning, I told Bill I thought it might be a good day to visit the Hrazdan Gorge, and maybe the Genocide Memorial. I used to live near T’sitsernakaberd (Genocide Memorial), which is close to the Gorge and has a nice park around it. When I lived here in the 90s, I used to walk through the Gorge somewhat regularly. At least when I lived near the Genocide Memorial, anyway. Maybe not so much during the first year.
Anyway, our hotel is also near the Gorge, but from Mashtots Avenue, which is in a different part of Yerevan from where I lived. I thought we could walk through there from Mashtots and work our way to the other side of the Gorge.
We went to breakfast, and things got off to a good start. The food and beverage manager noticed I speak some Armenian and asked me about it. I told her it was our anniversary and I had come back to Armenia after 26 years. She sent us a bottle of red wine as a congratulations. It was waiting for us after our weird day. Maybe we’ll enjoy it today.
After breakfast, we got on our way. All was fine until we started heading down the crumbling steps leading to the Gorge. There weren’t many people there. Suddenly, a man wearing sunglasses and a hat showed up. He was right behind us as we started to descend. It made me nervous, so we stopped to let him pass. He passed, went down to the bottom of the steps, and turned left. We waited to see if he would keep walking, but he soon turned the other way, and kind of loitered for awhile, as if to see if we were still coming. It seemed kind of sketchy, so I told Bill I didn’t think it was a good idea to go down there. He agreed, and we made our way back up the steps. Later, we noticed the guy who was following us also came back up the steps. He wasn’t subtle at all, and seemed to be up to no good.
The Gorge is also near the Yerevan and Ararat Brandy factories. I thought maybe we could go take tours or something, rather than walk through the Gorge. We headed over to the Ararat factory, but thanks to a faulty light at the crosswalk, we weren’t able to cross the street safely. The light would turn green for us, but cars were still spewing through the intersection. So we decided to walk toward the stadium. That was okay, until some guy pulled over and urinated in front of us. That’s nothing we haven’t seen before many times, but we never relish seeing it.
We walked for awhile along the Gorge. I thought maybe we could figure out a way to get to the Memorial. But there was construction going on, and the sidewalk kind of ended abruptly. It didn’t seem like a good idea to keep going. So we turned around and said hello to a couple of very sweet and friendly looking street dogs. Then we walked back up toward our hotel…
I should mention, something not having anything to do with Armenia also happened today. I got a rude comment on my latest video.
Some random asshole left this comment (copied and pasted exactly as he left it)…
Don’t give up your day job
Joke’s on him, of course. I don’t have a day job. Nevertheless, I left him this response.
Thanks for the hit! 😉 In your profile picture, it looks like you’re taking a dump. That must be where you do your best work.
🙂 I will never understand what compels people to leave rude comments for those they don’t even know, on things they don’t have to read or watch. Especially when they, themselves, aren’t exactly any great shakes. Fuckwad, here, barely has any content on his channel and has just six subscribers, so I don’t know what qualifies him to harass me on my channel. In any case, I hope he falls into an open manhole.
I was still kind of ruminating about that comment– and no, it’s not that I care about the guy’s opinion, or even that it ruined my day. I’m kind of proud of my zinger, after all. I guess I just don’t get the psychology of such a thing. If I don’t like someone’s video or post on social media, I simply keep scrolling. But some people like to shit on others, and I’m afraid that’s what happened today. He didn’t even downvote me or anything. Just left a crappy, stale, and lame comment for my video on my wedding anniversary. I guess his time on the toilet has led to a creative block that has kept him from coming up with more original insults toward strangers.
We ended up at a restaurant called The Garden. It wasn’t a bad experience, although the service was kind of inattentive. We didn’t care, as we were just having snacks and beer, in anticipation for tonight’s meal, which we expected would be good. After we went to The Garden, we went back to the Opera House to see if the guy who sold us art the other day was still there. He wasn’t, and Bill really needed to pee. Fortunately, there is a toilet near the Opera House now. It costs 100 dram and is worth every luma. The unsmiling woman who tends it keeps it super clean and stocked. It’s a handy place to know about if you’re ever near the Opera House in Yerevan and need to pee (or whatever else).
Our reservations were for 7:30 PM. As the time went on, I yawned a bit, and wasn’t really in the mood to go out. But since it was our anniversary, I put on makeup and a dress. I curled my hair… and I even shaved my underarms. Off we went, and the whole dinner experience was a disappointment from start to finish. They had to search for our reservation, and sat us next to the kitchen, which was loud, and put me in the line of heat from the kitchen and a draft from outside.
The sommelier was a bit oily, and upsold the wine to Bill, then went through an elaborate wine service. We ordered dinner, with the anticipation that we’d have dessert. But as we sat in the restaurant, I noticed people having wedding and anniversary celebrations. Even a waiter got a flaming dessert. I didn’t care so much about having a flaming dessert, but when we mentioned it was our anniversary, no one even wished us a good one. They were playing super loud music and setting cakes on fire for other people. Did I really shave my armpits for THIS?
And when I finally went to pour my own wine, because the wait staff was weeded (or fucking around), a young man suddenly raced over to me, grabbed the decanter from my hand, and poured the wine. Bill thought maybe he was afraid I’d break the decanter, but I think this was supposed to be his idea of “good service”. It was anything but, and I was extremely annoyed, especially when the guy poured the wine, but didn’t bother to clear the table of dirty dishes. I finally scraped my plate clean and moved it to the other side of the table, after he poured the last of the wine.
Adding to the chaos was the very loud music, later provided by a female singer and what sounded like backing tracks. She was a good singer, and the tracks weren’t terrible, but her singing made it impossible to have a conversation, and it was not a whole lot better than karaoke.
I finally said to Bill, “I’ve about had enough of this shit. Let’s get out of here and have dessert at our hotel.” So that’s what we did. Bill paid for dinner and we got the hell out of there. We went to the restaurant in our hotel, had lovely desserts, fine brandies, and listened to much better jazz music played by real musicians and another female singer (who seemed to be channeling Adele). The excellent staff at our hotel restaurant saved the evening, so we made a dinner reservation for tomorrow night.
We have two more nights here until we get up in the very wee hours of Sunday morning and head back to Germany. I think we will still enjoy the rest of our time in Armenia. It has, overall, been a magical trip. But today was definitely a bit weird…
On the other hand, no one died, no one got robbed or raped, and when I get home, I can make even more videos for people like the fuckhead who told me to “keep my day job.” Too bad that guy’s mama wasn’t, instead, working at her day job on the day he was conceived. 😉 And the people at the hotel restaurant really did help us save our weird ass anniversary.
Time to close this post. Got to go to bed. Here’s to 21 years. Tomorrow will be a better day.