Showing posts from May, 2007

Letter 23: We buy a truckload of cement

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thank God the parliamentary elections went relatively well (better than the last election, improving like everything else in Armenia)… Thank God there is no war going on here… We still have quite a few problems to deal with though...

This morning, our neighbour Vartkes asked me how much I paid for a truckload of cement I bought directly from the factory last week. When I told him I paid 37000 drams per ton + 26000 for the transport, his reaction was: ‘Aynkan tangatsel e’ (It has gone up so much)! And he proceeded to blame ‘Doddy Gago’ for jacking-up the price after he bought the factory. (Doddy Gago is one of those oligarchs who made a quick buck buying-up everything when the Soviet Union collapsed. He is now reputed to be ‘Godfather’ to thousands of local Armenians.)

On May 10, I took 300,000 drams cash (about 1000 US$) out of the bank and rode with two young men in an old ‘Zil’ Soviet truck to the town of Ararat, normally a one hour trip across the Nakhicheva…