Sunday, June 06, 2010

Lettre 32: Gago and the watch

Yeghegnadzor, Saturday, June-05-10 When I first met Gago a few years back, he was in the middle of the street, directing traffic in downtown Yeghegnadzor. When Gago tried to tell me where to walk, I did not quite understand until some passers-by quietly explained that Gago was just a friendly soul who wandered the downtown area and meant no harm to anyone. I have since always enjoyed seeing him clown around, smiling and laughing with everybody. It is about a year ago that Gago approached me to say he needed a waterproof watch so that he could bathe with it on. I told him I would look for one and, if I found one, I would bring it to him. Every time I ran into Gago in downtown Yeghegnadzor, he reminded me about the watch, and when I returned to Armenia last March, he had not forgotten. When he saw me, he said: Bari Kaloust, im zhamatsouytsu our e? (Welcome back. Where is my watch?) I had brought an old watch from Ottawa and gave it to him. His eyes lit up. He quickly examined it and said with such sadness in his eyes: This is not water-proof… the water-proof ones have a tightening mechanism on the back. This simple man knew what he was talking about. Indeed, as I later learned, water-proof watches have grooves on the circle of the watch’s back cover which watchmakers use to unscrew the back and work on the watch when necessary. I apologized to Gago; I was sorry I did not have such a watch, and I had not considered it a priority to get a watch that he could bathe with. I suggested that all he had to do was take his watch off when he had a shower. He looked so sad and his beautiful smile faded from his face. The next time I saw him, I told him that I would write a letter from Armenia about him, and perhaps some generous person with a waterproof watch would donate it and I could bring it next time I came. Now Gago can’t wait for me to leave and come back . Every time I see him downtown he asks, are you not gone yet? So if anyone has such a watch to donate, please think about making “Gizh Gago” happy in Yeghegnadzor!

Antoine S. Terjanian
Went there to move mountains and keep hope lit

p.s. A generous Frenchman, has read this letter in English, and is sending a waterproof watch for Gago. Thank you.

p.p.s. If you think Armenians are happy, watch this skit in the Yerevan fruit & Veg market:

p.p.p.s. Remember the four candles: Peace, Faith, Love and Hope If the first three candles are extinguished, make sure you keep the fourth lit.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Letter 31: The Legend of Yeghegis (was revised - see 2011)

Yeghegnadzor, Sunday, April-25-10

see revised "Letter 33"
Antoine S. Terjanian
Went there to move mountains
To read all my letters from Armenia, click on

 Yeghegnadzor changed names several times. It was also named Migoyan (after Anastase Migoyan the former President of the USSR) and his statue is still standing in the middle of the town’s central park, but historically, it was known as ‘Yeghegik’ (little reed).