Friday, November 21, 2008

A taxi driver, after being satisfied that I wasn’t a spy or government worker, told me his thoughts about the situation in Armenia: “I’ll tell you why there’s no hope here,” he said. “If you’re an honest businessman, or politician, or singer, you have no hope here. They won’t let you get ahead. If you’re a good singer, they won’t even let you appear. The people running the show have things completely in their hands, politically and otherwise. Andranik Margaryan was in their way. What happened to him? A week before his planned trip to France for heart surgery, he dies. He liked to eat and drink…it would have been easy to poison him.”

The driver continued, angry about how an expensive jeep shot past us at a high speed: “See that? If I had run into him, within five minutes his friends would have shown up, destroyed me and my car, and nothing would be done about it. That’s the type in charge here now. And they’re the ones who are making decisions, ready to give everything back to the Turks in Karabagh. None of them went and fought in the war. You know what? Everything is already decided. I don’t care what the political pundits and others are saying, how wonderful it was, signing the same paper the Turks and Russians signed. They’re giving everything back, letting Turks back into Karabagh, you name it. And after we lost so many of our men, spilled so much blood. After the war, I was embarrassed I didn’t go. At the time, I was a Dashnak, and saw how many of my Dashnak friends had fought and died. But since then I found out too much, and left the party. I think Dashnaktsutyun stopped existing after 1918. I think they were involved in selling off our country, our land, way back then. Maybe that’s why they’re against the Turks opening their archives…they might be afraid the truth would come out.”

As I got out of the car, he wished me well, and said, “This is the only place I can live. I’ll go down with my country; I have no other.”

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