I learn to move safely, and with purpose. I jump from Mashrutka to Mashrutka, drive to the wrong places and turn around again. I follow my inner compass. I don't know the way and live with the resulting detours. I learn to move through the cars, learn where to look and what to pay attention to until I can deal with the noise without music on my ears.
I was sure Armenia would have a hard time living up to its neighbour's awesomeness. In fact, my interest in Armenia has grown slowly over my stay. Armenia is not easy for me to enjoy. I had a lot of negative experiences but always counterbalanced by mostly small but positive moments.
On Lake Sevan, I stay for exactly four hours. Then, I decide against my original plan and move on to Yerevan. Initially, I wanted to camp in the wild for two days, enjoy the spectacular sunrise and sunset, take time and breathe. Like I did in Georgia. I needed a break again.
In Dilijan, I speak with no one, do not react to the ubiquitous honking of the passing men and stomp into the national park. Only when a young wild black stallion crosses my path, nervously and with a respectful distance trying to avoid my gaze, something reconciles within me. I know, I know, there are good men everywhere in the world. I myself know plenty. But one rotten apple is enough to send me into a bottomless rage.
Anger. Every word in the following text is saturated with incomprehension and rage. Also, two weeks after I wrote it, I can still feel the anger fresh in my stomach. I leave this text as it is because this is part of travelling alone as a woman. However careful you are, travel long enough, and it will happen to you, too.
Alaverdi is a small town in northern Armenia. As soon as I step off the bus, I notice a different wind blowing. Everyone looks at me, and in a short time, four of the ten or so taxi drivers had asked me where I wanted to go.