Saturday, 15 September 2007

"...But Armenians aren't gay"

Here are some bits from very recent observations of Armenia by one bisexual foreigner who happened to know too many languages.

His first day impression of Yerevan was that "Both the men and the women here are HOT. Perhaps even HAWT. It's a bisexual dreamland, rendering the language well worth learning." While it is almost amusing to read of Armenia as 'bisexual paradise', I bet for locals, gay, bi or straight, it would be very hard to picture it as such. Not that I am rejecting the possibility or fact... It's just when we think of 'paradise', we think of something open, wide, filled with love and tolerance... may be a bit boring... I'd love to think of Armenians as 'hot'. Actually, when they are hot, they are HOT. The taste of unknown, risk and pretty much underground nature has its own appeal and thrill, but only for some time. When it's becoming a norm, it's becoming a serious pain in the ass... I'll stop myself here.

At the end of his trip, waiting for Yerevan -Paris transit flight, on the way to DC, he evidenced more typical, weird, at times painfully hilarious things:

"I entered the airport and passed through an interminable line to get to the ticket counter. After getting my boarding pass, I made my way to the checking line. I heard a voice calling out in Russian "Does anyone here speak English?" at which point I walked up and volunteered. I was then asked to interpret for an American male whom a border officer apparently needed to ask about his trip.

Here's the exchange that happened between them:

Russian border officer: What is your business in Armenia?
American flyer: I wasn't on business, I'm just here to visit my boyfriend.
Border officer: What do you mean by "boyfriend?"
American: My romantic partner. I'm gay.
Border officer: (Scrunching his face in fairly obvious disgust) But Armenians aren't gay.
American: Well, he's Armenian and gay.
Officer: (Proceeds to ask lots of invasive and personal questions.)

At this point I was positively LIVID. But he eventually let the American pass. He then turned to me, since I was next. He looked at my blue American passport and asked me why I spoke Russian, to which I replied that I learned it in my early teens in order to read Dostoyevsky and Pushkin. He refused to believe me (as if that were so fucking impossible!) and said that my passport looked fake (which, of course, it isn't.) I demanded that he tell me what, exactly, was fake about it and he got indignant, saying that I had no right to tell him how to do his job, and that I looked Georgian. He then asked me what my real name was (apparently because the name on the passport was too American-looking.) I said that I was prepared to stand there till judgement day while he ran whatever checks on my passport he deemed satisfactory. Oddly enough, he then simply snorted and tossed my passport back at me with a stamp through the booth, saying that it was my right to abandon my people if I wished. What a weird fuckwad.

If any of my readers familiar with the former USSR know why this happened, I'd be greatly indebted.

...The only saving grace was the voluptuous and flirtatious half-Iranian, half-Armenian flight attendant who spoke French with an accent to die for.)..."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well, i also heard in moscow that there aren't any gay russians...
Or else most straight people i knew there claimed they had NEVER met a gay person...hmmm...

this story doesn't surprise me although i don't really know how the situation is in Armenia. Police will still accost people that they think are gay in Russia and ask them lots of questions like that too. i know it happened to my flatmate and his friends...
Rhiannon. (just reading a few of your latest entries :) )