One of the small disappointments in my life is that I’m not the kind of person who gets nicknames, at least not the kind that are said to my face. For a short time, a few people called me “KimTwin,” a reference to an outboard motor. I was 20 and would have preferred a nickname that you would give to Anais Nin, mysterious and bohemian.
Although I am not a nickname kind of person, I’ve been called many things during my travels. Each gave me a little insight about another culture, and provided a small thrill. Here are the ones I remember.
I went to Armenia because I thought it would be a good place to write — pleasant without a lot of tourist distractions. I expected to feel a special connection in Armenia. It is my ancestral homeland. I have wonderful memories of spirited gatherings with my Armenian family. And I believe in genetic memory, a physiological connection to our ancestors’ experiences.
It was pleasant and quiet as I expected. But I didn’t like Armenia so much.
About 100 years ago, thousands of Armenians left their homeland to escape the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks. Many fled to Syria and settled there. A hundred years later, some of their descendants are returning to Armenia to escape another war. Armen is one of them. Continue reading →
Newborn colt. His mama has the same haircut as many Armenian men.
The Armenian countryside is gorgeous. Rolling hills and highland valleys of farmland are framed by snow-topped Caucasus mountains. This week, I spent a couple of days on a tiny farm in a tiny community called Fantan, about an hour north of Yerevan. Continue reading →
Yerevan is a great place to hang out and write, which is what I came to do (mainly). I have a nice apartment that overlooks a park that is full of public art and lined with cafes. I love to go out walking through the city and, although Yerevan does not have world class tourist sites, there is always plenty to see. The weather at this time of year is perfect and the pace is nice. Continue reading →