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[personal profile] peacetraveler22
There are some men on the planet who immediately consider women intellectually inferior, even before one word has been exchanged. I had this experience recently, and it really enraged on multiple levels. It reminded me also that I never wrote about my experience in Armenia, where I traveled for a few days in March.  Armenia is full of Armenians - and really no one else. It is a mono-ethnic culture, and this is apparent when you begin to roam the streets as a foreign woman. My hair at that time was lighter, almost blonde, and to my surprise this rendered me a sort of "exotic" creature in a way I have never experienced in any travels.

When I first visited the Caucasus' last October, I traveled all over Georgia with a man. Even in Tbilisi, I was almost always walking in the city with a native male. But in March, it was different. I hopped in the car with a Georgian woman, a real explorer by nature, and we took a road trip to Yerevan. Her appearance more closely resembles a European or American female. We are both "older" by regional standards - 44 and 32, and ordinary women, not dressed in any way to lure gazing eyes. I could hardly imagine the attention two foreign women would draw...on the road, at gas stations, through the border crossing, everywhere! The manner in which local men behaved can be described in one word - cavemen. :)I don't even know how to express the sense of "macho" that overwhelmed us during this journey. It was just a feeling, a sort of primal male behavior that was completely foreign to me as an American woman. At times, it was nice, and other times infuriating. :) Everywhere, we were looked at as aliens. Two women driving off-road, buying car insurance at the border, riding a ski lift with no skis - which was the case at Tsaghkadzor - a well-known ski resort where the cover photo was taken. I think the local men could not understand what the hell we were doing, and how we managed to operate a vehicle, park and navigate the roads on our own.

It is simply human nature to notice and inspect anything different. Small variances outside the norm are more easily noticed in a place like Armenia, where diversity is at a minimum. And these deviations include humans - especially women who look nothing like most local females when it comes to hair color, stature and overall body frame. I understand the curiosity to "inspect", I do it myself on occasion, even in a country like America where diversity has reached epic levels.

I remember once arguing with my old travel partner when he told me there is no difference between men and women traveling alone. Of course, the difference is quite huge in some regions, and I would call Armenia one of them. Georgia also, but to a lesser extent. There is no feeling of being unsafe in this region at all, and what became most clear is that all of this "macho" behavior - it is simply an exterior show of bravado. When the men became too aggressive, or too bossy, a simple "FUCK YOU" in English was enough to make them run away. Young and old. This phrase seems to be understood on every corner of the globe. :)

I think, quite honestly, that some females would relish all this attention, or travel to the region with the hope of having some hot, passionate fling with one of these local Romeos. They can be charming at first glance, and if you're a woman into sex tourism, this part of the world might be desirable. :)) You will have no problem finding hot young men to shower you with attention, sex, cheap wine, endless compliments...many things - for all the wrong reasons, in my view. I think there are plenty of good men in Armenia, as everywhere, but there are definitive cultural distinctions in gender behaviors that would be noticeable to almost anyone from the West. Depending on perspective, this could be good or bad.

Georgia and Armenia - these countries stirred very different impressions inside me. Armenia is much more rugged, wild and untamed based on my experience. Also more reminiscent of Soviet style when comparing Yerevan to Tbilisi. Somehow my soul is better suited for Georgia, I think.

I'll try to write more about my impressions in the future, but today I was simply reminded about the adventures of two dumb blondes in the Caucasus'. :))Enter your cut contents here.


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