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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. :)Read more... )
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armeniab

Last week, I turned 44 and it's time for my annual birthday trip. The decision on where to travel came quite easily - back to the Caucasus!

This region is like a wonderful partner - there was an immediate connection when we met, and it goes beyond the mere physical elements. Of course, the stunning contours of the landscapes, and excitement of something "new" to explore are what initially led me here. But it's more than that. I love the Caucasus because they are both calm and wild at the same time. Perhaps it's difficult to comprehend, but there is a sense of belonging here. The countries are small, completely different from the massive geographic swells of my home country, or even Russia. This is part of the appeal - that you can conquer an entire nation in a very short period of time, and simultaneously ignite a spark in the soul and mind with all of the stunning mountain landscapes, ancient sites and warm, friendly people. It's an intoxicating blend of Earth, mountain, sky and human curiosities...with the negative aspect of increased heartbeats due to the wild driving culture you must endure to reach these remote places. In such environments, boredom never arises. There is a real sense of feeling alive beyond the mere habit of breathing each day, or going through the routine motions of adulthood that trap us. Boredom - it is the most brutal enemy for me personally. I'm always fighting it off, and can't stand to be captured or held hostage to it for even short periods of time. Yes, I need adventure, stimulation - maybe similar to a young child. :))

I will depart for Tbilisi next week, spend a few days there, and then drive to Armenia. If you know interesting places in Armenia, colorful people, or any other facts you wish to share, please write in comments. If you missed my prior stories about Georgia, you can read them here, and there are still many which remain unwritten.

Sorry for the very long absence from the blog. I am alive and well...and hope the same is true for my dear readers!

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