“Only in Armenia” — that’s a phrase I say often when I’m here. So I’m not entirely surprised that I already said it on my first day in Yerevan. My friend Astghik, who came with me from LA to stay for two weeks, and I decided to have breakfast at Artbridge this morning. Within 20 minutes of being there, I ran into two repatriates who are friends with my brother. Just 10 minutes later, a friend who’s in town from Fresno hooked up with us since he doesn’t know many people. And within an hour of being there, we met a Malaysian who was sitting at the table beside us; it turns out, he’s in town to play with the orchestra for the Centennial commemorations. Numbers and Facebook friend requests were exchanged immediately, and the four of us were off to see Mayr Hayastan together. But first, on our way there, we stopped to take this selfie.
As we were walking down the street, it occurred to me that this sort of organic meeting rarely happens in LA. The commonality is Armenia and it’s the catalyst for forming fast and deep bonds. Throughout the rest of the day, we ran into four more friends and stopped to hang out along the way – no having to plan for weeks in advance, no penciling anyone in. Only in Armenia.