Last night felt like Yerevan, Vegas, Europe, and the Middle East all rolled into one. It was the opening of El Sky Bar, a rooftop spot in Yerevan Plaza that rivals the views and swankiness of Vegas. Yerevan’s fancy crowd — men in patent loafers, women in tight dresses and 7-inch heels — were sprawled on chic white couches drinking, and smoking cigarettes and spaceship-looking hookahs. A DJ spun house music to a small group of dancers, who stayed close to the DJ booth to feel the bass.
Later in the night, when my friend ran into a group of her friends, it went from feeling very Vegas to feeling very international. One guy had moved here from the UK, one girl from Germany, two from Iran, two from Australia, and one from Lebanon. Most of them non-Armenian. We all mixed and mingled, and different worlds, mindsets, and accents came together beautifully. At the core, we might not have had much in common, but one very special thing bonded us: Armenia.
I have to admit, the service last night wasn’t comparable to a Vegas lounge. It took a ridiculously long time to get our food (and it was merely bruschetta) and the bartender actually forgot to make our drinks. Later when we bugged him about it, he said he forgot because we walked away from the bar. “Out of sight, out of mind” I guess. But I’ve realized that when you’re in Armenia, in order to not get annoyed at every little thing, you have to stop making comparisons to America. Yes, a few things always seem a little off here, but you just have to brush it off and chuckle about it. They’ve come a long way already and they’ll get there one day, too.