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South Caucasus
Tigran Tovmasyan


Tigran Tovmasyan
student of RAU
Master-class of Elmir Mirzoev
I was standing at the bus-stop and looking into buses and mini-buses making for the direction of Zeitun (one of districts in Yerevan). I was late. There were a lot of people around and all of them were talking something. I did not understand the language, but they seemed to be discussing me. Because of constant coarse remarks, swivel-eyed looks and other manifestations of predestined attitude of the people, everything around seemed to be repeated, even a casual conversation of passer-bys on the street is regarded as a curse to your address and you are scared of heeding the intonation of people talking.

The lesson starts in fifteen minutes and I missed one mini-buss after another. When it stopped so as to collect the passengers, I looked in to see who was sitting inside and I missed it. I learnt to define a certain sort of people with whom one should not sit in the public transport. On the street they talk and pass away, but on the buses they talk and talk until they reach their destination. And I am sitting and listening and I don’t understand and am trying to keep my look away from them. I missed all the buses in which I saw such sorts of people.

Fear of being humiliated in public restrains me. The more similar humiliations you “swallow”, the more fearful and inevitable forthcoming events seem. One cannot but “swallow” them, since you never know exactly when they concern you and when they do not. But maybe it is not a humiliation at all? I simply don’t understand the language and its paralinguistic peculiarities.

Five minutes were left for the lesson. I turned and realizing that I would not be able to be on time, I went straight home. The apartment which I rent was not far from the bus-stop and I hoped that I would get there without any unpleasant incidents. It was already the second day that I had been missing my studies because of the “problems with the transport”. Hardly had I reached my porch when two guys came up to me. They were talking merrily. They noticed me. They became serious at once. I hurried to cross the street. One of them started running after me. He overtook me. I didn’t look at him. He started spitting before my feet and then challenging me he stood before me and started looking into my eyes. An old man came up to us and patted his shoulder in an approval manner. I hurried to move away.

I arrive and it looks like people here show interest in me. All people turn their heads to me, discuss and the children sometimes start talking. Then I understand that they are not interested in me, but on the contrary, they are filled with hatred for me. I think why it is so and the answer comes to my head: because I don’t look like them. To me, this attitude seems to be natural.

I hurriedly went into the porch, went up to the second floor, stood in front of my door, took out my keys, and was about to open the door. Suddenly a door behind me was opened; I turned around and saw my neighbour standing on the doorway. As usual, she dearly smiled at me, greeted me with a nod, got interested in my affairs using gestures and went downstairs. Felling happy I opened my door with the key and entered in a high mood.

After so many humiliations, any human attitude arouses positive emotions. The most positive emotion is the gratitude of a hungry dog for which somebody finally had a pity and gave food. I despise myself for this gratitude, since a similar attitude should be very natural and I don’t have to perceive it in a special way. Still I am unable to get rid of this feeling and keep idolizing and adoring my neighbour.

I went into my room and started waiting for the next day. I felt secured at my place.

Tigran Tovmasyan