|Yes, we arrived in Yerevan at 2 a.m. this morning. Actually, there is little to say here. Not a very eventful trip. Michael, Samari, and I met at LAX on Thursday afternoon, got checked in, and cleared security. I decided to search the airport for a universal electric adapter. (Not sure where I lost mine, but figured I'd need it.) That took up all of our time to explore LAX, but then again, who really wants to explore their own airport anyway. We were late boarding. Etihad was trying to help a person board who couldn't walk and couldn't speak. Um. I don't even know what to say about that. Makes you wonder how someone came up with the idea of buying them a ticket to the middle east, but that's probably not very PC of me to say. In any case, we were about 30 minutes late getting away.
Etihad was a great airline. I mean, the seats were as close together as they are on any other airline, but they brought me a Klondike bar for a snack. How great is that? Traveling with a plane full of people who are more community oriented than we are in the USA was interesting. So many of the people were up visiting all over the plane...for the entire flight. OK, I exagerate. Most folks did go to sleep for a little while. But it definitely didn't feel like a flight to Oklahoma City.
We arrived in Abu Dhabi about 30 minutes late. No biggie. We had to go through a security check and walk from terminal 1 to terminal 3, but we were at the gate about an hour before our next flight left. Time to get a bottle of water and check email.
If the flight to Abu Dhabi was social, the flight to Yerevan was like being at a family reunion for someone else's family where you don't know the language. Everyone was trying to get seated, but it was like the Etihad Airways version of musical chairs. OK, everyone change seats now! The guy sitting in the window seat on my row needed to get up 10 minutes into the flight. I figured he needed to visit the lavatory, but he just wanted to check on his suitcase. OK. He got up about 3 more times...I guess just because he could. I'm not complaining. After all, I would have gotten everyone up to get out of my seat had I been sitting at the window. It was just an interesting and slightly uncomfortable change in the culture of flying. The screaming 12 month old on the other hand...
We arrived in Yerevan at about 2:30 a.m., a little later than scheduled. I wanted to get a little cart to put our boxes and luggage on, but had no local currency. The guy hauking the carts told me I could get money changed at a little money change machine. I've never even seen one of those before, but I was game. I played with it a while trying to figure out how to use it, then stuck my $100 bill into it. It ate my bill and gave me back a message in Armenian. I saw the window guy and asked me if he could tell me what it was saying. He said, "It says it doesn't work." I got a local worker to talk to me about it. He called someone who told me to take the number off the machine and call them in the morning. Shesh.
When I got back to Michael and Samari, they had our bags gathered. We figured a way we could tote and drag everything through customs without a cart. Not really that hard. Keith, the guy from the Company, was waiting for us outside. I guess he had been for about an hour. I grabbed some cash from the ATM and we loaded up his SUV. Good thing he didn't bring a Ford Fiesta.
We got back to the guesthouse. He showed us our beds and gave us the news that the hot water had quit working the day before. No problem, we told him. We fell in bed and slept until about 9:00 a.m. this morning. Ate a little breakfast. Took a cold shower. We're ready to see Yerevan. I think today is mostly about getting to know the area. Should be fun.
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