EVENTFUL NIGHT ARRIVAL IN YEREVAN
I landed at 4 am in the middle of the night at Yerevan
I was particularly dizzy after the whole day working and
the whole night travelling with a stopover in Munich.
Just entered in the airport I immediately saw the visa
counter and, without any hesitation, I rushed there. Then
I noticed the a sign claiming:
"Visa must be paid only in local currency: 15.000
Before leaving home I did my homework checking the change
rate and asking for the visa cost. I knew visa should
cost around 30 euro and 15.000dram sounded more or less
I asked to the guy of the counter for a visa and he wanted
90 euro for 2 visa!
Stupid me not investigating better and, after mumbling
few seconds, I took it.
Once I turned back I saw the change office 50 meters further
and I saw that 15.000 dram were something like 30 euro.
My travelmate asked to a airport staff girl about the
real price and she confirmed the 15.000 dram= 30 euro
cost: so I got scammed!!
Helped by this small but intrepid girl I walked back
to the dodgey guy.
Initially he denied, but finally he gave up paying back
The staff girl proposed to report it to the police, but
I wasn't on the mood; I declined and headed to pick our
rug-sacks. While I was sitting waiting for them in the
almost empty airport, the dodgey man came. He was worried
I could report the fact to the police, so speaking in
Russian he started telling about his wife, children, food,
He kept on asking if I was going to speak to the police;
I hit back I didn't know yet and he shouldn't annoy me,
then finally he left.
Once outside the airport the small brave girl came and
insisted I reported the fact. However seeing I wasn't
convinced, asked for our name, wrote them and went.
It was still dark outside and I was lingering sat in a
bar; frankly I felt quite vulnerable for any revenge of
the dodgey :
Our plan was to get a minibus to reach the Nagorno Karabakh
by the day, but generally speaking bus stations aren't
the best place to settle down waiting for the dawn.
The last plane landed and I got the feeling the airport
was shouting down, hence, when a taxi driver came offering
a lift with other two people, I accepted.
Funny the fact he was worried leaving us in the darkness
of the bus station and, without any extra charge, proposed
to keep us on the taxi till the end of the run.
The other two passengers were a man and a woman: they
said they went to the airport to pick up somebody who
at the end didn't pop up (boh??)
Just to make the atmosphere even more surreal, being the
last day of the declared emergency state, soldiers (and
a tank!) were guarding the town.
The taxi reached an abandoned-like quarters in the outskirt,
it stopped and dropped the woman off alone, while the
man somewhere further.
No more passengers on the car so the driver took us at
the bus station.
The place was quite desert (and dark), I set under a
lit bulb of a closed kiosk and started waiting for the