june 23rd was a much anticipated day, the show was hung and it was my first opportunity to visit yerevan's art museums.
gohar, a smart, spirited art student at the open university, had told me that before all others i must go to the sergei parajanov museum, and she vaguely described where it was located.
public transportation from where i was living on the outskirts of the center of yerevan (the area referred to as bangladesh) into the center of the city was shared mini vans (marshutkas) (following images not taken by me)
there are also taxis, however, in addition to the price differential -- 100 drams or about $.27 u.s. compared to $3.53 including the tip for a taxi --, because more one-on-one communicating was required in taxis if i had the time (a 13 minute taxi ride and a 25 - 40 minute marshutka ride) i took a mini van whenever possible up until 11pm when they stopped running. most of the mini buses comfortably sat 12- 14 paying customers, including 2 in the front seat with the driver (these seats for men only seemed to be the unwritten rule). during rush hour 3 people squished into the seats for two and others stood packed in like sardines -- adept at maintaining their balance from stop to stop in spite of the fact that there was really no place to grab onto. i knew a few of the many routes but was told by one of the teachers in the school below the hostel to take a 123, an unfamiliar route, and get off at pak shuka. one's ability to get off the mini bus resulted from telling the driver as he (all were hes) approached the unmarked stop to stop, which i somehow always managed to do.
as i crossed the street and peered into the door of pak shuka i realized that inadvertently i found myself at THE indoor food market on mashdots avenue (actually a bazaar with individual vendor's "stalls") that was on my list of must visit places and decided to detour.
after being awed by the beauty of the metal work on the entrance door
and walls i entered and realized that i was living an heaven on earth moment.
i refrained from a shopping frenzy because of my planned museum stops but just looking made me very happy.
i walked around taking it all in (as well as being lured to taste the incredible sweet apricot syrup and walnut candy ropes) before i headed out the back door to try and find the parajanov museum.
to be continued