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Dispatches from Armenia - On Foot.

Supposedly, when you start to cross they will stop. I’ve seen it happen, but only when I’m with other people. When alone, I am merely an obstruction in the race to their destination. Even at red lights those Ladas, Mercedes, and BMWs taunt, revving their engines like angry bulls so I walk faster. Others fly around corners. Reckless abandon, I tell you. I also never take too much stock in stoplights; their time counters don’t make sense. Oddly, at some six lane intersections we’re given 12 seconds to cross and at two-lanes we’re given 30. A few weeks ago I saw someone driving on the sidewalk.

Yep, I am no master yet. For me dodging traffic in Yerevan often evokes the fear of death – or at least hospitalization. When I venture out alone on my walks around Yerevan I occasionally feel like I’m taking my life into my hands when crossing the street — the major ones anyway. Cell phone off. Keep distractions to a minimum. Look both ways. Constantly. Focus. Walk. I thought my other travels conditioned me to handle all traffic with composure. Guess not. … Are you laughing Yerevantsi?

- Erin

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