While I was in the US, I wired myself some cash. Ordinarily I just use the ATM, but I needed more, so I try wiring for the second time since moving here. Well this time it worked flawlessly! What a contrast to last time (the problems last time were on the US side, and were in great part due to me being here, trying to wire from there). I had it wired to Armimpexbank, which has very low rates (.5% of the amount, plus a $5 fee if you don't have an account). I don't know if I would keep an account there, but for wiring (twice now) it has been excellent.
Well in a week I will be marking the 4 year anniversary of my move to Armenia. It would be so nice if Zabel were here to celebrate it with me. What a different country, city, repatriate community, etc, etc. Sure it has so much further to go, but you know, it is absolutely remarkable how much forward progress we have seen. The roads, the shops, the way people dress... so many things have been transformed.
A sign of the times? A year ago we met an Australian couple that lumped Armenia into a large tour of the region they were doing. They had a lot of trouble just getting here, and then looking for accomodation. They were ready to leave after their first day when they bumped into Lena who vaguely remembered them and took them in. The rest of their trip was just great, they loved Armenia, and now are back to buy a place and want to spend 6 months in Armenia, 6 in Australia. How perfect. Perpetual summer.
A final note on the electric trams Ara logged about. I agree they should not take out the tracks, but that having been said, I think they should stop service altogether until they can both upgrade the cars and actually expand the lines. Very few people use them even though they are extremely cheap, so there is no point in operating them in these economic conditions. But really, tearing out the lines completely is just premature. Traffic is getting worse by the day and as the economy improves, a redone tram system will probably fit in well with the city's needs.