Children, lock your doors!

If you’re spending any amount of time in Yerevan, living in an apartment, remember what your parents told you…  lock your doors!

I’m not talking about thieves, robbers or violent crime, I’m talking about the acceptance here of just opening someone’s front door and stepping in.  Of course, not everyone does this, but if you spend some time here and ever forget to lock your door when you’re at home, don’t be surprised if someone for one reason or another just opens your door and walks in.  These aren’t your friends (not that that’s acceptable in the west), these are people who you don’t know, are selling something/begging, or you have some vague business with (eg. stair sweepers).  Or, in one case I heard, it can be a bunch of guys who didn’t want to stand in the rain, so they step inside and have a smoke.  In your home.

In every case I’ve heard of, these trespassers are amazed if you are offended or if you want them to just get out without any discussion.  They argue with you.

I’ve heard there is no Armenian word for privacy.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but for many in Armenia there is clearly no concept of it!  In this case, the easiest way to avoid the whole issue is to always, always, lock your door.