What day of staying in Alaverdi is it today? I recall the cross that I saw from the terrace on the other day. Well, I'll go to make sure what's the cross.
In the mild autumn sunshine, grandmothers of the housing complex take care of their grandchildren. For me, a housing complex is a
kind of icon of nuclear family.
However it's pretty usual here that three generations live together in the apartment. I'll mention later once again but Armenian people is conservative and modest.
I'm sure the cross is on the hill behind. There is a village which's called Akori on the map. And it's also on
a fluvial terrace.
Before long I regret to walk up the hill climb road. It's too steep. At the time, Lada Niva (Russian 4X4) comes up on the road. The driver stops the car and ask me "To the village?
Have a ride!" "Yes, please!"
He shifts manual gear quickly and the car climbs up the steep mountain road. After we runs level ground for a while, he drops me off at the square of Akori village.
"Keep on going this road! You'll have a great view from the peak of the
mountain" But looks like it has more miles to the peak. Well, I want to take a walk in the village in stead.
As I'm walking toward the mountain, I see a cemetery. A family is laying flowers on a grave. On another site, two old men is digging up a new grave.
When I get close to photograph them, they reject it waving their hand. "No, go away!" They say with
alcohol smelling breath.
As looking far away, I can see another fluvial terrace and village. But the view is obstructed by cloud of dust from passing dump truck.
A mother and daughter in formal dress walks taking hand to hand on the village road.
Maybe coming back from the cemetery.
Local houses don't have satellite dishes but classic style antenna like a
A woman is sharing car for shopping to Alaverdi, I guess. In a house yard, farmer is choosing a sheep. One is chosen from the
flock and taken to the dusty road.
The sheep makes desperate stand for going. It must know where it's taken to.
The village isn't the place for tourist. This must be a typical everyday life of small town in Armenia.
A couple nod in greeting while old ladies is watching this stranger with curious eyes. Sunday, the young hung out in the square.
A long procession is coming through them. Funeral procession. At the front of the line, the body on the stretcher is carried by men. No coffin.
Walking attendants follow after them, then a long line of cars. I can guess the destination of the procession. It's a new
grave made by the grave diggers whom I met.
Edge of the village is a cliff. Down below is, of course, Alaverdi old town. Oh, I remember I come here to make sure what the shining silver cross is.
I head to the right place where I looked up from my apartment. A boy on the bike comes up and keeps pace with me. New bike ? Give me your picture with it.
Oh! This is a great panorama. I can look over all houses in the old
town and the copper factory. On the right hand side, I see the new town
where I visited on the other day. I know the difference of each town's
location and how's a fluvial terrace at once. I thought a fluvial terrace
is paired, although it isn't.
In most of the cases here, the inside of curving river tends to be a terrace while the out side is
Let's see, my apartment is between a hospital and primary school ... yeah, I fond it. I come up to the place where the cross must be.
Unfortunately it looks like a make shift card board from the back side.
Well, it means God always watching the town, I guess. That's important.
An old shepherd walks up to me. The boy on the bike may told on him. He
asks me in Russian. "Are you Chinese?" "No, Japanese" I answer. Then he
offer a cigarette. "Sorry, I don't ..." I refuse it. I don't have
vocabulary of the language beyond that. So we two just look over Alaverdi without any words.
The copper town in bird's-eyes view is much smaller than I thought.
I ask for him to be taken picture. He accept my request happily and poses for me. Nevertheless I asked for him, he thanks to me and takes two small
fruits from the pocket.
He gives it to me. It's firm-fleshed peaches.
I say good bye to the old man and walk to the main road. When I stop on the way and look in a distance, the shepherd now becomes a dot and being mixed into a flock of sheep.
I get to the paved road. I raise my hand to the coming car as a matter of course. The car stops in front of me as a matter of course.
Then it picks me up as a matter of course. They are young couple. A man to drive asks me "Alaverdi, uh?" "Yes, please" For the lest of 15 minutes I just listen their joyful chatting as if listening soothing music.
I become invisible on the back seat of holiday drive date.
Gotta leave for Yerevan tomorrow. I walk around Alaverdi that I got familiar with.
A river runs very bottom the canyon and has clean water. People who enjoy fishing doesn't care about me, just
concentrates on the tip of the rod.
In the yard of old housing complex old people are chatting as usual. "Are you photographer? No, No thanks for photographing me" A woman hide her face behind the hand.
The other woman says "You can take my portrait. But don't forget sending me the photo" Reaction is various. That's why I'm interested in
While I've stayed here for almost a week, some people remember my face. The
butcher's owner now says hello to me. Wait a minute, are you already
Two guys who told me that they are huge fan of Miyazaki anime are college
students. Card game, soccer, bike ... who know plenty of play is the boys in fourth grade of
It's a good community indeed.
Another morning comes to the town of copper mine. The cross on the hill
gets the sun light. The front yard of the elementary school is cleaned up. Before long a
teacher comes up. I finish packing and head for the marchroutka stop.
In the square Maria already opens the market. "Are you leaving? To where? Yerevan? Do you know where the march stop is?" "Yeah, I know it. Thanks for every thing. I'll send you the photo"
That's all for staying in the town of copper mine. I think I made a right choice. Interesting town and people. If I stay
much longer, for a whole month for example, I could more deeply commit to the community.
And one more regrettable thing to me is that I wanted to see an operating copper mine and smelter. If it won't open again? I felt one era was coming to a close in Alaverdi.