Armenian Reporter, 07 June 2010
Yerevan – While the number of amazing “to do” things in Armenia are too long to list, below is a list of ten simple things each Diaspora visitor can do to be helpful to Armenia on his or her trip, and to also protect oneself.
If each visitor from Diaspora does his or her small part to set the right example and to also demand the same from locals, Armenia will improve a lot quicker.
So on your next visit, remember that you can not only have a great holiday but also give back to Armenia by helping make this place a better place to live for everyone.
1. Do not throw trash on the floor or leave trash outside of the city where there are no trash cans. Bring the trash back to the city and find a trash can to throw it in.
2. Do not allow anyone to cut in front of you in lines for any reason. Waiting in lines in an organized manner is lacking amongst many locals, so set an example of how people should wait their turn in lines.
3. Do not give bribes to anyone or for anything. You can get most everything done in Armenia legally only if you insist on your rights and do not take short cuts by giving bribes.
4. Do not give money to beggars who thrive on summer seasons scavenging of off tourists. Most of them work in groups or with sponsors and have their designated areas where they know the most money can be made. If you want to help beggars, buy them food.
5. Do not be fooled by sob stories from your driver or recently met friend in Armenia in order to convince you to give financial help. It’s not atypical of some cunning locals to play on patriotic emotions of Diasporans in order to make a quick financial gain.
6. Do not buy any real estate or valuable items at anywhere near the listed price. Always offer half and up to 1/5 of the price you’ve been quoted. It’s quite normal by locals to offer ridiculously high prices to Diasporans while they would never quote similar prices to other locals.
7. Do not allow taxi drivers to start driving without putting on their meter and do not sit in taxies that don’t have official yellow license plates or are without meters. Ask if their meter works before you get into the taxi.
8. Do not cross intersections on red lights, wait until the light green and demand cars to stop for you to cross the intersection. Set an example for those pedestrians and drivers who have yet to learn the traffic laws.
9. If you are not a smoker, do not start smoking in Armenia because “everyone else” does. Set an example that smoking is not “cool” and that smoking is increasingly uncommon and looked down upon.
10. Finally, do not bring your black clothing with you to Armenia. There is a big lack of color in clothing in Armenia as vast majority of the locals wear mostly black specially in colder months, so bring your colorful clothing to add some color to the city.
P.S. This is Yerevan, here is other rules.. :))