Monday, 8 January 2007

The Land of the Scared People

Two keys, access code for the main entrance, access code for the residential wing, access code for the kitchen and access code for the main reception room... that makes it a total of 6 security measures for me to claim full control of my living space in the Birminghem University, UK. Man - this is the country of scared people... why else would you lock so many doors in one building???

The section in our briefing booklet about life in the UK starts with the words - UK is a safe country... and I belive it. I've been here twice before, and always felt, that I - the Armenian/Caucasian coming from the land of social extreems, poverty, war - am the one and only scary living thing in the next mile or two around. But when the booklette goes on and on about how important it is to look after your personal safety, make sure everything's locked at all times, not walk alone in the dark, etc... you start thinking - why all this worry?

Life of a single man has no meaning - in Armenia and in many other underdeveloped countries like ours. It is a hard life - which a lot of people might be willing to give up quite easily. I, for my age of 29 years am a tired man - tired from working endless hours, never making enough money to get to that dream of having my own house, car and the dog lying in front of the TV. Its not much to ask - but at times even that much seams like an unreachable dream. So, may I suggest the theory, that the more developed the country - in the UK/US sence of development, when a reasonalbe proportion of the economic benefits are distributed among the middle class people, the higher the concern for personal safety. When talking about value of human life, I am especially referring to the importance people attach to their own life and their own future. And this is where the truth comes out: when you do care for your life and your future, you should start caring more about your country, its government, its policies...

...and my mind goes back to the Parliamentary elections to be held in Armenia in May 2007. What do we expect of the Armenian voter - the tired and frustrated citizen, who doesn't really care neither about his life, nor about the future lives of the coming generations?


  1. hey Apjan, scared as they are, you can safely leave your laptop in a room on a ground floor with no bars on the window - am not sure you could do it in Armenia:)


  2. Very true indeed... but asking the direction in the street proved tricky. I needed to go from the University to Five Ways. That's like 5 minutes walk. I tried to ask the way from a girl on the street - she got spooked and just ran away. Then I tried to ask it from a car driver when he stopped under the traffic lights - no luck. Finally I forced my way into a Pharmacy and asked the lady there - just to see if i'm on the bloody right direction. What is it with you people!!! I neve thought I look scary!

  3. really?? that's a new development for UK. People generally seemed quite helpful to me as a foreigner during all of my previous stays.


  4. Maybe its because of the University of Birmingham? The thing's huge and muticultural, and seems like everybody's preoccupied by security, very conscious of foreigners...

  5. Two more passwords: one for the laptop and one for accessing the university domain and I'm into Internet!!! Yahooo!!! I mean - Google... I mean - I'm happy! I'm finally on the internet - which after 4 days of Internetlessness - I coned the term - you can go ahead and use it - I don't mind, so anyway - after 4 painful days of Internetlessness feels REAL GOOD! Yahoo!!!! Yipppie!!! Ararat Hup Tur!!!