If you are someone who has lived a long time in the West or in Russia, it is likely that you count one or more Armenians among your acquaintances. If a person’s last name ends in –oyan (William Saroyan) or –ian (Aram Khachaturian), it is likely he or she is of Armenian descent. The worldwide Armenian diaspora numbers more than five million (One source claims ten million.) America alone accounts for nearly half a million, while the population of Armenia itself is barely three million.
A recurring memory from a recent trip that Kay and I took to the Republic of Georgia is of a large pig running freely alongside our bus as it slowly edged around the large, linked potholes that make up many of Georgia’s secondary roads. A free-range pig, unpenned and unsupervised, is not something I believe I’ve ever seen before, yet it wasn’t the most unusual sight we experienced during our four days in this seldom-visited country.