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Photo Studio, Batumi, Georgia

September 13th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I popped into a Photo studio for some visa pictures. The three guys who ran the shop were Armenian and eagerly recounted the histry of their families, which lived in what is now northeastern Turkey (where we had just come from) before the “Armenian Genocide” (something I have to learn more about having heard so many conflicting accounts. They sat around, solved crosswords, drank coffee, brewed us a tasty batch, and when they got wind of our journey, pulled out an old Soviet Atlas, pointed at things and recounted stories of their service in the Soviet Army that took them places where we were going to go. A sailor came in and introduced himself as a “semen” (seaman) and when I took a picture of him, suggested I not post it since he travels to the US frequently, and doesn’t want to be listed in the rolodex of the CIA (to which I was presumably contributing.) We encountered this kind of Soviet relic paranoia in several instances, particularly Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan so far.

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