Memories of a vacation

By Meline Sahakyan

Two years ago I was in Russia on my summer holidays. I was staying in the Jubga town that isn’t far from the beach of the Black Sea. Although few people live there, in summer you can find many tourists who come here from different countries to spend their holidays. You can often hear people saying that the beaches of the Black Sea aren’t clean, but there are two beaches that never lack tourists because they are cleaner than the others: these are the Blue beach and the beach Inal. But tourists prefer to go to Inal because of the rock that is considered to be an admiring view. I used to stay in Inal when I didn’t have time or didn’t want to go to Jubga. Yes, Jubga is an interesting town with its entertainment centers, but I like the sea more. Besides, I am fond of markets and the people who trade there. Among the people trading there you can hardly see Russians, they are mainly Armenians, you can also find Tatars there. Chechens appear in different parts of the beach, but usually they don’t trade, they are here mainly on holiday. There are also Cherkesses, Uzbeks and Azerbaijanis. As I stayed there for 2 months, I already got to know many of these people. It’s interesting for me to meet people from different nations, to talk to them, and learn new things from them. I especially liked the Chechens; it was the first time I heard of that nation and when I returned to Armenia, I began to learn their history. But now I am going to tell you the history of an Azerbaijani and an Armenian family that I was told by a Tatar, who had been trading there for already 15 years and had 4 shops.

“I was very young when I began to trade here. I have been trading here for many years and I have seen many interesting and strange things. People like buying things from me because I am not only a trader, but also the history keeper of this region. Now, as you are Armenian, if you want I can tell you an unbelievable story that occurred between an Armenian and an Azerbaijani family”.

I was sure that the story would be interesting and asked him to tell it. So the tatar began his story.

“I don’t remember exactly how many years have passed, but it wasn’t a very long time ago. An Azerbaijani was trading with me and the two shops out of the four that I have now belonged to him. He was an introvert and didn’t like speaking to us frequently. The only words that he was exchanging with us were “Hello, how are you?” or “The weather is rainy today, isn’t it?” He was here with his wife and his little boy. His wife was trading with him and the boy was playing with other children. There were children of Russians, Armenians, Tatars, Chechens… the mother of the Azerbaijani boy didn’t want his child to play with the Armenian child. She wasn’t saying anything, but all of us understood that. Besides, we had heard many times that Armenians and Azerbaijanis are so-called enemies. When she would see her child with the Armenian boy, she would call.

-Seyid, come here, boy.

The father of the Armenian child was a very friendly man. We were close friends as we had been trading together for many years. He was often complaining to me.

-Today my son was crying again. I can’t understand, Danzibar jan, why she is acting so, what has my son done to her? And you know my Aram likes him so much; yesterday he gave his toy to him, that beautiful turtle from scallop, and in the morning that child brought a toy-dragon. When he wanted to give it to my son so that they could play together, his mother called him, and he came back after 10 minutes, but didn’t give the dragon to Aram. “My mother has forbidden me to give you my toys”; this is what he said to my son, and now my poor boy is sitting on the beach and crying.

And so this continued for 3 years. The boys were growing up and they were communicating with each other less than before, but their friendship still remained.

The tornadoes are frequent in Inal. All of us know about that so we are ready for that and expect it every minute. Almost each week we see how the water rises like a colorless plant rolling round an invisible axis. But this time it was a horrible seen. The tornado was almost reaching the sky, and we could clearly see the stumps and the large branches of the trees so that we, for the first time in our lives, thought of the strength of the nature.

Now I understand that the tornado could hardly damage us, but at that time we were frightened and were running to and fro trying to save our goods, our things, and our lives. Everyone was screaming, and I guess that all that mess was not because of the tornado, but because of our confusion. While we were running we heard the crying voice of the Azerbaijani woman: her son was lost. She and her husband were looking for him, and she didn’t know what to do. The wife was screaming powerlessly and asking people whether they have seen her son. But nobody paid attention to her tears. All were hurrying away from the sea. Only a few women said before living: “Poor woman!” or “What a pity!”. I remained there with them trying to find the boy. I thought that he might be hiding somewhere not so far – maybe in the warehouse, maybe in the nearest shop. About five minutes later we saw how the tornado changed its direction and fell on the edge of the forest that wasn’t far from the center where we were trading. But we had absolutely no damage. As the tornado fell, the weather began getting better. We went to the beach hoping that we could find little Seyid there. We were so busy searching for the boy that we had forgotten about the Armenians. At last we found them together. The two boys were sitting side by side on the top of the rock and listening carefully to the father who was explaining how the tornado originates, what natural forces have an effect on it, and so on. The mother of Seyid ran toward her boy and embraced him. The father greeted the Armenian by nodding his head. I was very glad to see them all safe and happy.

The next day we returned to our work again. We were trading, laughing, remembering about the tornado and telling the tourists about it. Almost nothing had changed, except one thing: now all day long the Armenian and the Azerbaijani boys were allowed to play together and though the friendship was only between the children and not between their parents, the situation was different now”.

When I was returning to Armenia, I met an Azerbaijani couple in the airport. I began thinking about our stupid relations. And who said that the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis are enemies? Why? I don’t know which part of the Tatar’s story was true and which part he created for entertaining me, but now I am sure: we can live in peace, we must live in peace!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>