Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Yerevan diaries: Flight menu, ‘public health’ paper, mysterious Armenian in-flight-travel-non-magazines

I liked seeing three-language (English-Georgian-Armenian) menu on a BMI flight to London. This might not be something new, and may be available on other foreign flights too, but for me it was the first time to be able to read an on-flight menu in Armenian on a foreign aircraft flying to Yerevan. I have to admit, that although translation was done OK, if I were to read only Armenian version of the menu, I would have been confused as to quite a few important ingredients on offer as we do not normally use those Armenian equivalents in our every-day conversation. So this was a learning experience too :)
They distributed a ‘public health’ paper on board. I knew that it was related to swine flu, but almost no one including flight attendants could provide any clarifications as to what that paper was about, they just mentioned that this is for “public health”, and asked people to sign. It was very poorly constructed one-page document, which did not even ask if anyone has any symptoms or so. They simply ask for contact numbers so that Department of Health in Armenia will contact passengers in case they determine a case. No wonder, many did not fill it in, and upon arrival no one asked me to hand the paper in. Only accidentally someone noticed a paper I was holding, when passing a passport control, and was surprised that no one upstairs collected it. So much about ‘strict’ swine flu prevention measures at Yerevan airport.
Although I’ve heard from others, including friends, that (contrary to my experiences) Armenian magazines are available on BMI flights, I could not see any this time too. No sign of In-flight or other magazines telling passengers about Armenia, travel guides etc. If they were there, they were very well hidden indeed...

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