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Georgians Would Die of Envy: BBC Travel Correspondent Told a Joke about Armenians, Georgians and Azeris


BBC Travel correspondent, writer Ben Lerwill has traveled to the South Caucasus and has arrived in Armenia from Georgia, finding shelter in Dilijan.

In his article he particularly writes; 

''I never meant to spend the night in Dilijan. I’d been making my way through northern Armenia towards the capital city of Yerevan, having crossed from Georgia several days earlier. My travels were taking me south, but slowly. I’d dawdled for too long around the Unesco-listed monasteries of Debed Canyon, and by the time I arrived in late afternoon, the marshrutkas, I gathered via sign language, were resolutely done for the day. No transport was forthcoming.

But the little town was attractive, slung across slopes cloaked in oak woods. A night here would surely be no hardship. I later learned that in Soviet times Dilijan had earned a reputation as an artists’ retreat, and that its picturesque forested location means it gets referred to as ‘Little Switzerland’''.

In the article, Lerwill presents historical information on Armenia, emphasizing that Armenia has known unspeakable pain and hardship. At the end of the article he tells an Armenian joke, which characterizes the relations of the three countries (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan).

''There’s a wry Armenian joke that sums it up. A boy asks his grandfather why Armenia hasn't yet sent an astronaut to space. "Because the Georgians would die of envy," the grandfather replies. "And if the Georgians died of envy, then we'd die of pleasure – and the Azeris would be left with all the land." Towards travellers and outsiders, however, local hospitality throughout the region is astonishingly generous'', writes the traveler.

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