Disclaimer: My experience may be an isolated case in Armenia. Even with this unpleasant event, I find their country safe and beautiful.
The day three of my Armenia tour started with a bad experience at the most unexpected place that I could imagine, the church.
Our tour guide, Johann, fetched me first at my hotel at 9am and since it is located near the city center, he suggested that I should explore St. Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral as he while he will pick up Ate Maria and Kuya Abdul in their hotel; he will be back after 15 minutes. I gladly agreed as this is a perfect opportunity for me to have a short exposure to how it feels like to be a solo traveler.
As I started walking towards the cathedral, I noticed that a local guy (tall, age is between 25 to 30, and decent-looking) is following me and giving me stares. I didn’t let this observation affects me and at this moment, I started taking pictures.
He then approached me and offered his help of taking pictures of me with the church. I gave my mobile and posed some smiles and after 2 minutes, I thanked him for being so helpful.
I thought he’s now gonna leave but I was wrong, he’s tailing me while I was exploring the insides of the cathedral instead! He approached me again and asked me to have some coffee and breakfast with him. I politely said no as I already had my breakfast and of course I was waiting for my tour guide.
Fifteen minutes had passed already and Johann was still not around, I decided to wait for him outside. Again, this stranger was tailing me! As I sat in one of the benches outside of this church, he also sat beside me.
I thought to myself, maybe he was just very curious why I am here and just wanted to be friendly, so I decided to have a conversation just to break the feeling of uneasiness that I feeling at that moment.
However, in the middle of our talks, he started touching me, my legs specifically. I reacted adversely and I said if he could just leave but he didn’t. I don’t want to make any scene as we are in a church and it was still morning.
The more I declined his invitation and the more he moved closer to me and he once again touched me. This time, his other hand was on my back and his other hand was on my upper leg. He then asked if he could kiss me on my lips, my reply was, of course, a big NO!
As I was trying to stand up and get out of the situation, he stood up in front of me. I thought he’s gonna do something very bad but thanked God he didn’t. Instead, he said goodbye and was trying to kiss me again. I immediately covered my face and as I took off my hands, I could see that he’s now leaving.
After five minutes, Johann came with Ate Maria and Kuya Abdul…. I am now safe…