Thursday, January 22, 2009

411: Things you might find interesting

The first 30 things I could think of:

1. There are no lamps in Azeri houses.
2. A woman's honor is in her eyebrows; you may thread and pluck on your wedding day.
3. In the winter, fruits and veggies are either non-existent or extremely expensive.
4. In school, they learn British English.
5. They do NOT use t.p. You have to know the right stores, even, to be able to find it.
6. They believe you can freeze your ovaries.
7. They usually only put sugar in their tea in the morning. Otherwise, they provide you with chocolate (and maybe a sugar cube) to hold in your mouth while you sip.
8. During the winter, they all sleep in one room, the one where the gas heater/stove is.
9. Women, especially teachers, wear scrunchies like they're going out of style! (got news for ya, the 80's are waaay over)
10. The "th" sound is quite difficult for all English learners to pronounce.
11. In some regions, the hijab is worn more for fashion purposes.
12. Usually, when a couple marries, they go to live with the son's family, and stay there.
13. I'm told this is regional, but most people in Liman eat with their hands, especially rice, which is quite a talent.
14. Every house, every family ALWAYS has one pot of hot water and one of really concentrated tea. For a cup of tea, you pour a little from both.
15. I am always hearing some of the most preverse and explicit English songs as background music on TV, sometimes not so background, and also in public places. And I am always asked if I have Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Beyonce (pronounced beeyons) and/or 50 Cent on my iPod.
16. Titanic is their signature, maybe even national, song. Oh Celine.
17. Satellite dishes are called "Sputniks".
18. On buses, if you're standing, the ladies sitting down yank your bag(s) or your baby(ies) from you, and hold them in their laps.
19. One of the national dishes is ground-up cow stomach wrapped in dough and fried.
20. Their equivalent of Bon Apetit is said after meals, Nush Olsun, and is sometimes shortened to just Nush (which I love!)
21. Privacy does not exist.
22. Pets do not exist.
23. They sweep their yards (and the highway) with what looks like tumbleweed. And the broom thing must have a short handle so they must bend down??
24. They often mop the rugs in their houses.
25. Gold teeth are more common than roosters or hanging animal carcasses for sale on the side of the road, which is really saying something.
26. The layered mullet is quite popular.
27. Often times they have patent leather slippers.
28. Crossdressing on TV is more common than not....
29. In a country with muddy roads and walkways, they are obsessed with having clean shoes.
30. Sucking your teeth: for men, a great wooing tactic. for women, a good way to express your disapprovement of...pretty...much...anything.



paulette said...

We(grandpa&I)loved this and learned and laughed. I am shamed we aren't sending you more packages and now I'm absolutely going to send canned fruit. What about dried fruit? Do they have it? I'm also sending t.p. and everyone here wants to know what you do INSTEAD of t.p? We love you. We're going to the Frost/Nixon movie today and will think of you. Check your email for more thoughts.

mcmacdonald said...

hey hey J-girl.
your post made me laugh, cuz its like the things i write on poct cards to ppl back home.
usually they dont believe me, or maybe they just DONT WANT to believe that Titanic is the #1 song EVER!


alexis said...

nice very true

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rena said...

hmm..You are smarter than Sara and Katie, first of all you have a more “politically correct” title, and secondly you approached things a bit more objectively. It’s interesting to see how we feel about each-others differences: for example you’re surprised that we don’t use toilet paper (which is used in Baku and other cities), but I’m SHOCKED that Americans use ONLY toilet paper for cleaning themselves after #2. Only paper? Not water? How can you be clean with only piece of paper? (I guess you don’t use water for #1 either, right?)
You see you’re surprised that women (99.9% men get up and offer you their seats, which is nothing to be surprised at, they are just being polite) who are sitting in the bus offer help to those who are standing either by taking and holding their bags and/or their kids. But, I am outraged that young people or physically normal men & women in the US are NOT getting up and offering their seats to elderly, people with babies, pregnant ladies for whom standing in a shaky train is not fun. Interesting, isn’t it?
I wouldn’t be so disappointed if a tourist or someone who lived in Azerbaijan would be so negative about everything, but someone who volunteers at Peace Corps (like you, Sara and Katie), it’s quite surprising in a bad way! What makes you guys stay (or actually to become a volunteer at Peace Corps) in Azerbaijan, if your life is so “miserable”?