Thursday, April 23, 2009

it's not all delicious plov and birthday celebrations...

Plov and birthday celebrations are things I really love about Azerbaijan.

Whenever people comment on my blog, they always say I sound so upbeat and like I'm having a great time. Although I am having a fabulous time and enjoy being in the Peace Corps, I don't want to give off the impression that everything is really easy for us here. So, I thought I'd write a list of things I miss to give you a little insight...

1. my family, duh
2. my friends, duh
3. convenience
4. cell phone plans, i HATE pay as you go!
5. sushi sushi sushi
6. fast food
7. hot sauce
8. cooking occasionally
9. exercising occasionally
10. driving (with the windows down and music up)
11. related to driving, i miss my car and its moon roof
12. bagels and cream cheese
13. taco bell
14. going out to dinner
15. going out to a movie
16. going out in general
17. technology (easy access to internet mostly)
18. western toilets
19. real showers
20. going shopping
21. my own place
22. my social and night life
23. hanging out with my sister
24. deep conversations and deep relationships
25. coffee
26. my VICES. yes, I do have them.
27. sitting and talking for hours over wine
28. my iPod
29. my blond hair and good hair cut (and days at the salon with my sistah!)
30. Sunday night stir, Monday night library, Thursday night deep end and every other night topo
31. Mill Creek
32. Sports and women being interested in sports
33. productivity and real work (sadly i do miss this at times)
34. washing machines
35. bad TV and lifetime movies

I have come to appreciate these things immensely, but I also know now that I can live without them. Although I certainly feel empty at times without the people I love and yes sometimes even the things I love, I am becoming a better person having to live without them.

I also want to take this time to thank the people that have supported me up to this point in my life and in my Peace Corps service, and those that will in the future. Your phone calls, letters, emails and facebook messages have meant more to me than I will ever be able to express. Thank You.

Now, go drink a glass of wine, eat Mexican food and talk all night on your phones for me, then go take a nice shower! :)



Amy said...

Oh goodness, I know how you feel! Sometimes it's all kicks and giggles out here. But I could really go for my old running route, a coffee date with my friend Heather, fast internet, and a late night phone call to my friends on the west coast. At least you got the language better than most of us. My zavoche has decided he will only speak azerbaijani to me and I can only respond to him in azeri! Great for language skills, but I am so scared of him. And we need to hang out again really soon. Miss you!

paulette said...

Mother's Day is tomorrow and I'm thinking what the Peace Corps give you...a chance to appreciate your mother. Hmmmm. I miss the long chats too. Loved the "hangin out the window/loud music" car stuff. Your car can be your sanctuary. Great to hear your miseries. You are upbeat on the phone and in your blog, nice to know have you balance it out this time. Love you. Paulette

smartanec said...

1. There are no lamps in Azeri houses. -There are no chandeliers in yank houses.
2. A woman's honor is in her eyebrows; you may thread and pluck on your wedding day. -A yank woman's honor is in the loss of her virginity no later than the age of 13.
3. In the winter, fruits and veggies are either non-existent or extremely expensive.- In the summer as well as in the winter, yanks buy their fruit extremely expensive. Even if they are grown in the States.
4. In school, they learn British English. -In school yanks do not learn.
5. They do NOT use t.p. You have to know the right stores, even, to be able to find it. -Yanks do NOT use aftafa. The only places you can buy them at are immigrant Muslim shops.
6. They believe you can freeze your ovaries.- Yanks do not believe that cold affects women's reproductive system. Every year 15,000 yank women die because of ovarian cancer.
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. -Yanks have sugar in their tea, coffee, coke, etc. throughout the day. That's why they are so fat.
8. During the winter, they all sleep in one room, the one where the gas heater/stove is. -Yanks in Northern states pay hundreds of dollars per month on their gas heating bills because they keep the whole house warm. Even the places they go to once a month in the basement.
9. Women, especially teachers, wear scrunchies like they're going out of style! (got news for ya, the 80's are waaay over). -Yank women have the ugliest hair cuts that were popular in the 80's. Look at their first lady.
10. The "th" sound is quite difficult for all English learners to pronounce.- The sound "ı" is impossible for all yanks to pronounce.

smartanec said...

11. In some regions, the hijab is worn more for fashion purposes. -In some regions of the States, mainly in the large cities, you could actually see people without baseball caps. It looks like yanks sleep in baseball caps, as they don't come off inside buildings.
12. Usually, when a couple marries, they go to live with the son's family, and stay there. -Usually, when parents grow old and one of them dies, the other one goes to a geriatric home as the children don't care.
13. I'm told this is regional, but most people in Liman eat with their hands, especially rice, which is quite a talent. -Every yank who wants to appear cultured learns how to use oriental sticks when eating at oriental restaurants, even though forks and knives are always provided. It escapes me what culture has to do with yanks. The use of sticks does not help change that perception.
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. -Occasional yank houses will have tea. People who have it usually think of themselves as if they were aristocrats. It will not be loose tea, but rather tea bags, by the way. Tea bags, as we know, are made of loose tea production waste.
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. -I am pretty sure you are happy to disappoint them with Kenny Rogers that you regard as the most talented singer of all time.
16. Titanic is their signature, maybe even national, song. Oh Celine.- Oh Kenny Rogers.
17. Satellite dishes are called "Sputniks". -Yanks call their satellite dishes simply satellites, which is the English word for "sputnik".
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. -Oh yank subway, if you are standing with tons of bags or small children, nobody cares. You should have taken the next train, they think.
19. One of the national dishes is ground-up cow stomach wrapped in dough and fried. -The only national yank dish is raw beef that they call medium-rare stake. When you cut it, blood comes out.
20. Their equivalent of Bon Apetit is said after meals, Nush Olsun, and is sometimes shortened to just Nush (which I love!). -Bon Appetite (this is how it's spelled, by the way) is unheard of in Yankland.

smartanec said...

21. Privacy does not exist. -Says a yank whose phone in the States is under surveillance by the FBI.
22. Pets do not exist. -Says a yank who regards her pet higher than children.
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?? -Yanks don't sweep their yards. They do use leaf blowers to blow all the crap that accumulates to the neighbour's yard.
24. They often mop the rugs in their houses. -Yanks vac their rugs twice in a lifetime - when they buy a house and when they sell it.
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. -Fake boobs are more common than natural amongst yank women.
26. The layered mullet is quite popular. -Tuna sandwiches (yuck!) are quite popular amongst yanks.
27. Often times they have patent leather slippers. -Often yanks have slippers on when it is -20C outside. Those slippers, of course, are not patented.
28. Crossdressing on TV is more common than not.... -Cross-dressing and public display of homosexuality on the streets of Yankland is more common than not...
29. In a country with muddy roads and walkways, they are obsessed with having clean shoes. -In a country with good roads and walkways yanks are obsessed with wearing hiking runners all year round.
30. Sucking your teeth: for men, a great wooing tactic. for women, a good way to express your disapprovement of...pretty...much...anything. -Burping and farting publicly is as normal for yanks as breathing.

Duxan said...

Oh Yankland! The country of perverts, mass and serial killers, racists as well as the planet`s dumbest creatures called yanks. What will it take to get it into your thick skulls that OTHER countries have OTHER customs? What will it take for yanks to understand that their stinking customs are as disgusting and funny to everyone else as they think of others? Oh, Yankland, the country of Homer Simpsons...