Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Anti Whine

After it has been pointed out in one way or another I see that mast of my posts seem to have bitter undertone to them. I am sorry, it just turns out that I use my blog forum to vent – and I think it is important for people to understand the problems. So no doubt, I will be writing lots of depressing stuff. But don’t mistake the downbeat posts I my write for the experience that I’m having. They are not the same. I am enjoying myself immensely, and there is so much that I love, and I should really sing on that stuff too. The only two things I don’t like are the men and the government, yes seemingly big but not really. Just because they are allowed a lot of influence does not make them big in my daily comings and goings, noticed and felt but not all that important.
Many people fight the down time, about 6 steady months, pushing their way in and being unhappy about it. I love it. Why would I fight something that I was told would be there, would happen, I wont. And why would I fight to do remedial work, work that wont be lasting, I wont. Plus I joined the peace corps, specifically avoiding a 9-5. Yea, the peace corps is a 24/7 job. The good new is when I stop and talk to guy in the post office for 30 minutes, when I go guesting at someone’s house, eating and drinking to my hearts delight, that is work. Where else can that be said? I love Azeri’s giving nature, What is theirs is yours and I hope I take a lot of that home with me. I love their close nit families. I love even more that my families respect my reclusive nature. I love that I have been blessed with two consecutively AMAZING families, who have done everything to make me feel at home and part of the family. Here in Barda I am introduced to everyone as their eldest daughter or dig sister, depending. In Cerenbaton I was told they were my family now so anything I needed or wanted they were there for me. Maybe it is like that all over the world but I have not been their so all I can say is any culture that will so warmly except a stranger in to their home, one who is so drastically different in so many way, is OK with me.
My project Coordinator, Elmir, an Azeri man who I love dearly, was just in town for his first visit to make sure I was settling in fine. He came to the office and we were talking – As I think I have written, to date I have done nothing in my office but sit and stare. The positives being I am always up to date on reading and letter writing. My counterpart seeming none to interested in me and even a little hostile. And in all truth has made me more and more uncomfortable. But I cold see why so I have just kept coming, smiling, leaving, finding other stuff to do and not worrying about it. My though is never take anything for what it seems. I took enough courses in college to know that when you mix two culture just about everything is lost in translation, especially when very little is being said. Elmir asked if I wanted him to talk to him. NO! How do you piss off an already defensive Azeri man? Have an less than overly manly Azeri man, who assists your unwanted PC volunteer "talk" to you. So instead he just asked how I was and bla, bla, bla, general – Afterward me and Elmir talked again. Though some of it was his same ol’ b.s., to avoid doing work with me, etc., one important item was brought to light. Turns out, and I keep hearing this from Azeris, he thinks I am very formal and serious, especially with him. Dam, I never saw myself like this, and I am not but I just don’t talk a lot and to be honest he had started to make me so uncomfortable I probably was very stiff. Actually, I am very relaxed and have nice conversation with most of the fellow shop owners who come around to hang out. The have a skill called sympathetic listening, I am afraid he lacks it. The good news was, after this was relayed to me, and he knew it, his attitude toward me took a 360 making it much more comfortable to be easygoing with him. Though I cant lie, I have to try because his is just one of those high stung argumentative people who I feel less than at ease talking to. But I am going to put out a hella good effort. Am I doing anymore work than before, of course not. But now instead of a huff when I come in and say hello, I get a smile and greeting. Lost in translation, that’s why they say everything needs to be translated at least three times.
Though it is getting cold, when it is not freezing the weather is glorious, and the number of birds, of every shape, size and color, are amazing. They make me think of Vee, the late Vee of course as I have never known my vee to have any extreme love for birds, though she know doubt would find them beautiful as well. We now have two large and four baby turkeys that roam around our yard. I love them, how they talk, and fall asleep all over the place. Somehow managing to be both silly and majestic. I found a fountain with GOLDFISH in it! The first I have seen. They make me very happy and remind me of home. There is the most magnificent mountain that looms in the horizon on my way to work. It is huge, snow covered and seems so solitary, though I feel very sure there are many more behind it. You can see it perfectly from the foot bridge crossing the river right before I get to work, on days when it is clear that is. It is actually amazing, If you happened to walk by on certain days you would have know idea it was there because it can be completely invisible one day, just sky, and the next just stunning!
There is a teenage boy who works at a small shop/tea house on the road to and from my house. I’ve started saying hey to him as I pass, just a salam, sabaniz xeyir or nod of the head. He always nods back or says hello if I do. Never a "Helloooo, What is your name, marry me", he does not stalk me down the road or sucj his teeth. He is a nice boy and a pleasure to pass everyday. There is an oddly chapped building that I love, a bottom level with a diamond of sorts, larger, and perched on top of it. It has tall windows and in each is a large chess piece. It used to be the local chess club, it is lovely to look at. Azerbaijan is covered in roses, every shape, size, color and smell. They are in all the memorial parks, all the road medians, everywhere and many must be cold weather roses because they are still blooming, much to my delight. Often random men will coming and start trying to talk to me. Usually they are not sympathetic listeners or talkers, hence I cannot understand them usually. This will lead to them getting on the phone, calling someone and then telling me to talk to them. It is usually a woman who speaks at least some English. They have heard about me and want to meet me, they have sent they husbands, or suns, or father in laws or whoever to get me in touch with them. A woman who I could barley talk to on the phone, but was very nice, is coming to my work Tuesday. At least that is what I think is going to happen, then again someone could just as likely shop up to take me some where, and I would go with them with out a second thought, knowing it would be fine, another thing I love about this place, it is so easy to trust.
So no matter how often I use this as a forum to voice all of my frustrations about the country and its people, I am in no way unhappy or suffering, merely frustrated. Luckily for me I can vent issues I think other people should know about, your average 9-5er in America is probably 1000 times more unhappy and aggravated, unfortunately for them everyone already knows why they are unhappy. For all the trying things I have to deal with I get graced with 100 wonderful blessings. Ahhhhhhh, life is good.

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