Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the occasional awkward problam var

i think i'm winning the award for az 6 who blogs the most

ne ise (anyways)...

things are swell, but i'll start with the problems, the little problems, anyways:

1. Ema...the lady who cleans at our office. All the men folk (I work with almost all men) noticed that she treats me differently than she treats them. She cleans their chay (tea) mugs, but not mine. She serves them chay, but not me. Not exactly something I was gonna point out. But, they noticed and called it "shameless" (they looked it up in English). So, after telling me to tell our branch manager about it and my refusing to do so, they told on her. Guess who got chay one month in? neato! thanks for sticking up for me FD men folk. and yet, i feel awkward because i've done so very little since being here. Which brings me to number 2...

2. They ain't giving me no work. ishim yoxdur. actually, EVERYONE wants to learn English. That's fine with me. Just when we got to the point of getting things rolling, the temporary branch manager here gave us the "Olmaz" during work hours. In other words, just as we got organized (and I finally got asked to do something), the branch manager said "You cannot do that during work hours". Boooo. and awkward, because the man hardly says a word to me as it is. i'm just that foreign girl using the internet and sitting in the corner.

3. Speaking of awkward, my host family cannot understand why in the world i would ever ever want to move out on my own. granted ,they have a point. their house is beautiful, the food is delicious and plentiful, hot water exists, i have my own electric heater, huge bed, they are super nice, and i have a pet cat. and i could probably even negotiate down on rent etc. but....FREEDOM. how do i explain i just want the freedom to do anything at any time? Its the little things, like not talking to people when i don't want to instead of seeming anti-social and rude. And not over eating instead of feeling like i'm hurting anyone's feelings when i don't eat until my stomach hurts. or, having friends stay over and staying up late being loud if we feel like. you know...being free. it is a double edged sword having a superly intelligent host mother. she makes excellent points about why i ought to stay and her language is a bit more articulate than mine. Point number one for her: apartments are expensive, you could save money here. true.... Point number 2: how will you learn the language if you move out? touche....Point number 3: David stayed with his host family the whole time! --let me explain that one. There is a az 3 who stayed with his family for 2 years and so now i'm expected to do the same. not to mention david was fluent in three languages and david could walk on water and personally talk to god (those are slight exaggerations. u get the point).

4. My little 11 yr old brother said the following to me in English, "Israel is bad". Hard to discuss with my current language skill level. I know that he is saying this because of the current conflict between Israel and Gaza and not because he harbours anti-semitism. I know that as a fact. The Eastern world has unlimited access to news/images inside of Gaza and it appears the Western World does not. and it all looks horrid. its an anti-war sentiment. I replied, "this situation is difficult".

so, some other things going on:

i traveled last weekend to an area of Azerbaijan called Ismayili. It is further north than where i am and it is completely surrounded by beautiful mountains. The city in itself is certainly less developed, but the mountains are stunning. A bunch of volunteers traveled there bc some children from both Mingechevir and Ismayili were able to present their photography in an art show supported by a grant. I lucked out and got a free ride into town. well done Nate and Colleen! The kids were generally very interested to speak to the Americans. I brought my sketch book and for some reason people wanted to look at it. No matter how crappy the drawings might be, they are apparently fascinating to many Azerbaijanis because they are abstract. Not a common sight here, I gather.

On another side note, somebody in my neighborhood died recently. So, I am witnessing the funeral situation here for the first time. I will report on the specifics of that later for my pretend interested parties. Thus far I can see that a gigantic tent has been erected and that this a multi day affair for sure.

2 comments:

Carolyn Williams said...

Jesse had the same problem at FinDev. It's tough because he was the second PCV there in 3 years and now you're the third. It seems like Chris had already done a lot of what needed to be done... not to mention John in Barda. It's a great home base to start community projects since they have such awesome internet. Luckily Ming is big enough that there are plenty of outside opprotunities!

Has Nate gotten the package we sent for you guys yet? It's been almost a month... I'm worried that it never got there or he didn't share!

-Carolyn

alexistentialism said...

he got it, but he did not share :( hahaaaa, i don't think he realized it was meant for sharing. but that was really kind of you