i had an apartment. it was taken away. then i found another apartment...but the whole process of finding another apartment meant that i couldn't really travel over this particuraly long azerbaijani holiday called novruz. oh well! at least i'm optimistic that i'll have MY OWN PLACE. however, nothing is guaranteed...as i experienced with my last potential home. this means that the days of living with a host family are coming to a close. that's an amazing feat for someone like me. it has been tremendously difficult for me to never cook my own food, to always tell people where i'm going/when i'll return, to be quiet at night when i have guests over....to not drink beer. to be told what to do and what to eat and what to wear. but, i also know not to be offended by these things. it is entirely cultural for people to tell me what to do and overly care for me. i am a young woman and a guest. the former part means i am told what to do all the time. the latter part means i don't do anything for myself. BUT, i'm hard on my host family. they are amazing. i lucked out big time and i will always be grateful to them for their amazing care. however...now i have to tell them i'm moving out. this is the hard part. they said they wanted me to/expected me to stay for two years. i told them at the beginning of my stay that i'd move out in april. we haven't discussed it much sense...due to my being a coward (i don't want to upset the people i have to see daily). but the time has come and it is time to suck it up.
just last night i meet my neighbor from new zealand for the first time. crazy! i have an english speaking neighbor who knows no azerbaijani. who knew? i guess he and his wife (who is azeri) have been traveling a great deal lately and he just got into town. he is an older oil worker who has been in and out of the country for at least a decade. it was extremely interesting to be able to talk to a non-american foreigner about azerbaijan. it is hard to find foreigners who have been to more of azerbaijan than just baku. better yet, i think his azeri wife is in mingechevir a good deal....and she both speaks english and has a somewhat more open-minded personality. woo hoo for new friends.
other recent highlights include:
visitors: danielle and julia who are posted in siyazan stayed with me for three days. the weather was beautiful, we sat outside by the water a lot and got tan.
visiting: i visited the wonderful Kat in goychay and colleen in ismaili. great ladies all around.
chased by baby turkeys: did i spell that right? i don't know. i hope to post that video soon. it was cute, i tell you.
cooking: learned to make paklava (just like baklava). its hard to learn azeri recipes for a couple of reasons....the first being that no one woman actually measures what she uses and secondly, if i ask for measurement, the system here is the european non-american one. dag nabit.
i guess that is it for now. i feel kinda flu like. enjoy america or azerbaijan or whatever country you are reading this from