Friday, December 30, 2011

Sticks and Stones

I’m just going to come out and say it, call a spade a spade: Azeri construction is a joke. I mean no disrespect, but it’s true. Most people know it. The only people who would argue this statement are the know-it-all “masters”, the bricklayers, the carpenters, the people who actually construct things around here. It borders on sheer ignorance. Tinkertoys are more stable than the things constructed in this country! I know that you could come up with any number of excuses to defend their feeble attempts at construction, but given my occasional suffering (especially in winter) and their refusal to take any sort of advice, I lack any sympathy on the matter. Houses are built completely misshaped, with tiny, unusable spaces, windows that don’t fully shut, and door frames that are completely off center. Gaping holes in the brick laying let in stinging cold air during the winter months. These men use cement like a six year old uses wet sand at the beach when making a sand castle. The main street in town, under construction for the past 6 months, was built without any sort of shoulder for parking, despite the numerous shops that line it. So, the new four lane road immediately became a two lane road. That’s funny, it was a two lane road before they went through all of the trouble! Cobblestone sidewalks were built as well. I trip over the bricks and inadvertently kick them out of their places on a daily basis. They also planted palm trees (don’t even get me started on that one) in the middle of the sidewalk. Between those and the lamp posts strategically placed on the sidewalk as well, your only choice is to walk on the street. Too bad there’s no shoulder!

The point of this post, other than to rant a little bit (it’s my blog, I can do what I want), is to share with you a joke my close friend Farid told me tonight over tea and nard. It’s an Azeri joke making fun of the very thing I was talking about above! It has been adapted for English. I hope you enjoy it!

An unfinished building falls down suddenly, leaving a huge mess. The building inspector must find out who’s culpable, so he calls everyone into his office one by one. First, he calls in the bricks.
“What happened yesterday? You were supposed to stand firm, give the building it’s shape.”
The bricks passionately reply, “We weren’t doing anything, promise. We were just all stacked there quietly, and the next thing you knew, BOOM!, we all come tumbling down.”
Next, the steel beams are called in. “What happened yesterday? You guys were supposed to really strengthen that place up. How could you have let it fall?”
The steels beams also fervently reply, “We had nothing to do with that, honest. We were in our places, keeping nice and firm, when, all of the sudden, we collapsed.”
The building inspector, clearly frustrated that no one was taking responsibility for the accident, calls in the cement in hopes of getting some answers.
“What happened yesterday? You’re the foundation of the entire building. How could you let it fall?”
The cement, very confused, innocently replies, “Sir, we had nothing to do with that accident, we weren’t even there!”

Happy New Year everyone!

Our homemade presents Christmas morning
Christmas dinner

Thai curry pumpkin soup

Our Christmas tree (Yolka in Azeri)
Happy Holidays from my region (the middle finger)!

Apple cider

No comments:

Post a Comment