Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just A Couple of Complaints

I have not been writing consistently lately, but I wanted to share a few thoughts with you. Life has been pretty wonderful recently. It’s summer time, and I feel like a kid again. Maybe it’s because I wear shorts and flip flops all day in the sun and have been very active with clubs. Or, maybe it’s because I only ever hang out with kids anymore. Seriously, with the exception of Trey (and there can be a good case made for the child in him), I’m not spending any time with adults. Any adult friends that I have are either married, busy, MIA, or in Baku where most adults migrate to in search of real work. I understand and don’t blame anyone. At first, I thought it was bad that I had no real local, adult friends, somehow upsetting even. Actually, it’s so refreshing. I get to spend my days immaturely joking around with kids and discussing subjects completely uninteresting to most adults. During the days, I feel like I have so much energy. On the other hand, at night I’m terribly sore and exhausted. It’s not easy keeping up with them!

I’d like to spend the next two paragraphs picking a bone with Azerbaijan!
First off, dogs. As in many countries around the world, stray dogs litter the streets. These flea-infested, garbage-eating balls of clumpy hair are certainly not cuddling material. But, I’d like to ask: “How did they get this way?”
People are terrified of dogs here. They’ll cross the street just to avoid them and feel no remorse over throwing rocks at a dog getting a little too close. What saddens me most is that none of these dogs pose any threat. I know this because most of these dogs are not afraid of me and look forward to seeing me as I pass by, giving them a brief pat on the head and tummy rub before I rush home to pour bleach on my hand. All it took to befriend them was a few days of soft hellos and the occasional kneel, just letting them adjust and eventually come to me. The other night I got scolded by a neighbor because a pack of dogs of wonderful cute, playful orphans followed me home from Trey’s.
I voiced my lack of regard for his concerns and made my way inside, alone (I’m a dog lover, but I certainly won’t be letting any of those mutts in my house anytime soon!).
I don’t bring this up with adults, but I tell kids it everyday when we encounter dogs when walking around. Don’t be scared. Most dogs are more terrified of you. Especially since it’s pretty customary here to keep a puppy for about 2 months and then throw it out on the streets when it gets too big and ‘uncute’. No wonder they bark and are terrified of humans. They’ve been abandoned and treated worse than my childhood stuffed animals. How would you feel? I’d be a lot meaner to Azerbaijanis than they are if I were a dog.
So, here’s my message: If you’re afraid of dogs, get over it! They are such sweet animals. If you still can’t get over that fear, stop adopting puppies only to abandon them mere months later. And, I realize no one here had the good fortune of watching Bob Barker, but spend a little extra to neuter or spay your animals, PLEASE!

Lastly, the ‘24/24’ sign that litters almost EVERY convenient store in this country! What does that even mean? 24/7 is definitely a thing. 24/24? Not.
In this day and age when even people towards the bottom of the economic spectrum have cell phones and access to cheap internet, if you’re going to start a store, and put all of your hard earned money into it, do a little god dam research!!! 24 hours a days/24 days a year? The 24 days a year part may be pretty accurate in this country, but you’re definitely not open 24 hours a day! My late night journeys to find a store that is still open have proved that!

That’s all. I’m done complaining!

Picking cherries with my little buddy Davud
The second mural is finally finished!
Balaken Summer Camp 2012!

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