Business Sense, In Azerbaijan
Despite some very strange approaches to capitalism here, I cannot deny that there are some folks here who have a keen business sense. Especially the guy who set up a tea house at Hirkan National Park, where we visited the other day. Sure, you could set up your çayxana, or teahouse, in the city where lots of people might come by. Where your business is viable because of location and convenience and good quality. Or, you could be like the entrepreneurial spirit we encountered in Hirkan. As we drove up the road into Hirkan, we ended up parking our car at a spot where I think we weren’t allowed to continue. And what was there but the only çayxana for a few kilometers, at least. No building was there, in effect removing the “xana” from “çayxana,” but who needs that?
An older gentleman, who we dubbed Whitebeard, was running a pretty nifty teahouse at this stopping spot. He had a couple plastic tables and plastic chairs and stools set up overlooking the lake, at the base of one of the large hills towering above us. Atop his car he kept the teapots and he had his tea samovar bubbling over with water ready to brew. With a few more wares, basically just teacups and saucers, he had a full-fledged teahouse running, no house necessary. He even managed to provide raisins, peanuts, walnuts, and sugar to go with our drinks. When your operation is barebones, but you’ve obviously hit on an easily-targeted customer base with a product that can’t be messed up, I think you’ve got a decent business going on. He certainly does. Who doesn’t want to sit atop a lake, sipping tea and nibbling peanuts, with all that nature about you? It’s a glorious thing. And Whitebeard has it down.