Ask and You Shall Receive
In our introduction to Azerbaijan, during training a few months back, we were given a list of the “dos” and “don’ts” in Azerbaijan, such as “do take your shoes off when you enter someone’s home” or “don’t whistle in public.” Along with many cautionary notes and many encouraging ones, there was a gem inserted that is really working out to my advantage:
“If you are looking for something, do ask. Even if it seems unlikely, you never know what people will be able to find for you.”
Partly inspiring the last post about coffee and tea was that I have recently gone on a coffee binge. With a recently-acquired French press, and coffee beans from Tbilisi, I was ready to take on a making a real cup of coffee. The lack of a coffee grinder, however, was problematic. I considered using a hammer, or attempting to use a hand-grinder people use around here for grinding nuts. It didn’t look promising. Instead, after discussing with site-mate Jaclyn, a wealth of knowledge in her own right, she told me her family actually has a coffee grinder, used for turning sugar in powdered sugar (who’d have thought?). So began my short search. I went to the bazaar, poked around in some of the shops selling wares for cehizlər (think ‘dowry‘). I explained that I needed a little machine for coffee. That didn’t get me very far, so I explained that I would use it for şəkər (sugar) to grind into şəkər tozu (‘sugar dust’, or powered sugar). A light bulb appeared atop my seller’s head and he went to the back of his store, returning with a small, new coffee grinder. It even said, “coffee grinder” on the box and it’s a lovely shade of green. Brilliant. As I write this, I’m on my second cup of home-brewed, fresh-ground, French-pressed coffee. This is one of those things that just makes life better. Now I’ve got everything I need to accommodate guests, Azerbaijanis and Americans.