Another Case of the Moves
Moving around Lənkəran isn’t too bad. I’ve moved from a village outside the city to an apartment on the outskirts to a place near the sea to, now, an apartment near the big bazaar. One or two taxi loads is all it takes, and the move in is relatively quick, especially with a friend to help out.
The hard part is finding your patterns. I’ve noticed that moving makes me really uncomfortable in the new place because I can’t rely on my old patterns, and I have to create new ones. We all sort of function within our environment in certain patterns, and moving from one place to another is an incredibly effective way of upsetting all your established patterns. Upsetting some of those patterns can be disabling, even. I haven’t unpacked most of my stuff yet because I don’t really know how I’m going to make it work, in what sort of pattern I’ll end up. The first priority was figuring out how I would set up my coffee situation. Last night, my first night in the apartment, my landlord came at 10:39pm with a huge gas tank to hook up to the stove so I can cook. The guy works out, as he carried this thing from the street up a bunch of flights without stopping. His name is Ferdowsi and he’s a sports instructor. He also brought his friend to check out the three faucets that are leaking or useless. One works, so I can get water. And I have the french press and coffee, so now I’ve all the ingredients for the morning (and sometimes afternoon) ritual.
I have a pretty good feeling about the new place, as long as the faucets get fixed up right. We’ve actually signed a contract. This is a big deal. Contracts aren’t that common amongst the Azeri population. I have a feeling it has something to do with the Azeri being offended that you don’t trust them to take care of you and not throw you out with less than day’s notice. Frankly, you can’t trust them not to do that. Ferdowsi is also the only grown man I’ve seen here who bikes everywhere. He’s always on his bike, jetting around, referring to it as his Mercedes. I like this a lot. Lastly, yesterday evening featured a surprise return of my landlord at 11:30. He had forgotten something when he came the first time, which was a full meal of Ləvəngi chicken, with plov and eggplant and raisins, the works. And he brought other specialty breads like Şor çörək. That was unexpected and awesome. And he delivered it on his bike. Brilliant.
So far, this guy Ferdowsi is someone who engenders the Azerbaijani notion of hospitality, welcoming me with delicious food; assuring me that if I need anything, I can call anytime, day or night; and generally trying to present the best Azeri face to the foreign guest. Now to get him to fix the faucets…