The grass really is greener

     After nice weekend of seeing some sites or Azerbaijan, I am back in Ujar, and have returned to the work that I haven’t written about on this blog before.  Most recently, I returned to Ujar Sunday night from a night in Ismayilli, and a night in Baku.  The trip to Ismayilli was to visit some friends who are volunteering there, as well as getting to see some part of the country that had previously been unknown.  My verdict is this: Most of the towns in Azerbaijan are the same. 

     There are a few leaning-toward-city-statuts places, but they are simply larger versions of the same thing.  You’ve got your schools, your stores, your tea houses, and you mosques.  The differences are negligable.  That being said, I really valued the differences offered in a place like Imayilli, where my friends Matt, Rachel, and Colleen all live.  There are trees.  In ujar, there are shrubs, and possibly trees in people’s yards, but really nothing that seems more that 20 years old.  Ismayilli’s streets are lined with giant decidious trees that shade the streets.  And speaking of shade, the side of the mountain in which the town is located provides a nice cool temperature compared the the dry, hot weather in the plains of Ujar.

     Still, one town in Ujar might be a bit more scenic, but it’s still comparing the faster slug against the slower slug.  It’s all slugs.  How fast could they possibly go?  I say not much, but the experts might disagree.

     Over the weekend in Baku I met Mark Elliot, the author of the guide book titled Azerbaijan, which is the best guide book out there (I would link to it if the internet connection wasn’t so slow).  He was a jolly guy, and it was nice to meet the man behind the myth.  There was a group of us fascinated with the closest thing to celebrity we might come across, and he asked us all where we were posted. 

     “Ismayilli, how nice!” He said to Matt.  “Oh Zagatala, thats a lovely town,” he told Steve.  “Ujar, huh.  You seem to have gotten the short end of the stick.” was his message to me.  It was funny, and all the other volunteers made fun of me because the experts agree I got shafted.  It wasn’t as much of a ‘poor me’ situation as it was just a funny one.

     I have to go back to the school that I was going to write about, so that post must wait for another day.  Leave some comments if you read this.  I seriously live for that stuff.

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2 responses to “The grass really is greener

  1. Hey Jeff –
    I really have enjoyed the last two posts – it’s great to get a sense of your place (for better or for worse!), and to catch up with what you’ve been doing. I’ve been spending alot of time in Coos Bay (I assume you know that Grammy’s had surgery; she’s recovering well at this point), and we often speculate about where you are and what you’re doing. I had a nice visit with your mom, too, a couple of weeks ago at the RV park; if you can believe this, it was so hot we had to go sit in the shade. I could hardly believe it was Charleston. Anyway, know that we’re all thinking of you and looking foward to your posts.

    Love,
    Marilyn

  2. Jeffy: At least your feelings about Ujar have been validated! I just found out there is a guy from Old Greenwich who is also volunteering in Azerbaijan and that a friend of mine’s son is working in Baku for an oil company. Small world, eh? I guess you are in a hot spot!
    XXX, A.P.

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