Wednesday, June 24

I found “Flying Carpets” now all I need is “broken pipelines”

The other day, after a meeting in the old town I decided to take my camera on the quest of some photos in this beautiful part of our city. I was amazed to the number of tiny streets, unwinding like a maze in front of me as I began my exploration of these endless, quiet paths.

It took me a while to figure out where I wanted to go and surprisingly without getting lost I managed to get to the street leading to the Maiden Tower. On my way, I saw a little boy, with piercing green eyes, I wanted to take his picture and his grand mother who was standing next to him, started talking  to me- the quality Azerbaijani people tend to have- they can start talking to a perfect stranger, no matter of their gender, though I am guessing, if I was a boy, she wouldn’t have asked me where and when the pictures will be published. She kindly invited me to have tea but I had to decline.

Then as I continued walking, I saw this sign (above) and thought it was just perfect, because the picture on my blog is actually from that shop, taken a while ago. So, now, if I see some “broken pipelines” it will complete my blog name (Jake, did you actually know of that shop? ;). 

Walking in the old- town and listening to some jazzy tunes on my i-pod, taking pictures of what seem to be deserted streets, talking to this woman, all reminded me of some old Azerbaijan, I used to be a part of. Its too sad, I don’t feel home whenever I am back here anymore, for work or holidays. To me, it’s just another country I visit every once in a while. It has changed.

When I was little, I always dreamed of a life, here, at home. I never thought of leaving and not wanting to come back at times so desperately that I find myself arguing and fighting only to skip a trip to Baku. It is sad, because that shouldn’t be the way I should be feeling but I cannot help it. The time of wishful thinking and dreaming has passed.

I was walking and thinking of what this country has become. Its wealth, its people, but most importantly its self, its face, its charisma- for now gone by no means, or simply buried deep under the new boom of prospering individuals, so blind to see the reality…


scaryazeri said...

I totally share your feelings. Have you seen my posting about Baku, I can't remember what it is called...hold on a sec I will dig it out for you...

I just had this feeling...pretty facade and all the history just buried underneath or erased/polished up.a bit sad I thought.


Arzu Geybulla said...

I enjoyed reading your post, exactly what i feel every time when i go back. I tried doing that- offering a lady to hold her bag- thing in Istanbul, the woman was very surprised and this is Istanbul, so I am guessing if you try doing that in London they will be very surprised :)

Anonymous said...


Great post. I left Azerbaijan six years ago, and have not been back from that time on.
Although they say lots of things changed, I feel I might be able to connect somehow when I'll go back. Nevertheless, I read news everyday and sometimes I feel tension arising within me: is this the country that I left? Is the same people?
When it comes to belonging (to the country), I think all immigrants feel tension. I do feel it personally. But it is not easy to come to terms with.
Where do you belong to? If not Azerbaijan, then to which country? Germany? Turkey? England? We can belong to several countries at the same time, but no one of them will be satisfying: because we don't belong to any one of them fully and totally.
Or may be concept and experience of country-nation is not major marker of your identity.
In any case, good post.

Peasant from Baku

Steve S said...

I have to say that Flying Carpet is a pretty great shop, if for no other reason than that he gives Peace Corps volunteers a good discount.

Eric said...

I loved walking in Icheri Sheher, and could still imagine myself back a century or two when walking some streets - as long as I didn't raise my eyes to see the satellite dishes. I'm sure it's quite different than it was 20 years ago, but it still can be charming.

What is the reaction to the passage of the NGO restrictions? Are ordinary people talking about this? Or is just a small circle who think this is important?

Arzu Geybulla said...

Thanks Eric for the comment,

Yesterday was the final parliament meeting to discuss the changes. I have good news, most of the proposed amendments were left out and while the rest of the changes were adopted, they wont pose as much threat to the existing NGOs.