Monday, December 28

Baku underground (metro)

This morning, as I was on my way to work, I forgot that I was out of credit on my metro card. So I stopped to top it up. Unfortunately a woman sitting behind those thick and dirty metro glasses refused to top up my card, saying I should use the machines for that.

There was a crowd (not a line mind you) of people around the two (or three- its hard to understand as its impossible to see anything among the crowd) machines and it was precisely for that reason that I asked the woman for help. She looked into my eyes and though I said I was running late she refused to help. And so I stood in what I can't even call a line and it seemed like no one cared as people were coming from different sides and simply stepping in front of me (and all the others who were standing ahead of me).

At some point I simply ran out of patience and so I told the man who cut in front of me that he should wait in line. He turned around and pretty much barked out that he was already in line.

Never mind I said to myself. This is going to be over. Unfortunately it wasn't. Not only there was no line, but those who were using the machine didn't really know how to use it. So, if normally it should take only a minute to go through the whole thing, it was taking a lot longer.

One thing that I cannot understand is that why there is no line culture here in Azerbaijan. Its not just the metro. I see this every time when I fly to Baku. Each time I stand in passport control line there are always people who cut in front and while doing this argue that they have been standing there for several minutes even though we were all on the same plane and they just got out of it. And its same in shops and government institutions. Why are we so impatient?
Riding in a metro in Istanbul there are posters (animated) showing people how they should stand in line while using escalators. Maybe we should try the same in Azerbaijan? Perhaps instead of plasma tvs that are pretty useless we should invest in more educational things?

I don't know, perhaps I resist the chaos too much?!


Onnik Krikorian said...

Same in Armenia, Arzu. Is it a Soviet thing or simply because people don't show any respect or even think about anyone outside their immediate "clan?"

Another example, which I daresay is true for Azerbaijan as well. Go into almost any Armenian house and it's spotless. Look outside and people drop garbage everywhere.

Same with drivers who don't care about others on the road or pedestrians crossing them. Maybe its both, but I can't help but think it's just selfishness.

Anonymous said...

don't know...actually, if I think about Russia, it seems to me that people do queue in a rather orderly way, even on escalators in the underground. And while waiting at public offices, people do ask "who's last in the queue?".

at least, that's my experience...I always thought it was a habit that was established in Soviet times (and probably even more in perestroika years)...

but the difference in how people treat private and public spaces (keeping the former tidy, and not caring about the latter) has always struck me in all post-Soviet countries I visited...

Miss quero-paz-no-mundo-e-tal said...

Same in India Arzu. I guess we can find different explanations for each country/context, but the result is pretty much the same: it drives us mad!
Really like your blog. Will be coming here for sure.

Anonymous said...

@ Arzu,

hal hazirda bunun en effektiv bir caresi var, duzdu o da maksimum netice vermir amma effektivdi. O da o xarici passport alinan yerde "INSAN"lar ucun qurashdirlimish demir ceper!!! basqa elaci yoxdu.

Not only we have no line culture, we dont have driving culture and etc...basically we dont have cultural identity, we dont have national identity we dont have religious identity, we dont have political culture....etc and etc...everything is mixed and everyone uses each aspect the way it suits him/her.

you are not alone on resisting the choas :)

we are many, unfortunately it is enough. :(



P.S. Why I like reading your posts? It's almost exactly the same I feel and what to write after i came back to the you just do it for me. :)))