rusted hulks and USA party

July 9, 2007

Ending the 7th of July on the Caspian.


I mentioned conversation clubs…  To have a club, we needed the OK from our school director; so on Sat. we went to ask permission.  Quite happy to see us, he wanted to know if we’d gotten our pictures developed from the 4th of July celebration a few days earlier…he also wanted Sally to sing.  We received permission; with director insisting that we incorporate an activity, such as photography, or dancing.  During this request he pantomimed the Hokey Pokey, causing Sally and I to cringe at the Beast of Bad Dancing and Singing that we had released into the school.  None the less, I’m wonderfully excited at having the OK at doing photography.


Before our 4th of July Party on the 7th, Kelli agreed to accompany me on a hunt for sandals at the Bazaar (which besides having an overwhelming amount of shoes, is also home to a species of Name Brand Aviator Sunglasses). Successfully demonstrating self control and not dumping 2 weeks worth of PC ‘wage’ on Sexy Glasses, I found a par or sandals I liked at an agreed upon cheap price.  Then I tried to pay for the footwear.  Bad idea.  Yelling loudly (in Azri) shop person #1 called over 4 more merchants, then shop person #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 started yelling/gesturing at Kelli and I.  The 5 attracted another 5, who called over their friends, who called in back up…Obviously, neither Kelli or I speak enough Azri to yell back ‘shut da f—k up’, even if we had it might not have been wise; we were now surrounded by over 25 yelling/gesturing/sweating/smelly ugly Azri men.  They only increased their volume/speed when I simply gave them my meanest look and refused (for the 8th time) to pay 3 times the agreed upon price. After about 6 min, the smell was wretched beyond expression and my ears hurt, I shoved the blasted footwear at shop person #1, grabbed Kelli and pushed my way out of the reeking mess.  I’m guessing that at least 6 or so guys were yelling the equivalent of ‘stupid b—h’ as we marched away.  Intent on leaving an even more lasting impression, I had the fortunate (unfortunate) fate of tripping and falling AGAIN while walking up the stairs that lead away from the sketchy shoe shop. The yells turned to even louder laughter.  I give myself a shiny gold star for NOT flipping off the whole lot ‘em.  I’m actually quite confused.  In all the dangerous things I’ve done (climbing cranes, walking beams in crumbling mills, stupid roof top antics etc.) I’ve rarely tripped or even hurt myself.  But yet, stairs and seemingly flat pavement presents the biggest challenge to my balance, and coordination.


Us crazy Americans finally had the chance to celebrate Independence Day on the 7th.  In true form we had a gathering at Kelly’s house complete with USA food like PBJ’s,hotdogs, pickles and bubbly, fermented beverages.  With much toasting and many cheers we feasted on our American food, trying to explain to the Ariz’s the significant and importance of a PBJ in our lives.  Our FL brought his friends along to observe/laugh at our antics; much like the 3 Amigos they coolly observed us, until, Jill and I broke the ice…by offering to teach them American slang.  (This has not failed us yet, but I highly doubt this would work in the US as a pick up/opening line)  We imparted such gems as ‘Smack that’ and ‘Bootylicious’, complete with correct context, such as:  No, you would not tell your mother, teacher, or grandmother that they were ‘Bootylicious’ nor would it produce a positive result if used on an American girl at a club.  However, telling Joel (a PCT who everyone looks up to and its over 40) that he is ‘Bootylicious’ is completely acceptable.  Joel was a good sport and merely responded that he would call his wife and let her know.  The guys in turn taught Jill and I the Azri equivalent of ‘ass hat’ and ‘I want to eat your soul.’  Fair play I‘d say.

Disclaimer.  I actually do have meaningful conversations with the Ariz’s I meet.  And I have taught them English that does not involve slang.


After Kelly’s, we drove to the Caspian.  Dusk was coming on, so we didn’t have much time.  There is a long stretch (1/2 mile?) of broken concrete blocks that points into the sea and out to the badly rusted hulk of a wreaked ship; someone has scrawled ‘Titanic’ in white paint on the brown hull.  Sally and I, with the help of 2 Azri guy friends, braved the slippery blocks, and made it 3/4ths of the way out to the ship.  The last ¼ of the way is a combination of rotting beams/rusted pieces of metal supported by rocks/concrete blocks.  I wanted to keep going, but the Azri guys thought it was too dangerous (which I explained was exactly why we should try;  [I think they were a little put off by that?]). No fuss, we sat on the rocks, surround by the water, away from the beach, almost in the shadow of a ship wreck; a vast panorama to soak up.  We smoked a cig and experienced that instant of perfect calm that comes rarely.  Memorable.


*postscript, I’ll be on that tasty rusted hulk soon enough to photograph it*


8 Responses to “rusted hulks and USA party”

  1. Mr. X said

    Quite the blog you have going on here. What an adventure. Keep it up!

  2. Mike said

    For future reference, a “long stretch of broken concrete blocks that points into the sea” is usually referred to in English as a “breakwater”, and is designed to stop, or at least diminish, the size of waves.

    Is this the shipwreck you’re referring to?

    Also, you might want to check this out, on the southwestern edge of the city:

  3. Mike said

    Hmmn… can’t embed images. 😦 How about shipwreck and rusty things? Will links work?

  4. Ben said

    Ha ha. Mike the professional blogger screwed up his coding.

    Keep up the updates as you can, I’m enthralled.

    Maybe you should make an offering to the stair gnomes, in hopes of better fortune…

  5. Brian said

    Wow. Sounds like you’re having a crazy good time over there so far. I leave town for a week and I have to read a novel to see what you’re up to 😛

    Keep the updates a comin’.

  6. S/// said

    I keep tripping on the steelcaps in my boots. Even after 10 years im still going arse over tit.

    What is/are PBJ’s.

  7. mcmacdonald said

    “Still going arse over tit” gawd that made my day, id forgotten about that one!!! LOL

    PBJ’s are peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches.

    Internet here is dial up. ive tried many many times to get pictures to work.. tho i’ll try image shack.
    Mike the links didnt work..however, the shipwreak i was talking about is i believe in the area of Syumgat/Corat/Suray (i prolly mispelled those town names)

    siolo i cant get dial up to let me access your blog. but send an email/facebook and update me, K? 🙂

    i’m not sure who i have to ask to get better balance, i do believe that i will NOT fall into the caspian when i photo the hulk/ tho i’ll try the star gonmes,

  8. Mike said

    Are you sure your balance issues aren’t a result of your nibbling on nothing but rabbit food, and drinking wine with every meal? 🙂

    Silly me, I thought this thing had a preview button, and/or allowed the posting of images in comments. Live and learn…

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