Of a Lego size Biblical Flood

November 27, 2009

Convincing Jake (aka Mr. Clean from the summer) to visit Izzy Town was a bit hard, but eventually we made the arduous trip via a 3 hours bus ride on the newly paved mountain passes that makeup the last half of the Baku-Izzy Town Yol.  Arriving in top but tired form, we hoped to settle down for a freezing night of watching newly purchased DVD’s courtesy of Mr. Hong Kong Harries-little did we know…


In context.  Right before leaving for Baku I awoke to loud pounding on my door at the bad hour of 7am-upoin opening the door I was greeted by a barrage of cussing that was issuing forth from the mouth of a xanim who was missing all lower front teeth and looked to be in the range of 60 but was likely closer to 40.  In-between the near constant stream of ‘Pox Su!!!’ (Literal translation: Shit Water) I managed to ascertain that apparently my toilet was raining down what appeared for all intents and purposes to be Shit Water into her toilet. (Good aim, I say) After 4 days of various incompetent males attempting to fix the toilet, no water, no heat and a flat that smelled of shit water, I left for Baku with the promise of returning to a toilet and accompanying pipes that worked if not correctly as least marginally. 


Fast forward to us arriving, arguing with 2 pretend repair men who made lobotomized zombies (stole that from DS-thank you) look smart, and finally being under the impression that until the next day, things in the pipe/toilet world were ‘Yaxsi’.

Apparently in the short time from when the lobotomized zombie repair men left and we had hidden ourselves under a mountain of blankets and were a few scenes into ‘2012’ (how appropriate), my toilet and all related and non related pipes had decided to give rebellion a go and simultaneously freeze, break, implode and spew a combination of sewage, moldy water and mysterious black particles into my bathroom, hallway and bedroom.  Standing in the bathroom door, we were in silent awe contemplating the ridiculous scene-moldy water was spewing from a recessed light socket, cracks in the ceiling, and pipes on the floor-the water had already made an ½ inch deep puddle outside the door.  Harmoniously cussing at the same time, we were momentarily paralyzed by the sheer un-believability of what was unfolding. Thankfully we recovered from shock in time to realize several important things, namely that: both of us have no idea whatsoever how to fix Azeri pluming, our socks were wet, we were standing directly in the line of fire and my bedroom had swiftly become a flood zone.  Unfortunately in times of crisis my Azerbaijani is limited to cussing making the process of describing over the phone to my mostly deaf (and a tad senile) landlady that a Lego size flood of biblical proportions was unfolding, a painfully drawn out endeavor that ended with me repeating ’Water Everywhere, Toilet Cut, I don’t know why!’.  After hanging up, unsure when and even if help would show up, Jake and I (laughing hysterically) were found to be running about with old sweat shirts and dish towels, since we also discovered that my processions lack a considerable supply of vary large, very absorbent towels for soaking up shit water.  Help did arrive though, in the form of 2 of my students, who thankfully, hid their amusement at my distress, and set to work turning knobs and handles and making phone calls (how this helps burst/broken pipes is beyond me)-eventually they crawled up to the roof, where several loud repair type sounds could be heard, and then, the moldy rain shower subsided, the light socket stopped spewing, and a general calm was reached.  My students left covered in attic dirt, assuring me that everything was fixed, and that the last repair to be done was bolting of the toilet to the tile. 


Launching a rescue mission to salvage clothes and bedding from the room proved to be more frustrating and time consuming than useful, as reaching anything needed required a ninja run/jump/back flip move that given my state of tiredness was only executable once.  Too tired to soak up nasty water and rather peeved at the interruption to our movie, we had to settle for trying to not fall off the fold out couch (how I can possess such a luxury and still not have heat is a problem that makes my brain hurt), not freeze to death (as my gas had just gone out entirely) and sleep (as my bed was a literal un reachable ark of comfort sitting in a puddle of moldy water.)  Somehow it was all managed, though for the next day using the bathroom was akin to entering a war zone of enemy mud, insurgent mold, and stealthy gorilla black flecks hiding everywhere.


Brilliant Marketing! At least this baby got a chance at 15 min. of fame, usually plastic dolls (and stuffed animals) are sealed in plastic bags and hang suffocating from random places on bedroom walls-or in the case of my new-ish flat-they make an installation of it, utilizing a gas line to string up Fluffy the Bear and Friends.

Oct09 013 Oct09 014

Oct09 002

Speaking of things being strung up and out, these unfortunate Faux-People where spotted outside a uniform shop near a metro stop-it seems the owner is a little scared they might dip out when he turns his back-cant blame ‘em though, the clothes are bland enough to bring the clergy to tears.

March.April 09 160

I bet that Baku Faux-People were a little jealous of these gems from the Whitechaple Green area in London Town-My sister passed this stand every morning on the way to the tube and had failed to notice it, until I pointed out that it was a kindly reminder of my AZ home-a la crotchless nylons.

jan-feb-march09 122

It seems that the Faux-People are not the only ones subject to hideous clothing being forced upon them-the Toy is a lone holdout showcase of bad life choices and animal print refusing to die. This rather shocking ensemble provided over 4 hours of amusement; however I wasn’t able to capture the matching suitcase size purse that threatened to wipe out children whenever she turned around. Thankfully for attendees’ progeny, she left the purse on the table when she got up to dance.

Sept.09Toy 122

Even I with mad Nina skillz honed and strengthened from 2 years of avoiding animal print was not safe from the insurmountable challenge of the wonderful (seriously) host mother who is terrified that her American sons and daughters will die from cold feet (sometimes such things happen, apparently.) Anyway, it was a pity that SnowLepordGirl wasn’t around to enjoy the socks with me.

Sept.09Toy 179

Not every clothing article given to me is just barely suitable for home wear I received a kicking pair of pants that not only made my legs long and skinny, and my butt 2 sizes smaller, but also gave me BlingInTheLowerFrontalRegion-catapulting me into categories of HardCoreness mostly reserved for Gangsters and two wandering Aussie Photographers. Sometimes its hard to walk upright, so much flash is weighting down

Dec08 021

If I am found to be walking in style, you would notice I prefer to take full advantage of the national obsession with knee/thigh high boots of all colors and prints -no matter how high, slinky, skanky or massively hooker-ish, boots are welcomed in every size, shape, color, quality, and function-too bad the population of most small villages isn’t as accepting of foreigners, people with disabilities and African Americans. Found, and purchased at a metro shop:



Found and snapped, this ridiculous beauty not so innocently dangling from a line in a larger regional city.

Oct09 111

It seems towels are the one canvas upon which horn-ball fantasy computer geeks are let loose to create public art acceptable for purchase and consumption. This towel in particular was a gift from one Azeri English teacher to one American English Teacher, a Ms. NE of AZ5-both women are in their late 50’s-a point I make not because late 50’s is old, but because I’m of the opinion that proper English teachers giving naughty-towels to other proper English teachers is more a cause to assume the world is ending than me running and not eating meat.

(Thank you to Mr. J for modeling the towel he was lucky enough to inherit)

Oct09 044

If the world does indeed end in 2012 as so many of my friends have told me, then at least this poor atomically incorrect Elephant guarding a kiddy pool at a family resort on the Caspian will be put out of its misery. This one is indeed a head puzzler. Since when did female Elephants have chests located in their armpits? And since when was it OK to have that at kiddy pools yet wearing red pants and making eye contact are actions deemed inappropriate enough to send every pious/board person in a 60 km radius into spasms of shock/horror?

April-May09 119

This requires no explanation, other than it was given to me, last winter, with a many a laugh, by a nearly blind old man at a fruit stand near my old flat.

Dec08 020

Explanation would have been helpful when this lovely find of a restaurant did its menu- Freelancers out in the world looking to earn some quick cash; take note-proper translation between languages is a skill in high demand

Sept.09Toy 039

Also in high demand are t-shirts sporting naughty English phrases-even IzzyTown was not safe, a student from my school was spotted proudly wearing ‘Eat Me’ across his scrawny chest. Spurned on by several more sightings of disastrously funny t-shirts, EM (my partner in crime for most everything) and I took on the SummieLandClothingBazzar hoping to swipe a few t-shirts for holiday gifts. Finding it nearly impossible to not laugh when asking for ‘Eat Me’ (a phrase which had to be s l o w l y enunciated) I settled for the following: (Be glad I didn’t pick up the long sleeve tee which shamelessly stated: ‘Turn off the lights and take off your clothes.’)


Rendering myself lame for 2 days by smashing my big toe is clearly a result of not consuming enough Ninjalar Candy-complete with super awesome disk throwing watch.


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