Tuesday, 10 March 2009
So OK let’s face it: I am an immigrant. I don’t particularly like that label, but that’s what I really am. My life has changed drastically in the past 8 years. And one of the hardest things I had to learn to deal with, besides not having my relatives near me, is missing my old friends.
Oh, I have made some great friends here. Never mind that I had to turn into a stalker for a while, in my effort to break through the reserved English front. I am a maniac when it comes to socializing. I would rather not feed my poor husband dinner, than miss out on a coffee date with yet another local mummy friend.
But I am talking about my other friends now. The ones I left behind. The ones who left me, and moved on to different countries and got themselves some new friends. The ones whose lives I only see glimpses of via Facebook these days.
There is just not enough blog space given to me by my Google account to talk about all my friends, and how funny and cool they are. And how proud and lucky I am to have had them in my life, however far they might be.
I am only going to talk about some of them here. Not in any particular order of importance!
The Glamorous One
(see the sketch)
An old friend of Husband is still, 8 years on, talking about that gorgeous Azeri girl who sat next to him at our wedding.
Once me and the GO went to a posh local health club back home. As we laid there on lounge chairs relaxing after sauna and she was chatting away, I was looking at her face and thinking to myself – Wow. She really is just so damn pretty! Without any trace of make up, her skin was translucent and her eyes the colour of the Caribbean Sea. Not the Caspian sea. Not sure what colour that would be these days. I personally look like a horse with no make-up on. Husband would smile affectionately, and say that it makes me look younger. OK, I say a filly then.
She is quite a character as well. People often questioned my friendship with her, and asked if she was as scary and bitchy as she appeared. I would say:
Oh, definitely! But how boring would a girl be without at least a tiny bit of a bitch in her? I’d just die of boredom being friends with someone that bloody nice.
But let me tell you this little story about the GO.
My first dog killed himself. Or so my mom and I were convinced at the time.
We are not crazy, honestly. We were just grieving.
He was our baby, and lived with us for 18 years. In hindsight-A little vicious MF. Would bite anyone and anything that moved. Every time I went out, I would be dreading getting back into my bed at night, as he would sleep on top of my duvet and attack my legs through it. Luckily for me, we have thick lamb’s wool duvets back in Azerbaijan.
So one day my mom decided that this little black and white cat who was happily living in our yard along with 130 other stray cats, should move in with us.
The next night, right about 4am my old dog squeezed himself through our 5th floor flat’s balcony railings. Splat.
My mother was convinced it was the newly adopted cat’s fault.
Have you seen his yellow eyes? - she said through tears. The cat took ownership of the dog’s favorite old arm-chair the night he moved in. That was his way of officially announcing he replaced the poor old dog. So the dog walked out of our lives, leaving us to enjoy our new younger pet, my mom said.
So we are in Baku. 4 am. My dog is pretty dead, considering the heights of Soviet buildings built by German prisoners of war. My mother is hysterical. I am frantically looking for a box to put the body in. We live in a flat in the centre of the city. I had only heard of a pet cemetery in a horror movie.
I call my then boyfriend, who gets up and comes along with a spade. Poor English boyfriend. At 4am. In Baku. With a dead dog and me and my mother weeping non-stop. We go across the road to a local park, hoping nobody sees us, and he digs a big enough hole. Done. We can’t even go visit my dog’s grave nowadays as it turned into the Turkish embassy park, with a huge lock on the gates.
The next night, I was so scared of the cat, I could not sleep. Every time I opened my eyes, he would sit in the dead dog’s arm-chair, staring at me with his indeed, extremely yellow eyes. (OK!OK!Grief stricken, remember?)
I thought he was sent to me by the Dark side to prove me wrong in my atheist’s views. So I called the GO, who was out partying with yet another admirer.
She just left him on the spot, jumped in her car and came over. She marched in on her high heels, her impressive cleavage bursting through her fitted jacket, and told me to stop being so pathetic, and get rid of the f*** cat.
That got me out of the trance I was in. We took the street cat back to his real home- not an act I am particularly proud of, but he was living happily in our yard for years after all. Please do not report me to the RSPCA for that one bad thing I did to an animal in my whole life. I love animals. Just not that devil’s cat.
So GO said: “Look at it as if he had a nice holiday. Came to your house for a break, hypnotized your dog into a suicide, and now it is time to go back to where he belongs.”
She took me to her place, where we had some Vodka & Orange and smoked lots of Marlboro lights. I am forever grateful to GO for that. Even though she never even sent me a card when my first child was born. I struggled to understand that for a while. When you went through so much with someone, don’t you deserve at least a free e-card? I would even settle for a quick email. But hey, she saved me from the Devil’s cat so I still love her.
PS For my next dog, I got myself a Rottweiler. To ensure that:
1) He is scary and dark enough to fight off any evil cats
2) Large enough not to be able to squeeze through the balcony railings.
He now enjoys the lovely forest walks in beautiful English countryside. I do not have any balconies he could use in my new home.
The Little Red Haired One
You know what I love the most about the RHO? She talks about very personal things. It makes me smile thinking how shocked my English mummy friends would be, should they ever find out what the RHO and me talk about. She is refreshingly open about most intimate aspects of her single life. To me, married and in suburbs, it feels a bit like secretly watching 9 ½ Weeks in my younger years- slightly naughty but exciting. She comes to visit and with her, I breathe in the free air of New York, with its Cosmopolitans and Sex and the City life. I always have a cigarette when I get to see her, and indulge in a proper girlie talk. Like in good old days. About what bastards men are. About her ex. About her future ex. About naughty things. About our old days in Baku. And she is always ready to give me a hug, and laugh at my jokes. What else can a girl want from a friend?
Oh, the A. She is the oldest of them all. Not age wise!!!!- I have to quickly add.
We always fall out. We engage in email wars that last for months at a time. Usually, focusing around the subject of Israel and Palestine- Of course! Or her religious views vs. my lack of those. What else can two close friends argue about? We have such heated discussions, that sometimes I worry about my keyboard- I type so hard Husband complains he can’t hear the telly.
I said to her the other day- why do people have to talk about these things over and over again? I am so fed up discussing politics, religion and the recession it is driving me mad! And the A told me her husband had to call his uncle in Moscow recently, just so he had someone to argue about the situation in Georgia with.
So we argue and then chill out, and move on. She knows me better than anyone else. We will always be close friends. As someone said: “You will always be my best friend. You just know too much!”
Perhaps, my old friends are very different to my current ones. But they are pretty cool. They believe in different Gods, eat different foods, and their children will speak different languages. And they are so far away from me it is not actually at all funny. And I am so fortunate with all these new friends. But that would be another story.