Monday, 27 April 2009

Shashlik brain syndrome

I have noticed, and please don't start reassuring me it is not true, as I know the best, that my writing has gone (remarkably!) down in quality since I arrived in Baku.
I blame endless shashliks, Georgian khingalis, and sweets my mother baked for Russian Easter for this drowsiness of my otherwise quick and witty brain.
Not quite sure how to explain this Easter baking business of my mother, by the way, since we are not Russian. She and her neighbour friend (not a Russian either) actively compared recipes for Kuliches, and discussed whose poppy seed cake was nicer. Very strange. Not that I mind, you know me I will celebrate anything, as long as there is tasty food involved. I think it is sweet though, this lingering tradition to accept and celebrate other cultures- something that Baku used to be famous for in its Soviet days.

So here I am, fatter than a week ago, with a slow and relaxed brain, full of lamb fat and beer. Therefore, not going to bore you all with anything long and painfully slow. Will just share a rather weird, but totally typical during this visit, conversation I had in a local food shop today.

Saleswoman (about my toddler's outfit):
- Is she not cold? Put a hat on her head!
- No, she is fine.

(My child says in English she wants a chocolate egg.)

Saleswoman (leaning over the counter to scrutinize my child):
- Is she English or something?
-Yes
-Is she yours??
-Yes, she is mine.
-You English too?
-No, but I live there
-Really? Are you Azeri?
-Yes.
-Does your child speak Azeri?
-No, unfortunately.
-Russian?
-No... she should, but she does not. Can we have that chocolate egg now please?
-OK, yeah....but put a hat on her head, yes?

I must have indeed, lived in the UK far too long now.

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