Thursday, 16 April 2009

Material Girl

I have this girlfriend who I met while working together back in Baku. She is bizarrely outspoken for a Brit. She does not even bother to dress it up. I find her company refreshing, as she would often say things that others probably think about me, but would never tell. Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that she is not English, but (as she proudly insists) Irish. But I suspect it has more to do with the amount of a substance she smokes on regular basis.

The other day, we had quite a fascinating conversation. She pointed out that I often talk about money.

How’s that?- I asked, curious.

Well, - she continued, taking another drag,- I noticed that about all of you, Eastern European girls. (She knows about 3)

She explained that as a British person, she finds it really shocking that we seem to openly place importance of material things.

-You are so materialistic! -She exclaimed with outrage.

You don’t make it a secret that you think money is important, she added.

That is a fascinating point. Because I do think money is important. And I find it incredibly irritating when people say it is not.

And people just love saying that, don’t they? They smile generously and announce:
-Oh, but money is not important!

Oh, but it is.

I witnessed local ladies discussing how awful it was that Madonna wanted to adopt yet another African baby. What childhood will this poor baby have? - they questioned. Especially when Madonna and Guy Richie are now sadly, divorced. This is not a proper family life for a child, they said.

Of course! It is terrible, isn’t it, that this child will be taken away from poverty and hunger, right into one of the richest families in the world. What an awfully cruel thing to do to a poor little African baby! He of course, is much better off struggling to survive, but have a father figure in his life.

And that’s what I think it comes down to: unless you have struggled, you have not got a clue. And the more comfortable your life has been, the easier it is for you to deliberate how unimportant money is.

I had a happy childhood, and not going to claim to have suffered like some people in this world. But what I do know, is when my mother needed an urgent surgery, we had to produce money. And when my father was ill back in Baku, it was me who had to help. And I needed my oil company job to pay those nurses to take a proper care of him.
So money is important. Oh, money can’t buy you love, blah-blah. But it can buy you pretty much everything else; including a healthier and longer life for you, your elderly relatives and children. So yes, it is pretty damn important.


  1. People who deny the importance of money are either hypocrites, or themselves wealthy, or just hippies who are comfortable living on welfare (read: mooching off of those who break their backs to earn money).

    As my father-in-law says, Money is not everything, but you can't do without it that means, money IS everything :-)

  2. Money is of course important. But TALKING about money is considered bad manners in most Western cultures. I too find conversations about "who bought what" with post-Soviet folk tiresome. I'd rather talk news, politics, movies, reality TV, books, travel, cultural differences... you know, fun stuff.

  3. Hmmm, it must be cathartic, especially from the polite distance of your computer, but why share so many intimate experiences of the past?

  4. Dear A,
    Who knows, you might be right. I guess it is cathartic, and free of charge? You should try. You might enjoy it. But when I was 22, like you, I was not reading blogs, or writing any. Maybe wait a few years and then try some writing. You might be a lot better at it, who knows? I will come and read yours when you write some. all the best,

  5. It's highly unlikely that I'd start actively blogging, at least about my personal life, at this age or anytime later :) But that's just me, I am a private individual.

    Anyhoo, all the best with your writing, you're quite good at it too.


  6. I never thought of doing it myself, and never used to read any. But once I started, it has been great fun. :))
    To be honest, this is my way of practicing my writing, and checking if people like it. Also, despite what some might assume, I believe that I promote my home country, and let people know what it is (really) like.
    As for the "intimate" details, I believe that if you are sincere, personal and honest enough, it makes a fascinating read. otherwise, it is just another boring fake.

  7. I really like your writing & stories. I find them fascinating. Since I have never had "adult" relationships/connections in Baku, I always wonder how would it be.

    P.S If you wonder I am a native of Baku but have left almost 15 years ago.