Wednesday, 8 September 2010

One weird American. Oh, yes. Part I

Actually, this is where I paused for a second, and realized, that before I tell you a funny story about one weird American guy I met, I have to tell you this one. Because I remembered that the guy I was originally going to tell you about was not the only weird American I have met. He was not really weird either. It is more like the situation which was weird. But I will let you be the judges of that. Next time.

Also, I am not trying to stereotype here. Net, net, net! I adore Americans. I love those accents.

But I have just realized that these are two little stories, not one.

Once, a long, long time ago- and I have to emphasise this, as I am a respectable married woman- when I was very young and very single, I met this American guy from an NGO in Baku. I had two worlds I used to live in. One was my job, with people who made decent money and liked to party accordingly. And another one was the NGO crowd. They wore baggy t-shirts and strappy sandals and counted socks. The sock counters. That, by the way, is entirely my expression. I created it, and I take a full credit for it, since it is priceless.
My American girlfriend, whom I mentioned before on this blog, was working for one of those NGO’s and I always probed her about what it was that they actually did there. To me, an outsider, it looked like they had a huge number of coloured socks and wooden boxes, hand crafted by the refugees all over the country, which they counted and re-counted and then sold at charity events. That is how I started calling her, and her colleagues the sock counters. The sock counters were my other bunch, the one I hung out with in the time free from the oil company people.

Back to the point though.

Once, on a trip to a little Azeri village I would have never have gone to, if not dragged by the sock counters for a sock counting event of some description, I met a handsome young (American) guy. Everything was very handsome about him, except one thing. He was chewing tobacco.

I was a smoker then, so I told myself, as I watched him in a dimmed summer light, holding a beer can in one hand and an empty Coke bottle in another, that there was not really anything that different between someone who smoked Marlboro lights and someone chewing tobacco. Right?

Well, the coke bottle was not entirely empty. The reason he was holding on to it all night while drinking and chatting to everybody was that he kept spitting the chewed up tobacco inside it.

But. I thought... well, you know. The guy is cute. And a sock-counter, which, I guess, is a nice, noble occupation.

He was not based in Baku, which complicated things and, at first, we spent hours just talking on the phone. He had a beautiful accent. Finally he had a break from the sock counting duties, and came to Baku for a day. He asked me out and everything went really well.

I am not going to bother describing the events one by one. You have been on dates, you know what happens. I liked him. More importantly, I fancied him. And I don’t easily fancy people. But here is the thing. When we finally got very up close and personal, he would not go any further. I had never before had that situation in life, and was not sure what the hell was going on. I mean, what was his problem?

Such was my luck, that when I met someone I fancied, he was...well, restraining himself. Why, I wanted to know? I mean, come on! I had to step over the whole chewingtobaccospittingitintoacokebottle element for you, dude! Surely, you were attracted to me enough to be with me up to that moment. What else did you want to do with me, once alone? Count socks?

It turned out, he was saving himself. He was religious, you see, (I have always had bad experience when it came to religion) and wanted to be able to tell his future wife who he had been with without "feeling embarrassed about it", he said. Hold on a second, I thought. Embarrassed?

What, may I ask, was embarrassing about me? That I was Azeri? That he was not in a serious enough relationship with me? That he was never intending to be in any relationship with me?

I did not wait to find out. Next time he was in town and called me as if nothing happened, I told him I was busy going out on a proper date. And guess what, I really was. With my future husband.


  1. As we say in America, don't knock it till you've tried it :) I find this kind of honesty refreshing, especially after dealing with the lying & cheating Azeri men.
    IMHO, saving one's affections for just ONE person is HOT.

  2. Haha.. that's truly a dramatic turn of events. Those Ah-mai-ri-kunz are so funny sometimes, especially those between New York and California :P Anyway, did he wear a purity ring?

    Well, check this I think when it comes to business, we can always learn from religion :P

  3. Well, I guess sometimes there are some questions that are better not to get answered.
    Looking forward for part 2.

  4. love it, really. brought me back, and made me laugh aloud! xox from your nyc sockcounter padrooga :)

  5. He was saving himself so that his first time with his wife would be special, in the sense that it'd be his first intercourse. That's how I understand it, that he was a virgin. That's common among conservative Christians in the US. PS: The sock counting was called "income generation" in the NGO speak.:)

  6. Sounds like you met a typical southern baptist American. Btw chewing tobacco is one of the nastiest habits. Not looked very well at.
    Typically done by country people

  7. @Shannon: I know, It is good, right? :)

    @Nata: Oh, he gave me affection all right. Lots of it. :)

    @My NYC sockcounter podruga: Love you lots. If not for you I would have never met so many wonderfully weird people! Let's get together soon and count some socks, babe.

    @Everybody: He told me he was NOT a virgin. So no purity rings and no saving himself for just THE one. Just not this one. :)))

    @ anonymous "Btw chewing tobacco is one of the nastiest habits"... TELL ME ABOUT IT! :)

  8. @MLK: One ring to rule them all. :))

    @An-Lu: You sounded scary. As if you might know the guy! :)

  9. @Riyad: You think? :) Maybe just very pure? :)

  10. Maybe he just wasn't that in to you.

  11. At first you worry that he doesn't have serious intentions and only wants to sleep with you. After a while if it hasn't happened you start thinking about what's wrong with you. And there is nothing wrong with a guy who wants to take his time or save himself.

  12. @Richard: I did not really want to give details that sort of prove he was into me enough, if you know what I mean. It was just the final step that he would not take. That makes it sort of weird. To me, anyway. I say if you are not into someone, you probably dont even get to that stage to start with.

    @Natalia: Haha, yes, true...But see my reply to Richard above. I think there are some situations when it seems weird. But never mind. It is all in the past. Just a funny experience, really.

  13. Ha ha, sounds like an episode from the Sex and the City. I guess there is plenty of weirdoes everywhere and among expats in Baku I'm sure percentage is quite higher than on average in the US, most "normal" Americans either have no idea where Azerbaijan is or would never go to that "dangerous" part of the world. I hope that guy is happily married now and doesn't need to save himself anymore :-))

  14. @Scary: Yes, pure... jerk! No additives ;)

  15. Final verdict: he had ED and was embarrassed you would find out and tell your friends. :) Sort of like Trey's problem with Charlotte in SATC. Or he had some sort of a physical handicap.

  16. Oh, wow. I guess we have no tolerance left in us to at least pause before we throw this poor sock counter under the proverbial bus. I suspect this story is missing some crucial points, most definitely missing the sock counter's perspective. As far as I could tell the only weird thing about him was the tobacco chewing. I still can't see what's wrong with not having sex until you're in a monogamous committed relationship. And since you lived in different cities, what were the chances of being able to have one? I like this guy. I'd rather deal with him than men who would tell any lie just to get you to sleep with them. Am I alone here?

  17. @ Nata.

    Not alone as far as i'm concerned.

    cheers from nyc.


  18. @Nata and Seva: Of course you are not alone.

    Isn't the whole Azerbaijan supposed to do it, anyway? :)))

  19. LOL :) yes, we represent the entire country. Not.

  20. @ Scary, they may join us, but my choice is based on personal views and beliefs than the judgement/guilt society's canons.



  21. I must say, I have never got the whole you can do anything except penetration and then it doesn't count thing, which is what I assume you are getting at, Scary. Saving yourself fine, if not really my cup of tea, but then you have to, you know, save yourself. Otherwise it's just hairsplitting.

    Still, the sock counter's loss is your husbands gain, so...

  22. @Solnushka: Precisely. Not as innocent as it sounds in concept.