Sunday, 18 August 2013

When virtual technology fails real people.

I often ask myself why I bother with blogging at all. For a while at the beginning if felt like some new, exciting, creative project. But not anymore. I don't check how many hits it gets every day, like I used to-how sad was I?! I don't check if anyone left any comments for sometimes, days-oh, where are my usual trolls? They got bored with me since I stopped insulting the glorious nation of Azerbaijan.
And I don't have much to say these days-since most of what I could say could be misinterpreted and misunderstood with potentially dodgy consequences. Even the mumsy forum I joined since we moved to Doha-Doha Mums, is heavily moderated and controlled to a ridiculous, boring extent. Not entirely due to the owner's wishes, but also because of the cultural constrains and the lack of understanding of satire across many nationalities present at the forum. Never mind, swiftly moving on...

To the recent discovery of mine. Blog related.

I am awfully ashamed and embarrassed. For a very long time, all my scary azeri emails got automatically forwarded on to my normal, personal email account. Not sure why I ever set it up, perhaps I was just lazy to log into a yet another account. And it all worked so well for so long that I even forgot there was ever a need to maintain the scary azeri email. And when for quite a few months recently I had no emails, I just assumed that, just like comments on the blog dried slowly out, so did the emails. Nobody loves me, I thought and... well, moved on with real life.

However, the problem with scary azeri account became apparent recently, when I realised that I had missed a few important emails from someone who commissioned me to write an article, and-even more worrying!-from the accounts guy, who was supposed to pay me for it!

And so last night, a dim light bulb went on in my otherwise spaced out head. Hold on, I thought. This is odd. These guys are nice and professional. They would not just ignore me like this. They never did
before? I tried logging into the scary azeri account directly, failed a few times due to forgotten password and, finally, a window opened with hundreds of emails. As I stared in shock, I realised that not only have I been rude to the agent who commissioned me, I have also been rude to my readers. Who, to my delight, are still out there!

I had the usual spam, of course, and random Twitter notifications, and biznez proposals from China....but also, some very personal, some emotional, some hopeful and some helpful messages.

A email from an American mother, who is secretly suspicious of a 20-year old Azeri student who, having dated her daughter for six months, suddenly proposed. Is he after her passport, she wanted to ask. She emailed me for advice, but sadly, I ignored her. Considering the speed the young Azeri Majnun  was moving with towards his goal, I am afraid I might be too late with any advice. The young couple are probably (happily?) married by now.

I had a few emails asking whether an obvious spam was a true love letter from a good Azeri girl...

And yet another bizarre request for help from House Hunters International....

And a letter that I really wished I knew was sitting there since April.

Dear Scary Azeri,
It's been over two weeks now since we left Baku and returned to our home. 3 long, happy and, at times, not so happy years of being on an international assignment in Azerbaijan, living an "expat" life.....

... I read your blog in "A-Z Magazine" "religiously", always starting from the "Scary Azeri" page. I loved every bit of it!

So, we are back to the Western world now. And today I couldn't sleep. I just got bad news from home. My dad passed away this morning following a diagnosis of a serious illness and giving up the battle for life after two months. As I was sleepless and utterly sad, I sat down at the computer hoping for a distraction, but honestly there was nothing I 
really wanted to read... Then I suddenly remembered your blog and opened it up. Your latest post. I started reading... I couldn't believe my eyes: on the same day that I lost my parent, you wrote about remembering your father too. I was shaking. It was touching so I got all emotional. Thank you for the words that made me realize that someone else, someone who, may I say, I nearly knew through her blog, was and still is going through the same difficult feelings of a loss.

What can I say??

I am so sorry. At the moment when you felt lonely and lost, and sad, and probably found it difficult to express how much pain you felt...and wrote such an emotional email to me, you got no response. For months. And I feel really bad about that.

I also apologise to those of you guys who kindly responded to my (Facebook) request for some information for the latest article about Baku. I did not even know so many of you offered help! Thank you for reading, thank you for responding, thank you for sharing your concerns and emotional moments...All of a sudden, after months of not even thinking about my blog and what it means, I got overwhelmed by all the attention I never knew it had. I guess it plays its' role in the virtual world after all. Because, even though it is virtual, the people out there are still real.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, we are real people out here. People who, as crazy as it might sound, care for bloggers we are used to read, and their families, and their pains and their losses and who rejoice when they are happy.
    Always remember life is a like a puzzle and it it terribly incomplete when one single piece is missing.
    Have a great week!