E-Mails No One Wants

Naxcivan Travel Blog

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It was the type of message that no one ever wants to get. The thing with living in Nakhchivan is that communication with the rest of the world is less than adequate.  I know that my local phone conversations are being monitored.  After spending several years during the late 80s in the oxymoron of Military Intelligence, one of the few things I remember is how to tell if my phone is being tapped and I am convinced that mine is.  Then again, it might just be that i have finally succumbed to the general paranoia, which seems to be a constant and heavy burden upon the citizens of this province.   

For me to make an international phone call, I have to go to the post office and pay to use their phones.  There is a big room and I have to go up to the counter and I usually have the number I need to call written down to hand to the attendant.  I am then ordered to go to a particular booth to talk.  The booths appear to be made of aluminum siding and plexi-glass.  The phones’ headset is heavy and black.  The box is an old iron one with a dial wheel.  The booths provide little if any privacy.  Many times i can hear the conversations of those outside better than the person I am talking to on the phone.  I really need to learn the phrase for “Could you please keep it down?” as some Azeri men speak painfully too loud.  Additionally, although the attendants do not speak English, they do listen in on all of my conversations.   

The most adequate way to communicate with my family and friends is through e-mail.  Still, I have to use dial-up as DSL is extremely expensive and not a good value.  There are some websites that I am blocked from accessing and I would not be surprised if my e-mail is being monitored.  My mother had sent me e-mail telling me that my dad was sick and was being seen in the hospital.  She sounded hopeful so I was not concern.   I was planning on going into Eastern Turkey for two weeks as soon as I was done with my job duties at the university.  Those plans were still on until I got an e-mail from my sister.  She simply wrote get home as soon as possible, Dad can go at anytime.  He has extremely aggressive cancer.  Like I said, it was the type of message that no one wants to get, even if they lived across town let alone on the other side of the world.

A few hours later, I received another e-mal from my mom telling me to do what I had to do, but I either needed to come home now or later.  She did not write what she meant by later, but we both knew she meant his funeral.

This set off the epic endeavor of trying to get plane tickets back to the US.  The one travel agent that I know of in Nakhchivan deals with trips into Turkey and Russia.  Attempting to book a flight through them would be a struggle in futility.   I attempted sending an e-mail to a travel agent I knew in Baku and get in touch with airlines.  I had a few numbers and went to make a phone call from the post office.  The post office was closed for remodeling therefore making it impossible for me to call anyone.  I called some friends to see about where i could make an international call, but no one knew.

I spoke with Afet, my point of contact from the embassy.  I explained the situation and asked for some helped.  She told me that she would get in touch with the embassy’s travel agent the next day.

Jopin says:
I'm not sure if you're back already or not. I'm guessing you are, from your Salvador Dali Days entry update. If you are, I pray you and your family find the strength to let go, and then let God.
Posted on: Apr 10, 2008
sybil says:
i just read this. sorry to hear about your dad... hope you are spending quality time with him.
Posted on: Apr 09, 2008
IceTea says:
How bad is that. Ur life is full of up and downs. :(
These kind of messages are the worst of the worst!
Posted on: Apr 09, 2008
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