Bigger Picture Moment: AZE (the first few days, Pt. 3)

by Lenae on December 22, 2011

I wish I could tell you that I fell instantly in love with Azerbaijan when I stepped off the airplane into Heydar Aliyev International Airport. But honestly, in the week we’ve been here, at best I’ve felt… bewildered.

The bewilderment varies in intensity. Sometimes it’s a prickly, fiery orange thing, burning with longing for familiar places, people… all the amenities I took for granted for 27 years. Sometimes it bubbles purple and turquoise, silly jests while we amble about in the morning, still a bit hazy from jet lag — musing about turkey dinners and Starbucks (STARBUCKS, people.) And other times it runs steel gray and mud brown, the current of the unknown — all these faces, the rush of a language I don’t yet understand, the snippets of body language stemming from a culture I’m toe-deep into moving through easily.

Here is reality: We are still living in a hotel. With four kids and approximately 12 toys between them, that stinks. The five of us over age 1 are muscling through the crush of acclimation to this region’s food and water. That? Stinks too. We’re at the point in the skydive when the parachute’s just been opened, and the wind fills it… you’re jerked forcefully with the power of it. It’s reality. Multi-colored and multi-dimensional, we know the calm drift over a spectacular carpet of civilization is coming.

We’ll wait patiently.



Every week, the Bigger Picture Blogs community comes together to share simple moments –painted with words, captured in a photo, framed in the rich layers of poetry– that shifted their perspective and helped them to see the grand beauty present in everyday life.

I’m a bit ahead of the United States (9 hours ahead of EST), but be sure to link up with yours –whenever your Thursday comes around :) – at Sarah‘s.




*originally posted at

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