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(Coffee) Shop Talk

Welcome to the shop where I talk about things that go well with coffee, which is almost everything.

water buffalo
As I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really know what I want to do with my life, and I think the standard thing to do when you don’t know what you want to do but have some vague aspirations of seeing and/or changing the world is to join the Peace Corps. My adult friend/mentor thinks this is a great idea, but my parents have heard a lot of horror stories from friends about bad Peace Corps experiences. I’m also looking at Americorps, which my parents are more enthusiastic about. But anyway, I was looking at the Peace Corps profile of Azerbaijan the other day and was particularly drawn by this description:

Azerbaijan is a land of contrasts, from its capital of mushrooming residential high-rises abutting stone and tin hovels, through its provincial centers connected by rutted roads, to villages that time has forgotten but charm continues to embrace. Sheep, cows, water buffalos, and even camels roam seemingly at will, until a closer look reveals their watchful herders.

The whole concept of random water buffalos and random camels wandering around makes me happier than I can really describe. On a more down to earth note, the main PC program in Azerbaijan is English teaching at the secondary school and university level, which is probably what I would be most qualified to do.

Of course, if I went to Azerbaijan I would definitely want to travel around the region on my days off. To see where I could go and how hard/expensive it would be, I first checked out the best airline ever: Ryanair. Unfortunately the closest stop they make to Azerbaijan is Zadar, Croatia, which is not very close at all. So I poked around to see what the railroads are like around there. Turns out they are…well, not boring.

The train between Baku, Azerbaijan and Tibilisi, Georgia, is inexpensive, but it takes about 20 hours and the occasional bandit raid and frequent burglaries make it less than completely safe. Expect to pay the price of your ticket again at the border as a bribe.

I’m all about the bandit raids, but the bribe thing sounds kind of expensive. I’ll have to be sure and save up extra before I go. Maybe I can bribe the bandits, too…

Or maybe I should just stay in school. That’s the other standard procedure for putting off deciding what to do with your life. I’m pretty sure it would cost even more than border bribes, though.

In other news, my poor boyfriend is profusely, violently sick and there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t even go give him cold Sprite or anything because I’m not allowed near his dorm room. (Because of school rules, not a restraining order or anything.) Gah, frustration.


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