Because Turkmenistan. It has replaced "It's a free country" as my go-to line to describe this place and why things are the way they are. Why did someone's visa application get rejected? Why does it take a month to clear anything from customs? Why are social networking sites blocked on the internet? (My connection is through the satellite at work.) Why does the President have a green Bugatti Veyron? Why did I have 15 shots of vodka last Friday? Why is this being posted on Thursday despite being called "tuesdays in turkmenistan"? The answer to all of these is simple. Because Turkmenistan.
While this will not become a series like this Because China blog, it seems a very fitting way to describe the peculiarity of the place. There are a couple new people in the camp including a fellow American and in my attempt to help them cope with some of the absurdities, this has become one my frequent responses to questions that attempt to delve too deeply into the mysterious wonder that is Turkmenistan. It's sort of my way of saying to not worry about it and just accept the system here. Keep in mind that I'm not saying we cannot change anything here, but we do need to pick and choose what we can reasonably expect to change and try to improve. Admittedly, sometimes it is a way of saying "I don't know and I cannot be bothered to find out". Such instances are not as common as you might think. I do genuinely want to understand why certain social constructs exist here, but have not had the time to pursue a deep sociological study of the people and cultural history. Also, I don't speak Turkmen or Russian.
If you're wondering why this entry is so short. Because Turkmenistan. And month end.