Thursday, April 26, 2012

tuesdays in turkmenistan: because turkmenistan

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.


Buickguy said...

I am curious about a couple of things. First, why not the more grammatically correct, "Because it's Turkmenistan?" Also, is it true that you/me/anyone cannot access this blog within Turkmenistan?

Anonymous said...


None of you are at that level. Just don't end up like Mr. Neil Heywood!

Mike said...

I'm not sure where I heard it (or which movie I've heard it in), but there's TIA - This Is Africa, used in a similar fashion. Speaking of which, you have probably heard that, since you've spent non-zero time there.

Anonymous said...

ferrari crashed in Beijing

crash pictures

some more crash pictures

At least Arkadag didn't crash his sport car!

Brian said...

Why not the more grammatically correct version? Because Turkmenistan.

As for access to the blog, it can most likely be accessed from within the country. I have never tried. Not all sites are blocked, only certain ones are blocked.

Ah yes, TIA. I cannot believe I've never written about that before. Said so many times while I was there.