Having already been in Azerbaijan for almost two weeks, it’s safe to say that I am really impressed by its people. If you are wondering why, it’s because of their kindness and the will to help when you are in need. The true politeness and selflessness of the persons I met left me really touched. And I will explain my self.

Last Sunday my previous host, my two roommates (Ban and Aya), an 11 years old boy, who my previous host bring along, and I, went to a place called Shamakhi (Şamaxı in Azerbaijani). The journey itself was very interesting and we saw a lot of thinks, we made a brief stop at Qobustan. But, apart from this, we had two more interesting experiences I want to talk about.

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Me and my roommates

First case: after a long time of driving and sightseeing, we decided it was time for us to have a lunch. Unfortunately for us (or not as it turned out!) we got lost and we couldn’t find a place to eat. After some time driving aimlessly, we arrived at a small village where we came across an old man and two older women and asked them, if they could help us. And they did help us found a place, but not just any place… They actually invited us at their house. They even baked bread for us in front of our eyes and gave us some homemade cheese to eat it with. The best part of their hospitality is that they narrated us some stories and traditional costumes of Azerbaijan (like the ritual of how to send the evil eye away). Before we left, they made their wishes for our future and one of the women asked me jokingly if I wanted to marry her son! If I did, she told me she would prepare my food, bake bread for me and do my laundry!! (I am afraid she noticed that I am thin enough!). They were so nice that I couldn’t help but like them.

Full of food in our stomach and mind we continue our trip! And we were lucky having, in a short time, one more evidence of Azerbaijani hospitality.

The old ladies baking bread for us.

Second case: Later that evening we visited Ibrahim’s house, the little boy that was with us. To say that we were surprised to see that all his family was there to greet us would be an understatement. They were so hospitable and friendly. They invited us for tea and then the boy’s father played music for all of us in order to dance. So, we danced and after that, we sat down and talked for hours. They told us so many stories and they were really interested to hear ours. The hours flew by without us noticing and soon we had to leave. It was touching that they offered us to spend our night there! I felt like home!  Finally, we leave them but not before promising that we will visit the place again.

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A group photo with the boy’s family.

I didn’t expect such warm treatment and they did surprise me . I am feeling rather lucky to interact with such people. It was an interesting day to say the least.

Written by Hara Stamati, Greece

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