Sabina time

Sometimes it is good to run away from routine and reward yourself.  So, yesterday I decided to spend the rest of my day by myself, doing things I enjoy.  I give myself another Sabina time. At this special time, I do not go anywhere new, but I enjoy being alone in the crowd, and I walk in the streets paying attention to every single detail of the places I pass by in hurry in ordinary days. This ‘Sabina’ time began with ice-cream and walking.

Each time I find something new about familiar places. It happened too yesterday; when I was passing by a place that I have passed by hundreds of times, I discovered a new place – a bookstore. It is in the underground passage near the Icherisheher metro station.  I have always passed by this place in hurry just reading the names of the books on the stand. But yesterday I stopped in front of the stand as my eyes caught books of my three musketeers- Paulo Coelho, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Haruki Murakami. They are my favorite trio. Lately, one of the famous publishing companies of Baku has been publishing their books in Azeri. You can see books of them next to each other in almost each bookstore in Baku.

I have been looking for Murakami’s book for a while, and I was happy to find his book here. It was in Azeri, and I asked the store owner for the English version of the book. He looked at me very surprised and said: ‘Nowadays I get scared when females ask me books in English’.  I said ‘Why?’ He: ‘Because it seems they are very ahead of us’. I just smiled, and asked to myself, does really reading book in English make women ahead of men in this country?!  No answer. Is there any possibility at all that men can get scared of women here?!

The store owner was a middle-aged man, and he was selling books instead of Turkish clothes. So I am sure that he was able to explain to me why he was thinking so, but I was mostly interested in books. He also noticed it, and invited me inside. I hesitated a bit. But ‘dayı’ insisted me to go in, so I did. I am glad I did, because that place was full of books, and also there was playing old Azeri songs, meaningful good Azeri songs. That place was like silent persons in the crowd. They are silent, they do not talk, but once you begin conversation you see they just do not show their glamorous inside, they just want to be discovered. So that place too, has been waiting to be discovered by me. From outside it just looked like ordinary book stand, but when I entered I was standing in the library. Old and new books in Azeri and Russian in that little tiny place. I was so amazed, and ‘dayı’ saw it and said to me: ‘I know what you feel right now, hope you don’t mind the music (of course, I didn’t), so I am going to leave you here with the books, take your time’.

I stayed alone with books listening to our famous great songs. Little things always bring great happiness, or at least it is just me mostly enjoying the happiness little things bring. In my collection of small happiness it will remain forever.

So finally I decided it would be good to read Dostoyevsky after Murakami, and asked for his book. But when ‘dayı’ began to cite his books, it turned out I have read just two books of him. What he said, when he learned it, made me feel embarrassed. Here is what he said: ‘Eh, no, I you are not a reader, you do not read a lot’.  (He is so right; the books I have started in August are still unfinished.) I left the place with a gift to myself; of course, it was a book of Murakami.

On the way back home, I was asking to myself ‘Who is a reader?’, ‘Is there a reader in Azerbaijan?’, ‘Who is he like?’, ‘How often does a reader read?’, ‘What does s/he read?’ and other such kind of questions.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by perishan1 on September 8, 2011 at 7:00 am

    I am happy that you were happy…I think that “dayi” was right((…I also have a lot of unfinished books, unfortunately(((…reading is the best way of relaxing but sometimes we prefer watching programs which takes from us the most precious minutes…hope I can struggle with it))


  2. Posted by Gretchen on September 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Oh Sabina, how wonderful. You are so wise: 1) take time for yourself, just give yourself permission to “be”…to see what a day brings, to be aware of every little gift that comes your way, be it a new person, a drop of rain on a leaf, the sweet smell of a flower, or the amazing gift of books!! We are so often in such a hurry that we miss 99% of what is awaiting. 2) the man’s fear of an educated woman….wow, what will the future bring for women in Azerbaijan? …everything!! 3) reading will be your best friend all of your life. It can entertain, educate, inspire, encourage….forever!!

    Great writing and insights!!


  3. Sabina, it’s very good to find time for yourself. Being engaged in daily routine – work, study, home, the same things every day isolate us from the other things that we also enjoy. So sometimes just leave everything and make a Sabina time for yourself. 😉
    And about books, so yeah, I also think I read less. And there are so many books that I would like to read. The only solution is to include reading in our daily routine…
    Good Luck!


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