Sunday, December 7, 2008

Leaving Your Hat On A Marshrutka

What. This has never happened to you?

Okay, while it’s fresh on my mind, let me recount what “went down” after I stepped off the marshrutka in Ceyranbatan, although the title might’ve given it away. Whatever.

Hold on. Perhaps I should give you the “low down” on what a “marshrutka” is. There’s a chance you’ve never heard of such a thing.

Marshrutkas are some of the greatest things ever.

Wait. That wasn’t good enough? Okay, I’ll describe them in more detail.

“Marshrutka” means “minibus”. Perhaps you’re getting a decent mental image now, but let me tell you. It’s more than just that. They’re inexpensive, speedy, van-like vehicles that transport folks from one place to another. It might be to the next town, within the town, or across rayons of Azerbaijan. They’re about as convenient as you can get, and who can argue with a four-hour ride for seven fifty (That’s in dollars.)? In the states, a ride that long could cost thirty on the Greyhound, or maybe more. Needless to say, I’m a fan.

So what did happen as I dismounted the marshrut (That’s the shortened, casual form of the word.) in Ceyranbatan (Just pretend the title of the entry is something else.)? Well, I left my sweet, blue, Rocky style (as Shep would describe) cap in the freakin’ vehicle, and I, of course, realized it as it was driving away.

So…what did I do? I ran. Then I ran some more.

I thought the marshrut made its final stop just up the road. It didn’t. It just kept rolling along, and I just kept a runnin’ down the road in the dark. The marshrut would stop for a second. I would catch up a little. Then it would keep going again. I’m sure the local folk were wondering what this white dude was doing running down the road in his corduroy jacket and scarf. I mean, Hell, they’re curious enough when you’re running in athletic gear. I almost tripped and fell at one point, too. It was one of those “almost trips” when your foot kicks back suddenly due to a groove or something on the path. Then your friend says something like, “Whoa! Better watch your step there!” or something smart-alecky like that, which just pisses you off more.

Eventually, I realized, with the size of the town being what it is, the marshrut would just loop around, so I ran back the other way, and, lo and behold, it showed up. I got on the marshrut, again, and fetched the hat. No problemo.

Okay, why the heck am I writing this? I mean, am I the only person who’s ever left his hat somewhere? Surely not. Maybe this is just a piece of advice to the kinds of people that leave stuff (You know who you are.). If your hat happens to have been left on a marshrutka, run after it. Don’t just stand there. Hold on. Scratch that. Okay…if your hat happens to have been left on a marshrutka, stand there. Don’t run after it. Just wait ‘till it comes back.

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