Friday, February 27, 2009

Hi, I'm from Driftwood village

27 February 2009

I believe all people should take great pleasure in describing where they’re from. After all, it’s an important part of their identity. Whether a person’s from California, Mississippi, Canada, or China, they hopefully take pride in talking about their homeland, or, at least, that’s the ideal situation. Understandably, this may not always be the case. Nonetheless, in my case, I got no problem telling people I’m from Driftwood, Texas (I mean, c’mon. We have a good barbecue restaurant, a vineyard, and a post office. What more do you need?).

This becomes a bit sticky, though, when you’re talking with folks in a village in Azerbaijan. In Azerbaijani, there’re basically two words to describe a community: şəhər (city) and kənd (village). So when someone asks me if I’m from a city or village, what exactly do I say? I’m from Driftwood, Texas, a community consisting primarily of nice housing developments. To say it was a “city” would be a lie, so I’ve stuck with the latter term. However, that seems kinna weird, too. People in Qumlaq village, Oğuz, Azerbaijan, where the roads are mostly unpaved and I run next to a sheep herd, may fall under the impression that I’m from Driftwood “village.” Hmmm…but how the heck else would I describe where I’m from? Balıcı şəhər (small city)? No, that doesn’t work. Böyük kənd (big village)? That doesn’t really make sense. My only solution has been to stick with “village” and try to describe Driftwood in decent detail so folks can have some kind of understanding.

But what a pleasure it is to do such things! Like I’ve said before, it ain’t always easy to describe where you’re from and what it’s like, but I feel like every time I make the effort to do so, I’m making a difference. I may not be providing everyone with every developmental need they may have, but I’m still giving them a better understanding of the United States of America (or, at least, trying to). So I’m from Driftwood village. Does it make the place sound more interesting? What do you think? Heck, if anyone has any bright ideas on how I can tackle this better, let me know.


Katie Gibson said...

do you speak their language now?!

John Gahan said...

I try.