Not As Shitty As You Think


In Azerbaijan if you are socially active in any way, the question "Why are you so politicized?" will follow you everywhere. Old classmates, neighbors, facebook contacts - everyone will be willing to know the answer.

And no matter what you answer, another question will follow: "Do you really think these people can change?" (usually stressed on the word these).

"No", I usually say, "but I do believe".


The first thing you will notice when arrive to Azerbaijan is writings. No, I'm not talking about the regular road writings and signs that tell you were to GO or not. These ones are special - they tell what to DO or not.

"Don't throw garbage here", say writings on fences, usually accompanied by untranslatable strong language.

"Don't steal the soap!", written on papers taped to the walls of public WC's. Strong language enclosed.

"Don't ask for grocery on credit", says the door of a grocery store.

"Don't push this button!".

"Leave the door opened/closed!"

"Keep the crane pulled!" and etc.

And, well, what do you think is the first thing to notice right in front of the negligent "No parking" writing? A parked car, of course. Grocery stores fill with those who want stuff on credit, the forbidden buttons get pushed constantly, the doors are being left open or closed - depends on what's the opposite to the writing.

These are not just random writings, it's the way we live. It's about the messages we program ourselves with and the way we perceive the world around. About underestimating each other and the lack of hope.

So, why not put things like "Life is not as shitty as you think but beautiful and short.  Hurry up to live it"

or "Be kind"


"Be yourself"

"Look around"

or the most important "Believe".

Because these are the words we actually need to hear, read and remind ourselves every day.

And the old ones? No one reads them anyway.


What message would you put on your fence?