When He Fell Asleep

I have always been a tall girl. And although it would leave me without a dancing partner at all the school parties, it still had its benefits. One of them was the ability to enter the discos without being asked for an ID. So, my club life started when I was 14.

Foreigners who come to Azerbaijan often ask me why such a big city has only a couple of clubs worth going to. They have no idea that only 9 years ago we had a whole network of nice clubs and new ones emerging every day. And there are reasons some of them got shut down.

I heard the name of this guy R when I was 15. A friend of family who was a head of security in one of the biggest clubs back then, came to us on the dance floor and asked to leave, because R was there. He was with friends and all of them were armed. R was a nephew of a Big Guy, so security was not allowed to do anything.

So we left. A couple of days later this family friend told us the guy is an often guest there, and his favorite way of clubbing is asking someone to do something and when they refuse he takes the gun out and threatens to shoot. He would make random people sing, random girls hang out with him. The only time R met actual resistance, was when he tried to do the same with another Big Guy’s nephew. A couple of years later the club was shut down.

There was another club this R guy liked a lot. He even had a table always reserved for him. The window near this table was missing glass for months. When we got curious and asked why, one of the security guys said they used to change it every day and then decided it was useless. Why? Because the most favorite way of spending time for R in this club, was getting drunk and then shooting through this window. This club got closed even sooner than the first one.

In my university I had a friend – an extremely nice girl with life principles who had a dream to become a theatre director. She had a close friend, a guy, who also seemed nice. She had no idea the guy was a pimp. One day I received a call from her mother who was scared to death and couldn’t find her daughter. In her last call to her mother the girl managed to say she was kidnapped by R and didn’t know where they were going. Later that night she called, said she was in a taxi and asked to meet her somewhere on the way.

Her friend basically sold her to the guy in the middle of a day.

“I ran away when he fell asleep”, she told us.

She wasn’t the only girl there. She also wasn’t the first one. A friend of their family who was a police officer, told her mother not to fill any complaints, because “those who tried it before got beaten up and threatened”.


I was riding a bus this afternoon, when two girls sitting next to me were discussing this article, about Serj Sargsyan’s brother, who started a shooting in a restaurant.

“It’s terrible”, one of them said, “look how bad it is there”.

They had no idea how bad it was and still is here. No, the gun problem is not big in Azerbaijan, random people don’t have an access to arms. Those who do – are the problem, because they are also untouchable.

But as it always is in this part of the world, most of the people have no idea about these things. Because they don’t publish this kind of news nowadays, and those who did back then don’t do it anymore. And there are reasons for this too.

    • KostyaArmenia
    • April 6th, 2010

    Well, in order to be objective, let me tell u another story… in the beginnings of 2000s, once our “honorable” president was in a cafe… a classmate of him saw that he is there, came close and sain “hello Rob (short way of Robert)”…

    • KostyaArmenia
    • April 6th, 2010

    the security guards beat this guy for his greating so bad, that he died… one of the guards was sentenced for 2 years but was released soon enough… however, it may sound weird, but the March 1st changed lots of things… THEY r afraid now to do such stuff

      • Fatalin
      • April 6th, 2010

      It got better here too, but still there are other groups of untouchables worth being afraid of. Police who beats his own people is no better than just a drunk guy with a gun. And well there are plenty of other stories too.

    • KostyaArmenia
    • April 6th, 2010

    yeap, can’t argue with u!:)

  1. Nice post. It seems Azerbaijan changed a lot. I wonder whether it is worth to spend life there or not.

      • Fatalin
      • April 7th, 2010

      It definitely is. Azerbaijan has a potential we don’t fully realize. But before spending life, some will have to sacrifice.

  2. Wow, well…what can I say. Cool story!

    It reminded me of my young days, a long long time ago when I once decided it was cool to try to study for a croupier. Everything was fun and I enjoyed hanging out with the team. My biggest concern was how I would be treated by the rich Azeri males-clients. Because I could never stand being disrespected. I was worried I would not manage one day if clients were rude. You know what I mean. But in the end, it was not the clients that made me leave. It was the owner’s son. A fat, disgusting pig, who thought he owned us all. He decided to chat with me and called me across the room one morning when I showed up for my studies. I ignored him and he got very upset. He called the chief croupier and told him I was rude to him. I clearly had no idea who he was! I said don’t worry. I quit. Fortunately for me, I was not desperate for a job. That was my only experience with that kind of azeri guy. Never again, thankfully. 🙂

  3. Well, unfortunately as a nation we have a firm believe that if you have a son he should be brought up like a king. And that is the result. Yes, Azerbaijan changed, but this change is superficial.

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