Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I want this

The Arch of Neutrality: a 230-foot (70-meter) white tile-clad tripod crowned by a statue of Saparmurat Niyazov that rotates to face the sun. It's in Ashgabat, the capital of Turmenistan. For now, at any rate. The new president, Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, is not as keen on the statue as his predecessor, Mr Niyazov. I'm willing to take it off their hands. It would look fabulous in the bungalow backyard and would totally make the neighbor's 12-foot Canada goose decoy look lame.

Incidentally, a bunch of people from Turkmenistan are called Turkmens, not Turkmen. It's not like "moose," in other words. And I'm sure Turkmens are unlike moose in many ways. Just feel like I should say that in case I cause an international incident without meaning to.

Plus, how great is the name Ashgabat. I'm going to try to work it into conversation a couple of times today.

Kid, you eat that eggplant or your name's gonna be Ashgabat!
Where did I leave my Ashgabat? There's a bug in the basement.
Har, Ashgabat. Heave-to.

Anyhow, as you might surmise, the arch of neutrality celebrates Turkmenistan's UN-recognized "permanent neutrality," which is something I also would like to have made official. Although it would be better to be recognized for "permanent eyeliner" or "permanent waving."


  1. So THIS is where our little duel started! Turkmenistan. Isn't that where the previous dictator changed one of the weekday names to his mother's?! Better than a gnome, that's for sure.