“I’m going to dance until morning. And get a tattoo” – residents of Baku make plans for after quarantine
The quarantine in Azerbaijan has been extended to May 31, and it is still unknown if the country will lift it after this date. But residents of Baku are already dreaming and planning for the future. Some of them have no desire to return to their former lives, and others have begun to allow themselves more than they did before.
Leyla Akhundova, 41, curator for a humanitarian organization:
“After quarantine, I’m going to walk out the front door. I will just keep walking for several hours. I’ll buy myself crazy outfits and wear bright red lipstick. I’ll go to cafes with my friends. I’ll go on a bar crawl. I’m going to dance until morning. And get a tattoo.”
Vagif Abasov, 38, history teacher:
“There are some things that you always put off until later. You say, “I’ll get to it,” or “I’d rather stay home.” But later may not always come.
After the quarantine, I’ll go to the movies with a person who I’ve planned to go with for a long time. More accurately, I’ll allow myself to go. I’ll leave my den more often.
Natavan Bakhabova, 38, photographer:
“Honestly, I’m a terrible rule-breaker, so quarantine didn’t affect my life too much – I still went on walks, visited friends and strolled through the parks, despite the fences and barriers.
But I have a friend living in Moscow who has dreamt of having a child for a long time, and finally got pregnant. So when the flights start back up, the first thing I’ll do is visit her.
I also love to swim, and I got a membership at a pool shortly before the quarantine started. I was so disappointed when it closed. I can’t wait to swim again.”
Kamran Ismailov, 55, journalist:
“One of my post-quarantine dreams has already come true – I finally got a haircut. Thank God, I don’t remember the last time I was so scruffy. I’m glad the barber shops are opening again on May 4, because a little longer and I would have shaved my head bald, honest.
When the borders open, I’m going to Tbilisi. I was there almost every month for work, and I already miss it a lot. I’ll go to my favorite pub where they have great beer and a jukebox. Those are very rare nowadays. I’ll drop in a lari and choose a song. First one will be Spanish Caravan by The Doors.
Zemfira Aliyeva, 65, retiree:
“I really want to go to the dacha and work in my garden. I haven’t gotten enough of that recently. You see, elderly people are prohibited from going outside right now.
I used to walk two hours a day. And now I just look out from the window at the sea and the green trees. I feel like a prisoner.
And in the courtyard, spring is in full bloom. It’s very difficult. I hope that soon I’ll be able to return to the life I’m used to, and to the things that matter most to me – the dacha, my garden, nature, daily walks, movement, freedom.”
Husband and wife Farid Abdulov (28, teacher) and Sabina Abbasova (28, architect):
“After quarantine, we dream of traveling to the north of the country for a few months, to Zaqatala, beginning construction on our house and planting our first joint garden. True, we have practically no money for construction, but we are ready to do the labor ourselves.
We wanted to start at the beginning of spring, but the pandemic pushed our plans back, and at the same time gave us the opportunity to look at the city, our lives, work and home from a different perspective.
We have this strong desire to continue life after quarantine at the same pace that we’re moving now – not rushing, devoting time to both work and our personal lives, leisure. Spending more time at home and less time in the city center, loitering from one cafe to another, and continuing to focus on self-development.”