Cheleken, Turkmenistan, Russia
Summer 1996
A two weeks culture shock
in Turkmenistan 1996.


It is the year 1996 and I am employed by LARMAG, a company that has signed a Joint-Venture with the Turkmeny government inorder to extract oil from consecions in the Caspian Sea.

This republic is situated on eastern side of the Caspian Sea. My instructions are to install the database of the accounting package on the local server, and also train the local staff in using the accounting package.

It also is the first time I travel into the Soviet Union and the first time I travel so very far away from home!









Part 1

I am a bookkeeper that works for Larmag Services BV., a subsidiary company of the Larmag Group of companies. I also do work for Larmag Energy NV, who has signed a joint-venture with the Turkmeny government.........

 

Part 2

I step into the dining room with apprehension, since I am still angry about last night. After a good breakfast (to my surprise) we head off for the airport, again guided by the same driver from yesterday.........

 

Part 3

It is six in the morning and time for a "rise and shine" and a good breakfast. And breakfast is definitely good around here, let me at least assure you that. A rock solid "English breakfast".........

 

Part 4

After having finished our coffees, we return to our tasks, which are still waiting for us at our desks. Work lasts till six o´clock after which we leave for dinner. And a good dinner it is.........

 

Part 5

The next day while doing the accounts, I am asked to drop something of at the workshop where they do the repairs around here. When I say repairs I mean repairs in the widest possible sense of the word.........

 

Part 6

Enough with the rants, there are other things also which are quite unpleasant to say the least. One of them is the dust that collects on all the horizontal surfaces. I now can see for myself the cause of.........

 

Part 7

It is a cold yet bright and sunny morning today. It is still a little bit too early and the doors of the diner will still be closed. I walk around the camp a little and along the fence. Not too far away from.........

 

Part 8

Whatever they had planned to do here, it didn´t take them that much time to do it. At some stage the both of them being finished with their business, gather around me while I am instructing.........

 

Part 9

Having finished my administrative tasks, training the local staff that is, I am heading for home today. I bring my luggage to the van that is waiting for me in front of the office barrack. This will bring me.........

 

Part 10

Sitting down in the Boeing 747 from Lufthansa I can´t help comparing it with the old bird that flew me into Ashgabat. The seats here are excellent, the seatbelt is complete and the stewardesses here will serve with a smile.........

 





and welcome!