“Our village was just in full bloom. We went and looked, Alyosha liked my house. Then they went to the village council, got a certificate, then bought tickets to Yerevan to return from there to Baku by train. While we were in the area, five or six Armeniansfound out that I was a ‘Turk’. They whispered to each other about something and got on the bus with us. And as soon as we drove a little, one of them got up and came over to me.”
Aydin lived in Armenia in the village of Narimanly (since 1991 the village has been called Shatvan) in the Vardenis region. In 1989, he swapped homes with an Armenian named Alyosha, who lived in the village of Lokbatan near Baku. For this Aydin went to Baku, to the “Glass Bazaar”. It was a short street behind the bazaar, where in Soviet times those who wanted to swap housing met (it was then not permitted to buy or sell). There he met the Lokbatan Alyosha.
“Alyosha was the first one I met. Tall, thin, with a long face and blond hair. He doesn’t even look like an Armenian, rather like us.”
Aydin wanted to give Alyosha power of attorney and send him to Narimanly, but he preferred that they go to Armenia together to have a look at the house himself. Alyosha's family was waiting for him in Lokbatan. So the two homeowners went first to Yerevan, and from there to Basargechar, as Aydin calls the Vardenis region (this name existed until 1969). But on the way back, they ran into trouble.