Fights seemed common in Turkmenistan. I saw a few at weddings, a few on the street, and I broke up a few between boys at the schools I taught at. There was this sense of pride in Turkmenistan. To back down from a disagreement or to admit you were wrong was seen as a sign of weakness. I remember holding back a bloody and beaten boy who was desperate to keep fighting and save face.
I never got into a fight while I was there, though I came close. Once was when I drunkenly got into a religious debate (not that I’m religious in any way) about whether Mohammed was a Christian prophet and I also came close another time when a neighbor got way to drunk and started telling me he was the Turkmen Chuck Norris. The Chuck Norris story is in my new book Joe and Azat, which is being solicited in comic shops now.