Monday, March 23, 2009

So what's it like now in Baku

The national holiday of Novruz shuts the country down for nearly 10 days! I mean except for a few business..nearly everything is closed. Most people have gone on holiday or are tourists visting the country. Most tourists in Baku, I've learned come from Iran, since it is more repressive there...those who can travel to Baku to enjoy just somethings. I must say two things gave me a minute of pause this, in the parking lot of my apartment complex..are a bunch of cars with Iranian license plates..don't see that everyday and last week one of the guest speakers here at the Academy was a scholar from Cuban. Meeting her reminded me that somethings most Americans don' someone who actually lives and works in Cuba.

Okay, to answer another question..yes, I'm homesick....and though the time difference (Baku is 8 hours ahead of EST) makes it difficult and I'll be honest...Tammy is pissed off with my leaving her to content with our collective life in Carlisle...has created the best atmosphere to sustain communication...also the cost. Verizon is $4.99 minute..but SKYPE is god send. At least we can argue more cheaply now. I must say just these few weeks have given me a much bigger appreciation for anyone who leaves family behind...I can imagine if I was fighting a war on top of this how it must feel to be deplored.

To past the time I continue to explore the city...clearly some folks are making money here...passed Tiffany's, Dior, and name just a few high end stores..the downtown area is quite fashionable and clearly people are spending money. I also walked to the best recognizable icon in the country...the Maiden Tower. See photo...built in the 12th century depending on who you talk to (or what guide book you read) was either built as lookout, since it is very near the Caspian Sea....or it was built at request of the daughter of a wealthy man who had plans to marry her...instead, she climbed to the top and threw herself off.

Anyhow..that's my posting for today...




  1. Hey,

    Life is different in other places. But in Muslim countries life is really different. And democratic Muslim countries are a beautiful contradiction. Rules are very different for women, and made me realize how free women are here although we do not always think so. If you are a foreigner life there has certain advantages. But there it is truly a man's world.

    I wrote you a much better comment early today, but it would not save. Crossing my fingers.

  2. You are so right MoMo..and Azerbaijan is considered on the fault line between the Islamic and Christian worlds...some view this place as a mini experiment for the larger world. Wants to be democratic but at the same time must not annoy neighbor to the north Russian and neighbor to the south Iran....especially if Obama wants to escalate engagement against the Taliban...concern here as to what that might do the companies and other with US interest based, I'll just stay away from where foreigners hang out..too easy of a target...