Wednesday, August 12, 2009

There's no place like home

Well, haven't posted in a few days...that's because I surprised everyone by arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport on Friday via Lufthansa flight #418....from Frankfurt....
Got some extended time off...all of August.....and it feels good to be back on US soil.

Yes, we all would agree that life is crazy and not necessarily a bowl of cherries...but I missed not so much the "rule of law"...but the "rule of order"....and for now and the next few weeks I will enjoy every minute...

I'll keep you updated on my on-goings...but I don't go back to Baku until Sept 7th....

Hope you all are well!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The hot weather is back

Should have known the hot, humid weather with the sea of particle pollutants would return.

Spend last weekend walking up hill for 45 minutes (good exercise and I'm getting plenty) going to pay the cable tv and my home internet access. Here you have to actually go to the main offices to pay in drag..

Anyhow along the way I took some photos of my 'hood....the tall guy in the hat is Javid...but they say Cavid...they don't have J's in Azeris...Janice is Canis...he was a famous writer who ended up in a Russian camp and died...there's lot of stuff named after him about town...

Monday, August 3, 2009

One of my feline friends

I've talked about the feral cat situation here...well, there is one big all tomcat that lives near the community garbage dump. I have not talked about services here but out on the street about 100 yards from my apt complex are a series of big bins. These bin are what my neighborhood used to dump trash...

He sleeps all the time..

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Let us be a tad more cheery!

Nix the cable, screens and intestinal issues for a minute...I'm sure all will return in due time...but the wedding of two of my co-workers was interesting affair.

First, the bridal party...for the ladies consisted of food, more food, chocolate, more chocolate and henna ones' hands. I met many members of her (Gunay) family, she's in the red print Asian dress in the doorway and also members of the groom's family (Taleh)...both are co-workers. It was quite an could tell the special couple were quite happy but also exhaustive and the families thrilled...

The wedding..was held at a Wedding Palace (that's what the call them here)...big, elaborate production (the norm) I'd say 350 people who for six hours:

1) eat ...tons and tons of food, vodak, you name it they served it

2) master of ceremonies (comes with the palace) speaks/screams

3) wedding singer

4) dance...tradtional hand dances

5) entertainment (singers, musicians, traditional music, and traditional instruments)

6) bride and groom dance

7) repeat this order for six hours

8) oh, yeah, throughout the evening you can take photos with couple (2 manats or $3.25 USD--you get photo at end of evening, entire wedding is live-video broadcast on oversized screens throughout building, and to my surprise and chagrin...the camera guys thought I should be what else is new)

Check out the photos..the picture of the special couples parents...Gunay's mom and dad are on the left and Taleh's on the right...remember it's hard to get the older generations to smile, esp. the men..leftover psyche stuff from the Soviet days..