Now that I've been here for a total of 7 1/2 months (to be technical a total of 5 months, if you minus the time I've spent back in the US)....it's weird since the "tourist" factor has left me...and I now feel somewhat oppressed by the society and norms here.
I mean like...people for the most part don't take pictures...of anything...so taking pictures seems really foreign (no pun intended) to me now.....any ability to express ones' self seem constrained..tho' I am sure my colleagues would tell me that this is not the case and they feel very free. And, they would be correct compared to their parents' generation (which was under Soviet rule).
When I saw a young man last week with his hoops in his ear and a long pony-tail, I wanted to ask him if he was Azeri..since I've not seen that at ALL. But I didn't...he might have been Czech...
I guess when I do leave here it will be interesting to check in over the years and see how this current generation of 20+ years old...will change and address the crucial issues facing the country. I can already predict that one day the desire to have real elections with multiple parties will receive a groundswell for change..