Baku is a strange place. It has a grandly built city center, but there just don’t seem to be that many people around to justify that. At night some folks stroll along the boulevard at the Caspian, but the city center itself and its many pubs and bars are almost deserted, even on a Friday night. Maybe it’s due to summer heat and holiday time that people have moved to cooler regions (where would that be, though?) of the country. However, on top of the general lack of people I’m noticing a severe deficit in females. An effect of the conservative nature of this society, I guess.

There are also almost no foreign travelers here, as far as I could see. People’s staring is not as obtrusive as in Georgia.

However strange Baku itself may be, I’m having a great time here with Micheal from the States, and Heather and Stu, the moving-to-New-Zealand-by-bicycle couple, and various short-timers in the hostel.

Michael has just finished his mission of visiting the lowest points on each continent, and will be flying back home on Monday, and Heather and Stu will catch a boat to Kazakhstan tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, insh’allah. I myself will leave the posh-looking capital of Azerbaijan tomorrow, if I’m spared. I’ll be heading south towards Iran. Unfortunately, I’ve not met anyone here who could help me meet the Azerbaijani ESC contestants/winners.

Word of the day: matutinal (dt.: morgendlich). None of the above native English speakers knew it (neither did I). :)

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