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Posts Tagged ‘Fountain Square’


When I first saw two young Azeri men walking arm-in-arm yesterday, I said to myself, “Great!  That’s accepted here.”  But during my five hours spent in and around Fountain Square today, I saw dozens of men doing it.  It must just be a “guy thing” here in Azerbaijan.

I must have walked several miles today, more if measured in kilometers.  My most immediate need was to buy a key ring.  “Two manats,” the vendor said, holding up as many fingers.  When I shook my head, he immediately reduced it to one!  I felt empowered, so much so, that I decided to buy a new suit for work.  Now, I just expected SOMEONE at Ramsey of London would speak English, but no.  Still, after about ten minutes of bargaining through hand gestures and a calculator, I prevailed!  I didn’t get the price cut in half, but I did knock it down 15%.

Tonight, I’m exhausted and overloaded with impressions which I’ll sort out over the coming days and weeks.  Tomorrow, I begin work here in Baku.  I’ll meet my new colleagues, including my new boss, former US Ambassador Hafiz Pashayev, now the Deputy Foreign Minister, and Rector of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy.

By the way, ucuz bazarliq is Azeri for bargain.

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