Day 2 of no travels

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Private Apartment

Flag of Azerbaijan  ,
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Got up a bit later than normal, its nice to be asllowed a lie in on a Sunday!
Had breakfast in the apartment, Orange juice, Pronutro (Brought it from UK!)cake like things.
Went off after breakfast in order to strip the hubs off the car. Not only are we in a secure guarded parking area, but we have probably the biggest space, so there is working room around the car. Took apart the hubs, brought them back to the apartment so we can take them to the workshop tomorrow morning. Also looked at the petrol smell (we think maybe both tanks are leaking, which gives an unpleasant smell when you are driving along) and the drivers door lock, which despite Brian's assurances, does not lock.

Bumped into Kurt just as we were getting ready to leave! He obviously likes his job! He told us that the clocks DID go forward today in Azer, apparently there has been some discussion as to whether they should, and the deciaion was made only recently.

Had lunch in the apartment. Then we walked down to the docks area. Spoke to cusytoms, who told us that Head Office need to sort the problem of the car papers only being valid for 3 days, apparently there will be a fine. We have to sort that, then take the car to Customs to get permission to leave, then go and book our tickets. These cost AZN250 for the car and AXN 90 each for us. Total cost of about 360 - wow!

Wandered back, had an icecream on the sea front, and then did some shopping. We're going to cook our own dinner tonight, although for all we have bought, and the effort involved, I sometimes wonder whether it wouldnt be easier and cheaper to eat out! No washing up, too!

Went for another walk, through Baku, up to the old town. The fountains were spouting, there are loads of them, and not all in Fountain Square! At one of the intersections, there was chaos. The traffic would go into the intersection and stop because it couldnt go any further. Of course, the lights would change and the cross traffic coulnd go. So the policeman stepped in, stopped the cross traffic, which hooted and gestured at him. Tried to redirect the main traffic, which had sorted itself anyway. So he was in the way of everyone. He tried to allow the cross traffic time to go against the lights, but that just angered tha main traffic, which hooted and gestured. What a total mess up. He'd have been better sitting in the little Polis box, where there is always someone reading a newspaper!

Got back home at about 7, made dinner. Diabolical kitchen - no cooking implements, nothing to strain the rice or vegetables, no decent light for the cooker, I could go on. However, the meal was very good, even if I say so myself.

And thus ends another day in Baku.

Martin's moments:
I feel very distant from what is going on and quite unsettled.Not feeling my best doesn't help but having spent two anxious weeks bringing car and ourselves this far,we are now lying up in a reasonable apartment for up to a week - yes we are fixing car but also we had allowed some downtime before we get the ferry which we had always scheduled for Friday we just do not know whether it will go.We do not want to go earlier as it will cost us a lot for our escort through Turkmenistan and complicate things further down the line on timing of Russian visa etc.So although you plan these things and allow for spare time,when it comes in a big chunk it can disorientate you - or rather me. So we are in an apartment,car is in fairly secure compound of the American Business Centre and we have access to a group of expatriates who have come in to our lives in order to help us at a point when had all these things not happened our ability to hang it all together would be seriously doubtful.A state of suspended animation might be the best description.
Apparently there are 8 million people in Azerbaijan and half of them live here in Baku.Lots of signs of serious wealth mixed up with traffic conditions,construction techniques and dodgy looking security systems that just do not encourage confidence.All the status blocks are in place but it does not seem to fit easily with the culture of the people.

But you have not asked where our heroes are.Well:

In fact quite the cream of the Muscovite team
Was Ivan Petrovski Skivar

Don't worry,we'll get there in the end and then there will be questions

So its a bit like being sent on holiday when you do not want to go and you know there is a job back home you would get more satisfaction out of completing.One more week faffing around here,a week being escorted through Turkmenistan and we'll be half way there!There's a song by the Hollies about the road ahead and something being heavy.Stanley still has work to do and we know you are behind him. 

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