What better way to relaunch and resurrect LONDON GIRL, then by posting from Baku in Azerbaijan.... Yes, I am in Caucuses on a work mission having hung out on roof tops filled with sleazy oil-rig americanos, drunk tea with an Ambassador who was dressed in a cashmere tracksuit, attended a trial wearing court shoes, watched a clandestine broadcasting station at work, dodged a falling piece of scaffolding and got followed around by a black SUV at some point... I kid you not. And that my friends, is only the tip of the iceberg....
|View from my hotel room|
A country's history is etched on the face of its inhabitants, and Azerbaijan ain't no different. People have the most remarkable faces here: a cross-road of Persian, Russians, Mongols and Turks all played out against a backdrop of carved out slavic features.
Fresh from having shaken off the shackles of communism and all the associated drama, the country seems to be heading into a new era of controlled wealth (for some) and imposed stealth for many others.
WHAT NOT TO ASK IN AZERBAIJAN
Oh, and let me share my MAJOR faux pas..... whilst putting my shoes back on after visiting an Azerbaijani family, I noticed the replica bust of a man with imposing features on top of a cabinet, which I recognised but could not quite pin-point because they had placed a silly Mexican hat on him.
So I asked the owner of the house "who is that" pointing to the life-size replica head. As soon as I asked, I felt that I should have maybe just kept my mouth shut, as he looked at me as if I was some Alien of Armenian decent as he replied in a slightly raised/irate voice " IT'S LENIN"
Oh how I died a thousand Mongolian deaths. The shame. Of course I knew who Lenin was, but that poxy hat made it really hard for me to see the top of his head. When in doubt, fuck your curiosity, you don't need to know everything just keep your mouth shout and blend in.
Back to Blighty tomorrow...