Took place today as we hooked up the CABLE MODEM in our apartment. Welcome to the wired world! Data wants to flow freely, and this means more photos uploaded and more music downloaded. What once took 45 minutes now takes two.
So here are some photos of people and things that made my life in Baku easier, more pleasant or funnier.
Ruslan was the first person (well, after the Producer) I saw when I returned to Baku. Ruslan is Baku's best salesman, bar none. Coming from a distinguished line of sellers, I feel qualified to comment on this. He could sell oil to an Arab and cleans the clock of all the other dealers in the Old City. He would attribute this skill to the fact that he is Daghestani. Over the last two years he sold a number of things to me, even when I insisted I already had too many of his products and didn't want even one more. He even took some things he already sold to me to sell again. He sells to the Producer, which is very difficult, except when the Producer is in the doghouse. Then it's easy.
Samaya the housekeeper loves the Carpetdogs. She earned their slavish devotion by feeding them homemade blinis and varenkies until they burst. She said Mo is smarter than her grandchild. She wasn't that great of a cleaning lady, but she was nice to have around.
Javanjir, or John as he insisted we call him, lived in our courtyard and drove us in his battered Zhighuli all over town. Like most of Baku's taxi drivers, he is not a driver by trade; he was some kind of metallurgist and ran steel factories in Ukraine during Soviet times. He's got a lot of ideas for boosting Azerbaijan's industrial output and is always trying to get people to listen to him. Since he's an ordinary guy from Sheki who drives a Zhighuli and reads opposition newspapers, he shouldn't quit his day job.
This guy and his wife sold several-day-old fruits and veggies at inflated prices to me from right outside our apartment building. One of several people whose standard of living took a hit when we moved, he was always supportive of my feeble attempts to speak Azeri.