Saturday, May 19, 2007

Randomly Random Azeri and Other Factoids

The second largest city in Azerbaijan is called Ganja. That's right, Ganja. I bet all their clocks are set to 4:20, 24/7. Heh-heh.

To call the hotel elevator, instead of up and down buttons, one must push the floor number on a keypad in the hallway next to them. The keypad then flashes which elevator (A,B, or C) will be arriving to take you to your floor. It's a weird sensation to walk into an elevator and not have to push a keypad. It's even more embarassing when there is more than one person waiting for an elevator and one arrives and no one can remember where it is going.

Naps are nice. I've forgotten how great it feels to relax - and how exhausting it is to be in another culture.

Azerbaijan and the northern part of Iran used to be one country, and that portion of Iran is still sometimes referred to as "Southern Azerbaijan". The Russians divided it in 1828, but there remains quite a significant Azeri population there. Who knew?

Azerbaijan has nine of the eleven climate classifications of earth - from arid to subtropical. You can probably pass through about five of these in the course of one day...just kidding...No I'm not..

For a 70% Muslim population, I haven't seen a whole lot of hijabs. And only one woman wearing the full costume, down to her feet (not quite a burqua, because her face was exposed).

Azerbaijan also claims to have the most mud volcanoes on earth. Recently, I feel a bit plagued by mud volcanoes, as there has been this pesky one in Indonesia I've been keeping my eye on (where I am managing another project). It's quite fascinating actually - the government decided to drop giant balls of concrete chained together down the gaping whole, which has spewed over 4 miles of mud since last May. Are you kidding me? Giant balls of concrete? Hilarious! Why not give it a peanut butter sandwich and see if that shuts it up? It's like a geologic soap opera! But I digress...) So yes, Azerbaijan is supposed to have alot of mud volcanoes.

Azerbaijan claims to be the first democratic republic in the Muslim world, in 1918. Then it got taken back over by the USSR.

Women were able to vote in Azerbaijan before they were able to in America. Yet, I sitll work with a disturbing amount of men.

Hum, do you ever feel that the more you know, the less you know? There is so much about the geographic and political history of this area that I NEVER EVEN KNEW EXISTED.

That's all my brain can hold for today -

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