Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
A Tradition Completed
There are few traditions I follow before, during, or after living abroad. Why would I want to routinize my existence when it's the non-routinzed life that keeps me travelling?
Certain things have, coincidently, happened each and every time I have travelled from Canada. One is staying with my friend Kate. And the only other one I can think of is showing up in the foreign land in desperate need of a haircut.
Maybe I'm just lazy or maybe I secretly long for the scissors of an unknown barbershop, but for some reason I always make sure my hair is nice and long (relatively) before travelling. Then, when I arrive, one of the first things I look for is someone that can rid me of my copious locks.
Last night, after some shopping (I am the proud new owner of pants), I found a barbershop/pirated DVD store/local hangout. I'm past the point of saying "This was going to be an experience..." The reality is that it all goes something like this (translated into English from whatever language happens to be spoken in the country):
Kent - (points to his hair and mimics a scissor motion)
Barber - (points to a chair)
Kent - (sits down in said chair)
Barber - (puts bib thing around me)
Kent - (mimics the word "short" with his fingers)
Barber - (shows me the clipper attachment)
Kent - (nods at said clipper attachment)
Barber - (starts clipping, re-affirms that it is ok)
Kent - (nods in approval)
Barber - (finishes the sides and then goes to the scissors for the top)
Kent - (predicts that the barber will leave the top way too long)
Barber - (leaves the top way too long)
Kent - (mimics "keep going")
Barber - (goes back to work, but still leaves it too long)
Kent - (points out that it's still too long)
Barber - (takes out the clippers and just shaves it all off)
Kent - (nods in approval)
Barber - (requests payment)
Kent - (pays)
Simple. I guess I didn't need to translate anything.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
After 10 Days, I'm Finally Here
After a whirlwind journey through Chicago, London, and Riga, I've finally arrived in Baku.
So far, it seems like a nice place. The weather is great and the development level is definitely higher than in Egypt and India. Some things remind me of Mongolia, although I don't remember Ulaanbaatar having Armani or Gucci shops.
My apartment is definitely a step up from Egypt. It's fully-furnished and quite modern. Oh, and it's kiddy corner to the building that collapsed a couple of months ago.
More to come once I get my bearings and figure out what's going on.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Here We Go Again....
Four times in the past 3 years I have waited in the Vancouver Airport for an international flight. You'd think I would know what I'm getting myself into by now, but I really don't.
The routine was the same...travel to Vancouver, stay with the relatives, then with Kate. She gives me a ride to the airport and is the last person I see before embarking on some crazy voyage. But each time there are these feelings of anticipation and "why do I keep doing this?"
In the end, these feelings only point to one thing: a long, exhausting journey that for some strange reason I look forward to. There's something about showing up in random countries completely "knackered" (as the Brits would say). It's just a good thing that the customs official stamped a used page in my passport, but only after asking if I had worked in Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Russia.
Until next time, Canada.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Pictures Are Finally Up-to-Date
It took a while, but I've finally got my picture website up-to-date. I cleared out a lot of the old pictures from India, Mongolia, and China. What's left from those are the pics I felt were good.
If you're interested, you can view them here.
Cairo All-Stars: Farzina
A Whirlwind Tour
My Azerbaijani visa has arrived, so it's time to start the first of the multiple legs of my journey to the Caucasus. It goes a little something like this:
Oct 11th - Leave for Vancouver
Oct 14th - Leave for Chicago
Oct 18th - Leave for London
Oct 23rd - Leave for Riga
Oct 24th - Leave for Baku
It's going to be quite the next two weeks. I'm sure I'll be checking in along the way.
Monday, October 01, 2007
An Ode to U Fleku
This is what happens after too much beer.