Why Do It Now When You Could Do It Later?
Lesson #1 - Don't expect to be able to do anything at the Baku airport at 5am.
It has become obvious to me over the last three years that I have too much faith in the concept of "I'll do it/buy it/find it when I get there." I'd say 78% of the time it works out. Then there are times when I feel like an idiot. A good example was the train from Vilnius to Warsaw. Forgive me for thinking that there'd be food available on board, or at the very least we'd stop at a place that offered food. "Isn't that normal?" I thought. Alas, I was stuck without food for the better part of the day.
I had yet another run-in with this concept before going to Estonia. Due to the Azerbaijani Manat's inconvertibility around the world, I needed to get some US Dollars. "Of course there will be an exchange place at the airport...even at 5am. So many flights leave at that time that they'd be missing out on a huge piece of commission," I reasoned. It was all the justification I needed to be lazy and not go to the exchange place down the street.
Naturally, I arrived at the airport only to find both exchange places closed. It was even difficult to find change to pay for checking in my bag. The guy I found seemed like he did this for a living. He was stationed in the cafe and looked at me like I was running drugs. I've never seen anyone take so long to: 1. examine a 100 Manat note, 2. take out a roll of bills, 3. open said roll, 4. count out 100 manats in 10's, and 5. hand over the cash. I swear it took 2 minutes.
Ironically, we checked in forty minutes early (in stark contrast to 90 minutes late last time) and left on time.