We came to a depressing realization last night: there are no good clubs in Baku. Especially on Friday night. This became painfully clear as we walked along the the clinically dead bulvar by the freakishly-calm sea last night. It would appear that that the local population is content sitting at home watching Turkish serials.
You see, Julian and I have done our research over the last two nights. We've probably covered 80% of the clubs in the city and realized that they're all the same.
Each has been the same as the last one. You descend some stairs, pass a prostitute, push your way through a sketchy door, and find yourself in a dank, musty pit of despair. A mix of smoke and damp air fills the room. The music is horrendous and the DJ/owner doesn't seem to care that there is NOBODY in the club, let alone people dancing. We'd spend about one minute looking around, then look at each other and give the "let's get the $#%& out of here" look.
Some of the places were artistic marvels. Tin foil covering the walls, Arabian-style tents, cement carvings, pictures of naked women. Most places had a burly woman as the sole proprietor. The dance floors of three of the places provided revelers with the opportunity to dance, in a line, in front of the mirror. Who needs to dance with each other when you could watch your bad reflected self get down?
And then it got weird...
We ran into three guys that spoke no English. Through a strange mix of Russian and Azeri, we ended up getting in a taxi and going to some random club with them. Right before making the inevitable descent into smoke-filled hell, one of the guys brought my ear close and gave me the "there are prostitutes in this place, they will invite you to dance, but just say no" speech. Yes, sir.
The place was the same as the rest, with the exception of a veritable brothel in the back room. Women wearing skirts so short it should be considered illegal kept emerging from the darkness and then heading back in. I imagine someone with a large bankroll was cooped up inside.
Julian and I sat drinking beer, while our three acquaintances shot vodka shot after vodka shot. Sufficiently soused on alcohol, the three guys got up and migrated to the dance floor. We sat there in amazement watching each of them stare intently into the mirror like they were trying to seduce their own reflection. That was our queue to extricate ourselves from this circus. As a parting word, one of the guys whispered "Please be careful on your walk home."