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Thread: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

  1. #10
    Mayor of Bringsburg homerdindon's Avatar
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    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    She's probably talking about the stud sitting 10 feet away from her in the airport. You pimp.

  2. #11

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    Here's some help for you Borat.....

    Azeri Customs and Etiquette

    Meeting and Greeting

    o Like most cultures in the area, Azeris like warm and friendly greetings.
    o Men greet each other with a handshake, a kiss on the cheek and "salaam" (literally 'peace' but meaning 'hello').
    o Women hug and kiss each other once on the left cheek. Azeri women do not generally shake hands among themselves, although many will shake hands with a foreigner.
    o Males should wait and see if a woman extends her hand (although most will the more religious may not) - if they do shake it lightly.
    o Always take a moment to ask about family, health and business.
    o First names are generally used in social situations if the speakers are of similar ages.
    o If you do not know the person well, use their first name followed by an appropriate title. For women, use "hanum" ("woman"). For men, use "bey" ("Mr").
    o Younger people always initiate greetings with older people.

    Folklore and Superstition

    o Azeri culture, due to its rural roots and culturally rich tapestry, has many superstitions. Examples include:
    - A cat crossing your path means bad luck in business.
    - Salt accidentally spilled means you are about to quarrel. Sprinkle sugar on the salt to counter this.
    - Leaving scissors with opened blades brings misfortune and even death.
    - If you meet a person with empty buckets, you are bound for misfortune.
    - If you meet a person with bread and full bags, you will have good luck.
    - Never hurry to a funeral ceremony.
    - Do not cross the way the funeral train goes.
    - If the first person you meet on your way to work is male, you will have good luck.
    - Do not lend money or bread at night.
    - Throwing a bowl of water in the wake of a person who sets off for a business trip or long journey brings the person luck and helps them to return home safe and sound.

    Dining Etiquette

    If you are invited to a Azeri home for food:
    o Remove your shoes before entering the house. You may be offered slippers to wear.
    o Punctuality is not paramount. Arriving within 30 minutes of the stipulated time is socially acceptable,
    o Dress casually but smartly. Never wear tight or revealing clothing.
    o If there are many people present shake hands with everyone.
    o Table manners are fairly formal. If in doubt watch what others do.
    o Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat.
    o Keep your elbows off the table and your hands above the table when eating.
    o The hostess generally serves the food. The elderly are served first, then the guests, and finally the children.
    o Use your right hand only to eat and to pass things.
    He let himself down, for what...a woman. I say, go be a world champion let the women come to you......Tito Ortiz

  3. #12

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    Have a good trip and definitely keep us posted!

  4. #13
    Mayor of Bringsburg homerdindon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    LMAO at your avatar DH. What? I'm gay and got evicted? WTF?!?!?

  5. #14
    Super Moderator Dart Shark's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    New Brighton, MN

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    Almost 4 a.m. Eastern Time, just landed in Frankfurt and the first thing I do is find a McDonalds (Blergh) with wi-fi. ... got about five hours to kill right now.

  6. #15
    Super Moderator Dart Shark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    New Brighton, MN

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    First installment of the Baku Blog is up in the Premium Service.

    I've also cross-posted it on ArmChairGM (for free) so here's the link.


    And Grips, they have the McRib here.

    It started rather unassuming, a beautiful late summer day, a cool breeze and a temperature teetering in the low 70?s.

    This was the start of my journey. The most amazing thing about starting trip is how it started, from a train station. The only other time I?d been on a train is either a subway or at a theme park. I think it?s pretty funny that I?ve used two alternative forms of transportation in the last two weeks.

    When I needed to get a new stereo for my truck, I took Red Rose Transit, the local bus service in the county. It was the most amusing 90 minutes of my life ? well, not entirely, but it was amusing enough.

    I didn?t know what to expect, but it?s kind of soothing realizing you can show up 10 minutes before a train departs, get on and go. I?m going to Philadelphia?s 30th Street Station and then hopping on the mass transit light rail to the airport. Instead of driving through what?s always backed up traffic heading into Philly and then dealing with outrageous long-term parking charges, I paid the $14 and headed east.

    I had a plug for my cell phone, a plug for my computer and a lot of space and a footrest to prop up my soon-to-be tired feet. I?m traveling rather nondescript. No obnoxious t-shirts, no colleges adorned on any of my clothing, just a Guinness hat and a breathable polo shirt. I?m in for a long day and I?m relieved that everything has started off well. The only thing that I didn?t get that I needed was a trim, but I can deal with some loose ends ? or split ends ? or whatever.

    I think it?s fitting that as I peruse the wrestling message boards (courtesy of Verizon Broadband Access Card); one of my friends has already called me out for a ?Misadventures of Twink in Azerbaijan? thread. I guess Team TwinkieHomerHips does have the same frame of mind when trips of this nature come about. I think I?ll get to Scottsdale soon, but I?ll have few excuses ? I mean, come on, I?m going to freakin? Azerbaijan.

    My passport photo looks disturbing, my visa application photos not so much.

    Anything that starts with ?The Road To ?. ? comes off trite and clich?, so I?m still coming up with a suitable title for this jaunt. Perhaps I?ll stumble across a word in Frankfurt or Baku that will offer similarities to the word ?pwnage? like in Auburn Hills in March. I really now have no clue where I am, other than the first stop is coming up shortly. It?s about 2:05 p.m. Eastern, a time-zone I?m going to be forgetting in a scant three hours.

    There was some cool graffiti underneath an overpass, I was hoping to see a troll or two. There?s nothing prophetic about my ramblings, this is more or less a stream-of-consciousness rant that I?ve tended to stay away from in recent months.

    The most difficult part I can foresee is cramming myself and two large bags and a laptop backpack into a SEPTA light rail without getting glared at. Then again, it?s early and rush hour isn?t near.

    We?ve arrived at the Exton Station, and that was a quick stop and now on to Paoli (or is it Paola. Whatever, it?s eight minutes away and Philly is fast approaching. It?s been a leisurely trip, a short one. I think it?s cool the ticket-taker guy is actually wearing one of those train hats with the high flat crown and short bill. So far, so good.

    -- JB 2:10 p.m. EDT --

    Well, as typical with all air traffic these days, I was delayed leaving Philadelphia. One thing you should know about Lufthansa is that the seats are small, there?s no air vents and if you don?t understand German, you?re pretty much hearing everything twice.

    Sat next to a nice Indian guy on his way back to New Delhi. Was generally uncomfortable the entire plane ride and got about two hours of sleep. I?m currently in the B Terminal in Frankfurt at a McDonalds where I found a plug, after buying one of those European adapters. Man, these things are loose out here.

    I get no service on my phone, which didn?t come as a shock in the least bit, but my Skype number seems to be up and running pretty well, so I?m happy I have some form of communication with the states while I?m here, albeit a VOIP program.

    I wonder how long they?re going to let me sit here; maybe I?ll get tired of drinking flat Sprite for two Euros each. That?s like a four dollar fountain drink or something. I found the Wi-Fi from T-Mobile, and that?s costing me whatever it is, but it?s better than wandering around the airport not understanding a language.

    No one?s online on my buddy list. I saw a few people that had no status messages, but figured they just left the computer on and sure enough, no one has replied. It?s almost 10:30 here in Frankfurt, which is 4 a.m. back home, so let?s just say I haven?t gotten much sleep.

    The flight featured some really crappy music videos, only one of which was in English, and it was like a bad version of Wilson Phillips. Roam if you want to? I say shut up and get to the movie.

    The in-flight movie was Mr. Bean?s Holiday ? I saw ?Bean? in the theatre in 1997. You?re not missing much, but I used to love Mr. Bean on HBO. So doting, but man, this was like watching a train wreck.

    I?m using this as basically one entry. Why? Because it?s still the same day for me. It?s overcast and cool here, but as much as I?d like to explore the city, the last thing I need to do is get lost.

    There?s been several Americans that have come up to me and known immediately. They?ve then asked where I was headed and I reply ?Baku.?

    That?s met with quizzical looks when I explain to them where it is, what the country is and what I?m going over there for. ?Sports writer? is my common reply and that?s usually followed up by ?Not that WWE stuff.? Typical. I get that a lot, even back in the states.

    I?m dying for a Gatorade, but who knows where I?ll find one. I?ll probably go exploring here in a few. I?ve already rode the tram twice just to kill some time. I might find a reclining bench and catch a power-nap, but for the time being, I?m just running on fumes.

    I?ve just been doing some site updates, still making sure the news is out. Contrary to popular belief, this is technically my vacation and I?ve got some people to thank for letting this trip materialize, but I?ve still got a few hours before I can phone home and let my worrisome mother know I?ve arrived, at least halfway, alright.

    Being in Germany isn?t going to be that cultural, my mother and great grandmother were born here and my grandmother (same side) was born in the Ukraine. So I?ve got some Eastern European roots, and of course, some old school roots ? the Scottish coat of arms tattoo that adorns my right leg has already gotten some looks from more than one passerby.

    I?ll meet up with some folks from USA Wrestling here in Frankfurt, a few I know, a few I don?t know, but one thing?s for sure, when I get to Baku, process my Visa application and get to the hotel, I?m in for a long, long bout of sleep.

    -- JB 10:26 AM Frankfurt time. --
    Last edited by Dart Shark; 09-13-2007 at 03:51 AM.

  7. #16

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdindon View Post
    LMAO at your avatar DH. What? I'm gay and got evicted? WTF?!?!?
    I'm glad you like the avatar. I was trying to put my old one up but the animation wouldn't work

    JB -- is that 2 McDonalds in one day? You should go out for Chinese food instead (inside joke). Thanks for keeping us posted, I will be checking on the blog for updates!

  8. #17

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    Also, once there, make sure every person you come across you throw high fives and say "High Five" with your best Borat voice.

    Side note, did you ever get a chance to check out Team Oregons shirt this year. Nice photo of Borat giving the thumbs up.
    Oregon Wrestling Forum

    Don't you know who I am? I'm the JUGGERNAUT BIATCH!!

  9. #18
    Super Moderator Dart Shark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    New Brighton, MN

    Default Re: Packed and ready to go ... to Azerbaijan

    Where to begin?

    I’m sweating my – for lack of a better term -- face off in a glorified Econo Lodge. Getting here from Frankfurt was a bit more relaxing than I thought it would be, but here’s the run-down.

    I ended up walking around the airport in Frankfurt for about an hour and then found my group of USA Wrestling folk – Dave Bennett, Mitch Hull and Pete Isaias. I probably know Pete the best of the groups, since I’ve covered Fargo the last nine years and Pete’s a big part of the event.

    I was fearsome about the trip to Baku from Frankfurt, mainly because the trip from Philadelphia was one of the most uncomfortable I’d ever encountered. Although, much to my surprise, I’d forgotten about requesting and exit row when in Philly, so when I boarded the next Lufthansa jet, I had a lot of room and a monitor in front of me. Sat next to a German student that didn’t’ speak much English, but for nearly all of the four hour flight, I was out cold. And literally, it was cold.

    I retrieved my blanket and passed out. Unfortunately, Oceans 13 was the movie – one I hadn’t seen, and by the time I ran for the flight attendant to bring me some headphones, I was zonked out again. I’d met some folks from Canada in the gate area before we boarded, then one familiar face showed up – former Stanford wrestler Matt Gentry.

    Upon arriving, I had to take care of all my Visa application stuff and that was relatively painless. It was about 10 p.m., so the airport in Baku was generally empty. The Norwegian contingent wasn’t so lucky.

    Norway, the Canadians and our small American group were on the same bus headed to the Hotel Absheron, which sits right on the banks of the Caspian Sea. It’s dark outside, so I can’t take in the full view.

    I’m not impressed right now. It’s hot, it’s smelly, it’s dark, it’s dusty and there’s some weed that looks like a cross between grass and aloe growing all over the place. I guess it’s like a cactus, because this is a pretty arid part of the world.

    We went up to the 16th floor, waited about an hour and got something (finally) to eat around 1 a.m. Baku time. Mitch, Pete and I then jettisoned ourselves to the 10th floor to find the wireless connections, check my e-mail and basically catch up on things that need to be done.

    Kerry McCoy was the first one I saw getting off the elevator. “Just reading your blog now,” said the former Olympian. He then continued on and was reading the message boards – something he says he rarely does – and wonders what some people are thinking sometimes.

    Join the club. It’s real late, the rooms are small – smaller than my college dorm room, so I don’t know what’s going to keep me up more. My feet or Pete’s snoring – yeah, they stuck me with Pete. I’m sure someone out in Colorado Springs is getting a rise out of that one.

    Battery is dying, since I didn’t feel the need to find a plug. Tomorrow’s agenda, according to USA Wrestling: Sleep.

    I’ll probably head over to the venue tomorrow and get used to the place I’ll call home for the next 12 days.

    Highlight of the day: Azerbaijani Lager – Xirdalan served in a nice Carlsberg Pilsner glass.

    And by the way, I was wrong initially, I’m not 12 hours ahead here in Baku, I’m nine hours ahead (Eastern) and 12 hours ahead (Pacific).

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