Out in the cold
Baku Travel Blog› entry 433 of 658 › view all entries
People I met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Zaur (Azerbaijan)
It was night time when we arrived back into Baku, passing by the Bibi Heybat Mosque and 'James Bond Oil Field', located on the road that followed the Caspian Sea and entered into the south of the city. The now abandoned site of oil pumps had been used in the opening scenes of The World is Not Enough, but to someone who isn't a Bond fan, it wasn't really anything of interest.
We were dropped off outside the impressively illuminated Carpet Museum and took the chance to have another walk through the city centre, which was as nice as ever. We stopped for a bite to eat in a small restaurant and then caught the metro and marshrutka home.
Around 23.00 we got a knock and the door and Zaur had come to pay us a visit. We hadn't seen him for two days, even though he was supposed to be our couchsurfing host, but he said he hadn't been very well.
At 08.00 on Wednesday Misha returned home from work and was surprised that we were staying for one more night, as Zaur had not seen him or even called him.
Julia wasn't feeling too good after we ate a dodgy chicken kebab for lunch and this was on top of the fact that we were both suffering with the flu, so we opted to have a slow paced afternoon.
When we had left in the morning Misha had been with three of his friends drinking vodka, so when we started to bang on the door at 18.30 to no response, we began to wonder if he hadn't ended up having an all day drinking session and passed out in the house. The previous day he had left the key in a designated place for us when he went to work, but there was no sign of it now, so we had to presume he was in the house. He didn't work every night, so this seemed like the most logical thing and we therefore opted to give it a few hours and go to use the internet again and return and try later.
At 20.30 we began to hammer on the door and ring the bell again, but still no answer. It was starting to get really frustrating as the night was becoming colder and Zaur's phone was switched off, as he was in Istanbul by this point. There was no choice but to leave again and go and get some dinner in a nearby cafe and then come back. At 22.30 we returned and tried one final time to wake him up, but it was useless. We had no idea what to do as all of our belongings were in the house, so we decided that we would travel back to the centre and see if there was any room at the train station, which was the only cheap option in town.
It took an hour to cross the city and the news at the station wasn't great, as every private room and even all of the dormitory beds were full, which was not really a big surprise at this time of night.
At 06.00 we went to catch the metro and then marshrutka home, but when we got back, there was still no answer at the door. Our last hope was that he had gone out to work and would return at 08.00, so we sat and waited on the cold steps of the third floor of the tower block apartment where he lived.
We didn't wake up until 17.00 and our first task was to try and have a wash. We had to boil the kettle and pour the water into a bucket then stand in the bathtub and try to scrub ourselves. Incredibly not only did the shower not work, but for some reason the water in the house completely ended shortly afterwards, God knows why. Once we had somewhat cleaned ourselves, Julia cooked some sausages, potatoes and salad that we bought from the nearby shops and now I'm sat at the kitchen table taking the chance to write down what a mess the last couple of days have turned into!
For some reason this lovely house that we were in had fallen into disrepair under the stewardship of mouse boy. The family who had moved to Russia had left him in charge of a very nice abode with all the mod cons, but now the shower didn't work, there was never any hot water, the fridge was switched off (not that there was a morsel of food in the house), the washing machine was broken, the TV had no reception and there were cobwebs on the pots and pans! Julia's hard work at cleaning the place had been disregarded and what few scraps of food and drink he had brought into the house had somehow managed to find a home on the tables, work surfaces and floor.
The following morning we awoke at 07.15 for breakfast and left the house when Misha returned home from work at 08.00. To store our bags in Baku was going to cost $15 and we didn't want to take them hiking with us either as they would be too heavy and we'd have to pay for them on the buses, which would also cost about $15. Therefore the sensible option seemed to leave them at Misha's and hope they would still be there when we returned a couple of days later!