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Baku: hating Armenia is taught in elementary school2012-01-23 12:59
No doubt, Baku is the richest city of South Caucasus with just a few foreigners in town. It is still a place for insiders. Zaur Guseynov, a blogger from Mahachkala, who moved to live there last week, is one of those rare foreigners. GTimes asks him to share fresh impressions about the "capital of South Caucasus".
A visitor of Baku comes off the train or air plane. He will not see the real city at once. At first he will see the "wrapper". What does the capital of Azerbaijan look like?
It is not a new city to me. I have known it for 25 years already. Since I saw it for the first time, it has greatly changed. Baku is beautiful. It is not just beautiful, it is well-kept and elegant like a girl before her school-leaving party. Exactly so. Manicure, perfume, evening makeup. Even too much makeup. Buildings in the city center are washed and polished almost every day. There are many wonderful old buildings in Baku with the facades now covered in a noble layer of patina bearing signs of honorable age.
If you came to Baku a couple of years ago and remember a beautiful building in the oriental style constructed in the turn of 20th century (and there are hundreds of them in Baku), forget that. This year this building will be white. Simply white. "The charm of the past" is the concept that architects of modern Baku don't know. All buildings in central Baku are divided in two types: newly built ones in oriental glamor, and old buildings in oriental style forced to look glamorous and well-kept. Certainly, there is the third type of old buildings doomed to be pulled down this or next year. There will be no room for old cozy nooks in the new city. Roads deserve a special mention. They look like plates to eat from. I have never seen such beautiful, neat, always new roads. All curbs are made in granite. All underpasses are painted. Only low ugly traffic lights spoil the picture. They look like low, almost unobservable freaks along ideal roads.
Knowing the city so well, can you tell us about residents of Baku?