Saturday, October 5, 2013

Noah's Ark Hotel, Baku, Azerbaijan

I've arrived.  What a beautiful city.  Fuad met me at the airport after I'd cleared customs.
A couple of little boys who'd travelled from London or beyond were very tired and irritable. They let their very loving parents know with loud crying and screaming.  The rest of us waiting in lines thought the parents absolutely loving as they didn't flint a fire right there in the airport and cannibalize those sweet little over tired boys. I hadn't even known any children were on the long flight but being woken up in a different country seemed not their cup of tea.  I suspect there is a reason I have a dog who himself can be a handful at times.
Fuad is with British Petroleum and obviously loves his most loveable city.  I'd sat next to an elegant young Azerbaijan woman returning from a business conference. When I told her it was my first time to Baku, she immediately said, "You'll love it."
Driving through the city in Fuad's Toyota I was impressed by the wide boulevards and the exquisite designs of new architectural wonders. There's a Trump Tower and it's really outstaning shaped in an elongated letter 'D".  Some curving sprawling wonder of modern design was right in the centre of the city.  Fuad loved the Flame Towers, three of them and pointed them out to me.  All these ultramodern masterpieces are juxtaposed with what seemed to me 17th and 18th century French influenced old buildings that are common in Europe.
This hotel is in the Old City.  It's definitely from Medieval times with the surrounding wall.  Excellent service at the 3 star hotel saying it provides 5 star service. And it does.
Now I just have to meet up with my colleagues and tomorrow begin the conference. I've a couple of workshops to do and have a public presentation I actually completed preparation for on the plane.  All that's needed is the arranging of the slides and a dynamic intelligent young and handsome star to give it.  Despite having given so many presentations over the years I'm forever anxious about them. I know it will go well.
It's not like playing Leonard Cohen songs in the country bar in Portage la Prairie where they threw beer cans at me.
  It was raining here and the weather seems very similar to what I left in Vancouver.
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