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Now don't be scared, there are not that many gypsies in Baku and they usually hang out downtown - well that's where you're probably gonna end up though. So just be careful when a gypsy child or a mother (never an adult male) approaches you asking for money. They'll be all over you but you can get rid of them if you just keep ignoring them. But make sure you don't have anything valuable in your pockets or easily accessible purse. The children are good at pick pocketing!
Written Feb 12, 2005
Be cautious about your money and price range. Whether you're buying a gift or clothes and etc. one can full you in a manner of seconds. It is always, and I mean always, mandatory to negotiate the price for a certain product.
Also, remember not to be fooled by young kids who are assumed to be homeless and in need of money. I am sure they are in their own special way, however, keep in mind you are not going to be able to save them all!
Written Aug 29, 2004
Being in a hurry is not part of polite society here. All is done at a casual, relaxed pace. EXCEPT DRIVING! That is reserved for bi-polar psychopaths. Traffic the standard level of insane. No problem. Just ignore it. Walk in the street as needed. Only pay attention AFTER the driver honks the horn. Drivers will drive the wrong way down the road for miles against on-coming traffic. No one notices or seems to care. They do it passing the police. Apparently black Mercedes are automatically expected to do it (Mafia?), but if it is not a black Mercedes you MIGHT be stopped and ticketed. Just ask what the fine is, pay it, and continue to drive like a lunatic. "Tips" and fines (bribes) range from $5 to $100 (if you're driving while drunk). Reminds me of the Texas laws back when I was a kid.
Updated Jul 17, 2007
when I was riving to Baku from Iran border some of polices takes teckets to me in different ways also fake! it was 2004 summer.but I heared that now if you observe speed limit (70 km/h) you dont take tickets!
Written Nov 5, 2007
Despite what most would think,this is just a childrens wear shop. Baku has a ratio of 1 childrens wear shop to about every 5 children under 10 years from my estimation.
I guess this place suits those who are buying cloths for a child that they want to make look a bit of a 'tosser'.
Written Sep 29, 2005
When going by car, or just going by car in the city center, you will find yourself in one gigant traffic accident. At least you will feel that way. The traffic is actually really bad, and crossing a street is really dangerous. Always cross streets were there are traffic signals. (and even though, be carefull) My advice, be carefull!
Updated Feb 27, 2007
Although crime rate is not very high in Baku one must remember that it is one of the most corrupt countries. The Militsia (Police) dont much trouble you but still dont forget to always carry your original passport, valid visa & a Ovir registration. If you are planning to stay for more than 72 hours & if you dont have an Ovir registration then you may be in soup. Generally the hotel where you are going to stay takes care of that registration but if you are planning to stay in a rented apartment then you will have to do it yourself.
If you are planning to stay in a rented apartment make sure that you never ever open the door for a stranger. Let him keep knocking as long as he wishes. Also police are allowed to check your apartment only during the daytime & therefore don't open the door for Police at night.
Try & avoid talking anything about Armenia since Azeris don't like somebody mentioning about it. Also avaoid using the word itself else you may be in trouble. A friend of mine who is a businessman, was talking to his headoffice over a mobile phone in public place. In his conversation he used this unliked word 3-4 times & next day the police was at his doorstep.
By chance if police troubles you for the documents or so, just pay a few dollars ($ 5-10) & get away.
Always be careful with your money, passport & mobile phones in public places.
Written Dec 4, 2003
The traffic can be manic. We saw a burning car on our way in last time (Dec-07) near Heydar Aliyev Prospekt, and no-one appeared to be in a rush to put it out.
Also, if you park in the wrong place, you may find that the police remove your number plates and you may have to pay to get them back. This happened to a friend who left his car, with hazard lights on, outside a shop while he went inside to buy something.
The problem is also that it often isn't clear where you can and can't park in the city.
Written Dec 10, 2007
Beware of police in Baku, as when they see a white face they will try to get money out of you, especially if you are driving, although it is getting less and less frequent.
The majority of the police are friendly, but don't try to make friends with them too much!
Written Mar 8, 2006
Driving down the road I saw sometthing beside a shop that completely got me. They were processing a whole cow in the alley to make up the meat counter for the store. They buy on-the-hoof. And they turn it from Elise the cow into fillet the dinner as you watch! The entire process occurs on the sidewalk. No more to speak about that!
Written Jul 17, 2007
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