"Poorly Planned... Badly Executed"

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Who Says New Years Should Be Remembered?!?

Right first things first… yes I have been slack and not posted anything form my latest adventures in Baku (Which is in Azerbaijan if that make’s where in the world I am any clearer for you… probably not though). In my own defence I have been working 12 hour days and going out drinking 12 hour nights (well close to anyway) which doesn’t leave much time for other stuff. I if I really wanted to clutch at straws I could blame it on the difficulty in getting internet access… but that would be clutching so I’ll just stick to the tried and true excuse of “too lazy, couldn’t be bother”.

Before I get too far ahead of myself here is a one sentence description of Baku to put things in context. ‘The people are friendly, the streets are safe to walk around at night, the beer and food are cheap, and if you order vodka you are likely to receive enough to make you think they mistook your order for water!!’ Right that’s the formalities dispensed with, onto the story of New Years in Baku.

How my New Years unfolded hinged on one simple point of contention… the possibility that town might close early because of New Years!! Never happen, I hear you say but in some places that is just how it is done and nobody thinks any different of it. A few of us were out on the 30th and found a new bar which we figured would be the perfect place to start our New Years eve at… I’m not sure why but someone asked what time they closed at on New Years and was told 10:00 pm. That seams rather unusual in its self but when you consider that this was at 11:45 pm on a Sunday night it really got us thinking… maybe Baku is one of these odd places where everybody goes home to celebrate New Years.

With all big problems come big solutions – “so if we can’t drink after ten then maybe we should just drink a lot more before ten”. This was by far my favourite quote of the night and exactly what we did. There was only one teeny tiny flaw in our plan… it was bollocks!!! Town didn’t close; the pub we started at stayed open until past 11:00 (I think on account of how much money we were spending) and the entire tribe of us ended up in quite a condition to phrase it nicely.

Because we are in this part of the world, vodka (straight of course) was the drink of choice and it was flowing like water – when in Rome. I realised that my night was headed down hill when I bough a round of vodka’s for some of the guys playing pool. While I was at the bar I also got vodka’s for some friends sitting there (actually before I managed to buy anything, a vodka was placed in my hand). Anyhow I left the guys at the bar to deliver the drinks and returned a few moments later to find they were still sitting at the bar, vodka’s in front of them. “What...aren’t you guys drinking?” “We are waiting for you” they replied. “But I just had one in the other room!!” “We didn’t see… get another one”… “Ok then, if I must”.

So before this story gets too long, here’s the quick summary. We left the bar at about 11:30, walked across the street into another place which wanted 50 manat each person as a cover charge… yeah right, that’s more than I spent all night so predictably we left and ‘apparent’ headed to the Corner Bar. I then looked at my watch and it was 5:00 in the morning, I was in a different bar and couldn’t find any of the 15 or so other guys I started the night with… time to head off I think and I finished my night with a crazy taxi ride home, probably the best since being here - and that’s my New Years… ta-daah

The next day when I woke up and dragged my sorry arse to work (at 11:00 instead of 8:00) I started trying to piece together the puzzle that was my New Years. Turns out everyone was trying to do the same… I was not the only one suffering for a little short term memory loss. The best I could get was that at some point I fell off a bar stool into a crowd of people and something about a beer squirting competition?!? I still don’t know what that is… hmmm

So was my New Years memorable… definitely. Was it remembered… not so much! I hope you all have your own great stories to tell (which include a few more details than mine) Over and out - Jono