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Old Jul 16th 2008, 1:05 pm   #1
larnie Female
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Default Azerbaijan

We may be moving to Baku as my husband has been offered a job there. Any information I have found on here is quite old. Is there anyone out there who is living there currently and could offer an insight into life there. We are currently in Al Ain in the UAE and from what I have read on google about Baku they could be quite similar. Small developing city, traditional. I am interested in the usual things:

Expat newworks for making friends
Cost of living
Availability of food stuffs
Alcohol
Licenced Bars and restaurants
Language difficulties if any
Quality of housing

We are a mature couple. Our kids are adults and living back in NZ.

Cheers
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Old Jul 25th 2008, 12:56 pm   #2
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Default Re: Azerbaijan

Hi Larnie,

You are in the same boat as me! My husband is already out there and myself and my two kids (8yrs & 2yrs) are moving out Sept/Oct. I have found lots of info via this forum, general internet searches and some word-of-mouth from friends of friends who have lived, or are still living in Baku.

By and large, the feedback and info I have received has been pretty positive - given that you are already an expat, it probably won't be too different for you. Me, I am moving from Scotland, so it will probably be a bigger culture shock!!

Myself and my 8yr old son are going over this Monday (28th) for a reccie for 5 days and I am hoping to view some houses, see the school (TISA) and get a general feel for the place. I will be happy to report back (if you are not already there!).

I am 35yrs old, my name is Hayley, my kids are Harris who is 8yrs and Maia who is 2yrs. My husband Mike works for Weatherford. If you are happy to do so, we should hook up and have a blether!!

Take care
Hayley
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Old Aug 28th 2008, 8:30 pm   #3
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Default Re: Azerbaijan

Hi Larnie

I spent a while in Azerbaijan and Russia, but not so much in the last couple of years, so I will hold back on some aspects and might be wrong on others. In other words, no promises if anything has radically changed! I don't know Al Ain but I know Dubai.

Baku isn't traditional as much as it is a bit tired. I liked the city well enough, but there is not a lot of cute old stuff lying around. The centre of the city has an old part and the fountain square is nice enough, but the outskirts are just 20th century rubbish for the most part. It's more like a mid-sized modern Turkish city than an Arab/Middle Eastern city. Frankly, it's just a bit boring and tedious and dumpy IMO. Everyone expected Baku to become a new Dubai in the 1990s but it slightly fizzled out for a while.

Expat networks for making friends - don't really know. It's not a huge population like Saudi or the UAE or anything, but it's big enough.

Cost of living - don't know recently.

Availability of food stuffs - don't know recently.

Alcohol - every type of alcohol is available everywhere. Azeris are nominally Muslim but (like Turks, again), there is little taboo against drinking, at least for foreigners or anyone in the big cities.

Licenced Bars and restaurants - if there is a licensing regime, it doesn't stop anyone from selling alcohol. See above. Restaurants - there were a couple of OK restaurants owned by the same guy (an Italian and a fair Chinese), but I am sure this has changed since I was there.

Language difficulties if any - educated Azeris (often) speak Russian as their first language and Azeri as their second. In the last decade, there was a push for the Azeri language and Azeri Latin characters to finally replace Russian and Cyrillic in official usage. This caused some educated people some embarrassment when it became clear that they couldn't write or speak Azeri gramatically (but spoke/wrote Russian fluently). I had an amusing exchange with a traffic cop who wanted to know why my car registration wasn't in Azeri instead of English - it was, he was just looking for the Russian and hadn't seen the new Azeri Latin version.

Working people will usually speak Russian and Azeri equally. Kids will speak Russian, Azeri and (increasingly frequently, esp with internet and movies) English, and occasionally Arabic and Turkish. (Azeri and Turkish are distant relatives - my Turkish friend says he can more or less understand Azeri and vice versa). I spoke Russian and no-one minded.

Quality of housing - we lived on an incredibly expensive compound by a lake, opposite a shantytown, next to either the British school or the International school. It wasn't convenient for the centre of town but it was secure and you got a garden. In other words, the usual compound tradeoff.

Security isn't a huge problem at the moment - but then again, everybody said that about Saudi until it all went wrong, very very quickly. Azeris generally are not unfriendly to foreigners (inc Western foreigners), although some are a bit p!ssed off that "foreign companies are taking all our oil money and none of it's trickling down to us". (Actually, that's more to do with the government IMO). The Azeri govt is authoritarian, corrupt, and will not tolerate organized anti-Western actions - in fact, as far as they're concerned, the less people think about politics of any sort, the better.

BTW, I have a good American friend who trades in cars in Baku. He typically imports 4x4s/SUVs (winter can be rough and there is some offroading outside Baku) direct from US and Europe (better quality and condition). Send me a private message if either of you would like his details.
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Old Sep 22nd 2008, 8:22 am   #4
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Default Re: Azerbaijan

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapin_windstar View Post
Hi Larnie

I spent a while in Azerbaijan and Russia, but not so much in the last couple of years, so I will hold back on some aspects and might be wrong on others. In other words, no promises if anything has radically changed! I don't know Al Ain but I know Dubai.

Baku isn't traditional as much as it is a bit tired. I liked the city well enough, but there is not a lot of cute old stuff lying around. The centre of the city has an old part and the fountain square is nice enough, but the outskirts are just 20th century rubbish for the most part. It's more like a mid-sized modern Turkish city than an Arab/Middle Eastern city. Frankly, it's just a bit boring and tedious and dumpy IMO. Everyone expected Baku to become a new Dubai in the 1990s but it slightly fizzled out for a while.

Expat networks for making friends - don't really know. It's not a huge population like Saudi or the UAE or anything, but it's big enough.

Cost of living - don't know recently.

Availability of food stuffs - don't know recently.

Alcohol - every type of alcohol is available everywhere. Azeris are nominally Muslim but (like Turks, again), there is little taboo against drinking, at least for foreigners or anyone in the big cities.

Licenced Bars and restaurants - if there is a licensing regime, it doesn't stop anyone from selling alcohol. See above. Restaurants - there were a couple of OK restaurants owned by the same guy (an Italian and a fair Chinese), but I am sure this has changed since I was there.

Language difficulties if any - educated Azeris (often) speak Russian as their first language and Azeri as their second. In the last decade, there was a push for the Azeri language and Azeri Latin characters to finally replace Russian and Cyrillic in official usage. This caused some educated people some embarrassment when it became clear that they couldn't write or speak Azeri gramatically (but spoke/wrote Russian fluently). I had an amusing exchange with a traffic cop who wanted to know why my car registration wasn't in Azeri instead of English - it was, he was just looking for the Russian and hadn't seen the new Azeri Latin version.

Working people will usually speak Russian and Azeri equally. Kids will speak Russian, Azeri and (increasingly frequently, esp with internet and movies) English, and occasionally Arabic and Turkish. (Azeri and Turkish are distant relatives - my Turkish friend says he can more or less understand Azeri and vice versa). I spoke Russian and no-one minded.

Quality of housing - we lived on an incredibly expensive compound by a lake, opposite a shantytown, next to either the British school or the International school. It wasn't convenient for the centre of town but it was secure and you got a garden. In other words, the usual compound tradeoff.

Security isn't a huge problem at the moment - but then again, everybody said that about Saudi until it all went wrong, very very quickly. Azeris generally are not unfriendly to foreigners (inc Western foreigners), although some are a bit p!ssed off that "foreign companies are taking all our oil money and none of it's trickling down to us". (Actually, that's more to do with the government IMO). The Azeri govt is authoritarian, corrupt, and will not tolerate organized anti-Western actions - in fact, as far as they're concerned, the less people think about politics of any sort, the better.

BTW, I have a good American friend who trades in cars in Baku. He typically imports 4x4s/SUVs (winter can be rough and there is some offroading outside Baku) direct from US and Europe (better quality and condition). Send me a private message if either of you would like his details.
Hi,

i have just joined this forum to try and research a bit before we arrive in November ( cold , cold , cold !) and we might be interested in knowing your pals details ref the vehicles. Havent decided if we will buy or lease yet.
thanks
Kerrie
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Old Sep 23rd 2008, 7:54 pm   #5
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Default Re: Azerbaijan

Hi Pebs

Check your PMs when you have a second. I have sent his details to you. I don't want to publish his details publicly (so he doesn't get spammed to death!).

Best wishes

LW
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Old Oct 23rd 2008, 10:18 am   #6
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Default Re: Azerbaijan

Quote:
Originally Posted by HayleyJaffrey View Post
Hi Larnie,

You are in the same boat as me! My husband is already out there and myself and my two kids (8yrs & 2yrs) are moving out Sept/Oct. I have found lots of info via this forum, general internet searches and some word-of-mouth from friends of friends who have lived, or are still living in Baku.

By and large, the feedback and info I have received has been pretty positive - given that you are already an expat, it probably won't be too different for you. Me, I am moving from Scotland, so it will probably be a bigger culture shock!!

Myself and my 8yr old son are going over this Monday (28th) for a reccie for 5 days and I am hoping to view some houses, see the school (TISA) and get a general feel for the place. I will be happy to report back (if you are not already there!).

I am 35yrs old, my name is Hayley, my kids are Harris who is 8yrs and Maia who is 2yrs. My husband Mike works for Weatherford. If you are happy to do so, we should hook up and have a blether!!

Take care
Hayley
Hello Hayley,
Have you been to Baku? Have you moved there yet?

We may be moving there in the new year and am looking for information just like you were. I have a 10 month old and another on the way. Anyway advise or information would be well appreciated.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 10th 2008, 9:02 pm   #7
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Default Re: Azerbaijan

If you're living in Uralsk at the moment, I would expect Baku to be a major step up!
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Old Dec 7th 2008, 4:07 pm   #8
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Default Re: Azerbaijan

Hello

Im moving to Baku in August 2009. I will be needing a clean flat with lift and agreed legal rent contract. The rent must include energy and be situated in and around the city. I can pay up to and no more than 1000 GBP per month max. I need an unfurnished flat- I have a wife and a baby and 2 cats.

I'm looking for a long term rent of about 4 to 5 years. If you can help or know anyone that can be trusted or a good agency please PM me on the forum.

Thank you and Happy Xmas and New Year.
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Old Apr 28th 2009, 7:48 am   #9
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Default Re: Azerbaijan

Expat newworks for making friends
- you can make a lot of English speaking friends in Targovi area,Baku.Dont worry everyone knows where Targovi is...just ask Targovi.

Cost of living
- depends on how you live but much cheaper than Moscow and EU.

Availability of food stuffs
-Azeri people eat pork so you wont have problem.You can find any kind of food that you look for.

Alcohol
- Native people drink more than 50 degree ( gradus ) strong alcohols.Natives love alcohol.Any kind of alcohol can be found easily.

Licenced Bars and restaurants
- Targovi area.

Language difficulties if any
- Language is different but you can learn its not that much difficult.They use Latin alphabet.Some exaples..

London = London
Britain=Britanya
English=ingilis
Metro/ Subway= Metro
Taxi= Taksi
Police=Polis
Pork=Donuz
Beer=Pive
Passport=Pasport
English Bar=ingilis Bari
Queen Elizabeth=Krali├ža Elizabet


Quality of housing

- really differ a lot.mostly places in central Baku are better.


For those of you who are in need of housing information in Baku here is a link you can see and check :


bakurent dot com
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