Sure, a nice postcard for tourists! We walk back towards home, passing through more "peripheral" streets. There we see a more genuine Baku, even enjoyable. But the fact remains that it's a 4 million inhabitants city, and it's dead. In the evening there's nobody around and in the center there are very few pubs or bars. At best, someone playing backgammon in front of an house or in some other place where only tea is served. No woman of course. Indeed, since we entered in Azerbaijan we never saw a woman driving. And when in a car they always sit in the back.
The slowness of the employee is incredible, it takes about ten minutes to hand over the sheet to be filled for the application. The man tells us that next week the visa should be ready. He goes out with us to smoke a cigarette, it's a weird man, he looks really drunk.
After the embassy we leave for another visit to the port, to check about the Baku - Aktau ferry. The road to the harbor is full of the usual "fake gardens" constantly under the sun, but with a perfect lawn and pruned plants. Always deserted. Across the usual reptilian buildings, reptile-egg-shaped, to be specific.
We enter the harbor by a rough road, no indication.
The only clue we have is that the ticket office is located behind "gray heavy door" and fortunately we recognize it immediately. On the door many stickers were glued by tourists passed before us. The only problem is that the office is closed and there is no one around. We walk towards the ships to look for someone, we meet a policeman with another guy, apparently the clerk. They speak only Russian.
The clerk tells us the ticket costs $110. We understand it must be done the day of the departure. Cash only. Let's hope it's true. Anyway, we go back home happy to have concluded something.
In the meantime we'll go to visit Ismail cousin, who lives near Ivanovka and Lahic. Here in Baku there is not much to see.
Out of the subway, in May 28 street (28 may is the Republic Day), we find the usual statue of the former president and the usual quote. After the square we head towards the seafront, which we could also call oil-pond-front. The avenue is perfect, everything spotless, manicured gardens, not a cigarette butt on the ground (as befits a regime). But the sea is black, literally. That is, it's oil, and it smells a lot. To see the fishes swim there and eat crumbs and oil is very impressive. If I were not already vegetarian I really believe that I would not make me a fish meal in Baku. But the people here are sitting, looking at the sea as if it they are in Sorrento.
Petrol is cheap (60 cents per liter), and people are are wealthier than in the country-side, or at least so it seems. For sure they are richer than Georgians. And all thanks to the puddle of oil that they face. They say that in ten years the oil will be over, but nobody seems to care much. The oligarchs have already accumulated enough Manat and have another ten years to accumulate even more. And the common people do not even know about this theory, the information is controlled by the government, those who try to say something different (not just about oil) are arrested on absurd pretexts. So, for who doesn't have access to the internet, or maybe has never been abroad and, above all, only knows the Azeri language, it is not easy to form an opinion. Although, of course, everyone is aware of living in a dictatorship, I guess.
Going back to our tour, we must say there isn't a lot of traffic compared to Tbilisi and drivers do not seem psychopaths. That is, it happens even that they stop to let you cross the street.