Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Baku Dreamin'

Now that the weather's just about perfect here on the Barbary Coast, I seem to be thinking of places where I want to visit. This weekend I plan to final finish The Orientalist, which has much of its action centered around Baku. I've always been fascinated with Baku as a continental crossroads and a central point in the start of the First World War. I've heard that it's one of those places like Casablanca that are far romantic and exotic in legend and quite disappointing in reality. I'm willing to take the chance. What I've seen of the men from there, all the more reason to visit.

I've been to far more obscure places such as Ouagadougou, Huancavelica, Ha Giang, Belgaum, Deenabandu and Bobo Dialousou. But Baku and Caspian Sea have really been calling me. I guess you could say that it's the Houston of the former Soviet Union but with much nicer weather. And like Tulsa, it has remnants of great architecture from the first quarter of the previous century during its oil boom. I sort of wish I knew someone who has been there, but then that might take the fun out of it.\

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At 6:14 PM, Blogger kusala said...

I actually have never had Baku Dreams, but for years I've had a curiosity about the Central Asian steppes... especially Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Samarkand, and Ürümqi. Who knows if I'll ever get to any of those places, as there are other travels (including repeat destinations) that are further up my priority list. However, there's something about them that still fascinates.

Very cool that you're a fellow visitor to Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. I actually have always wanted to go back and spend a month doing nothing but relax in Bobo. We should chat/email about our Burkina experiences sometime. I haven't run into too many people who've also been to that part of the world.

Thanks for being a recent frequent reader/commenter on my blog, by the way. I appreciate any and all comments, even though I sometimes feel I'm not writing about anything particularly interesting.


At 11:57 AM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Those are some deliciously obscure places. Western China has started calling to me in recent years. The tension and confusion in areas where it merges with other cultures is especially interesting to me. I've always been drawn to places where identity is in flux or crisis.

Actually your blog has many interesting literary and travel observations. I'd suggest others making a visit.


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