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Flying through 15 hours with 30,000 miles above the ground from Hong Kong to Baku is a long but exciting journey.  The confusing faces of my friends were still clear in my mind when I told them I will be visiting Azerbaijan months before. This land of fire is gorgeous when I showed pictures on google to my friends. Yet, Baku does not only exist for its uniqueness as the capital city of Azerbaijan, but BAKU also stands for four characteristics I have experienced till this fifth day upon arrival.

B stands for Bazaar can be regarded as the most appropriate word for me as a Chinese girl staying in this foreign country. Though I have prepared to be “the crane standing among chickens” before my departure, it is still a weird experience when people stared at me for the whole metro journey. Even though I cannot understand any words they speak, I can feel the spotlight on me everywhere, to be honest, I am not used to be the center among people and it does make me a little uncomfortable.

A means amazed animals to me. There are so many animals here in Baku which I have never seen in my life. Tons of seabirds along Bulvar, hungry camels in Gala, donkeys and horses who are the neighbors of camels, lovely dog who guide us for the museum tour, etc. Being an undergraduate biologist, meeting all these animals amazed me a lot and let me appreciate again how diverse this world is from the eyes of Baku.

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K stands for kindness. Azerbaijani people are much more hospitable than I expect. Starting from the very first day I arrived Baku, my host family gave me a big and warm welcoming. Just within few days here, hosts being the representation of Baku, embrace me as if I am an Azerbaijani. Stepping out of my host family, I can feel the neighborliness which I have never felt in Hong Kong before. People in the metro are more than willing to carry my bag on their hips with a warm smile on their faces. I would just like to say Sağ ol to all the great people I met.

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U makes Baku a Utopia. Baku is not only having its modern view that grants its name of fire as the frame of a huge piece of puzzle, more importantly, it inherits its long history and the great people as the most important components of making the whole puzzle shines in the world. Now, the pieces of puzzles are yet to be discovered, but I believe I can make a good one after a month time from a Hong Konger view. Let’s see and let’s share.

 

Jessica, Hong Kong

23.12.2015

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