Baku - Post Report Question and Answers

What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Wish I knew more about working with the government. - Sep 2023

The lack of things to really do here. It's developing-world living with a developed-world facade.The have great ideas with poor execution. - Aug 2023

In my opinion, people here are still very much tied to the Soviet way of thinking, inflexible and reserved when it comes to engaging with foreigners. Do not expect the same level of hospitality or kindness as many other countries in the region. Many colleagues also stress that they are consistently busy and overwhelmed due to the geopolitical nature of the work - so be prepared to work a lot. The relative boredom that I've felt here in terms of not finding interesting places/things to do compared to other places I've been. - Jun 2023

How difficult it can be to work with the local government. It's depressing at times how poorly people can be treated here. There's so much wealth here that could be properly invested and improve people's lives, but it seems it is diverted for corruption and flashy infrastructure. On a positive note, I wish I had known how amazing my staff was going to be. I'm angry that Covid has robbed me of 16 months of being able to work with them face-to-face. - Jun 2021

You are remote and you do earn your hardship differential, however, most people love it here. Many people extend. There are some people who have very negative reviews of post, but those people seem to be few and far between. - Jan 2019

Azerbaijanis don’t smile much in public and tend to dress in darker colors, but they are very warm and good-hearted people. They are very generous, polite, honest (besides taxi drivers and sales people), down to earth, and are always willing to help. Azeris loooove children. - Jul 2018

You may hear that Azeris don't smile, which Americans often interpret as being unfriendly. It is true that Azeris often have a stern-looking face and they don't smile much at strangers. But this doesn't mean they are cold, hard, unfriendly people. They are actually very friendly and will quickly open up if you make an effort to connect with them. Be open to meeting and getting to know them, and they will be open to you. If you come expecting the culture, charm, infrastructure, and competency of Western Europe - even Eastern Europe - you will be sorely disappointed. I think a successful tour in Baku is all about managing expectations. If you keep your expectations lower, Baku will likely surprise and delight. If they are too high, Baku will likely fail to live up and you may be constantly frustrated. Take things as they come, don't expect things to meet your American/Western mindset, and keep an open mind. - May 2018

I wish I'd known how oil dependent they are and that the local food isn't that great. - Mar 2017

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