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Marc gets acquainted with Azeri hospitality

Posted by Marc Leaderman 25th April 2008
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Within my first 24hrs ever in the Caucasus, I faced my first major dilemma. I knew that I was due to meet the group off their international flight at Baku airport at 1am and yet there I was just 4 hours earlier being offered my 4th shot of vodka by my overwhelmingly congenial Azeri host. Not wanting to appear ungrateful, but not wanting either to meet my first ever Wild Frontiers group utterly smashed, I ultimately switched to water after the 6th shot. I'm pretty sure I managed to avoid causing damage to either my or my host's pride, but I can definitely say it was a wise move when at midnight I had to extricate myself  from a rather merry bunch of Azeris to go and meet my clients with only a slight slur in my speech, that I reckoned I could pass off as my Essex accent.
Since then, I've paced myself along with the group, though Azeri beer, Georgian wine & Russian vodka are definitely finding their way onto the dinner table on a regular basis.
Anyway, tonight we are staying in an old converted caravanserai in the fooothills of the Azeri Caucasus and I must go as I have been entrusted with purchasing tonight's beverages....

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