Monday, May 28, 2007

Things that make you say hmmmm in Azerbaijan

The road sign is not exaggerating the danger

No thanks buddy... I'll pass on your offer
And you thought Burj Al Arab had it all

Who needs a truck?

I still can’t figure the this electricity pole out !

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gulf News chooses my blog, www.coloman.blogspot.com as one of the BEST IN THE WORLD

What a surprise I didn’t even know that my blog was chosen as one of the best blogs in the UAE/Region/The World until 4 days later when I am checking my web statistic and how do people visit my blog, when I notice that I am getting several hits being directed from Gulf News.

Interestingly, they edited some of my blog…. But it’s OK since they made my day voting my blog one of the BEST IN THE WORLD.

Blogosphere: May 21, 2007
http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/07/05/21/10126813.html
05/21/2007 06:52 PM Gulf News web report

The Gulf News Web team delve daily into the blogosphere to bring you the best of blogging in the UAE, the region and even the world
Why don’t you… So here I am in Dubai airport heading to Oman on Friday and I suddenly pass by a man and woman who are walking while I use the automatic walk way. I look back again and tell myself, that’s ‘Jermaine Jackson” so I take few seconds to stare and then build up the courage to ask and he reply’s “yes’ with a smile. Wow, this man used to be in one of the biggest selling and best known bands in the world, The Jackson Five. Women used to go crazy over him. His brother Michael Jackson is the best selling artist of all times while his sister Janet Jackson is also one of the best selling female artists in the music industry. Here he is walking in major international airport and not a single person recognizes him, except me. He seemed happy that a fans still remembered him. http://www.coloman.blogspot.com/

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Azerbaijan: The Land Of Fire, Oil and Caviar

Imagine seeing fire coming out of the sea 5000 years ago! What would your reaction be? Its no surprise to me that people started praying to fire, before Islam, Christianity or Judaism were around. Fast forward a few millennium and humans discover it was oil coming out of the sea. This country supplied half of the world’s oil in the early1900’s. People became rich over night and many billionaires were created. These Billionaires build mansions and many monuments, which can rival any kings’ palaces. This sudden wealth attracted the Russians and later the Soviets.
The Soviets came and wrecked havoc and destroyed many monuments during the USSR period. The environmental disaster they left behind is on catastrophic scale and can still felt and seen clearly today. The war they had with Russia and Armenia in the late 1980’s and 1990’s has left them licking their wounds, but beside all this you can still and feel the great potential they have with the great oil wealth which hasn’t been fully utilized.
The silk route passed through Baku, the capital and the only cosmopolitan city in Azerbaijan. This old city was destroyed time and again by various invaders and only small parts of it survived. This part of town, and its surrounding area which includes the parliament, many old mansions and buildings form Baku’s golden era are truly charming and worth a visit.
The people, although, they are technically European seemed to me 100% Middle Eastern in mannerism, looks and attitude. They appeared to be a mix between the Persians and Turks, however, they associate themselves with the Turks due to the language similarities and the common interest they have against Armenia. The Azeris even adopted the new alphabet and grammar that was introduced by the Turkish leader Ataturk, who abandoned the Arabic script to distance Turkey from Islam and the Middle East. They major difference with Turkey is that they are religious, the majority of them are shia, and they do not have an Islamic phobia like Turkey does. The country is safe and the people are very helpful, but are a bit cold.
The area outsides of Baku are small towns and villages and although modern facilities are available, they lack any source of entertainment or luxury. Only Azeri restaurants are found and they serve a very limited menu which are mainly kebabs or ‘lule’ kebabs, which are yummy. Their fruits and vegetables are amazing and very tasty since they are natural and they are not genetic modification, don’t use pesticide or any other chemicals and preservatives.
The scenery around Azerbaijan beautiful, except for the abandoned mammoth factories left by the Soviets. The mountain peaks are covered by snow, while rivers cross most towns and villages we visited and most areas are covered by a blanket of green vegetation. Unlike what I had in mind, the country is safe and the people are very helpful, but are a bit cold. Although, you can see the Soviet influence in the building towns the Azeri influence is more predominate. However, if you’ve seen Turkey and Iran before, Azerbaijan won’t make a great impression on you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jermaine Jackson: ‘I’m your biggest fan’


So here I am in Dubai airport heading to Oman on Friday and I suddenly pass by a man and woman who are walking while I use the automatic walk way. I look back again and tell myself, that’s ‘Jermaine Jackson” so I take few seconds to stare and then build up the courage to ask and he reply’s “yes’ with a smile.

Wow, this man used to be in one of the biggest selling and best known bands in the world, The Jackson Five. Women used to go crazy over him. His brother Michael Jackson is the best selling artist of all times while his sister Janet Jackson is also one of the best selling female artists in the music industry.


Here he is walking in major international airport and not a single person recognizes him, except me. He seemed happy that a fans still remembered him. Jermaine was really nice and went into some details about what he was doing here, he had a project in Abu Dhabi. I thanked him and walked off…. A few minutes later, I asked if can take his photo, while we were riding the escalator. He was more than happy and said, let’s take photo together.

We spoke a little about his bro Mike being in Oman and we parted ways…………… as I sang ‘why don’t you do what you do….”