this week i

left the kazakh harbor for azerbaijan. barring the unforeseen, this largely guarantees i'll make it from china to europe without a plane.  why would anyone do that?  think of it like climbing mount everest, only more reasonable.

tried pictionary to ask a non-english-speaker on board what kind of cargo the ship was transporting from aqtau to baku (it surely wasn't passengers).  no luck.

queued up the gilligan's island theme with the deckhands.  ginger grant and mary ann summers, right here.

was damn sure not going to get seasick.  on my last multi-day boat from panama to colombia, i fed the fish for twelve solid hours.  this time, nothing in the stomach but mr. lemonhead here till i'm as grounded as punxsutawney phil.

had better-than-expected quarters.  what did i expect, you ask?  well, for starters, to sink.

watched a lot of this.

mind-shouted land ho!  only landlubbers say it out loud nowadays.

dropped anchor.

thanked the captain, went on my way.

spent the day in baku.  observing..

old and new cities

honest government or poor translation, unlikely it's both

precarious scaffolding

cult of the fountains, i swear

you didn't believe me.  now do you believe me?

oh look honey, that mask is crying a river of blood hmm and my tummy's growling how 'bout we eat here?

we all thought it but you said it first, azerbaijan

king midas went on a rampage

non-victorian women need skimpy underwear too, you know

omgomgomg wifi tape wditod

took a night train to georgia.

found a y2k bug at the border.

hummed ray charles tunes the whole time.

wonder why this happens.  get your own silly cartoon patriot.

guess you can steal our smartrip card technology..

..and okay fine cafepress technology too.  just stop marketing your gadgets with uncle sam.  sheesh.

indeed am taking your picture, my georgian friend.  you can stand there and pose with all the cool in the world, you're still going to have to explain why you're hanging out on the kiddie playground with no baby.

arrived at my hotel.  no electricity.  acquired proof that owed me a refund.  why risk it?

got some hotel advice from camera-shy slavic exchange students..

..and good advice too, until i turned on the tv.  huh.  the phone sex line local to iran ends in the number of the beast.

closed my eyes, pretended it was a burrito.  sigh.  hopeless.  nice scenery, though.

ordered one to eat now and another hundred seventeen to go.

think this city shines at night.

kept moving west, to stalin's birthplace.

visited his museum.

must shave.

spotted anachronisms..

yes and three separate truck crashes on the road to batumi.  only photographed two, but you get the idea.

..finally, palm trees encased in snow.

conclude that georgia's cool, georgia's cool.  ok turkey time.