Well I've been in Baku nearly a week now and feel like I've lived here for years. I've finally sorted out my sense of direction and even know how and when to argue with the taxi drivers! Progress indeed!
I walked to the arena this morning - in glorious sunshine - and managed to get burned and step into a deceptive puddle. It looked about half a centimetre deep and turned out to be a crater of clay! Messy! I asked one of the gardeners to hose the shoe down and he went one better, he put it on and used the jet spray. Poor chap got soaked in the process but he was happy to help. The locals here have been so helpful and continue to work throughout the day and night in preparation for next week. A disabled toilet has appeared in the press centre. When I say disabled, a sign has been placed on one of the doors and railings have been inserted. The cubicle however, has not been widened so it's somewhat pointless and clearly an afterthought.
The Ralph Siegel party is actually on Sunday - I'm hoping to go! So another night in Euroclub it was. The DJs are mixing Eurovision music with more dancy stuff and it seems to be working. Unlike Moscow there the lack of Eurovision music really made the Euroclub a disappointing place to be, here in Baku, there is an attempt at compromise.
I often wonder what the security guards think of the delegates at Eurovision - loads of camp queens flouncing around and dancing to bizarre music. The volunteers also continue to dance the night away and are always great fun. A slightly awkward moment came last night when Armenia's 2010 Eurovision entry, "Apricot Stone" was played in the Euroclub. I've never seen a dancefloor clear so quickly! Some Azeris did stay, although it's unclear if they knew what they were dancing to. Another young lad ran around waving the Azeri flag vehemently. Politics is never far from Eurovision.
Bemused security guards at the Euroclub The party in full swing
The UK delegation are flying over tonight and will rehearse tomorrow. Then of course it's the opening party. More later!