1. I met an Azeri who was more informed on Russian politics and more passionate about it than just about every Russian I knew. He showed me a clip of Leonid Parfyonov, a famous Russian journalist and a speech he delivered at an awards show about freedom of the press in Russia.
2. I had to get to a meeting and had directions to get there by bus, but, after several experiences getting fantastically lost in Russia on buses, I was nervous to go that way. Instead, I decided to go by metro. On a fixed track, you know where you're going, right? Wrong. It turns out that while the Baku Metro looks a lot like the St. Petersburg Metro, it doesn't run the same way. The biggest example? At a crossing station in St. Petersburg one side goes one way on a line and the other side goes the other way and you must go upstairs/downstairs to get to the other line. In Baku, they alternate trains; train 1 will go to the north and then train 2 will go to the south and so on. I didn't know that and wasn't helped by the complete lack of updated metro maps in the stations and on the trains; I ended up spending about an hour riding back and forth trying to figure it out before I asked somebody who set me straight.