Car culture has gone global — are you keeping up? Find out what the kids are hooning in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan.
My Azerbaijani isn't that great, but by the looks of things this video was shot here, a roundabout in central Baku that's pretty popular with the city's hoons. If I'm right (correct me if I'm wrong, Azerbaijani readers), the square is dedicated to the esteemed fifteenth and sixteenth century poet Füzuli, which is what a tour guide might tell you if you were to visit this beautiful capital.
What you wouldn't get from that tour guide is a look at how the young people of Baku are living in their city, with their history. Three-wheeling Ladas squeal through traffic right in front of a police station. They've got some cojones over in Azerbaijan, if you don't mind me play in mix-and-match with my cultural references. I like to think that Füzuli looks on at these hoons with a benevolent eye, as he wrote, "Don't ask Füzuli for poems of praise or rebuke / I am a lover and speak only of love."
Before, I go on, let's get in the mood for some historical reflection with the state anthem of the Azərbaycan Sovet Sosialist Respublikası (Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic). Azerbaijan was soviet from 1920 to 1991, ending with ethnic and border conflicts that persist today. So what the fuck does Azerbaijan have to show for its years under the communists? There's certainly more to show than just Armenia and Azerbaijan fighting over the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, because these Azeris aren't just drifting cheap cars around a busy city square, they're also tearing ass in vehicular manifestations of their past. The best kind of history doesn't end up as footnotes tucked away in a forgotten archive; it ends up as smoking tires and hoonage.