I’ve passed my defensive driving

And I have a certificate to prove it!

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To drive here in Baku BP insist that you go on a defensive driving course (the same as they do in Korea), this is on top of your regular license not instead of it. The driving in Baku is not the same as back in the UK but it is improving and more of the rules are being followed than they were 10 years ago.

Our course started off on the wrong foot as we went to the wrong place. Which I was quite happy with as the first place was a bit intimidating.

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The new place is  very nice house in the Badamdar region of Baku, which had been converted to a modern office and teaching rooms. The course started with the theory, mostly all known but it is always useful to have a refresher, it is very easy to get complacent about driving and forget about the hazards and how much information you need to process on a daily basis.

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My UK car, I love my little yellow Clio.

Dougal 2, our car in Baku.

Dougal 2, our car in Baku.

Then was the practical, which I had been dreading. We have a Mitsubishi Pajero (or Shogun if you are in the UK) which is way bigger than any car I have driven before – though Richard says it is similar in size to the car we had in Korea I disagree, it feels a lot bigger. And it is certainly bigger than the car I have in the UK!

Richard went first and then it was my turn. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected, yes the cars crowd round you and make more lanes than are marked on the road, yes there is sudden lane changes without indication. But there was no crazy driving and I love the traffic lights having a count down telling you when they will next change. The only difficult is roundabouts, sometimes they are true roundabouts, like I am used to, sometimes you give way to the cars to your right entering and sometimes (if there is a yellow rectangle) the main road has priority. There are signs to tell which is which but they are sometimes hidden in bushes and trees. I’m sure I will get used to it.

Not actually been driving since the test though. I am a wuss and I’m putting it off as long as I can. I think I might give it a go on Sunday and head out of Baku a bit.

PTA Sign up Saturday

The Saturday just gone TISA’s PTA (parent teacher association) held it’s annual welcome back picnic but this time tried out something new; having the picnic earlier in the school year and combining it with a college style club fair, with all the children and adult groups having a stall to get new members to sign up.

IMG_0939 IMG_0944 The weather was cloudy, so not great for photos, but a lot cooler (still around 30degrees) so great for being outside. And the forecast rain stayed away.

The whole day was a success, there was a great turn out and all the clubs have reported an increase in members.

TISA FC has got over 200 children signed up, they need more coaches now.
IMG_0940 IMG_0942Katrine and Gregor both signed up for rugby. Katrine has signed up for singing lessons and Gregor is starting drums.

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I was there representing Girl Guiding, and the Guides and the craft stall – making dream catchers, key rings and wooden spoon monsters.

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We got 44 new girls signing up and are looking at creating more units. If you want to join GirlGuiging in Baku please go to this link and follow the steps. We are the British Guides but open to girls and young women from all nationalities and are a non-religious organisation.

I feel I should include a list of all the activities that are available in and around TISA:

Provided by the school:

  • TISA Performing arts plays
  • TISA Singers
  • TISA Music academy
  • TISA Sports

Activities for adults:

  • PTA
  • Grupo Latino Baku
  • Irish Society
  • Homeless Shelter & Community Outreach Group
  • Caspian Choir
  • Roller Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Zumba
  • Adult Triathlon
  • Baku women’s supper club
  • Ulimate Frisbee
  • TISA Cook book
  • Volleyball

We are very lucky to have so much available and easily accessible.