Thought I'd add this extra bit on while I'm waiting for photos to copy at the "Internet Klub".
As I mentioned before, one of the main ways to travel around the Caucasus, and also Central Asia, is by Mashrutka. These are usually Transit vans with seats - as many as can be fitted in. They either travel around towns and cities or go from one town or village to another, have a fixed route but in most cases only leave when full. And I mean full. This is not just with people, but also luggage, shopping that gets sent from a shop to someone in a village, furniture, bags of flour, vegetables, rice,you name it, if it fits in it gets crammed in.
Mashrutkas can run remarkably regularly and I know of several places in England that would benefit from public transport like that!
In these countries women, quite rightly I think, get given seats by men. There is also an age thing going on so a young woman will give her seat up to an old man. The best person to be on a Mashrutka is an old woman and the worst is a young man or boy.
As Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, this adds an extra dimension as men and women don't generally sit next to each other - I was in one when a the whole long seat at the front was taken up by an old lady. The young boy who was taking the fares and helping put the bags in had to wait for her to give him permission to sit down at the other end of the seat.
The way it work here is that the Mashrutka seating gets sorted out correctly at the beginning of the journey, however this soon needs to be rearranged as more people get on. You can see the intricate calculations of age and gender being worked out at every stop as it gets fuller and fuller. Often people have to stand in bent positions, clinging on to whatever they can. I did this for a short while in a city one and was held onto, very kindly, by a young girl who thought it very worrying that a tourist should have to do this.
On a long trip, the Mashrutka invariably stops just outside the first town, where there is a large group of old ladies with a large amount of bags, the passengers let out a collective groan, but then good naturedly arrange themselves to let them sit down.
Once I was on a full one which stopped at a village and about 12 schoolchildren got on to go to school - there was much pushing and shoving and it went on its way to the town.
Its a brilliant way to travel - especially if you are an older woman and costs next to nothing.