Different world

Trip Start Dec 17, 2005
Trip End Jan 17, 2006

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Flag of Georgia  ,
Friday, January 6, 2006

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the first morning we wake up in Tbilisi, we are shocked. at night we could not observe our surroundings. as we open our eyes in daylightup, we take a look out of the windows. grey buildings are towering in front of a grey sky. the air is full of mist and cold. it's snowing. destruction and trash everywhere. instantly, we draw our heads back inside.

"it's depressing, isn't it?" smiles Erik. he leads us into the kitchen. food is waiting for us. his mother is trying to read every wish from our eyes. she and I had talked on the phone once before. she called me "son",I called her "mother". finally we have come to a rest. finally we have made it home. finally we are with our beloved friends.

at first we have to deal with this shock. it is impossible to ignore the appearance of the neighborhood. sometimes it would be better to be blind. "it's much nicer in summer", Erik says and smiles again.

for an instant I remember the elevator that has brought us up to the ninth floor where he lives with his mother and grandmother.

we were entering the house. there was no door. we climbed up some stairs and stopped. as it was night, we could not see anything. thanks to the flashlight of Erik's NOKIA we had some sort of illumination. the elevator was situated in a dark and smelly corner of the hallway. it drove towards us with a rumble. then the doors opened. the inside was dimly lit. it stank like dog pee. Erik was smiling all the time. he did not try to find excuses for the state of this house or his country. he just knew it would be hard for us to adopt. then he threw a coin into a small metal box and pushed a button. the container was shakingly running up through the tunnel. Baidi looked at me afraid. I could do nothing but smile.

the elevator fades out of my memory as we enjoy tea, cake and home-made Georgian delicatessen. Erik's mother offers us Kognjak. We accept happily. it tastes quite well, so we drink some more. then she offers wine. we take everything we can get. Most alcoholic beverages are self-made. During our entire stay, we will enjoy mostly home-made wine and camagon, as it is called in Russian.

The apartment belongs to Erik and his family. There is no heating. They took away the heaters a while ago, because they were not working and wont work in the near future. They are using the gas stove to produce some warmth. Moreover, they have small devices that run on gas as well. Somehow it's warmer inside than outside. The only problem with the gas heating is that it destroys your lungs a little bit. You feel like you can't breethe anymore after a while. Nothing too bad.

In the bathroom everything is clean, but very old. As there is no running hot water, there is an electric device connected to the shower. Some parts of it are protected by scotch tape. When the air inside the shower room is moist, sometimes you produce sparks while flipping on the electrical device. "be careful, so you don't die", tells Erik and smiles again.

How I have missed the develish Georgian humor!

His mother takes good care of us. Feeding us delicious food. Trying to read all the wishes from our eyes. She is a very concerned mother and good-hearted. Her eyes are full of love and joy. It is a bliss just to watch her. We try to converse in Russian, but my Russian is really bad. Baidi and I might just as well learn Georgian.

Pulling out an exercise sheet, we show them that we have tried to learn the Georgian alphabet. They start praising us immediatly and ebulliently. We all start laughing. We talk some more and eat some more. Then we leave for the city of Tbilissi.


Stock photography by Sebastian+Arnoldt at Alamy
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silberregen on

Congratulations Basty.
You go your way, I envy you for that.

And some day I'll follow...

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