So this last weekend my host brother’s Avto and Dato and our English speaking neighbor Giorgi brought me and a group of TLGers to Sighnaghi for a day trip on Saturday. Sighnaghi is a very attractive old city that Georgia has renovated recently in the hopes of making it a tourist destination). We stopped to drink cha cha a few times on the way back, it got a little crazy. The pictures below are courtesy of Dylan Guarda because I can’t get my camera to download pictures right now and because his pictures are 80 times better than mine.
Anyway here are some random thoughts that are running through my head these days:
It’s getting cold here. Really cold. My school hasn’t had any heat (or lights yet), just parka’s and winter hats, brrrrrr.
I see a lot more drunken fights on the streets here than I do at home, even more than PB.
It would be cool if somebody I knew from the Georgia program was also going to Japan afterwards so that I would have someone to compare the differences/similarities between the two cultures/experiences.
I am planning on keeping this blog going once I get to Japan in February.
This blog has gotten just under 1,000 hits so far, although I think a good chunk of that might be my mom checking it every day waiting for me to update it.
I am going to be traveling around Eastern Europe for three weeks at the end of this program. I don’t think there will be another time in my life where I am already in this part of the world with time to kill. The downside is that it will be the first time that I won’t be with my family for the holidays.
I had a six hour layover in Warsaw, Poland on my flight back home, I just had extended to 48 hours. Why not, right?
No joke, Turkish coffee really is good, it is really thick with grounds, I feel like it makes you feel mentally more awake without feeling jittery at all.
No one really tells you what to do here and it is socially acceptable to be significantly late… I could get used to it here.
I wish Google search had some way to filter out results having to do with the state of Georgia.
Gas is about $6.50 per gallon in Georgia, The average Georgian makes $4,900 and the average American $48,000. They are paying a lot for gas here. And I thought California was bad.
There is a ton of national pride here.
The top two questions I get are “Do you like Georgia,” and “Do you like Georgian food,” for some reason another common one is “Do you like Russian women.”
You can still see a lot of signs of the 2008 war with Russia around Georgia. Apparently Russian fighter jets dropped bombs about a mile from my host family’s house. There is a military base literally right across the street from us. I can’t imagine what that must have been like.
Singing and dancing are a really big part of the culture in Georgia, young and old people both seem to enjoy traditional Georgian music as well as well as Western and Russian pop, rock, hip hop and techno. The students dance around quite a bit in the hallways in between class.
Georgians like their music loud. Even on Marshutka’s at midnight when 90% of people are sleeping.
TV and music on at the same time? Why not?
The boys at school are constantly tackling each other and play fighting in the hallways, and in the class rooms, and during sports, and pretty much any other time they are in close proximity to each other. There is no point in even trying to stop them.
I get about 500 “hello’s” per day in the hallways.
I get called a “good boy” a decent amount at school by other teacher’s…
Family’s spend a ton of time together.
People yell quite a bit here and use a lot of exaggerated gestures.
It’s funny how a class can be total terrors one day, and well-behaved the next day.
The kids love the football I brought, but insist on calling it a rugby ball.
Family’s spend a ton of time together.
If you look around there are a whole lot more men around in public than women.
I got food poisoning for the first time that I can remember in my life, I actually got it at a pretty nice Italian restaurant in Tbilisi eating Chicken Alfredo. It was hands down the worst 24 hours I’ve had in the last year. Ugh, but my host mom took very good care of me.
My host mom gave me hot water mixed with baking soda and told me to chug it after I threw up, to clear out my stomach.
I chugged it.
But I still wouldn’t recommend it.