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Monday, December 27, 2010

Queer Theory

Last Friday I attended a discussion on the queer theory, in DRCAA (DRCCA?DDRCA? This name contains way too many letters).

I learned that the queer theory claims that norms, categorization, even the term LGBT are sources of discrimination. “We’re normal too”—is really validating the existence of an accepted norm and a desire to be a part of it, when in reality, there is no “normal sexuality”.

As I sat there, I've noticed was how different it felt to be in the LGBT community in Tbilisi. I sensed something unusual (queer?) in the air, dare I say conspiracy? Secret? Boldness? Thrill?

I remember, back in the States, my friend took me to a birthday party of her “gay husband”. Somehow, being the only girl among three dozens of gay men was more relaxing than being in DRCAA. I don’t mean to say that I was nervous or scared or something ridiculous like that. I was more…emotional? Exited? Unsettled? This shows how the whole social setting affects the way we perceive people, society and ourselves.

I took notes during the lecture, I was going to write more about the theory, but no, if anyone is interested, Internet is full of the relevant info. Personally, I believe that it is fundamentally right, but like any theory that sprang as an opposition to an established order, it falls into extremes. However, I took home something more important then the theory…

Conspiracy? Maybe. Boldness and thrill…admiration and respect. Because have you, my dear reader, ever had to oppose the whole world, when everyone screamed that you are, in your essence, in your core, either sick, perverted or dysfunctional? The last time I’ve experienced such admiration was during the disability awareness project, when I saw people fighting for basic rights, denying pity.

What can say? Do I have a right to say anything? I am white, I am straight, I am well-educated, I am girl ( well, at least I can complain about gender issues J), I went to a private school, I had a very accepting family, I love my husband. No matter what I say or write, no matter my empathy, no matter my indignation, I can never ache the pain of the people assembled at DRCAA that night. Boldness, in the air? You bet!

I am a disgustingly lucky, privileged SOB (Daughter Of B?). Nevertheless, I refuse to live in the country of hate, in the country of injustice, in the country of Pharisees and false prophets!

And if you think that all this hate is bypassing you because you happened to fit in—beware of the day you fall out of favor.

I don’t know what to do, how to help, how to be there for anyone who needs me (does anyone need me?). Everything is way too complicated in Tbilisi. But I refuse to live in this filth, in this hypocrisy, in this "don’t ask, don’t tell, if you tell, we will beat" you environment.

We all deserve better.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Georgian Liberal?

There is a kind of dualism in Tbilisi, the sense of you’re either with us or against us...

It has been increasingly hard to find my place. I’ve been searching for my group and I haven’t found it. I feel like a teenager again. You know, confused, trying to figure basic morals.

The more time passes, the more I understand what I’m against. Collectively, no one is against everything that I’m against. I guess we all have to compromise different things with the different groups of people.

I don’t know, parties, drinking, pot, singing, swearing, that’s fine, I like that deviant attitude. But, after a while, you realize that it is kinda fake. All things are kinda fake, so that’s not a tragedy. However, being pretty flexible, one still has some inner core morals, otherwise, it would be impossible to navigate the world. So what should I do, when the so-called liberal society clashes with that core?

My first problem is that I do believe in God. Lately, I found that if I say it aloud, many “friends” look at me exactly as traditional Georgian guys look at me when I say that I have no problem with gays. I guess acceptance is the problem on both sides; it is just that it happened that my view coincides with one of them.

The second thing is that I see childish, teenage rebellion, which is too late for anyone who is not 15. I see lies and cheating (I am not against free sex. I am not against open relationships. But I am against dishonesty), displaying intimate info on Skype and that kinda stuff. All this shit makes me feel mature and damn it, I hate to feel mature when I am only 25! I want to feel younger, not older, smarter and preachyer! I find myself in a position of a know-it-all, giving advices and shaming people.

There’s stuff in my new life that I don’t want my old friends to know. But, after I’ve met so many new people last year, I realize that despite our differences (some got married, some are employed, some are home, some are conservative, some are environmentalist..), that is the group of people that I feel most comfortable in. I might keep some of my ideas to myself, but whenever I am with them, I feel safe.

Thus, I don’t know. Maybe there is no my place in this country of change. Maybe my only place is my home. Maybe I need to accept everyone as they are: sexist, racist, cheating, orthodox, atheist, fun, boring, intelligent, snobby…

Dochanashvili wrote: “we all have our city, sometimes we just don’t know about it”.

I can’t find my city.

pics: a cozy lamp art I saw in Kiev this fall.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Trip to Istanbul Part 2

If you go to Istanbul for less than a week, expect to run around like chicken with no head. This post is about stuff to see in this city.

The Stuff Featured on History Channel. God! The carpet store with an underground cistern was right by our hotel! The hippodrome that the History Channel dude explored! The giant aqueduct! We saw the underground water reservoir! With a head of medusa at the base of the column!!! Ah, the Cities of the Underworld and the thrill of diving under the concrete to discover layers upon layers of history!

The Touristy Stuff. Visiting Istanbul and not seeing Hagia Sophia is going to get you on a “you suck” list for the rest of your life. The enormous historical value of this Byzantine monument needs a bigger document than my blog, so let me just say that, “famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture”[1] .It was built by 360 A.D. It has a monetary value too: entry fee was the most we’ve paid for any museum—20 Liras.

Facing the Hagia Sophia is the Blue Mosque. As in every mosque, you are supposed to take your shoes off before entering (picture me struggling to take off my thigh high boots and wondering about the structural integrity of my socks—a.k.a. holes). It impressed me so much, every tile done in a unique way, people actually praying, the sense of presence... Avoid butting in during the prayer times.

The Palaces. Topkapi and Dolmabahçe. Make sure you pay additional fee and see the harem. Topkapi is where the Turkish rulers used to live before the 19th century and Dolmabahçe is more of a we-are-trying-to-be-European-over-the-top-baroque. Dolmabahçe palace has a beautiful garden and we were lucky to have the most amazing guide ever! He concluded the tour in the impressive ballroom, with the world's largest, Bohemian crystal, 4.5 ton chandelier. As we stood there, speechless, he said: “I just got married last month and I asked if there is any chance of me having a ceremony here. They told me, you can’t, because you’re not a sultan”. He was so serious when he said it too!

The Stuff in Bosporus. So, you navigate best you can past the people who try to sell you 50 Lira Bosporus tours, approach the last ferry on the dock and take a 10 Lira tour. You look around and you realize, wow, you could spend 3 days just walking and observing the streets that you see from the ferry. Including churches, mosques, city walls, castles and houses!

The Stuff We Discovered. Pier Lotti hill. So, this writer dude comes to Istanbul and decides to settle away from the city, on a hill with the view of the Golden Horn and the Constantinople. Of course, that hill is part of Istanbul now, and there’s a cute café with Turkish tea and spectacular view!

The Fancy Stuff. Finally, the Taksim Square and İstiklal Caddesi, the “Shardeni” street of Istanbul. Place to get Turkish coffee, wet burger, chain department stores, the cutest little cinemas (we saw Harry Potter there) and a crowd of tourists. Very busy during night—kinda cool, since the old city dies out after sunset. Looks like lot of other walking streets in other big cities, but with a Turkish flavor. Pretty hip!

Final Note: try to see more than one place; for example, don’t spend all of your time in the old city, and the Bosporus tour is a must!

pics: Giga took wonderful postcardish pics! Here you see: the view from the Bosporus Tour, Me by the Blue Mosque entrance, Hagia Sophia at night.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our Trip to Istanbul--Part 1

What can I say about Istanbul? Three words come to mind: breathtaking, historical and expensive.

Visiting Istanbul has been my dream since I saw “The Cities of the Underworld” on the History Channel. Unlike many other places, people and stuff in general, my high expectations were fully met and even exceed. This includes transportation, food and accommodation, the topic of this post.

Transportation. Let’s start from the beginning—the Sabiha Gokcen Airport. It is a newly built thing, lot further than the Ataturk Airport, but comfortable and nice-looking. Discount airlines land there. It took us two hours to get from the airport on the Asian side to our hotel, but it was fine, because when else would we travel through that part of Istanbul? To get to the historical city, we took a bus, a ferry (crossing Bosporus from Asia to Europe) and a 20 minute walk. We could’ve taken a tram from the ferry, but the overwhelming presence of the city at 8 a.m. made us jump up and down, despite the luggage.

Transportation in Istanbul includes ferries across Bosporus, trams, buses and a subway. There is no subway in the historic part—I guess it makes sense, given that there are Byzantium antiques lying everywhere you dig. Mostly, we walked around, cause when you’re in Istanbul for 7 days, you don’t want to spend time looking at it from the tram window.

Accommodation. I was afraid that our hotel room would look different than its ad picture—happens all the time. However, it was exactly the same. We requested a room with a balcony that overlooked the courtyard, but got something lot better—a courtyard itself! And, there was an option of having a room with the view of the Marmara Sea, for additional 10 Euros, but we decided to save the money and were right: all of the balconies were facing the sea, including our first floor, so we saw it perfectly. I guess the more expensive room was on the highest floor and had a better perspective, but I bet it did not have A SWING AND A LITTLE GARDEN!

You can get any kind of accommodations you want—from a 10Euro hostel to a 160 overlooking-the-sea suite. Breakfast is included. Receptionists everywhere are extra sweet and speak around 4 languages. Breakfasts are usually same everyday, but ours included so much stuff that we could eat different food for a week—and even the shittiest breakfast offers 5 varieties of olives and cheeses, which is like amazing!

Food. Foodwise, we went to Istanbul prepared. We watched my favorite TV chef’s Antony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” in Istanbul and marked the places and the food we wanted to eat. Among them were: a whole lamb cooked in a stone pit, a delicious, calorie-packed wet burger and a lamb wrap with an unbelievable lavash.

Food in the historic part of the city (which is where you’ll end up being anyway) is 10 times more expensive then where the normal people live, so we just skipped lunch or dinner and ate once a day (well, after having like 5 courses for breakfast) and munched on bread, fruit and cheese we bought in the discount supermarket.

The hotel provided two bottles of water and that was wonderful, because you can’t drink tap water and there are no drinking fountains. For water, try discount supermarket, because its prices triple (literally) in the touristy places.

And as an endnote: almost every restaurant and hotel has a rooftop terrace. It is absolutely the best idea ever, so please don’t visit Istanbul in the winter, you’ll miss the terrace experience!

pics: the rooftop terrace in our hotel (can you see the sea?), the Bambi Cafe (poor Bambi, do they serve venison?), and I am passed by a historic tram (modern ones cruise the rest of the city).

Friday, December 3, 2010

The 50s in Georgia

My stepfather once told me: “I understand why you want to go back to Georgia. It is like 50s in the states”. Now, he meant the good stuff about the 50s: family values, small grocery stores, neighbors being friends, sense of community.

As Giga and I got obsessed with the AMC’s series Mad Men, we both realized how true that is. It is the 50’s here, not only with all the good, but the crappy stuff too. For some reason, it makes me very glad that before the 70s, American people behaved much like Georgians do today: smoked all day, drank at work, objectified women, fired homosexuals from work, threw garbage in the park, had pretty housewives and promiscuous husbands. I was glad because: 1. aha, they had flaws too! 2. If they could change, we can change.

There is one thing in the 50s (or at least in Mad Men) that is unquestionably better than it is today: style! This is why Giga and me decided to have a 50s theme for our second wedding…wait what?!

As you know (or not), Georgian weddings have three parts: a church ceremony, a legal ceremony and a restaurant. 3 years ago, we didn’t have time, nor did we feel compelled to perform a legal ceremony and sign a marriage license. We just did the church thing, where Giga almost set the priest on fire and my maid of honor fainted in the middle of the bible-reading. Oh, and the drinking-eating-Georgian dances-drinking-eating-Georgian dances thing.

Now that we are thinking of producing little Gigas and Pasumonoks (this is where you go awwwwwwwwwwwwww), we decided to put our names on that paper.

We already had the restaurant and all that Georgian wedding festivity, so we came up with an inexpensive, American wedding: lots of flowers and no food. We even used paper plates!!! We did have alcohol though. Wine—not Georgian! As mentioned, for the first time in Georgia (to my knowledge), we also had a theme and kudos to my girlfriends, most of them showed up with 50s hair and dresses.

You can compare the pics from our first (real) wedding to this thing. Changes are apparent. That is the same man by my side, though.

And you know what? If we are half a century behind, we should at least have fun with it! Down with Justin Beiber, I want Marilyn Monroe!

P.S. and get this, we also had a second honeymoon! This time something exiting, not Borjomi, that we did the first time. Wait for the Istanbul in the next post.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hot Girls

When I started this blog, I thought of doing sarcastic posts from a girl’s perspective. I’ve lost that somewhere between the sex ed and the infamous phalloimitators. Plus, I am extra busy this week, so I’ll post something that doesn’t require too much editing.

So, being married has lots of pluses. One of them is having male friends. I could never have boys that are friends, because our honest talks and midnight giggling on the phone always ended up with the dreaded “you have beautiful eyes” dialogue. Great, now I sound like I am bragging.

Being off-limits opens a new demographic for me: boys. Especially, husband’s friends. They are 100% harmless. One time, in Batumi my husbands friends and I discussed girls for 3 days. And finally found out what guys are thinking. At least those ones.

Also, I highly recommend Neil Strauss’ The Game (especially if you are a boy and you can’t get girls). Made me emphasize with the male population.

So, those guys in particular wanted nice-looking girls. Not great-looking (aha! Are they intimidated?) nice and, as they say in Georgia, “movlili”. Meaning, she’s taking care of herself. Meaning she goes to salon, waxes her eyebrows, spends evenings chatting with a nail lady and knows what looks good on her.

Two years ago, I told my hubby that new generation of Geo girls look hot. We were observing them in a Batumi park. He answered: “ No. They just learned how to take care of themselves”.

I’d like to add: they can take care of themselves, because they finally have jobs. They can afford to spend money on their Gucci’s. And this is where my liberal-minded readers sigh and tell me: “you too Brutus?! We thought you were above that petty, bourgeois, shoe-buying attitude!”

I object to female objectification. But is it wrong to improve physically, to try and look better? I mean, we have no problem when a person tries to improve intellectually, so why can’t he/she progress physically?

This dualism is bullshit. I want to reach perfection in every aspect of my life. A priori, I know that I won’t. But trying enhances me. Is this vanity or is this harmony with own self, own body?

Observe this chain: if girl is “movlili”, she is confident, if she is confident, she’s called a bitch. Or people think that she’s stuck up. But nobody thinks that a confident man is a bitchy slut. No! He’s a go getter and a an achiever. He has a competitive nature. Blah!

In the end, I refuse to be forced in categories. Nerdy smart or dumb beautiful. I am neither very smart, nor exceptionally beautiful. But just as I am reading --- (insert something pretentious-sounding), so I am prancing around in heels and a short skirt.

Girls are hot! Deal with it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What The Hell Are We Building?

Imagine, you hear the airplanes, you look up but you can’t see them. You are haunted by that sound. You go into the basement, you hide under the car, you run, but it does not matter where you go, when the bomb gets dropped on you. So, you squeeze on a tractor with ten other people. And you leave it all. You are an IDP and this is August 2008.

Imagine that your home was burned. Just like that, burned. And everything in it was burned. Everything you bought, collected, valued.

Imagine that you've spent 4 months in the kindergarten, sleeping on a mattress, on a desk. They promise you a house. So, you get a little cabin, most of the necessities. You’re getting money and produce at first. Flour, pasta. They even give you a TV.

And then…you find out that the roof is leaking, that the walls are perpetually wet and that the floor has holes in it. You get pneumonia. Almost everyone in your family gets pneumonia. They give you a plot of land, but you can’t work on it, cause you’re sick. It sounds like a crappy melodrama, but you’re an IDP and this is January 2009.

And then, time passes, the walls get wetter, the holes get bigger, the food stops coming. PTSD catches up. Nobody cares about you, all the journalists, media, foreign help, NGO’s, everything is gone. The war is not interesting anymore. You’re an IDP and this is November 2010.

And then, you turn on TV and see this:

Flickering video. The track is a song written 7 years ago, during the rose revolution. Words go like this: “if we sing the same song together, we will build a house”.

The video goes on, and they show all the new shit erected in Georgia, mainly in Tbilisi, all the new, expensive, useless, worthless shit and the song, the song by a folk-rock-kinda singer that I liked, this song pours out of my TV, out of your TV, out of TVs the IDPs that watch it in their one-bedroom house! How could you, all the revolutionary, undergroundy artists, how could you sell yourselves?! Are you guys just getting old? Is that it? You were lying to us, you were lying to us, when you stood along those people, the people who promised us gold, but built us shiny, glittery bridges! How long can we stand this fakeness? Why doesn’t anyone mention that right now, people are living in card houses? One storm and those cabins will fall apart!

Oh, they will pay suitcases of Euros to famous singers, for a free concert in Batumi, they will spend a fortune on their own residencies, hotels and bridges, they will force everyone in the country to sing the same song and they will build, we will build, damn it, we will built all together, using our money, and finally, when all is sang and built, there won’t be anyone left to live in the house!

Monday, November 8, 2010


This post is an answer to the recent “Asaval-Dasavali” article which claimed that TLG teacher Thomas Fletcher came to Georgia solely to teach Georgian children how to put dildoes in their mouths.

As I have recently learned from a very respectable newspaper, “Asaval-Dasavali”, the sole reason of foreign English teachers in Georgia is to draft our children in sects and teach them “lessons in homosexuality”[1]. Furthermore, the article said that after a while children will start holding “phalloimitators” (meaning dildoes) instead of pens and pencils in their tiny hands![2]

So, Georgians, wake up! The article is predicting future! We are not included in this new kind of knowledge! “The aim of this government is evolution of new kind of generation”[3], the one that knows how to use phalloimitators! Do you know how to utilize them? That’s awful! Neither do I!

I look in my crystal ball and I see Georgia in 20 years. A potential employee comes to a job interview. Instead of asking whether he knows English and Computer (Duh, everybody knows that shit now!), an employer asks him if he knows how to use a phalloimitator!

I see another picture. My boss approaches my office slowly, with an evil grin on his face. “Pasumonok”, he says, “Do you know how to operate an average phalloimitator and what is your experience in sects and homosexuality?” Desperately, I try to mumble something in my defense: “I’ve been to a gay Georgian’s birthday party once!”, but my boss does not buy it. Fired, I gather my things, stumble outside and jump into the Mtkvari River.

Alas, I’ve never had a phalloimitator and I am out of school, so TLGs won’t teach me “lessons in homosexuality”! Does this mean that I won’t be able to blend in with the “generation with no values or morals”[4] of tomorrow?

I propose we invade LGBT fond “Inclusive” and steal their phalloimitators! Because it is an established fact that gay people have those things laying all over their homes and offices. Even their dogs have one!

I propose we hire private tutors in homosexuality and phalloimitatorism, just like we hire tutors for every subject we study in school! The degradation of Georgian nation has already started and only the people who are smart enough to get the necessary skills and abilities will survive in this battle of the fittest!

I propose we start learning now, before it is too late, and indeed, it might be too late, just look at all the TV shows and newspaper articles of the previous week, full of one word and one word only: “THE PHALLOIMITATOR”!

[1] Should He Teach Georgian To Our Children?

[2] All of the references are from the same article

[3] All of the references are from the same article

[4] All of the references are from the same article

Monday, November 1, 2010

Why Are Georgian Husbands Pigs?

Everyone knows that if a boy “got…mind set on you”, than it’s “ gonna take money, a whole lot of spending money…and it’s gonna take time, to do it, to do it, t do it”[1].

One of my male friends wouldn’t get a girlfriend because: “I don’t have money right now and I don’t feel like spending all of my evenings in the Acid Bar”. That was a place to take a girl back then. Tbilisi has fancier places than the Acid Bar now. Ever been to one of those lounge bars where you have to spend 200 Lari to be seated at a table?

The algorithm: she has something that he wants (ranging from a platonic relationship to matrimony) and he needs to spend money, patience and emotional resources in order to get it.

Following are the two general reactions for receiving offerings from the suitors: 1.“Conservative”: a girl receives gifts (phone calls, flowers, dinners, etc…) only from the boy she wants to date. Receiving means giving boy a hope. Such girls usually marry their first boyfriend 2. “Liberal”: beautiful girl is entitled to attention and she can go on multiple dates with multiple boys and boys have to earn the grace of her presence. Such girls usually have fun (does not necessary mean sex) in their teenage years and later they either a. marry an older rich guy b. drive one of the suitors so crazy that he does something desperate, like kidnapping.

The post is not about the girls though. The point is that no matter what girl’s response is, everybody agrees that boys have to work for their girl. That sounds romantic, right? But combined with those horrible teenage years, when self-esteem is in a negative correlation with the number of pimples on your nose, and the number of bras you open directly correlates to the money your daddy paid for your car, it eventually results in a swine-like husbands. If the girl in question was not locked up in her room by an angry muscular brother, she probably had several of such suitors. It is likely that she preferred some boys to others: she had to choose. Hence, some teenage boys were left empty-handed, bitter and humiliated.

And of course, the more suitors one girl has, the more she will attract. Thus, what you, an average pimple-covered orangutan want the most, is always hardest to get.

So, when finally, after all the fancy offerings, she is your wife, your property, what do you do to her? You make her feel miserable to repay for all the degradation she has caused you. If she does not become your wife, what do you do? You marry someone “of a second sort” and you hate her for not being that long-legged dainty thing that never paid any attention to you.


P.S. This is a stereotype and there are happy exceptions (see my previous post). However, I believe this is symptomatic.

[1] George Harrison, “Got My Mind Set On You”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Soft and Fluffy LOVE

Hey there everybody, tell me, have you ever been in love?! Can't hear you! I said in love!!!
This is the seventh time I am typing a sentence. I keep typing and deleting. typing and deleting. I don't want to write a Hallmark post. But dammit, I am going to write about love and I don't care if it sounds cheesy!
So, you, in love, remember? SMS-ing all night? Coming up with clever things to say... dressing up carefully (I want to look nice, but I don't want him to think that I put an effort into it). Love letters, love poems, dates, kisses, hugs, more kisses, movies, walking, walking, walking.
Two things we did most: we walked and we drank juice/coffee/tea. Because what else can you do on a date, in Tbilisi, without paying a fortune? I mean sure, we did stuff like sneaking into the zoo at night, we watched sleeping zebra roll around in the sand, we picked spring flowers in the forest and he even serenaded me with a guitar (neighbors were amused), but very , very often we: drank juice/coffee/tea in cafe, we kissed in the park, or we walked and walked and walked. and talked and talked and talked.
Do you remember that time? Look outside! Do you see them walking? Do you see them holding hands? Are they happy? They have to be happy! Everybody has to be happy! You have to be happy, because it is there! I swear it is there and I know it! Love is there and it is soft and fluffy, like my husband.
...And so it happened that exactly 6 years and 6 months ago he kissed me for the first time and we've been doing that (well, not only that) since then!
Have you noticed that I haven't written about him on this blog? Because this is a complaining blog! He is left out by default!
How about joy for a change? Are you people with me? Let's laugh and love and feel sentimental!
I always kept wondering when will this go away, what's the expiration date? People say 5 years of dating...others say 2 years of marriage...others say it's not possible altogether. But darn it, we've passed those expiration dates and you still look/taste/smell fresh! Sure, I've got cellulites now and you've gained a belly, but we also have our own home, we've paid off the credit for our bed and we've acquired a cat along the way!
Hey, everyone, the whole world! It is there, I swear, I swear, it is there, the love, the Love, Love, Love, Love, Love, it is there and it is soft and fluffy like my Giga!

Monday, October 25, 2010

On Comments and Language

People have complained…hmm... answered my complains about them not commenting...that it is impossible to leave comments to my posts. I’ll sketch a short tutorial on commenting. I bless you to debate and swear at each other on this blog, cause now, roughly 1 out of 8 visitors comments here. And out of the 7 that don’t, 5 can’t figure out how to do it. Because Blogspot sucks!

Follow me!

So, when you read the post, you click on comments, and voila, you see all the comments! Then, write your thing and click on “comment as” button.

You will encounter next options:






Open ID



Obviously, if you have LiveJournal or other blog accounts, you know how to comment using your blog account. If you don’t have a blog account, you might still have a Google account. You might be using it for your mail (Gmail), for example. So choose GoogleAccount and proceed to sign in with your Google account and your name will appear next to your comment.

If you don’t have a Google account, try using other electronic accounts. For example, I tried using my Yahoo! account and it worked. Choose Open ID and proceed to sign in.

Finally, Name/URL option allows you to sign in from your Facebook.

If you don’t want to be known, just choose Anonymous and that’s it. I don’t moderate the comments and never will. If I hate what you’re saying, I’ll yell back at you right here on the blog J

And lastly, should I quit blogging in English and switch to Georgian? Do I come across as pretentious because of my English blog?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Is Climate change a MUTH?

For the first day of climate change week in Tbilisi, we were asked by my friend to march from Philarmonia to Parliament. She said that lots of people are coming and that we would stop the cars and make a statement. That everyone will see us marching and realize how polluted our air is. That Georgians will start recycling, stop using so much plastic bags, will start riding bikes and throw away their cigarettes. O.K. she did not say that but all of these statements have one thing in common—they are utopic!

We arrived at ten in the morning, sleepy and complaining. We expected a crowd—nobody showed up. Apparently, there is a new trend amongst Georgian people: promising to come and leaving you waiting in vain.

We were supposed to rally with the kids on bikes. They passed by, without stopping. So, we courageously started marching in the middle of the street, with cars honking at us angrily. Some environmentalists gave us booklets made of cut-down trees. Last time they gave us water in plastic bottles.

We carried a poster, stating: “Travel Smarter, Live Better”. It was confusing to the spectators and they probably thought that this was a demonstration of marshrutka drivers.

I noticed that many of the environmentalist girls rallied in high heels. It is beyond me how people can’t understand what counts as an appropriate attire for such occasions. It is a freakin environmentalist march! We are walking! And holding flags! And drinking water out of the plastic bottles! And giving out paper booklets! Put on some bio-degradable fabrics dammit!

Some important foreign guy walked along with us. Had something to do with integrating us in NATO or EU. In your dreams, Tbilisi!

Our dear mayor was waiting at the parliament. He said several sweet words about how important environment is and rode a bike afterwards. I missed that part because husband and I got tired of his talk and sprinted to the café Entree, where we sipped our coffees and ate our croissants, and lied to ourselves that we’re in a civilized city where people consume these things for breakfast. The lie was unsuccessful though, as the table was wobbly and we ended up spilling hot coffee on ourselves.

I do care about the environment. I love cute little animals and enjoy camping. I can’t do much, but I do what I can: I have a grocery bag that I use instead of plastic bags, I re-use my water bottle, I don’t litter. I will raise my kid the same way, making sure she does not throw garbage all over the place and does not abuse our cat Gaia. That’s all I can do in Tbilisi. I feel really sad for people who can contribute more, but end up rallying with no purpose. Like my friend, who wants to be an environmental lawyer, though such word combination does not exist in Georgia.

P.S. I opened the booklet. It said: “Climate change…it is not a muth, it is reality”. Sadly, it is.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Learning Abroad=Monster Georgian

Just recently church has spread the info that studying abroad is a bad thing to do. The reasons are plenty, for example " a 16-19 year-old young person is very sensitive towards the his/her environment, he/she is still unprepared. This is why it is dangerous to live abroad. There have been cases of psychological diseases" and " God has created you in Georgia and this is why you should live in Georgia"1.
I am not even going to refute this arguments, they are self- refutable in their essence. That was just the example of the logic why should Georgians stay where they are and never evolve professionally, psychologically, or culturally. I would like to address more tangible issue: one does not need to leave the country to study well. While I believe that this statement is partially true and that indeed, our country has many specialists that have never left their homes, this claim is not valid for the most of the students.
I have studied in two universities, Georgian and American. Both had flaws, but in the Georgian university, I felt more and more powerless with every semester. From inability to control what subjects I need to pass to get a diploma ( I had a B.A. from a university in America. Why the hell did I need to pass a test in English language in Georgia?!) to everyday classroom situations. For example, classes often started late. Or, we couldn't choose our classes. Or we did not have any textbooks in Georgian. So yes, I wanted to learn, and yes, I did all I could, and yes, I had great teachers, and but to this day I keep wondering, how much more would I have gotten out of it. Thus, when people try to feed me bullshit about how good our universities are, I just want to yell at them. Hello! Wake up! Isn't this all around us the result of our education?! Do we like what we see?! No?! Then why should we stay and keep repeating the same mistakes?! OR ARE WE JUST AFRAID TO GET EDUCATED, OPEN-MINDED AND CRITICALLY THINKING YOUTH? Is that it?! Then cut the crap about "cases of psychological diseases" and admit that we want a theocratic society! That would make us what, honest? At least, in that case, the likes of me will shut up and run far, far away from this country.
1. Tsitskishvili, D. Father. "Two Thoughts". Liberali. October 11-17th, 2010. pg. 8.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Blues

I took my winter clothing out today. It is the beginning of that horrid time of the year, when you know what’s coming, and you know it ain’t pretty.

It’s officially here. The fall. The yellow leaves and last bits of sunshine. I never found it romantic, melancholic or whatever. Everyday you know that tomorrow is going to be colder, until it gets so cold that you need five blankets to stay warm at night. You turn on electric and gas devices. Your “Karma”, your “pechi” and your “radiatori” have as many people sticking to them, as moths to light bulbs in a summerhouse. You feel more comfortable outside, because you can wear a coat and you either move around or are heated up by the collective breathing of squeezed together marshrutka riders. You hang out your laundry only to discover that instead of drying up, the water has turned into ice-crystals; so you thaw your sweater by the radiator; and you put a “tazik” underneath, to save your floor. People constantly tell you that you got fat BECAUSE YOU ARE WEARING 5 LAYERS OF CLOTHING UNDERNEATH IT ALL! You hate it all and you want the sun back. That’s what’s coming. This is the preview of winter.

I took out my winter clothing today. It all looks grey and big. It’s 6 P.M. and dark as hell. My kitty lays curled up. Brown (yellow?) Tbilisi leaves get stomped into the mud by chilled pedestrians. The birds are flying away and taking summer with them. I’m cold, alone and jobless. Too bad I can’t play a guitar.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Give Us Our Daily Bread or Kali Kuxnashi

There are many pleasures in life and eating is one of them. Simply put, there are two approaches to eating, you either eat because you have to, or because you want to.
I was never the one who wanted to eat. When I was little, my mother had to remind me and even force me to eat. This attitude changed 2.5 years ago. I got married and my husband and I had to produce our own food. Otherwise we would starve.
The very first dinner that I cooked was fried chicken. I did not even know where to buy it (my friends told me that frozen chickens are sold in practically any store and I was very surprised, as I have never paid attention to any fridges but the ice-cream ones), I did not know how to defrost it (my microwave had a defrost button and I pushed it) or how to fry it (basically, if the fire does not consume it, it turns out edible). But I fried it anyway and my husband ate it. And he did not die.
Giga was very supportive, ate everything--whether he like it or not--and complimented my every meal. Soon, he got involved in cooking and we started coming up with dishes or re-creating hard-core, need-to-cook-for-two days kind of French-Chinese-Russian-Georgian-Italian dishes. All of the food in the pics were cooked by us ( except sushi pic, though I have made sushi too). And when we start missing food that we can't get here--we just cook it. Speaking of...when was the last time you had chocolate chip cookies? Maybe I will bake them when I am finished with this post.
Knowledge empowers. Even culinary knowledge.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Race, Gender and Sexuality--Who AM I?!

When people write that there was not enough time for discussion and in fact, we had more than an hour for it, this means that the discussion was good. Indeed, this time was not enough for the FLEX Alumni to express their opinion on race, gender and homophobia issues in Georgian reality during the two-day seminar that took place in New Art Café.

We watched three films and talked about three respective issues. I choose films that are not too artsy but not too Hollywood either. All three films have very high rating on IMDB, though some were better than others.

The event was held at the New Art Café because 1. It was moderately priced 2. It did not look like a classroom. Originally I wanted to rent a small screening room in one of the movie theaters, but their prices are just unreal, and their customer service…well, you get the idea.

My favorite discussion was about racism/ ethnocentrism. Alumni touched deep issues, knowledge of the official language was brought up, immigration seemed a problem to some and nationality and national identity were examined. One of the alumni asked why do we even need a sense of nationality, which definitely charged the air with controversy.

Gender discussion was not what I expected. None of the themes of the film were touched, though one of the guest speakers just recently worked with UN on a study about violence towards women in Georgia and she could have talked about how relevant the film was to Georgian reality. In the end, girls felt frustrated, boys felt outnumbered, and we concluded that pregnant women should move away to the village and stay there for 9 months J

And finally, we did not discuss, but asked guest speaker about homophobia, which was very informative, but not too controversial. I am still wondering what happened to the voice of the audience, since the last two discussions were so heated.

The goal of the seminar was to let the audience see that there are many opinions on the matter and make them question their beliefs. I hope that at least some of the alumni (and the guest speakers and organizers) will research these topics more to come to a solid conclusion. After all, critical thinking means re-examining the established truths and arriving at one of your own!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Homo: Phobia and Sexuality or How Do We React When Two Men Kiss?

This weekend I organised (with help of a team) seminar called Critical Thinking in Social Problems in Georgia. First of all, I am generally very pleased with seminar overall. The only thing I would change—replace “The Color Purple” with something more dynamic.
The last film is my favorite and the last issue—most controversial, so I will start discussing it first.
I was surprised that we did not have any discussion. Rather, it was a Q and A session with Paata Sabelashvili. And though I am very grateful for his informative, and I would say comfortably reassuring presentation, I expected more debates. What happened?
Was it that the audience did not know much about the matter and genuinely preferred to listen? Was it that the Alumni thought it would be rude to directly oppose homosexuality, when we had a gay guest speaker? Or were we all simply tired after two days of talking?
In the end, I think that “they are born that way” argument is bullshit. If I were anti-gay, I would say, so what, some people are born with a thyroid gland dysfunction, that does not mean it shouldn’t be cured!
I believe that this argument tries to validate homosexuality and that is wrong. It is like saying, well how is it their fault if they are born that way? This case automatically tries to find a cause that justifies wrongness.
I believe that we are born with an inherit free will. I believe that we have right to love, be in a relationship, marry and have sex with whoever—unless it hurts the other person. I don’t care what the cause is, because I do not consider that homosexuality needs explanation. How would you feel if a black person tried to justify her skin color by saying that she was born that way and there is nothing she can do about it?
When I was in college in the States, some of the kids on my campus wore shirts that said “Gay? Fine with me”. I thought that was atrocious! Can you imagine shirts that say “Woman? Fine with me” or “Black? Fine with me?”?! I think justification of any kind is humiliating and that human sexuality, whatever it is, should be taken as a fact. And yes—big surprise!--men do kiss men, and after you get used to it, you might even find it sexy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Russia As I Saw It--Posolok Gorodskogo tipa

How Soviet is Post-Soviet?
My trip to Russia was fun overall and I certainly don't have enough time to write about it now--my tea is getting cold and I have a seminar to conduct in two days--but I wanted to share this picture of the local school located in a little town/village, or, as I was told in a " Posolok gorodskogo tipa".

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sex Education

I watched a stupid talk show on the 1st channel called "Auditoria" and got so mad! The theme was sex education and bunch of "sexologists", politicians and random famous people (a.k.a faces) discussed whether or not we should have one in the Georgian schools.
First of all, why those people? Some of them know less about the subject than even I do.
Secondly, the host sucks. She can't carry on a decent conversation.
However, that is not the worst part. The "sexperts" were the worse.
Instead of arguing about how good it is for a teenager to know what a condom is (you know, just in case one gets pregnant or unimportant stuff like that), those "sexologists" started talking about the role of media in a formation of a teenager's view of sex. They were like oh well, this TV is so horrible and gives bad messages and thus we have to step in and teach the poor kids correctly. And if we don't step in, they will continue watching TV and consequently, will start practicing deviant sexual activities like (and I am quoting now) HOMOSEXUALITY AND LESBIANISM. First of all, lesbians are homosexuals, you moron! Secondly, these are the sexologist who claim that they have the right knowledge to educate the kids at school. If those are our experts, what about non-experts?! Can you even imagine what goes on in their heads?
For example, the guest politician started endless propaganda about abstinence being the best policy. He was like, if kids don't have sex, they won't get STD s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). No shit, Sherlock! Do you have any frontal lobe functions or is problem analysis an evolutionary stage yet unknown to your brain? Of course, if kids won't have sex, they won't get STD s. The problem is that they do have sex and you know why? It's called hormones and it's called horny teenagers. And that is true for every nation, Georgian being no exception. And please, with all the bullshit that man was giving us, he was like, my eight-year-old daughter is already fasting and I am trying to teach her abstinence in food and we are such a good Christian Orthodox family and I have six (!) kids and I am teaching them to be abstinent. If that worked, we would not have so many teen pregnancies today. Oh, and he also added that he married his wife when she was FIFTEEN and he was twenty-three. Do you know that having sex with minor is considered rape in many countries? And don't give me the-culture-is-diffrent crap, a fifteen-year -old's personality changeds 1000 times before she reaches, say, twenty, so she can absolutely hate the man she loved 5 years ago. Also, I feel sorry for that woman, she missed out on many teenage expereinces and probbaly won't ever catch up because 1. her husband's a moron 2. she has 6 kids already
Then the audience shared how they did not want to have sex ed in school because they can get info from someone else. That is exactly my argument for having sex ed. Who is that someone else and how much is she/he credible? If I were to post all of the stupid things people told me about sex, orgasm, vagina, penis, breasts, menstrual cycles, hygiene and such, my post would be two kilometers long!
I don't necessarily agree that there should be a separate sex ed class here, as it is in states. I don't think that it is suitable for the Georgian culture. But why can't we incorporate it in, say, biology classes or have an after-school discussion groups?
Kids need to know personal hygiene. They need to know where to buy a condom and how to use it. They need to know that it is far more embarrassing to get a girl pregnant than to buy a pack of condoms at the pharmacy. Girl need to know that there is medicine for the menstrual cramps and that there is absolutely no need to get paralyzed with pain for 5 days of a month ( if you guys only knew, how many girls I've seen in painful agony, refusing to take meds!)
So I am all for it. But God save us from the "sexperts", "politicians" and "talk show hosts" of this country. If they will get a say in this--then poor teens will all become impotent as a result of such trauma!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Hey, I am covered in honey again, hoping that after two weeks of this torture my skin will be smooth and pleasant to see. I want to battle my cellulites now, before it gets out of hand.
It's not that I can't walk around wrapped in a gooey mess of honey, vinegar and stuff for two hours, I can. But the massage that precedes the wrapping is so painful that most of the time I want to scream and I can barely hold my tears. The only reason stopping me is that I am embarrassed to cry before a Eka, my masseuse (a person that does massage). So, we try to talk instead (meaning she talks and I try to communicate, not sounding like I am about to pass out). Usually about my work.
Eka is a school teacher and ironically, I check teachers work and determine whether or not they will pass the exams and stay in schools. Thus, I get my money for evaluating teachers (often failing them) so that I can pass this money along to Eka--a teacher.
I want to tell all of Georgia: beware! Our teachers don't know a squat about teaching and the ones who do, are so underpaid, that they have to-just like my Eka--get additional source of money. I can't tell you what they write in these exams, but I can tell you that if we don't do anything, our children won't be able to spell their names.
So, now what? We try to eliminate the ones that are totally hopeless. Because we have to. However, is it really their fault they are so awful? I mean they have studied somewhere and they did get a diploma. they did get hired and they are still teaching and are not fired (yet). Thus, is it only their fault?Are they the only ones to blame?
No one knows what causes cellulites. Some say unhealthy eating habits, some say low blood circulation, some say it is genetic and that I was born with a fat ass. However, we (the girls whose butts look like orange's skin) all know what it is and we all know it ain't pretty. Hence, we hire masseuses who beat the hell out of us, pour honey, vinegar, essential oil and other shit on our thighs, wrap us in plastic bags, make us wear warm clothes in summer and little by little dissolve the fatty tissues on our behinds. It is unpleasant, but necessary. Similarly, I don't know why Georgian school teachers are the way they are. All I know is that they can't keep doing what they are doing and that people like me need to slap them and beat them out of the system. Otherwise, the educational system will never be smooth. And though I am covered in bruises right now, I have a dream and hope and a noble goal: a glossy butt. So, God help us remove the fatty blobs from our schools!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a damsel in distress

Did you know how much it hurts to have honey spread over your butt and legs and then get smacked and hit and then get wrapped in plastic and then walk around it warm leggings and plastic underneath (in August!)? add khena (mud girls put on their hair to make it shiny and reddish) on my hair and plastic bag on my head and you'll realize why I want to be a man--or even my cat--for a day.
This is how I look right now.Plus honey... this post gets spiteful. You've been warned.

Life is full of stupid questions, starting with the stupidest of them all--who am I. We naively hope to find some answers, smarter than 42 (don't know what I am talking about?Dude you need to catch up on your sci. fi. reading!). And though we all have limitless questions, I'd like to list some that I have (becoz I can) and thus, start my first complaining post:
1. why was my apartment building built without an elevator, making it hard to bring groceries to the last floor (where I live)?
2. why can't I find job worthy of my education and offering decent salary+decent co-workers?
3. why do I have to ask my friend's sister to bring me an ipod form states because things are so ridiculously expensive in this goddamn city?
4. why is the rainiest place in Georgia also the place where you want to spread out in front of the sun for at least 6 hours a day? why do we take swimming suites to Batumi if we end up wearing sweaters?
5. why can't dishes wash themselves? or better yet, who in their right mind builds such tiny kitchens, that you can't fit a dishwasher in it, even if you had the ridiculous amount of money they charge for it in our electronics store?
6. why to people in marshrutkas smell?
7. why do I need to visit Georgian gay sites to read advices on oral sex? How long can the straight population of Tbilisi stay so closeted?
8. and finally,
if your day is divided into four parts,
and you hate three of them,
you have no choice but to ask:
why do I have to be woman? Can I be a man for change?
the four parts of my daily life: 1. work 2. cellulites massage 3. housework and dinner 4. husband
(this is the part I like).
p.s. the last part just came home and I have to go.

the very first post

Make no mistake about it, this blog is a mental masturbation. A place to complain and whine and satisfy oneself. A place to write and feel good about yourself. To feel fulfillment. Accomplishment. Like what you do (write) matters.

Maybe a few lost souls will wander in and leave their spiteful comments, along the way. Please do. No censorship of any kind allowed on my territory.

I apologize for all the negativity I might pour in here. In real life, I am quite a happy person. But again, mental masturbation is not a public matter. It’s what one does in private behind the lock doors and closed curtains.

How do I even do this thing? I am a person with no facebook account and obsession for correct spelling. Not a typical blogger.

How the hell do I get a tag cloud? Can I get Sex and the City banner instead of these books on the background? How long is a readable post? will my husband feel offended when I write about us? Hello…is anybody listening?

And most important, how do I make people read this? I need some voyeurs!