Monday, December 26, 2011
please check out my PIK blog this week!
here is the intro:
"Here I am, writing from the land of freedom, liberty and acceptance—and not in Tbilisi, of course. Just to be clear, it is not USA either. I am seating in the student dorm in Hague, Netherlands, attempting to finish this post while I’m still lucid. It’s December 25th, we have turned on the Christmas music, bought a miniature tree and hang mistletoe I ripped off a mistletoe bush somewhere by the peace palace in downtown Hague.
Being in Hague is interesting, as this country is implementing many practices that I preach in theory. Netherlands and Georgia are located on different planets in terms of how they approach many subjects, and I’ve been involved in one of them lately. December 17th was the day to end violence against sex workers and several events took place that day."
for more, see http://pik.tv/en/experts/story/26837-under-the-rugs-swept-unseen-world-of-prostitution/
Friday, December 23, 2011
it's the time when Georgians celebrate two Christmases-regular and Christian Orthodox- and two New Years--again, secular and religious.
Long story short, Russian empire used a different calender century ago, then it switched to the one everyone else is using, but our Orthodox Church still follows the old one (of course it does. how can it modernize?). Let me note that out of all the Eastern Orthodox Churches we and Russians are the only one who are playing this game. Talk about the influences...oh those damn Russians :-)
But, it gives us occasion two celebrate everything twice, so what the hell, it's all good.
It is customary among bloggers to summarize their year in the post, around this time.
I don't know how that's interesting, but some bored-to-death people wander in to read my scattered thoughts, so I will bore them even more by presenting Cliffsnotes of my blog (Cliffsnotes is summary of famous books in form of pamphlets for those too lazy to read the whole book).
This year I:
-Got a job and stopped feeling useless
-Realized how useless I was at my job
-Did not get pregnant (angry face)
-Had new windows and doors installed
-Met several interesting TLG aliens through the blog
-Went to Thailand
-Went to Turkey
-Went to Budapest
-Bragged about travelling :-)
-Bought only three pairs of shoes
-Acquired THE NOOK (an E-reader)
-Participated in some street walks
-Cut my hair very short, twice
-Saw Enrique live
-Criticized everything that moves
-Lost my religion
-Met tonns of new people
-Gained few pounds that all went straight to my...let's skip this part
-Spend last year soaked in the rain in Georgian fucking Barcelona (Batumi)
Thanx for being with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wish you happy Christmases and happy New Years!! As for me, I will be spending these Holidays somewhere more exiting than Batumi...
P.S. Me and hubby in our Christmas PJ's and Christmas hats by our Christmas tree feeling Chistmasy :-) pic taken by my friend.
P.P.S. We are very cheesy. We own special Christmas PJ's :-)
Sunday, December 4, 2011
It seems like all of the awarness days were shoved into Decemeber--you know, before the year is over. This week we rememebered AIDS victims and honored people with disabilities.
For AIDS awarness day an NGO LGBT Georgia organised an event that I joined at the last part. I brought some intertnational flare to the event--cool American and Scottish boys (plus an Indian guy joined us and asked what country did the rainbow flag represent).
NGO representatives raised the rainbow flag with black ribbon, arranged red candles in form of a ribbon and lit red Chinese lanterns. There was music and lots of frozen faces.
My friend and I were supposed to give away condomns and fliers,and we were joined by my girlfriends and the foreign aid (the above-mentioned boys). I was suprised by how energetically my girls forced people to actually take condomns. We even went to bars on Perovi street and gave those out.
Here are my observations:
1. Boys laugh but take the rubber
2. Some cooler boys are actually happy about it
3. Girls either refuse to take it, or are confused--think it is a gum, etc.
4. Couples absolutely refuse to take a condomn--hence admitting they have sex
5. Street kids are really fun and supportive
6. People will freeze but still raise flags, light candles and pursue passerbys to ensure safe sex in the country
7. When asked politely, police takes condomns from pretty girls
December 3d is disability awarness day. Unfortunately, I did not do anything on this day, though it is my field of work. Instead, I administerred SAT's at 7 A.M., cleaned the house and went to a birthday party in the evening. I did attend a boring conference on the subject the day before.
The conference had NGOs, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education representatives and lasted for dreadful 3 hours. Here are my observations:
1. High-ranking officials from Ministries react painfully to any critisizm
2. NGO's and other people in the field are never heard, so they do not let go of microphone and try to voice all of the concerns accumulated since last Decemeber.
3. High-ranking officials from Ministries act like High-ranking officials from Ministries
4. No one in the room--neither side--realizes that reseach should precede action (high officials randomely agreed to implement some of the proposed ideas, based on momentary decisions)
5. Nothing will ever change in this country until we teach kids in schools basic problem-solving skills. Otherwise, they will grow up into ambitious ignorant pricks
6. High-ranking officials congratulated us with the date several times. It sounded something like: "and again, we wish you a happy disability day", like it was a holiday
In that manner, my dear friends, happy AIDS and disability awarness days to you, may we all use condomns while having sex with strangers, may we read the info fliers and defend our rights at the conferences, may our shirts get full of different-colored ribbons and our minds--of ever-expanding awarness and may the next year this time we have 3 times more AIDS awarness activists (that would be 180) and 3 times less bitter participants at the conferences (no number, sorry). Merry December awarness days to you, friends!
P.S. After comments on the last post, I have to clarify that last passage was written with sarcasm and I don't really mean to congratulate people.
P.P.S. the pics: AIDS and disability awarness ribbons.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
This week I am inviting you to read my second blog. Thank you!
Here is the beginning:
“You can’t always get what you want”, cries the stereo and I am thinking that all I want at 6 A.M is a comfortable bed; instead I’m on the road, going to visit regions. Singing along, I am thinking, can I get what I want, or at least what I need in this country?
Wants, needs and rights have been on my mind recently. Absence of such. And silence on this subject. That is the biggest problem: not that someone violates your rights—an eternal problem everywhere--but that there is nowhere to report and defend yourself. So, you either conform or stay bitter.
Being different in the frames of the norm is an advantage, but being different outside those frames sucks—we’ve all been to high school. Being stuck in perpetual teenage bliss, Georgia, a collectivistic country, has these frames very tight around a person’s neck."
For the rest, please copy and paste this link:
Sunday, November 20, 2011
It is not a surprise for me that Georgian men cheat on their wives and it is considered normal. However, recently my very close friend encountered this problem and it became personal for the first time.
I will generalize once again and make hasty conclusions!
So, how do we operate?
On one hand we have a girl. Let’s say, Article #1. A WIFE MATERIAL.
Operation manual: marry and impregnate. Description: nice, tender, pleasant, pretty, feminine. Beware of the false product with the following labels: feisty, sexy, strong, opinionated, independent. Warrantee: virgin till marriage or return for free, minus the marriage costs. Maintenance: food, shelter. If necessary, give pocket money for girly stuff like clothing. No sexual satisfaction of wife material needed. Alert: if wife material tries to satisfy your perverted sexual fantasies—because any sexual activity without procreation is a sin—she is a whore. Return for free, minus the marriage and living costs.
Results: cleaning, cooking, children. Side effects: whining and nagging. Could be treated by ignoring or by gifts. Do not operate heavy machinery under the influence of nagging. Health hazard: her tears may cause discomfort; try avoiding them.
Article # 2.A HUSBAND MATERIAL. Operation manual: use as a money machine. Description: strong, manly, hard-working, protective. Guaranteed: some sexual experience before marriage. Experience gained most likely in a bordello--group visit with friends, or under wise guidance of an older cousin or uncle (not father). Maintenance: requires food, taking care of, clean and pressed clothes, babying, and providing sexual pleasure upon request. Alert: if a boy declines to go to prostitutes with his friends, washes dishes at home and does not wear black coat, he could be gay. Discard into the nearest trash bin immediately. Might be contagious.
Results: providing for the family, building a shelter, occasional emotional support, guarantees girl’s status of a married woman. Side effects: none and closed to discussion. Health hazards: brings venereal diseases from the prostitutes.
Article # 3. CHEAP WHORE. Operation manual: give money and fuck. Description: old, smelly, looks like one’s grandmother, has no soul, emotions or feelings (like any prostitute). Guaranteed: gives boy an opportunity to claim that he is sexually active. Maintenance: single-serve, no maintenance required. Results: worse-case scenario, feeling disgusted with oneself but bragging lies to friends. Best-case scenario: ejaculation and still bragging lies to friends (I made her do…). Side effects: Feeling of disgust. Bad taste in one’s mouth. Heath hazards: venereal diseases.
Article # 4. EXPENSIVE WHORE. Operation manual: give lot of money and fuck. Description: Slavic-looking, pretty, has no soul, emotions or feelings (like any prostitute). Guaranteed: actual pleasure from a sexual act. Maintenance: single-serve, no maintenance required. Results: ejaculation and bragging to friends about incredible stuff she did (I made her do…). Side effects: Feeling of disgust (maybe). Heath hazards: venereal diseases.
Article # 5. MISTRESS. Operation manual: give fake promises and fuck. Description: nice, sexy, obedient. Guaranteed: actual pleasure from a sexual act. Maintenance: one needs to make promises to leave one’s wife; providing occasional vacation trips. Results: sexual and emotional satisfaction. Side effects: if one is not creative, one can easily get lost in all the lies one tells the wife and the mistress. Requires too much conspiracy. Is more costly than a prostitute. Health hazards: might impregnate a mistress.
Warning: any deviance from the rules of the operation manual may lead to condemnation and consequent isolation from the mainstream Georgian society. The society is not responsible for any damage caused by improper use of the above-mentioned articles. Proceed at your own risk.
The pic: I asked my hubby to take a pic of underwear and this is what he came up with.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Like a swirl of fresh air, like a shower of clear water, Budapest swept me into its golden-leafed arms and injected me with addictive doses of HR. Now I am suffering from a hangover.
I attended a study session on social inclusion in Hungary—title to long to print out.
Prior to the session, HR always meant Human Resources for me. From now and forever, HR is Human Rights and I--endlessly confused person, labyrinthing in concepts, schools of thought, remembering my college essays on cultural relativism, switching from defending western perspectives to that’s-all-just-power-games, trying to come up with a smart-ass definition of HR for this post and getting tangled in all the bullshit.
So yes, I was born with rights like calling my next-door neighbor moron and she has an intrinsical right to complain about every single thing I do, but it gets complicated on a bigger scale.
The time of concept-heavy, argumentative judgments is over for me. I left that with wide-open-eyed, 20-year-old Lika reading Kant in her philosophy class, an uncompromising warrior and contributor to the tree decline and paper industry-enhancer—oh those 12-page papers on abortion and capital punishment…I have raped my brain to the point that it can’t cognitively tell right from wrong and always gives safe answers like: it’s never black or white—just grey, depending on a context and such. Those vague blabbers of nothing at all.
From now on I am just a human. Granted, my frontal lobe is still intact, but I know that brain research is still guesswork—I am a neuropsychologist after all—so I just go with my feelings.
And you know what? Some things are just not fair! Like when my distant cousin can believe in Orthodox Christian God and get praised for it and my brother would get ridiculed for his Buddhist ways; or that my brother is happy with his girlfriend and the whole family supports him, but my friend can’t admit she has a girlfriend; or that my aunt works two jobs and gets less than my co-worker who is very successful in re-addressing letters to higher-placed people and avoiding any responsibility. This is why I think that religious intolerance, homophobia and ageism are bad—they hurt.
And maybe some people claim that life is pain (bloody Judeo-Christian philosophy), but I believe that I was born to be happy and I will do everything I can do to be happy and to be surrounded by happy people.
Also, I came back from the session stronger and a lot more confident.
So, my dear next-door neighbor, if you think that I am spreading the dirt in the hallway (I am installing new door) and refusing to clean the mess before it’s all done because I am:
Irresponsible like my generation
I can advise you several ways how to go **** ********!!! Without hurting yourself, of course.
The pic: Budapest at night
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
this week, instead of writing a new post here, I want to share my new post on my PIK TV blog. It is Called Batumi to Bodrum: from Sea to Shiny Sea.
Here is the opening paragraph:
"Batumi will never be a good sea resort. Achara is the rainiest part of Georgia, Black sea is called black for a reason (it’s dirty), the service is never up to par, the beach territory is small, and the infrastructure is like a Crumple-Horned Snorkack—it does not exist.
No matter how hard we try, no matter how many shiny buildings we build, how many blooming palms we import, and how many Enriques we give out for free, if it rains on you in your bikini, you won’t be happy."
For more, please check out other blog:
And thank you, last month I got 425 previews on my PIK post: The Curse of the Ancestors: Thou Shalt Die of Boredom and Supras! I am sure you contributed to many of those previews!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The fall colors and yellow leaves in the streets brushed some sweet melancholia on me and yesterday I caught myself in love with Tbilisi. I was just sitting in marshrutka, taking in the fall and smiling.
Well, for one, yesterday I was able to do something I wouldn’t be able to do several years ago—I went on a car ride to my country house and I got coffee and a chocolate croissant to go. There is nothing better than sitting in a warm car with hot coffee and tasty pastry, looking outside at the yellow fields and raindrops chasing each other on the car window.
Several years ago, McDonald’s was the only place offering coffee to go. In fact, that was almost the only option for eating non-Georgian meal. Now, slow culinary progress is tiptoeing in Tbilisi, sprinkling its goodies here and there.
Let’s see, there is your average American pizza in Ronny’s, with real mozzarella on it (Ronny’s pretty expensive, around 20 lari on average for a pie), there is Pasta and Pizza Fantastico (Regular prices 10-15 Lari), recommended by my Peace Corp friends, serving thin-crust pizza, it’s fine, once you get over cafe's pink interior. Preggo pretty much serves the same average pizza it served all these years when it was the only acceptable pizzeria in Tbilisi; I won’t refuse Preggo pizza if I’m hungry, but I won’t go looking for it.
We also have bunch of very nice restaurants on Barnovi street, still out of reach for us mere mortals ( except for anniversaries and an occasional dessert), but they do serve much better versions of foreign entrees than regular, mayonnaise-happy places. So, if you have 30-60 (or more, depending on wine, desert, etc)Lari to spend on a dinner, try Buffet (Italian), Vong (Asian Fusion), Belle de Jour (French), and Sakura (Japanese). They are located side by side and serve what seems wonderful to my starved, khinhali-filled palette. The fact that we have such thing as “Asian fusion” is a success indicator for me. Also, cafe Tartine offers tasty baked tartines and home-made lemonade (actual lemons,not tarragon!). That’s not all Barnovi restoraunts, of course, but I haven’t been to other restaurants there yet—didn’t have time or money; some, in case of “Kanape”, are standard Georgian café pretending to be something else.
I’ve noticed a Thai restaurant behind opera, definitely interested to try.
As for Chinese, I don’t really see any difference between several of them, though I tend to visit “Two” by the old City Hall (the one behind St. George on a horse), which serves Italian and Chinese cuisine.
I am absolutely in love with “Little India”on Kandelaki! They have spicy lamb dishes!
If I crave a burger, Elvis is the best option.
And finally, no matter where I go, I end up having tea and pastry at Entrée and though it is not the best bakery I’ve seen, it one of its kind in Tbilisi (meaning no other bakeries/coffee shops exist here) and being addicted to baked goods, I can’t see myself surviving without a decent Danish.
All in all, Tbilisi restaurant scene is definitely more diverse now, though most of my favorite places are either very expensive or insanely expensive, so most of the time, I either have to eat Georgian food, or cook myself.
Pic: I wanted really small dish with huge utensils, but couldn't find anything smaller in my house :-(
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Every time I’m flying back to Georgia, I become unusually anti-social, I sit outside the gate and pretend I am not Georgian. Last weekend, when I was flying from Turkey, I realized that I am unfair to my fellow passengers—they are as loud and as obnoxious, as any other travelers. I just resent coming back and they are part of home that I try to ignore, prolonging my last minutes abroad.
I like my life in Tbilisi and I am pretty fortunate to have a nice home, hubby and cat. But when I get out, I get used to little things that we lack here. Of course, I go as a tourist, I see the best of the country, I relax, I eat good food and do fun stuff and thus returning would be hard anyway, no matter where I’d live. But it is harder, when a country has so little to offer to comfort you.
I just spend a week on Aegean shore. I lived in a clean room, with white towels and comfortable beds, shower and a bathroom––with lukewarm water, but whatever. We had a spectacular view. We had an open buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our all--inclusive hotel provided free drinks. And it did not cost much. In fact, if you take away travelling expanses, it is cheaper to stay in Turkey than in Batumi.
Anyway, usually we skipped the pool and went to the sea, blue, clear, transparent sea! And Bodrum is not Batumi, so we got a free beach bed, I starfished on it, put my face in the sun and listened to the waves… and among the idyllic surroundings… breasts. Elderly German and English ladies sunbathed topless and my hubby declared: “some things you can’t un-see” .He was haunted by their sight most of our beach time.
People were very nice, service was excellent, we got lots of deals. Tourism in Turkey is thriving, tourist agencies compete with each other, they try to offer costumers better deals. For example, we purchased a trip to Pamukkale (beautiful place with natural white pools of blue water and ancient city with ruins) and the travel agency sent us to Turkish bath for free and gave us a free pass to a club “Catamaran”.
Now that is a story on its own. Club “Catamaran” is a big boat with bars, lasers, good DJ, half-naked go-go girls and boys, clubbing/dancing/lounging necessities and even a transparent dance floor—you can see the sea when you dance. It takes off 1 A.M. sails into the open sea. We partied until 5 A.m. It was the coolest, craziest night of our stay there.
Our vacation was just wonderful. We were treated very well. And this is why it is double hard to return to reality. I don’t hate my country. But I don’t feel like a valued person here. Yesterday, I went up Marjanishvili Street, where lots of cake bakeries are located. Around 10 of them, side to side. I went into one of the shops and could not get information about the cakes, because this stupid woman was talking on the phone, explaining how to make some boiled meat dish and not paying any attention to her costumer. Finally, after I said that I will leave and walk into any of the surrounding bakeries to get similar cake, she put her phone aside and assisted me with “I am so annoyed” face.
So yes, I would rather be on a vacation in a nice hotel with a sea view than spend my time working and taking crap from cake sellers.
P.S. town of Gumbet and the gulf, where we stayed.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I have started another blog about nothing on the PIK (First Informational Caucasus channel) website. It is kinda big deal for me, so I will appreciate your support, please visit and read. I will post there twice a month. I really like other PIK blogs as well, way better than my blabbering.
Anyway, that is an official web-site of an official news channel, so I am happy :-)
I don't know if I can write two meaningless blogs at the same time, but i don;t want to re-post stuff from here to there. Plus, I can't swear there.
check it out: http://pik.tv/en/experts/story/19117-the-curse-of-the-ancestors-thou-shalt-die-of-boredom-and-supras/
Tbilisi is getting way too fashion forward for me, I don’t know what to do; maybe I should move somewhere more appropriate for my taste level? Apparently I am not good enough for this city, maybe I should change my style and start wearing outdated leggings and sparkly shirts of last season to fit in?
Yes, I am bitter because some asshole at Bamba Room decided that I was not worthy of entering the holy ground of that lounge! Here’s the story: bunch of us decided to go dancing, we couldn’t think of somewhere else to go, I was reluctant to go to Bamba—coz it sucks!—but I decided to follow the majority and I even changed into a clubbing outfit before I left. My hubby wore cool shirt with a DJ Yoda on it, Yoda with headphones and huge glasses and I opted for nice silk floral shirt, Sella accessories and Gap jeans. Why am I naming brands? Cause I was wearing the good-quality-but-not-too-expensive-young-and-not-overdressed ensemble, which is what, in my humble opinion kids should wear to a place like Bamba. I don’t own a Channel dress, but if I had one, I would never wear it to Bamba Room, cause the place is outdated, hosts bunch of drunken teenagers and is has lost its freshness and trendiness for some time now. Furthermore, when I go dancing Saturday night, I don’t want to wear something too nice, because it might get burned by a cigarette or stained by a drink, and I have already ruined pair of excellent shoes from Italy, when I was dancing in high heels last summer.
Anyway, apparently leggings is a must to enter this lounge, or you can substitute it with a cheap glittery dress, but people in denim are deemed offensive. What drove me absolutely crazy is that other people with jeans passed face control, so apparently it was not the jeans, but me. I was not drunk, I was causing no trouble, my hair was combed, my nails-done, so what the fuck satisfies their criteria is unknown. My hubby tried to pass face control just for fun, but he was turned down too.
We left the place and walked to New Gallery which is on the street I forgot…it is very easy to find, once you pass “Garderobe” and “Khareba Winery” on the Macdonald’s end of the Rustaveli Av., there is a turn that leads to Art Academy, the lounge is on the second floor, you can see people dancing even from Rustaveli. It is a cool place, with very good DJ’s. We were met by bunch of experienced clubbers who made fun of us not passing the face control and saying it serves us right for going to Bamba.
My hubby made fun of me for making such a big deal of it, but it hurt on some weird level to be rejected by a place you regard as crappy. Something along the lines of:”if even places like Bamba turn me down, I should really suck”.
So I decided to use this blog post as a cheap revenge. Know all that if you go to Bamba Room, you might not make it in for unknown reasons, hence avoid it.
P.S. the outfit not approved by the fashion police in Bamba Room. Silk is tricky to photograph, the shirt has flowers on it in real life :-)
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Once again news fail to cover an important incident, though everybody is savoring rumors. Two gay German toursists were thrown into the river.
Rumor has it, that two tourists explored mountains and met some Georgians from Tbilisi, who rushed to prove our famed hospitality and made a big “supra” for them. They drank together for several hours, finally approaching the love toast to which the tourists responded with a kiss. Seeing this, hosts sprang to their feet, beat the couple, tied them up and threw them into the river. Poor Germans were finally fished out by locals down the river. They left the country immediately and this case was not reported to the police.
I want to scream and shout, but so far everyone I talk to keeps saying the same thing: didn’t these tourists see it coming?
Let’s put aside the fact whether or not it is justified to drown gays who know they shouldn’t kiss in public and still do so, the mountain culture has its traditions and David the Builder and so on, and let’s discuss the following question: didn’t they see it coming? And somehow, I think that the answer is “no”—otherwise these two willingly embarked on a suicide mission.
May I state that this indecisive stance is the worst problem in Georgia? This hypocrisy, falsehood, double and triple standards?
Let’s decide who we want to be, what our values are, let’s finally draft our moral code and create a corresponding legislature! Let’s stop lying to ourselves!
How where those guys supposed to know that their kissing would result in Lynching unless they already had friends in Georgia? Is our legislature prohibiting gay relations in Georgia? Does it claim that Georgia discriminates against basic human right and that those who violate them will be punished? Is any information available about Georgians’ views on homosexuality? Which tourist website gives any relevant informative about how to be culturally sensitive in Georgia? That you should not sneeze without covering your mouth, that you shouldn’t make moves on your friend’s sister, that you should not flirt in bars with unknown men? Is there any document anywhere on the web that would explain Georgian culture beyond our “hospitality”, “respect for the guests”, “beautiful nature” and “good food and wine”? How long can we force feed these Soviet-originated myths to the world?
People have been arguing that by using common sense, these men could’ve figured out the rules of conduct in a conservative chirstian country. One might argue that Italy is also a christian country, but two months ago my friend attened huge gay pride in Rome and this month his is flying to the biggest LGBT event of this year in Milan – so, sorry, but country’s religious background is not enough to make assumptions about the everyday culture.
There should be some information available on what is offensive and with the exception of one-year old TLG blogs, there is none on the web!
Let’s stop this once and for all. Why do we have a kinda liberal legislature, the majority of the population is conservative? We are striving towards EU and NATO cause we believe that’s the way to economic prosperity. Why isn’t anybody explaining to us, to the society, that EU and NATO integration means not only change of legislature but also change in attitudes, a new set of values?
I am sick and tired of this dichotomy. Either have the balls to declare: yes, we are homophobic, xenophobic, patriarchal, theologian society and stick to it, defend your values and have corresponding legislature, or install democratic values through law enforcement, education and gradual change of attitudes. And stop lying! Georgia is not a democratic country and Georgians are not democratic people! Democratic people do not throw tourists in the river no matter how offended they feel! And maybe, if we say the truth for change, if we stopped pretending, maybe those tourists will choose to go somewhere else and 1. Georgians will keep on driniking un-offended 2. German tourists will avoid getting drown in the river.
Damn it, they deserve to know where they are going and we deserve to know where we are living!
P.S. Tired of arguing with people, I tried finding info by googling “gay-friendly tbilisi” and “homophobia in tbilisi” to see red flags. Unfortunately, it takes a long a nd rigid search to make any sense of the info, cause many web-sites keep siting Georgian legislature and openess comapred to the rest of the region. You can find negative info, but you really have to look. Generally, there is just absence of info, negative or positive.
P.S.S. Phallic symbols in Tbilisi. Stole my hubby’s pic.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Last week I went to Racha for the second time. Visiting Racha is way more exiting than sitting by the comp all day and I tried to squeeze small hikes between work meetings.
If you have 3 free days, I would definitely recommend going to Oni in Racha. The nature there is spectacular, you can go on seven-hour hikes or you can walk around on paved road and look at the mountains from the distance—it is still breathtaking.
The second reason to visit Racha is the place where I stayed—guest house called "Gallery" or "Artist's House". I loved everything about it, the hostess is a graduate of Tbilisi Art Academy and the host carves wood. Everything in their house is handmade—all the furniture, including beds, tables, windows, doors, balcony ornaments are carved by the host and all the pictures, lampshades, cool decorations are created by the hostess.
Also, they are the only pair of entrepreneurs I have seen in Georgia. In a true sense of the word. They took a loan, built the hotel (most of it is built by the host and his son, they did not have money to hire workers), and equipped it with stuff like sun batteries and showers in every room, which, for anyone who’s been to a Georgian village sounds like revolutionary renovations. The hostess only cooks organic food and does not use anything produced chemically (she even makes own spices from herbs she grows in her garden, not even buying store vanilla).
Oni still has Georgian village vibe in it, people are not yet spoiled by the tourists, when you walk down the street everybody greets you, the whole town knows each other, people are friendly in a little-Georgian-town kind of a way.
Another interesting fact is that Oni used to shelter many Jewish families that have now moved to Israel (they still keep in touch with the locals and often visit) and there is 18-th century synagogue, which contains old books, you take them, you open them and you marvel…
The hotel hosts know a lot about Racha, they can tell you the history, show you the map, show some unique things they have found in the mountains—1,000 year-old arrowheads, million-year old fossil prints, minerals, gold…they can take you to a deep, never-explored cave, where you can look for these treasures yourself.
The roads are recently reconstructed and once you pass Terjola, the scenic views are breathtaking.
Racha is also homeland of the most famous Georgian wine in the Soviet Union—Khvanchkara.
The only negative side of Racha travel is marshrutka availability. There is only one marshrutka going to or from Oni and it leaves at 8 A.M. And you have to get to the station earlier or you won’t find a seat. Marshrutka leaves from Okriba station in Didube in Tbilisi and at the central “plaza” in Oni—not that it matters, cause anything in Oni is in 10 minutes walking distance.
Now that I have written a little tourist advertisement, you just have to pack your stuff and check the place out, especially if you have never been there!
P.S. For those who don’t know: “Racha my Love” is a famous Georgian musicale
P.S.S. the pics: The mountains--what Racha looks like; the room where we ate at the hotel—everything you see in created by the hosts.
Friday, August 19, 2011
We bought a bicycle. My hubby rides it up and down the Kavtaradze and even plans to replace marshrutkas with this new machine—his work in not too far from our house. I, on the other hand, first rode a bike 4 years ago. First time, My brother showed me how to do it, but forgot to mention brakes. So I deliberately ran into our neighbors’ bushes—I had to stop somehow. Neighbors were not happy, nor was the bike…
Afterwards, I would ride the bike down the hill in my neighborhood in Denver (first I would walk up), trying not to turn left or right, cause turning meant falling. Quiet suburbia, no cars, straight nice road…
Then Giga forced me to ride a bike in Budapest. We had to get somewhere and we did not have money, but we had borrowed bikes. First, it was O.K., we followed bike lanes. Then, the bike lane vanished and Giga started peddling on the sidewalk. Imagine, a sidewalk in Budapest, full of tourists, people walking around, me not being able to turn…but the worst part: the cafes on the sidewalks…waiters with plates…I ended up screaming and riding as fast as I could through that café segment, and all the waiters just jumped aside. For the first time I rode in the open, I even managed to avoid hitting people; I became more confident, gained some speed and ran into a tree. I quickly got back into the saddle, and hid this fact from Giga.
Sunday, I rode our new bike (after 3 years of bike abstinence).We found interesting space by the Maglivi bridge—circles and lines, figures on the pavement, painted probably for a driving school, where I can practice turning and not falling off . To get there I either have to ride on a sidewalk, or go with the cars. Irrationally, I find it safer to ride with the cars (you should hear them honking and swearing at me), cause sidewalk scares me to death—I think that I won’t be able to ride in the narrow space and that I will slide off into the traffic. So I prefer to ride with the traffic. Go figure.
I was riding there quietly yesterday, minding my own business, drawing number 8 with my bike for a 100th time, when two dudes with flashlights appeared. They looked like security guards, only what could they be guarding there--the bridge?! As a result of our latest addiction, AMC series Breaking Bad, Giga proposed that they protected a meth lab... Either way, I finally got tired of them watching my butt on the bike and tried riding around house, until I ran over a bump successfully—then it hit me, on no, I ran over a bump!—and lost control and went flying off the bike.
We’ll see what the future holds for me, I am annoyed that I can’t do this thing, I miss younger me, who was much more daring and climbed trees and roofs of abandoned buildings. Plus, we are moving to a new territory…stay tuned to hear more…
p.s. Our new bike and me
Monday, August 8, 2011
“I just wanted to see free boobies. But there is no such thing as free boobies, is there, IS THERE?!”-asks the guy who invested some money in amateur porno movie, in the film “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”. I guess I just wanted to see Enriques Iglesias perform, but there is no such thing as a free concert…
So, one way or another, I made it to Batumi on the 2nd. My poor husband accompanied me to protect me from being squeezed to death. We arrived at 5, stood “in line” for two hours and got pretty close to the stage. Frontier was densely packed and I soon found myself between one person’s armpit and another person’s belly. Amongst all the yelling and pushing and a week-old sweat, I was soaked in bodily fluids and rain, hit, squeezed and poked. Yelling swearwords at the organizers of all free concerts (I mean could it be at least 10 Lari to sort out all the people who care less and show up just because it costs nothing?), I asked Giga to take me out of there. I felt like I left part of my dignity there…
We moved away a bit, thus forever loosing opportunity to touch Enrique’s divine legs. Situation towards the center was pretty interesting. I stood by a middle-aged woman who would not let her “children” (four grown-ass girls) attend the concert alone; we saw an older man wrapped in American flag (!); another mother tried to protect her “children” from the immoralities of the concert in front of us. The smell remained, but at least we were not touched.
At 8:30 the concert started. I had to endure Georgian “singers” till 10:30 or so. I have seen better stage presence in my high school drama class! I guess Pop music does not require strong vocals, but shouldn’t they at least move seductively or have memorably beat or something? SOMETHING?
DJ played for 30 minutes while stage was set up for the next performer (that happened three times). Actually, DJ was really nice, but I couldn’t dance, cause every time I put my arms around my husband, the “children’s” mother threw indignant glances in our direction.
I have to note that Georgian Rock band “Eldrine” was like a breath of fresh air, way to go guys!
After 5 hours (and 10 years) of waiting,
HE took the stage! I have not listened to Enrique for at least 8 years now. I was not familiar with 3 of his latest albums and I had to look new videos on YouTube to catch up. I found them too sexy (some of it is plain porn!), him too cheesy, his voice over-computerized and I laughed at my teenage self so desperately in love with this dude. But, when he came on that stage, I was screaming like all the sixteen-year old girls around me! He controlled us and manipulated us and did whatever he wanted with us! The moment he heard our screaming levels go down, he would do something to raise them back up—he took one of his shirts off, he talked in Georgian, he struck a pose, he let people touch him, he took photos with his fans, he looked in our eyes!
Damn it, when he took that girl on the stage, I looked around and everyone was crying… every girl felt like she was the one on the stage…and then he kissed her…as my hubby put it “ I have witnessed a collective orgasm”.
The girl got her 15 minutes of fame. She already appeared on TV several times. People made such a big deal out of it. Blogs exploded with comments like “how could he kiss her? No one is going to marry her now!”.
I was sore for a week after that concert. I swore it was the last free concert in my life. And then I thought of my post about Sting…and how I wrote that the audience was boring…and I laughed. What the hell do I want anyway? Why am I always complaining?
So this is what we have: either haute couture celebrities not clapping, or hydrophobic teenagers screaming. First is more pleasant, second is more exiting. As for me, next time I am trying one of those concert tours to Armenia or Turkey, where bunch of friends rent a marshrutka, stay in a cheap hotel and do touristy things in addition to the concert.
P.S. I will post pics in a day or two, my comp is having hard times...
Saturday, July 23, 2011
It has been a year since my 1st post.
So, I will re-post it, along with some statistics...
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!
This are my most popular blog posts:
Homo: Phobia and Sexuality or How Do We React When...
Sep 29, 2010, 47 comments 655 Pageviews
Why Do We Stink?
Apr 16, 2011, 5 comments 241 Pageviews
a damsel in distress
Jul 28, 2010, 1 comment 241 Pageviews
About Japan and about Faith
Mar 17, 2011, 8 comments 206 Pageviews
May 21, 2011, 14 comments 186 Pageviews
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history
And this is my favorite: search keywords—the most frequent ones. Note the one about deda-shvili!
no sex and the city tbilisi 11
sex in tbilisi 5
why are georgians 5
deda shvilis sexi 4
tbilisi sex 4
asaval dasavali 3
sex and the city
all in all, i have 30 followers and around 50 readers a week. i am happy :-) that means I have readers who don't know me personally :-)
I am not overly ambitious, I just like to scribble some stuff and I am always exited about comments.
Thanx for reading!!!
Monday, July 18, 2011
Have you ever encountered vague situations, where you are supposed to figure it out, but you would much rather have a straight answer? Right now, my common sense does not tell me anything and I am lost.
For example, I have recommended a family hotel to my foreign friend. I called the owner, booked a room and asked how much they charge for tours (their son knows English and takes foreigners hiking). The owner answered: “I don’t know. They usually give him money as a gift”. I insisted, but still could not get a price. How much does “a gift” constitute? I thought maybe 10 Lari, but my hubby said 10 is not enough. Is it 20? Does it depend on a hike difficulty? Does it depend on a foreigner (wealthier—bigger tip)?
Or this situation: legally we can take 21 business days for vacation, we can’t leave for more than 2 weeks—“They” won’t let us. Also, we can’t have one official day off—thus, all of one-day vacations are favors from my boss and my supervisor. I have asked for plenty of those favors lately and I realize that the limit is up. However, I really want to split my two-week vacation (thus I get more days. 2 weekends on the 1st week and later 2 weekends on the 2nd week). Also, my first love, my first sexual fantasy, my first male attachment-- Enrique Iglesias—is going to perform in Batumi. I had dreamed, prayed for and imagined him perform live for significant portion of my teenage years. That is all over of course, but I owe it to my childhood to see him
Thus, I have to ask for another favor. I need to summon my courage and ask for a 3-day official vacation (which I know is a bureaucratic hassle and problem on its own) so that I can see my first love live. Obviously, I can’t just ask for another unofficial day off—so I am forced to take a longer holiday.
I have been up all morning, nervous about this decision. Is it fine if I ask to split my vacation? Will I seem like ungrateful pig?
It would be so much easier, if we had defined vacation days, if I could count how many days I have used, if no one would do me favors, but give what is due to me, if life was concise and defined…
I was so unwilling to ask for any more goodwill (I feel like there is only so much of it left and I am drying it up), that I had decided not to attend this concert. But, last night I dreamed of Enrique. I woke up at 7 and could not go back to sleep. Somehow, this stupid concert gained huge importance and I got melancholy sprinkled on me.
If only we could know, how much the tours cost…maybe we wouldn’t be worried about paying less.
My friend decided to hike alone. Should I skip the concert?
p.s. sad lika. took the pic with my feet
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Unexpectedly and surprisingly, I found myself on a Sting concert, wearing someone else's fancy summer dress and new-bought shoes…
Several days before, my friend called and told me that she knew people who could help us get in for free.
Next, I spent all Saturday cleaning my house for a guest that was supposed to arrive on Monday (and never did), woke up after 3 hours of sleep at 6 A.M. on Sunday and took the first marshrutka to Batumi.
Of course we ate and ate in the “Privet iz Batuma”…
And then I spent two hours swimming.
When I came back to out apartment, I found my friend dressed in an evening gown she bought in NY. I thought that since this was a Batumi concert and since we had to stand, and since it was Sting and not symphonic orchestra, I could get away with nice shirt and jeans. To my horror, my friend informed me that D & G index would be pretty high that evening.
She gave me her summer dress, but I had no shoes. I had flip flops and sandals that looked like they came straight from Ancient Rome. So, we raided local Bata and bought some nice-enough shoes.
We were picked up by one of those obnoxious security guard enormous jeeps that annoy the hell out of mere mortals by blocking their way, violating all the rules and acting like Lords of Road. I cannot reveal any more information...
Finally, we found ourselves among crème de la crème of Georgian society. And let me tell you that crème is very sour. They clapped politely and just sat there, afraid to ruin their posture. Not only that, but they looked at us with judgment, when we yelled and screamed and jumped and clapped and sang along "Desert Rose".
The second part of the concert, we were pressed against each other by the security, cause our president decided to walk down to the people and listen to Sting amongst them (us). Thus, the second part was not as pleasant, as I was squeezed by two mammoth bodyguards. I continued screaming and one poor bodyguard was forced to remove his earpiece and put it in the opposite ear, away from me. After all, these guys were working.
Several celebrities walked by in their ruffled dresses, perfect tan and un-smiley faces…
People kept staring at Misha instead of the stage…
All I wanted was free water that was included with 400 Lari tickets and lay all over the place and under the seats, on the other side of the fence, where the elite sat-- according to a Georgian saying--with quills up their asses. I guess drinking water was against make-up rules.
Finally, Sting sang “My Funny Valentine” and it was one of the best performances I have seen in my life!
After the concert, we took some pretty pictures, ate mandatory Acharuli Khachapuri and I went through another night with 3 hours of sleep. But it was so worth it!
P.S. who the hell designed that ticket? Botti has color of Zombie and there is what looks like Sting's passport photo...
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Last Monday I took a refuge at a little park by Marjanishvili bridge. As I was sitting down, I saw two girls and a boy on a bench. The boy was kissing one girl and the second girl was staring somewhere beyond the horizon. I thought, aha, this is a perfect example of a girl not going on a date without her friend, dragging her everywhere (seriously, we had a party once, tickets were sold out, one of our friends asked the organizer to sell him reserved tickets. so she was like fine, show up and will let you in. Then he asked if he could bring his gf. He was told yes. And then he added that he needs a third spot too, because his gf does not go anywhere without her buffer friend). After eating my sandwich, I got up and was surprised: the same guy was kissing the other girl! It was 2 P.M. at a very busy place! I was so surprised, I did not know what to think, other than, go boy, congrats for convincing these girls to kiss you!
The same week, I came across an article describing new regulations that forbid kissing in the parks. As a response to that , a kissing protest was going to be held this Saturday, in the new "park" by the new bridge.
Now, I understand that making-out in public places may bother some people, especially nannies and grandmas who walk little children there. another reason why I find it problematic, is that I have often noticed a pervert in the bushes, doing...yes, you've guessed it right, while looking at some innocent couple kissing on a bench. Also, it just makes people feel awkward, they run through the park, trying not to look left or right, but catching the scene in the corner of their eyes.
On the other hand, being through the whole park thing myself, i understand these couples. I mean where else should they go?! They don't have own apartment or a car, they can't kiss at home, there are no special kissing spots that you could rent hourly :-) and furthermore, many of them are afraid to be left alone in the room, cause they are proper Georgian kids, waiting to get married and then have some alone bedroom time. What, should they just stop kissing? They will find other spots, do we want them to flood our hallways (padiezdi)? Coz that's the other fav. spot, only it is darker, smellier and you are always at risk to be discovered by your neighbors (at least I was...)
Yesterday, a girl in marshrutka was telling her friend about the kissing protest. 600 people registered for it on FB. 100 came. Out of this 100, 4 pairs kissed and others watched.
So, in the end, no one dared to protest. No FB revolution for us.
Damn it kids, you are supposed to do all this teenage, I-am -against-the -world things! Stop smoking and spitting, swearing and fighting, gossiping and bullying, listening and obeying and start the upheaval! Find someone, kiss someone, do something!
You are wasting your time!
As for the park security regulations: ***********************! **************************!
p.s. the pic: hubby and me KISSING IN THE PARK!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
We’re getting old. This Tbilisi Open Air was boring.
It is still good to have such events, many people have opportunity to express themselves without being hit in the head, they can prance around with piercing and tattoo, yell, show off “Nirvana” shirts and mess up their long hair.
Once, I went on a blind date with this rocker dude and while we were walking in the streets, somebody threw a stick at us…
Nice boy. He gave me two cute hamsters on our second date. The thing didn’t work out, hamsters eventually escaped and set a fort under my aunt’s bed (she hates, hates rodents), but our acquaintance was valuable, cause it was the first time I realized that people in Tbilisi throw stuff at other people in Tbilisi.
Being fairly “normal” girl I have never experienced sticks thrown in my direction. Nasty comments, yes, but objects—no.
Somewhere after seventeen, I began gradually morphing into what I am now, starting with replacing the love of my life, Enrique, with classic Rock. I discovered a whole subculture of weird, long-haired, pierced, chain-wearing people with black nails, some guitar skills and big protest against this mainstream Vake-Saburtalo crowd.
I used to stop and listen to them play in the underground passages. I wrote a story about them (something like: breaking free from the oppressive regime of Tbilisi by packing canned food and escaping to the mountains with guitars and nothing else). I wanted to know them better but I did not have a contact person.
Surprisingly, the one that introduced me this world and took me to my first Goth party, where men wore make-up and torn jeans (how scandalous!), the person known as Voland (devil charcter from Master and Margarita), one of the first members of TB Rock, was no other than my bf (now my hubby)! Who could’ve thought that after looking for a friend rocker in the underground passages, I would find one in Giga, this nice guy, who went to ESM, wore ironed shirts and pants, worked for Pepsi and charmed my family!
This is the same person who went wild on the 1st Tbilisi Open Air and played an air guitar, gathering a circle of amused spectators. Oh, the first Open Air…the bands were cooler, the crowd was larger, the weather was nicer and it was such a new thing, like our own little Woodstock… right here, on the hippodrome.
This year, we yawned a lot and walked around to take pictures. Once or twice we tried jumping up and down, but it did not really work out. We dutifully went both days, missed the band we liked (Green Mama) and met many people we haven’t seen for years. My American friend was approached by two boys who offered “special service”, no doubt for money. They insisted on translation and made us feel like pimps. My other friend engaged in a weird, stupid tradition of smashing each other, while some wanna-be-hard-rocker dude screamed on the stage…now I understand the film Fight Club. I have to admit, it was interesting to wacth.
Thus, this Tbilisi Open Air was not that much fun, but still…no one threw sticks at us.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
All aerobic creatures need oxygen; mammals cannot survive without it; after four minutes of no oxygen, human brain suffers irreplaceable damage.
In a process called photosynthesis, plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and provide us with breathable air.
Trees are plants.
Tress produces oxygen.
We breathe oxygen.
See the connection here?
Trees do not grow in the cities, unless specially planted and maintained. And usually, it is more cost effective and more productive (oxygen-wise) to have a multitude of trees in one area. Those areas are called parks.
Parks, my friends, are usually located in the middle of the city, where weary citizens can sit on the benches, listen to urban birds, feed fish, squirrels or other critters, walk their dogs, make-out with their partners, eat and spit sunflower seeds, or in case of my friends, drink beer and talk about complicated matters. Parks, my friends contain trees, tress produce oxygen, oxygen we need, and so on…
Why am I writing for a three-year-old? Cause these simple truths do not make it all the way up to our city planners. They probably have their own backyards, with own, private oxygen, I don’t know. But they are sure that rest of the population can breathe what our cactus produces on the window sills.
Take the hippodrome for example. Happy hippos, I mean horses, pranced around here. There were stables, my father used to race here. It is unusually green, with hills from one side and trees from other, blocking the buildings. It is the only big park in Saburtalo.
So hurry, hurry, come see the hippodrome. Cause soon, it will be all covered with ugly apartment buildings. And horses? Well, horses got moved to a better location. And trees? Well, trees apparently carry no value. Cause once the building get there, the trees will disappear.
I understand that horses need more suitable place. They shouldn’t be in the middle of Saburtalo (and neither should be our pathetic zoo, I hope it gets moved soon). But why can’t we have a nice park on that territory? I mean, it is already there, you don’t need to plant trees, build trails, grow grass, anything, just some benches and garbage cans. That place already has athletes jogging, children playing, dogs pooping, couples kissing and grandpas reading newspapers. It supplies us with oxygen and there is no other green spot on this side of the hill!
To whom it may concern: please, please don’t take the hippodrome away, if you don’t understand why we need it, I am ready to explain it all over again:
All aerobic creatures need oxygen; mammals cannot survive without it; after four minutes of no oxygen, human brain suffers irreplaceable damage.
In a process called photosynthesis, plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and provide us with breathable air.
Trees are plants.
Tress produces oxygen.
We breathe oxygen.
p.s. pic of daisy i took in Racha
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
During the August war, hubby, brother-in-law and I went to Tskenti, to hide in our relative’s school. After being worried for several days, wondering about the fate of my brother-in-law, who was in a reserve, finally re-united, we just ran the hell out of Tbilisi. Now that I think of it, it was more of a flight from the stress than finding shelter from survival. After all, how was Tskneti safer than Tbilisi?
During those three days, I refused to watch TV or talk about the issue. I read wonderful book by Anatol France, walked in the forest and breathed fresh air. I was ready to deal with what happened after we came back home.
These protests have stirred similar feelings in me. I don’t watch TV anyway, and I haven’t turned it on yet. I guess I should keep away from FB, people keep posting videos. I escaped to Racha and tried to ignore Tbilisi for a weekend. I came back and found that all of the posts, FB statuses and other sources of fun have exploded with discussions. Magazine “Liberali” provides the best overview of the events. I am being sucked back into this.
So, thoughts? Emotions? What can I say, I hate being in a country, where opposition is comprised of people who made dirty money all the way back from the Soviet times, have been in the government, have supported it, have praised police for dealing with the demonstrations in the past and now gather a crowd to present unreal, unjustified and stupid requests. They are not ignorant, thus the reason for such behavior could be: 1. there is someone backing them up 2. they want us to pay attention to them and forget about the real issues.
On the other hand, people have been beaten in the forest, have been arrested and denied medical help and their rights have been violated. Of course, the meeting on the night of 25th was illegal, but if the aim was to prevent the meeting, then why the hell were protestors even allowed to get to the freedom square? They were let in and the then the gates were put around them, making a cage. Couldn’t those gates block the people from coming in instead of going out?
It is horrible to watch how several men beat one person, who has his hands in the air and surrenders. Who should we blame, those that brought that person to the “freedom square” or those who were beating them? Of course, we should also blame the person, but he admitted defeat, asked for mercy, shouldn’t that be enough? Why, why are we going through this again? Can’t we learn anything?
I’ll tell you why. Because every time this happens, no one is held responsible. Several years ago we witnessed some conspiracy theories about the opposition, but those people still roam free. If they truly were spies, why are they out? And on the other side, in November 2007, I saw with my own eyes how 5 men hit one protestor in the head. 5 of them hitting this man’s head! All caught on tape! No consequences for them either!
My friend recently wrote a post, claiming that our generation does not deserve this. Truly, we’re not participants of this theatre! She also wished that an atomic bomb could destroy us. Congratulations, once again we got reminded that all of this around us is just a façade, that we’re in deep shit and we’re sinking even deeper.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
This post is a response to comments on various blogs, claiming that there is no sexual harassment in Georgia.
Hey you, yes you, the one who writes that Georgian men respect women, the one who claims that perverts do not exist here, that streets are safe and that it is women’s fault if they get touched! I am going to be very honest with you and tell you little stories that happened to me or my friends…
Stuff like that does not happen to me anymore, but when I was a teenager, all sorts of creepy men took advantage of my vulnerable situation.
Once, my very conservative friend was sitting in marshrutka and she saw a guy petting something in the corner. She thought he had a puppy or a bird. Turned out, it was a not a bird. My friend was so ashamed, she did not dare to say anything.
Often, in a crowded bus, I felt men standing behind me. I used to calm myself by thinking that it was probably a briefcase or an umbrella, because there was nowhere to move and I couldn’t allow myself to imagine anything else. Needless to say, many times it was not an umbrella.
My first year in university, a man with his pants down used to scream out offensive stuff just by our university, on the Varazis khevi hill, by the zoo. He stood there, with dick in his hand, everyday. How he did not catch cold is beyond me. My friend complained that since there are no houses on that hill, no local boys could protect their territory from this man. Everyday, I pretended that I did not notice how he called me slut and exposed himself. During our daily complaining session (truth to be told, this pantless man provided us with stuff to talk about), one of the girls told us: “oh that guy! When I pass him, I throw rocks at him and he hides in the bushes!”. That’s how I learned that most of those sick men would disappear at the slightest confrontation.
I can tell you many stories like that. So what? You would say that those men are just sick people and that every county has them? But that is only half of the problem isn’t it? The worst thing is that teenage girls get so lost during this encounters, they either become mute or try to convince themselves that nothing happened. And no one ever tells them or teaches them what to do in such situation.
I mean really, imagine you are this Georgian virgin girl, who maybe hasn’t even kissed a boy and the first penis you see in your life is this gross penis of a gross man in a gross underground passage! One might develop penis phobia…I probably shouldn’t go there…
Everybody knows what I am talking about, but mo one dares to admit that they have been exposed to other men’s penises, cause they feel guilty!
And you, you big-bellied, hairy-shouldered, cheating-with-the-prostitutes but drinking-for-respecting-women guy, you claim that there is no sexual harassment in this country! I hope one day you’ll have to take a bus and when you look around, you will see that the umbrella that has been poking you for 15 minutes, is really not an umbrella at all!
the pic: our gray umbrella.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
When I look out of the window at work, I see brick wall. It is discouraging. I look out to get distracted and can’t find anything to see.
Very often I feel like I am surrounded by brick walls. I get angry, I get upset, but I can’t change anything.
I am gradually loosing skills that I have listed in CV. It is getting harder to analyze, I am less passionate about my work, my leadership abilities are gone out of the window. Most of the days I focus on finishing short-term tasks and feel lucky if I cross items on a to-do list and at the same time, eat lunch and go home on time. Most of the days, five-minute tea is a luxury and an hour-long lunch—fantasy.
I can’t deal with ignorance, ambiguity, disrespect, total apathy. I can’t anymore. I feel that I am becoming ignorant, ambiguous, apathetic. Like this post--unfocused and all over the place.
Collaboration, partnership, those terms are unknown to us, at work and at home. I am lucky to have a safe refuge at home. I am very lucky.
Brick walls are everywhere and no one wants to help, no one cares. Everybody strictly does what they have to; they are busy, they are afraid. And if they cared, wanted, needed, now they just try to get through the day.
What? Am I exaggerating? When was the last time you felt thrilled, when you felt like you have accomplished something important?
I have discovered that for a while now, I care less about the issue that I am working to improve. I became used to it. I see the whole picture now and I have two choices: either I stop worrying about it and care less or I ruin my cardiovascular system.
So, you keep on going with no results. And the only thing you can see from your window is a brick wall.
Can this post get more pathetic? Oh, but it can! Check out the view from my window on the pic!
Monday, May 2, 2011
P.S. I am breaking tradition of posting only the pics that I (and hubby) take to share this beautiful man with the humanity... this is Curtis Stone, a celebrity chef. Has been on The Celebrity Apprentice and hosts Top Chef Masters. He is all I love about reality show contestant--has some skill, is hot, is confident, and I don't normally like him. Really, I hate smug blond guys with blues eyes and gel-spiked hair. But there is something about this one...
Monday, April 25, 2011
This Easter was full of many surprises, good and bad. Here’s what happened:
Wednesday evening they told us that Thursday was a holiday. Naturally, I still had to work, since no one bothered to let is know beforehand, you know, so that we could make plans…
I read a hilarious article in the magazine “Tabula”. People asked priests if they were allowed to take showers this Friday and if throwing away colored eggs’ skins was a sin. This was followed by a long discussion on FB, where my friend argued that questions like these indicate brain atrophy and his opponent kept posting arguments with lots of exclamation points. In the end, the other guy just deleted all of his comments. Thus, my friend looked like he was arguing with himself. Very mature.
My hubby and I went to the Church on Easter. It was nice. We got wet though. I guess rain is my destiny for this year.
Keeping up with the theme, hubby and I watched Pasolini’s “Gospel by Matthew” and really enjoyed it.
By the power of karma, I was denied shower privileges for about a week. 1st, there was no hot water, due to no gas. Then, the weather was windy (I can’t turn on the gas heater in the wind). Later, the water stopped running. And this is why I became one of those stinky marshrutka riders I described in my previous post.
Yesterday, I discovered that I can eat three whole medium Paskas in one day.
That might be the reason why I woke up in the middle of the night with abdominal pain and cried until Giga got me medicine. I can’t stand any physical pain and that is not good. I was lucky to escape major injuries, surgeries and toothaches till now, but who knows what the future holds for me.
I spent lots of time with my family.
I slept during daytime twice, also not good.
I worked a bit, though I had planned to work more. I still have stuff to do tonight.
I’ve got to reach my ultimate goal for these holidays—washing all the laundry. Interestingly, that has sparked a whole housewify discussion on FB as well.
Apparently, I spent lots of time on FB.
Dreadful things happened on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.
Hubby and I started watching the second season of “Community”. So far, it is not as funny as the first one.
Just right now I watched an interview of Georgian men, ridiculing Georgian laws that allow fathers to take a leave when their babies are born. Answers like: “that is a maternity leave! Women take it!” and “there is a Georgian saying: a grandma by the cradle, a grandpa with another woman (rhymes in Georgian)” were uttered not only by our fellow stupid men in the street, but also by our non-fellow stupid politicians, not in the streets, but in the parliament, a place where likes of them actually approved this leave.
On this “positive” note, Happy Easter everybody, whether Easter means a colored egg, a fluffy bunny or a Paska to you!
Abusing bunnies is a sin!
P.S. pic: eggs that I colored.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
The sun is back. I can finally wear my super cool, white Armani Express coat. I am not that obsessed with brands, but this thing really looks like Armani and I wish I had more time to wear it in Spring/Fall season. Alas, the sun will burn us before we know it and soon we will get glued to marshrutka seats and smart kids like me will seek a refuge in subway.
The problem is that no matter what transport you choose, you will encounter stinky riders. I guess the aroma is present all year long, but in summer it gets bigger than life. Let’ ask: why do we (o.k. they, not me) smell?
When I was in school, I had this horrible soviet biology book. Hygiene chapter gave following advice: do not grow long nails, since bacteria like to nest there (made me mad, I already had long nails), wash your hair once a week, washing your hair too often dries it out, washing your skin often dries up your epidermis…
Was it that Soviets made rough, primitive products that really did destroy human’s outer shell? Was it that the Union did not make enough soaps and shampoos and discouraged people from using it? What’s up with these standards?
Of course, now we have all the soap we can afford, from cheap Turkish stuff to fancy Yves Rocher bars, priced more than an I-pod. We have hot water. We are bombarded with soap/shampoo ads. Is it that the habits of not washing-- since we had no water/gas/electricity in 1990s-- are hard to overcome? Kinda like people that lived through great depression and kept diluting milk with water even in better times?
Is it education? That we don’t have health classes that would stress the importance of being bacteriafree, hence pleasant to smell?
Are we too lazy to take a shower? Especially, if some of us live in countryside and spend all day working and sweating on land. Maybe such person does not see any point in getting a shower if he has to go back to sweat and dirt the next morning? And keeps ignoring water and soap, unless a special occasion?
Or maybe we just don’t think that smelling nice is a priority?
These reasons would make sense, if all of us stank. But usually, it’s one or two people in marshrutka. The rest of us are bothered by it. So what, why?
I have a list of things I would change, if I had a magic wand. Some issues are really important and sound like interview answers of a beauty pageant contestant: no more street children, no more homeless animals, peace in our country…but along those grand, never-to-be-fulfilled dreams, I have these small dreametts…like being able to sit in a marshrutka in summer, without being forced to stick my head out of the window and consequently walking around with a hairdo of a small lion meets Cyndi Lauper.
I wanna breathe free!
P.S. the pic: my very nice-smelling hubby.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Yesterday, one of my friends asked me to show her a Justin Bieber video, since she hasn’t seen one yet (how is that possible?). We laughed and giggled and suddenly I felt like an old grandma, judging the young generation and claiming that Beatles need haircut, lamenting about the woeful time and loss of taste. Was the pop music of my generation that much better?
When I was a teenager, I was in love with Enrique Iglesias; I knew all of his songs by heart! He was the reason why I understood words like “love”, “tears”, “loneliness” and “hope” in Spanish (amor, lagrimas, soledad and esperanza). My whole room was covered in posters of Enrique. I had a box full of magazine articles about him. I would hunt for headlines that mentioned him. I would pay for Internet café to join fan pages and write to fellow Enrique fans around the world, and I really mean around the world: one was from Mexico, one was form U.S. and one was from Malaysia (!).
At some point I grew up and let him go. Plus, dating a real boy was better than dreaming of Enrique, no matter how sexy he was.
Accordingly, I do understand why people go crazy about likes of Justin Bieber. Nevertheless, I still feel like the product quality went down. First of all, the age of the performers is lot lower and it bothers me to see Miley Cyrus in her reveling shirt, on her bed, singing something stupid about “who owns my heart, is it love or is it art...I can't tell if it is beat or sparks?”— (really? Art? Art?!?!?!). Second, I truly think that lyrics are deteriorating year after year. Yes, pop song does not require a Shakespeare sonnet, but something along the lines of “Today is Friday, tomorrow is Saturday, then comes Sunday” belongs in a Sesame Street song not on MTV! And lastly, it all just seems…cheap? Low-quality? Underdone?
It is hard to judge pop music in general, since all of it seems like crap to me, but even compared to my first love, Enrique Iglesias…oh the casual but sexy outfits…the trembling voice “Follow on the wings of desire, now the rhythm is taking you higher, no one can stop us from havin' it all, You are my heart......you are my soul…”, I used to rewind that part from the “Rhythm Divine” over and over on my cassette player…the manly shoulders, the backdrop decorations, the stare, the pose, the voice, the videos with some scenario…definitely better. At least it was a song. Good or bad, very, very cheesy, but a song. Compare to young Justine here: “Baby, baby, baby…And there really are no words in this song except…baby, baby, baby…and again…baby, baby, baby”.
Hey, let’s all turn on some ridiculous songs we loved when we were teenagers and listen to them. Lets’ see if we still like them!
P.S.I just did that. I watched Rhythm Divine. You know what?! Yes, Enrique is ridiculous and cheesy and corny but God, does he look hot in those old videos! At least he is not wearing diapers and drinking milk from the baby bottle!
P.S. the pic: my cat Gaia is in shock: "What?! this shit on my TV again?". Bieber is in the background.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
It is an Earth day today. We were asked to turn off the lights and I am using this dark hour to make fun of the travelling Georgians.
Two weeks ago, I was going to Gudauri. A woman climbed up and tried to secure marshrutka seats for herself and her “children”. Loudly, she demanded “lots of space. I have many bags, BECAUSE I AM GOING TO STAY IN GUDAURI—which, as you all know, is insanely expensive, hint, hint”. She mentioned: “I am travelling with 3 children” 5 times. I bit my nails, imagining a three-hour trip with small kids, when I saw a grown-ass teenage girls elbowing their way to the seats.
We got caught in the snow and we were forced to endure 1. Crappy, angry driver 2. The same 3 songs by “Blue” that the driver played for 5 hours 3. The “svetski” woman and her “svetski” “children”. During the whole trip, I rolled my eyes so much that I almost saw my cerebellum.
And how fun it is to travel with Georgians that are flying home! Once, they thought my friend was a foreigner and held the following conversation in front of him: “When we go back to Tbilisi, let’s say we stayed in a very nice hotel”, “Yes, let’s say that it was a 4 star, not a 2 star hotel!” “Let’s say we had caviar for lunch!” “Let’s say we had a Jacuzzi in our suite!” Then, they saw my friend’s Georgian passport…
Last year, I got stuck in the air/airport for more than 70 hours. I tried to hang out with my American and German co-flyers. Why?
--at the Trabzon airport, I sat down on the floor and got lectured about my ovaries
--at the Istanbul airport, bunch of overdressed ladies complained about “horrible service” and “awful airport”. Being completely satisfied with both (especially compared to Tbilisi Airport) I asked the ladies where were they flying from. They answered “Monaco” and put their noses up. I moved back to my German friend.
--at the Munich airport, a Georgian-looking group of girls in high heels and black dresses wandered aimlessly, until I explained to them how to register for flight. Then, one of them asked me “an intimate question”. She wanted to know if there is a bathroom in the airport. I told her that signs with a man and a woman on them usually signify a bathroom. She disappeared in one of them to put more lipstick on.
Georgian travelers are stuck-up, snobby, disrespectful and just intolerable. You’ll see men spending their last money on worthless duty-free items, just to buy more than their friend did; you’ll see women in fancy evening attire; you’ll see Ministers’ mothers coming back from Monaco; you’ll see drinking, yelling, loud men; you’ll see people criticizing everyone and everybody around them. But if you’re like me, if you do not blend in with the Georgian crowd, cause of your looks, your outfit, your manners, you can take your laptop, watch “the apprentice” and freeze your ovaries off on the cold floors of the airport…and snootily feel superior...
Hour’s up! Time to use electricity again!
pic: me in a Bangkok airport