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Saturday, June 25, 2011

To Kiss or Not to Kiss


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

Tbilisi Open Air



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

On the Benefit of Breathing


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?
Not yet?
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

Fight or Flight and This Stupid Demonstrations

When stressed, we have a flight or fight response. I always fancied myself as being a fighter, but twice in my life, I chose to run and hide and deal with the problem later.
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 fa├žade, that we’re in deep shit and we’re sinking even deeper.