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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Under the Chestnut Tree

    Hubby and I wanted to open a bar and call it The Chestnut Tree Café, inspired by George Orwell’s 1984. It had to have this feeling of mock freedom in a totalitarian world – cameras by the entrance, Victory gin, recording devices. Scary bathrooms. 1984 quotes on the walls. We thought it would be funny.
    I came back from a remote village in mountains today. I visited a kindergarten there, a freshly renovated, clean and cute kindergarten. With young and motivated teachers. But despite the new toys, new trainings, kindergarten can't provide all the services it is supposed to.  A kid goes  to that kindergarten, just for 1 hour a day, and no one knows what to do with this kid. He does not play like other kids, he does not talk like other kids, he can't be managed like other kids.
    My colleague went to another village to discover family with several kids that have multiple disabilities. Epilepsy and blindness, intellectual problems and immobility, you name it, these kids have it. She saw one girl who has never left the bed in 11 years. Another one had puss coming out of her eye. The third one spent most of her days locked out on the balcony. These kids had conditions that could have been prevented but due to myriad reasons, they were denied regular healthcare.
    We spent some time talking about these cases. We felt responsibility crush us. We had to undo years of damage. 2 of us.
    Last night I watched the most ridiculous discussion on TV. Foaming, people were yelling that passing anti-discrimination bill will ensure homosexual teachers raping pupils.
    May 17th is coming and this time around, nothing is happening. After 2 years of rallying, just silence.
    My friend and her family had to sit through a 2-hour rant that declared their daughter and sister abnormal.
    After moving forward, we came back the full circle and are seriously discussing (again!) whether gay relations should be allowed.
   Clergy walks in and out Parliament sessions as it pleases.
   A young female lawyer talking about elementary, school-book level democracy principles is hissed at by audience in the Georgian fucking Parliament.
   Georgian government gives away one of the oldest hospitals in the city to the church that systematically destroys and deforms anything of historical significance that falls into its greedy hands.
   Anti-discrimination law is chopped down, mutilated, raped and killed. Debates are still raging over the corpse.  Necrophils from all over the county try to kick the cadaver just one last time.
   We won’t open a mock-totalitarism bar in a totalitarian country. I don’t need a bar for that – I can just open the window.

Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me:
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree

    P.S. the pic: clergy before walking out of the parliament. pic stolen from fb shares.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wicked Games

While everyone is celebrating Easter, I am sitting by my comp at 3 in the morning, feeling a bit heavy.
The team just left. We were watching our game on TV and we watched ourselves loose once more and I felt incompetent once more.
I started playing intellectual quiz game show thingy “What When Where” accidentally. My hubby was an active player from school years and since he was so involved I tagged along, supporting him and his team. The team soon became part of our family. I was jokingly calling myself their groupie, following them around, wagging my tail and just waiting for them to like me. One after one, I befriended them all, and I think for 6 years now, some of hubby’s original team members have become my closest friends. We shared food, room, hey, 6 of us even shared couches and beds J They silently stepped into my life and I –into theirs and we lived happily ever after, until one genius (no joke here) received sky high score on GMAT and left us for much better life at Stanford. And then… a vacant spot on the team. თhey took me in.
For a long, long time I felt redundant, like I was occupying somebody else’s seat and I think I owe it to my captain who kept emphasizing every game I played well, until sometime, I don’t even remember when, last year maybe, I felt like I really am a member of this team that I have some role in it, that sometimes I am useful. We played throughout the year, off TV, we played well, we played badly, we played together.
Time after time I was asked for TV show casting, when I was put with a group of other castees and we had to answer questions as a team, while people observed us. Twice I went to casting last year and twice I acted unnatural – too loud, too quiet, too pushy, too obnoxious, too shy. I never really wanted it though. I just went along.
This year, I was called again. I had training that evening and I debated long and hard, to go or not to go. The truth is, I did not really want to play on TV. I did not value this game so much to miss my training for it. But I went anyway. I like adventures.
I think I was closer to myself this time. I guessed some questions. I answered some wrong ones. I was mostly silent but enthusiastic about stuff I knew. And…I did not make it. But, since my hubby’s TV team (which is different from our constant team) was temporarily missing one person, they let me play just this once.
And this is when it happened. During rehearsals with my hubby’s team. When I actually started participating. When this shit started getting valuable. When I wanted to really play and not just sit and look pretty.
We lost. We lost though we played well. Actually, they played well. I sat and looked pretty. I looked pretty on purpose: I wanted to be pretty and sexy and smart and to prove to the whole world that girls with nice eyes and big boobs can be smart too. And I failed. Not that I was nervous – I just went dumb.  I went blank. I remember enjoying the game and I wished it would never end, and I did not want us to win quickly.
But we lost and I keep wondering if the team would win with their regular team member. If they would have been better had they been 6 instead of 5 and an appendix.
I also feel big regret. Had we won, I could have played one more time in May.  Maybe I could be more daring the next time. Or not. I don’t know. I wanted to make my hubby proud.
Fuck, after 6 years of resisting, I finally let this game get to me. And I feel pissed. Because now that my chance has escaped me, I want it so bad.
P.S. my bow tie: symbol of the game J

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bolnisian Cowboy

I was struggling with major disappointment (more details in later posts). And on the top of that, I had to go to Kutaisi for my new job, training some kids in disability issues. After leaving late, we finally arrived at our hotel which looked like a baroque explosion. Seriously, even extension cords had ornaments.
My friend and I decided to take a half an hour walk in the neighborhood. It was getting late and we aimed for a short stroll. As we walked by a jazz café, we forced ourselves to check it out.
And here, in the middle of Kutaisi, we found American country.
It was surreal and it was weird. Some guy in the cowboy outfit was playing guitar and harmonica and singing motherfucking country!
Now, I don’t like country. I also don’t like Kutaisi. But seeing combination of these two made me very happy. As I was contemplating whether I should dance (old stereotypes die slow. I was afraid some Kutaisian boy would interpret my dance as flirting), damn cowboy started singing Bowie’s Space Oddity. I had to stand up in awe.
I love this song. I spent a wild, stoned weekend in Prague listening to this song over and over again. I listened to it crazed by the fumes of cannabis, alone with hubby in a foreign city, wondering from one medieval street to another, trapped in a tin can, floating through the air. I listened to it as we took off to the sky,  I listened despite all “turn off your electronic devices” warnings, I listened to it as we left the ground and my fogged up mind came up with myriad of stars, and man, here I was listening to it again, in Kutaisi, out of all the places.
I talked to the cowboy after the show. Turns out he is a star of Georgian “Voice”. What do I know, I don’t watch TV. I think he was a bit disappointed that I didn’t know who he was. He shamed me as a journalist. I embarrassingly started explaining that I was no journalist that I wrote for my fun and readers’ torture but how do you explain this whole stupid thing?
Anyway, he is a country singer. From Bolnisi. He likes country because it is a matter of taste (when I asked him “why country” he looked at me like really, are you really going to ask that?).  He plays here and there; touring a whole country isn’t option – no demand. He was on Georgian singing reality show. That’s when he played “Space Oddity” (“I just did that for TV, as you can see, that’s not my style at all”). Despite his American accent, he's never been to the states. Nowhere further than Poland. He came to Kutaisi with this cute girl with nice voice that sang with him. He is a Bolsnisian cowboy. He hasn’t shaved forever. He’s on YouTube. We should be FB friends. I can get more info that way.
I felt like a pesky reporter. I was like, thank you, this is fine, I really just have a personal blog. I am just writing impressions. I am sorry for bothering you…could I name my post “Bolnisian cowboy?” sorry for being a weirdo. Sorry for not knowing who you are. Thank you for playing. Umm, yes, OK, bye.
So here I am back into my Luis XIV room, thinking of Shota Adamashvili and cursing myself for not obtaining a wifi password to look him up. I have no idea who I met and what he does, but I was so down this morning and he restored my faith in humanity.

He played country in Kutaisi.