Thursday, June 30, 2011



Hanging out with Karolis, Vytas (AKA Vyts) and Tadas and talking about the lack of crime in Georgia. Vytas told us about someone stealing less than half a bottle of water from him in Tbilisi. We were all moved by his tragic tale of loss.

I'm not sure of the proper spelling of his name but it is pronounced "Iraq-Lee". He is one of the four owners of Batumi hostel. He came in to visit for a week. Last night, we finally had a Supra and he was Tamida (toastmaster). In the past Iraq-Lee has described his English as 'not very good'. Last night, I thought he did an impressive job as Tamida. This leads me to wonder 'In his native tongue, this guy must be a really amazing toastmaster'!

For the readers, sorry not more dramatic stuff is going on right now but this is my 'hunker down and try to save money' period. I'm thinking I'd like to do this until say mid September then go through Turkey, (possibly Bulgaria), Greece and into Egypt to winter. Fuck snow. I have zero clue what to do after the winter is done.


Backgammon in Turkish is Tavla ("tau-lah").

For those keeping track of regional rules differences in Backgammon, it seems to be a regional difference for Georgians that 'in your own house' you cannot kill then move with the same piece. By own house I mean that area your pieces go to before getting moved off the board. The Turkish folks I have played with thus far have assured me that attacking then moving with the same piece is OK. That's also how I'd learned to play from Kevin originally. This situation doesn't present itself often but it is interesting finding out about these regional differences.

In addition to at the hostel where I've been playing Lasha when he has time (and he's a tough opponent) I've started playing backgammon at a Turkish coffee house/hang out. I played a Turkish guy (older guy) named Abdulla three games to five points each and managed to take him. He is a lot more knowledgeable than I am in the game but I am lucky with the dice. The downside of that place is that the chair I was sitting on that day was a low plastic stool. By the time the games were done, my back and legs were on fire so I had to hobble off slowly. It was probably more funny to watch than do it.

Every time that I've been there, I've had to fight (very politely) to buy my own drinks. I've had people ask why I do so instead of letting other people buy them for me. This is because (assuming I get to stay here for awhile) I'd like to make it a hangout rather than just mooch off of people.


From conversations I've had with them, they seem to have a mutual dislike and distrust for each other. I'm not sure why. Probably historical stuff.


I'm working on wearing my flip flops more as they are more comfortable and I've noticed that I'm already starting to wear out my walking shoes I purchased in the Czech Republic. Personally, I think it's probably a good thing that I'm already wearing out shoes - it shows I'm making an effort to walk more.


Train ticket to Tbilisi:
First class 40 GEL
Second class 23 GEL
Third class 13 GEL

White room, 8 people eating a lot, beer flowing - 50 GEL

In Turkish restaurant - tea .5 GEL, coffee 1.5 GEL, Fanta 2 GEL

Haircut (not gotten yet but priced) 5 GEL

New cloth strap flip flops as the plastic strap plus walking a long, long way in the old ones was destroying my feet, 9 GEL

Baklava from a Turkish restaurant, mediocre, four bites, 3 GEL


  1. So, have you toastmastersed yet?
    Oh, and had any RPG pangs?

  2. Twice.

    Yes, some but I have a lot less spare time on my hands, very shaky internet and no privacy.

    Overall, I'd have to say that I'm enjoying real life adventuring more than tabletop adventuring. Sure, there are less ninjas in real life but traveling to places I'm not understood by anyone and doing things is pretty adventurous.

    And, after I save up some money, more variety of adventures are to come.

  3. I was checking your weblog. You still have not logged your win against the Turkish. That's nice.

  4. I think it was out of shame. The day after winning against you, I went to the Turkish street and got repeatedly beaten by 'the old men' who have been playing Backgammon (towla) since before they could crawl. It put me in my place. Though I did like what you wrote next to 'Logan's chair'!



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