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Monday, August 29, 2011

REFLECTIONS ON GEORGIA

DOWNTIME IN TBILISI

Within an hour or two after arrival in Tbilisi, I had my bus ticket. Props to Lasha #1 on that. He called the bus station and found out there is indeed a bus that goes straight from Tbilisi to Kars, Turkey. Someone had said on a year old post in the Lonely Planet forums that the trip took twelve hours, wasn't direct, etc. Although the bus stops in other places it does eventually go directly to Kars - and in only eight hours. I've heard that the roads get better once you leave Georgia. I have no idea if the driving does or if it is still an ass clenching adventure ride.

The bad news is that the bus doesn't leave until Wednesday morning. There is no Tuesday bus. And (at the time of this writing) it is Monday. That sucks hairy balls. (This blog is award winning material, I'll tell ya.)

Hence, I'm basically trapped in Tbilisi tomorrow. I'd be less trapped if I didn't mind spending money, but I do mind. Thinking of the boredom and such brings to my mind the immortal words of my mentor Adam. "Shut the fuck up and stop yer bitching." Words to live by. Adam did warn me that travel was full of boring downtime, but it still beats a nine to five job.

I may end up reading a book and walking around tomorrow. I've already walked around a bit in this town and can tell you that there really isn't anything I know of right now tha I am wanting to see. I'll do some more research later and see if I can find a little gem.



LASHA'S VILLAGE

Lasha's village was interesting to visit, but take it from me that a day or two is enough. Most people watch TV as their big recreation. Given my pathological aversion to it and not having watched it for a decade or more, this left me with not a lot to do. Since the invention of TV and the internet, things like weekly village get togethers for singing and dancing have been relegated to the movies only.



TONIGHT

Being that this is a party hostel, despite the owners claims to the contrary, I suspect there will be a party tonight. This is a good thing - it may help me sleep in a bit. We'll see. I normally don't sleep a lot due to pain. If I'm somewhere interesting, that means I get to see more. Look on the bright side.

For the party, I'd purchased a twenty lari bottle of "Whore-tits-ah", a vodka I am fond of. Sure, cha-cha is about half the price but I'm pretty tired of it. About sixty percent of the cha-cha I've tasted thus far has been absolutely foul. It's the kind of drink that you're told to exhale when drinking so you get less of the 'taste'. So, for my "I'm fucking off soon" drinking I am planning on doing tonight whether I'm joined or not, I've gotten something nice to drink. [Note, that although I know the Georgian custom of when a man wants to get drunk he goes out and buys a lot of alcohol and invites his friends to help him drink it, I am still on money conservation mode and follow 'Logan customs' more often than others. I did buy a big enough bottle that I might get some help to drink it but they need to buy more alcohol too.



TOMORROW

Many countries (perhaps even Georgia) have a common problem. That is that once you have left the borders of that country, their money is worth a bit less than the paper it is printed on. Hence, I'm going to try to figure out how much money I will need to survive tomorrow and get the remainder changed into Turkish Lira. Unfortunately, that's my only real project for tomorrow.



WHEN I GET TO TURKEY

One of the things I plan on looking into is their postal system. I want to go have them weigh one of my notebooks and see if it is going to be feasible to have it mailed to Jana in the Czech Republic.

On the subject of Jana, I wonder if she ever got in trouble for using the money she was given for a washer to go on vacation? Well, that will teach her parents the importance of gift cards, I suppose.



REFLECTIONS

Why is it that whenever something is ending, people feel the need to reflect upon it? Is it some part of the human condition that feels loss? Is it needing a sense of closure? Is it that we are all a bit nostalgic?

Looking back on Georgia, it's been an interesting experience. They have a lot of history here and a lot of culture. While I'm not overly interested in much of the history, I have made quite a study of their culture. And thinking back on the things I have done in this country, I've worked for a hostel and was fortunate enough to be invited into three people's homes. I've witnessed life in anything from the capital city down to a small village. I've been robbed. I've tasted some whines that Pete would say (in his usual reserved way) were "Very nice indeed." I've tasted cha-cha which is foul enough that you should exhale immediately after drinking it to cut down on what you taste. I've become a regular at many different business establishments. I've met more backpackers than I can remember - and been fortunate enough to have many of them Facebook me. I've had what could be the best beer in the country - made from Czech hops. I've made some good Georgian friends who have really shown me hospitality.

But it's time to go!

Unless something really wild happens tomorrow or en-route to Turkey, the next blog should be from somewhere in Turkey.



FEEDBACK

Let me know if you have watched and enjoy the videos. If I don't have enough people tell me they are enjoying them, I'm just going to keep them for myself as the internet connections at hostels are usually shitty. [Note that if you are not watching them or don't like them, you don't need to respond to this - I'm looking to see if perhaps ten out of the hundred or two hundred people who read the blog every day say 'yes, please keep them coming'.]


TRAVELER'S TIPS

Just because something is or is not on the internet, doesn't make it so. This is doubly true with the bus and train schedules of 'developing nations'. To find out the real information, get a local on the phone with them - or better still standing in front of them asking the questions.

If you're wanting to catch a bus or train to an out of the way place, remember that somme rides only take place once a week. Best to check as much ahead of time as possible to avoid sitting around for several days scratching yourself and wondering if this is what Hell is like.

How to spot a party hostel: Noise level and cleanliness. If they have a party a couple times a week (or more) that's a bit of a hint as well.

Dump all local currency before leaving the borders. Get the currency of the country you are going to. Lacking that, I'd recommend Euros as the dollar has tanked and continues to do so at an alarming rate.

1 comment:

  1. I've been watching the videos. Not entirely positive why... although it is interesting seeing what is going on in other countries (especially ones I have a low likelihood of ever visiting). But there's that big fat American in them giving surrealist commentary...
    (Which has inspired me to do more videos myself, just waiting for the weather to be suitable for being outside.)

    ReplyDelete

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