Tuesday, August 23, 2011



For some reason, sveteana doesn't seem to like me. I'm not sure why. I haven't given her any grief at all (unlike poor Adam). It could be a mixture of her guilt over having kicked me out to make room for more people and perhaps the Georgian custom of 'not taking anything that could be your neighbors'. In other words, once she referred me to the place I am in now, I pretty much belonged to the neighbors. If she was to allow me back in her house, it could create some sort of feud. Aside from the trouble with the water (and hot water) today and the fact that nobody aside from Sveteana seems to have internet, I probably wouldn't go back. Well, that and I want to have another feast with my new friends. I am the only guest here and I am glad for it. It's my first semi privacy in months.

I still need to use Sveteana's internet to research my next jump. If the other towns in this part of Georgia are like the one I'm in, I may as well head out. There isn't anything I'm really wanting to see here. I do enjoy the alcohol and the company of the other travelers more than the site seeing in this region.

Perhaps I should try hitchhiking in Georgia. After all, I am planning on trying it in Turkey. If it doesn't work here, fuck doing it in Turkey. I will need to review Adam's list of recommended places and see what I want to do there. I am starting to suspect that Turkey may cost too much for aimless wandering. It is possible that Istanbul - despite being a very expensive city - might be one of the cheaper places I go. I checked out Hostelworld.com and everything seems pretty cheap there.


This is the address of Sveteana's place. Would I suggest it? For a group (the bigger the better) certainly. If you're solo, maybe during the off season but expect to get bumped out at any time if you can't tell her how long you'll be staying in a strange town you know nothing about.

Plus, if there is much to see here I haven't really found it. There is a cathedral close by but if you're wearing shorts you'll get turned away at the door. Despite God not saying anything about it when someone with shorts enters his temple, the worshipers do. Since I have no real interest in any religious place that isn't an awe inspiring work, I don't feel pressed to go into them and don't care. But for the people who like looking at religious stuff, I'd suggest the pants that have zip on and off legs. Carry around the legs in a backpack and zip them on if some pesky door man wants to turn you away.

Despite there not being a lot to see in the town, there is a small poorly stocked grocery store literally a stones throw away. You can buy a couple different things there including semi cold drinks. I do like the building itself and she has masses of room within it. I'd describe the place as a bit quirky and artistic.

The morning breakfast (7 GEL) is nothing special but the evening meal is quite a feast (15 GEL). Be warned that it's mostly the same food every night. Sure, the cost is double that of Batumi's White Room but how often will you be able to find that?

Svet's English is rough but I've noticed that it tends to become worse when she is not comfortable about an idea and it becomes really good if you're talking to her about money. Since I've played the "I don't understand" game when I don't want to understand people, I recognize it when others do it.

So if you are traveling with a group, go for it. Her 'gotta make money' mercenary sensibilities will kick in and you'll feel yourself well taken care of. If you are traveling alone, she'll take you till she can get a more lucrative deal.


Guesthouses in general: Pretty much whoever lives in that room has temporarily gone away to live in a different part of the house - and left all of their shit there. I'm not talking about things like books on shelves. I'm talking about closets stuffed with clothing, easy to clear away nicknacks festooning every surface and such. Why they leave them there I have no idea. Maybe they aren't worth stealing or they just believe people won't bother to steal them. Or break them. Intentionally. Then eat them.

In the past, I've stayed away from them simply because on sites like hostelworld.com they insist on two people minimum in a room - or you pay for a room for two even if you are only one. In some places that may be true, but not Telavi. Though I might get kicked out if a couple wanted that room.

Most of the people who run guesthouses seem to be elderly women. Not sure why that is, but it seems true thus far.


We had a supra with 11 people at Svet's place during and after dinner. For some reason, I was made Tamada. Again. And I had to do the toasts partially in English and partially in German. Believe me when I say that my German is not up to any fancy toasting and the saying anything in German (other than a word here and there) dropped away after the first couple of toasts.

I drank Bruderschaft with Marek and Piot (Peter) from the Polish group. It was a great party. After we drank the rather mediocre table wine Svet provided, the Polish folks produced a couple of very large (3L?) bottles of wine that kept the party going.

In addition to the six people from Poland, there were also two Brits and two from Israel.

A bit after 11pm Svet did ask us to keep it down. I've noticed that she is also working on having dinner an hour earlier tonight (the night after) possibly so that she can keep it quiet later in the evening.


I was told by the Poles that drinking a shot of Cha-Cha followed by a shot of Coke was good for hangovers. I figured it was rubbish but what the hell, why not. I didn't have much of a hangover (very slight) anyway and I figured I am into trying new things. Damned if it didn't work immediately. Weird.

As they were planning on going to Tbilisi via marshrutka, I told them about my marshrutka experience. They said it was 'atmosphere'. I replied that it was 'too much atmosphere'.

This group makes me (again) wish I spoke fluent Polish. Hell, I'd even be OK with fluent Russian.


Hell, I've gotten so many shots of culture, I'm glad I'm not in the 'Culture Club'. (/shudder)

We (the group of six Poles and I) went to a place that I was told was a wine factory.

This turned out not to be the case. It is in fact some rich dead dude's house with a place that sells wine in the basement. The Poles requested the Russian speaking tour guide and got it. It was a very Russian tour. The guide was an old woman who always stood carefully ramrod straight and would point with a small folded fan. If people were talking among themselves, she would repeat her words more loudly until they shut up and listened to her. It was a 'you are here to be instructed by me' type of tour.

I also discovered that even museum curators in a fairly somber place have loud and annoying ring tones on their phone. That kind of thing never ceases to amaze me. It's like people are fascinated with it.

Anyway, the house and grounds were OK but going through them at the speed of tour guide (especially one I couldn't understand a word of) was fucking painful. Marek would occasionally give me a quick 'Cliff Notes' version in German but for the most part it was listening to people in Russian for a couple hours. I'd have walked through that place in about twenty minutes and not feel I'd missed anything important. I'm really the kind of person that can walk through a place quick unless something catches my eye. Most things don't.

Since the Poles had supplied the wine for the Supra the night before, I figured I'd pick up a bottle or two of the 3L (?) wine they'd gotten. I was told by our gun toting police guide "No problem" several times. I did specify I'd like to buy it but they appeared to not wish to sell it to me. They never did talk about it again. So, I am without wine.

I got a lot of pictures taken of me (and with me in them) for other people's photograph album. For me, this is still an odd feeling.

Due to the presence of the firearm, I got to discover that 'waffe' is German for 'firearm' though 'schusswaffe' is in the Google translate.

Another interesting thing is that I was asked my age. Naturally I told them to 'guess'. There were guesses in the 30's. When I lived in the states, the guesses were in the 50's. I might be aging backward in Europe.


Watch this knowing the lady is an English language instructor in Georgia.


Right now, I'm trying to figure out if I want to stay in Georgia or get out. I'm thinking I might try some hitchhiking tomorrow and see where that takes me. I might end up heading toward Sighnaghi then to Sagarejo and eventually to or through Tbilisi then further east.

I'm beginning to wonder if I enjoy living other places more than seeing other things. I do like to move around a hell of a lot more often than every six weeks though for sure. I am thinking that I should try the hitchhiking to see what I think about it now. [I did it when I was in my 20's but that was a long time ago and I had a lot more stamina then.]


Meal at guesthouse, 5 GEL, 15 for big feast dinner.

Bottle of red from the winery, 23 GEL


Polish singing

Israelies Singing

Famous European Song

Polish singing (part 2)

Brits singing

Bruderschaft Demonstration with traditional song

Bruderschaft Song Lyrics Explained

Svets Place from the Hammock

Drive to so called winery

Arrival at winery

Wandering toward dead dudes house

The Grounds


Why no, I think we should haul this into our city gates. What harm could there be? I'm sure we can find out why they put windows in it after we get it into the city gates. [Obviously, these were simpler times when people were more...stupid.]


  1. When I saw the video on Youtube, it was cut off to "Wandering toward dead dudes". Now, I know you video some weird shit, but...

  2. Believe me, if I could get video of zombies and such, you'd see it here!



{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

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