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Friday, February 1, 2013

5 DAYS OF WAR

SNAPSHOT

Snapshot of a day in the life of Logan:

About a week ago, I'd managed to burn my legs with hot water.  They are still very painful so it was with great reluctance that a trip to a hospital was planned.

Lasha (the owner of the hostel) was contacted and agreed to act as driver and translator.  Rather than just any old hospital, he took me to a clinic in the upscale part of town.

It reminded me a lot of the hospital in it's physical appearance.

We passed various offices in which medical staff loitered, doctors smoked and so on.

Two older ladies in white coats agreed to see us but mentioned that the burn expert was out and wouldn't be in for two hours.  Knowing that two hours could be two hours or much longer, I said "I don't need a burn specialist - I just need a competent doctor."

In translator mode, Lasha dutifully translated this.

They took a look at my legs.  They then told Lasha that in order to suck the heat out of the legs, I should put ice on them three times a day.

"I did specify I wanted a competent doctor."  I told Lasha.

This was also translated.

We managed to escape the 'medical' establishment before they could tell us anything like the correct construction of voodoo dolls and so on.

Lasha seemed to think we won a small victory because we didn't have to pay the 40 GEL consultation fee.  For the kind of mumbo jumbo they were spouting, I'd have been pissed if we had to pay that.

After picking up some ointment at the pharmacy next door to the clinic, I introduced Lasha to the American custom of "If you drive me around, I insist on buying you breakfast."

Georgians aren't really into breakfast as nobody in this country seems to like being awake or opening businesses before ten in the morning.  So, what we ended up getting was called a 'morning meal'.

It was served with the local moonshine known as 'cha cha'.

Logan: "Georgia is the first country I've ever been in where they drink hard alcohol as part of breakfast."

Lasha: "You are lucky because people travel round the world to find a place like this where for breakfast you can find high voltage alcohol."

For those curious as to what the morning meal entails, it was pig stomach and hooves boiled for six hours till it turned yellow (or was it green?  Probably yellow - not sure) served with (of course) bread.  Lasha really liked this but the stomach was how I imagine chewing on boiled car tire.  There was also cooked barley, mashed potatoes and cutlets which were probably beef and had no bones - unlike the stew.

I explained that because Americans like a nice steady flow of food from their plates to their bellies, bones piss them off.  Not so much with a big obvious bone, such as a t-bone steak but with little naggling bones which lie in the food like an upturned rake in tall grass.

The cutlets and mashed potatoes were very nice.  Didn't eat much barley.  Despite my last name, I am not a horse.



5 DAYS OF WAR


Nobody ever thinks of themselves as 'the bad guy'. It is human psychology to think of yourself as 'in the right'.

I'm watching the movie '5 Days of War' which deals with the very brief friction between Russia and Georgia. Haven't finished the movie yet but my guess is that it is resolved quickly. Like within say less than a week. Just a guess.

Anyway, there are 'militia' used by the Russians that wear masks. I'm wondering how the hell you justify to yourself that you are not the 'bad guy' when you wear a mask doing stuff. These were also popular to wear in other conflicts within Ireland.

The movie was useful in one regard.  When you ask people, whether in Bosnia or Georgia, what was the war like, they don't get into specifics.  They only say "very bad".  Many people aren't natural story tellers or the story is too painful.  The movie helps give some possibilities of what it was like.

As far as the 'Hollywood spin' on the movie - way too many people spoke English and way too well.  This is not the case.  In Georgia, you are more likely to speak German.  The main languages are of course Georgian and Russian.  But, Americans believe everyone speaks (or should speak) English and so the movie reflects this.

My final take on the movie - it's always depressing when people are dicks to each other, no matter who starts it.


PICTURES

{{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

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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