Wednesday, March 20, 2013



We had a guest who stayed at the hostel for three days then left, presumably and hopefully for greener pastures.  Other people who were in the hostel were all agreed on one thing - she was nuts.  I breathed a sigh of relief when she was gone.

Then, she came back.

Fortunately, the boss of the hostel trusts many of my decisions.  I tried the 'we're booked up' excuses with the girl but rather than just going off to find a different place, she insisted on staying here.  I closed and locked the heavy hostel door after telling her in no uncertain terms that she was not welcome to stay here.

She began trashing things outside, saying she wanted to kill people and die.  She insisted I call the police.

This put me in a bit of an awkward situation.  So, I called the owner of the hostel.

Unknown to me, he was literally in the middle of giving a speech on conflict resolution to a university audience.  Perhaps I could let her in until one o'clock then he could come and ask her to leave?  Not a good idea I responded.  She's trashing the place.  Eventually, he reluctantly agreed I should call the police.

While the owner was running out of the startled auditorium and heading back to the hostel, I phoned 112.  This is the emergency number for pretty much everything in Georgia.  Different than the American 911 or the much more logical UK's 999.

A couple of nice police officers showed up and worked on talking to the sullen woman who stood there hugging herself with her small wheeled suitcase nearby and large purse-pack on.  She wouldn't give them her name or passport and claimed to be a Hezbollah terrorist.

From my old days, I knew what that was.  How I wish we had been in America at that point.  While it is true that the people of America are some of the most paranoid in the world, they know how to deal with people who want to claim to be terrorists.  Cuff, search, car, gone.  Down to the department to process this bat shit crazy girl.

Not here.

This next part won't make a lot of sense without a bit of a detour into what I like to think of as the 'basic programming' that goes into Georgian's when they are kids.  In the Wikitravel page on Georgia, it says "Women are highly esteemed in society and are accorded a chivalric respect." This doesn't quite cover it.  To any Georgian man, the most important person in his life - until he dies - will be his mother.  Some cultures may find this baffling but here it is part of the 'basic wiring' that makes up Georgians.   Along with this, all women are placed onto a high pedestal.

Including women that are nuttier than a squirrel turd.

Despite the woman doing things like physically attacking the police, trying to steal their police hats and shredding the part of their notebook that contained information about her - the police treated it like a bit of a joke.   They were kind and patient with her to a point that, in my eyes, parted company with logic and prudence long ago.  Had this been a man doing these things, I am convinced he'd have been taken down hard, cuffed and stuck in a car.

Eventually, more high ranking and harder eyed police officers showed up until we had a couple dozen cops here.  Lots of cigarettes and paperwork were gone through.  One of the police officers mentioned he had even seen me on TV.  Small world.

She still refused to show her passport and nobody made her.

By this point the boss of the hostel had shown up and took center stage dealing with the police.  Despite the police dispatch having been thoughtful enough to send along a young officer who was very skilled in English, I was happy to fade into the background and let the hostel boss (Lasha) take lead.

Rather than leaving, I stuck around.  Police often have follow up questions.

They then informed me that their Criminal Investigation (CI) division would be showing up to sort things out.

CI did show up but no matter how many times they nicely asked, the sullen woman would not show her passport.  According to CI, this was not the first time she'd run afoul of the law though they didn't wish to elaborate on others.

Perhaps her rampant insanity is why she couldn't stay anywhere else and came back here.  Other hostels presumably denied her entry.  Gosh, I'm glad we didn't have any other guests.  With all of the police officers we had both in the hostel and smoking outside they would have had no where to sit.

It was baffling watching the procedure.  Nobody took the girl seriously.  They left their back open to her and even moved her inside in case she was getting slightly cold standing outside.

Eventually, CI passed the buck back to the local police who had called in the anti-terrorist unit (ATU).  After more waiting, they showed up and the local police and CI all left.

The ATU asked everyone (ie non- ATU) to please wait outside while they questioned the girl.  Again, even the gentlest of questioning could not get her to take her passport out of her tightly clutched bag to show them.

The ATU decided she was not a terrorist and posed no threat.  No bags were checked, no finger prints taken to compare on records, nothing.  They became of the opinion she was merely mentally ill.  The girl was also an Iraq citizen and it was felt that she was merely trying to get political asylum.  They have no department (or, according to the cops, budget) for such things here. 

So, despite having a go with personal property destruction, assaulting a couple of police officers, threatening to do harm to herself and others, they let her go.

Wish I was joking.

Her last words were "I know what to do!"  Earlier, she had threatened she would be back.  No doubt she will come back and reap more havoc upon the hostel.

Lasha, the hostel owner, is one of the more easygoing people I've met.  He was literally so enraged he couldn't say more than "Fucking Georgia!"

The sad thing is that had I gotten into any sort of physical altercation with her initially, I'd be cooling my heals in jail despite her being the one dancing with madness.

It's amazing to me how much bureaucracy and the programming given to children runs people.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the relatively crime free Georgia as more and more refugees keep flooding in.

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