Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend in Tbilisi

Li, the cute Chinese guy, who's nickname is Nothing and I had been talking over the phone. Niceness:).
I kind of hinted that I'd like to see him ALONE on Friday, when I arrive in Tbilisi. He said he'd love to come but he's not familiar with the city as he'd only been in Georgia for 2weeks. Fair enough! He said he would have to take his friends along. No sweat, his friends are my friends too. I met them all in Batumi.
When I told my assistant that I'd like to visit Tbilisi for the weekend, she told me that there's always a car that goest to Tbilisi frm the office every morning at 10 and she would ask the boss if I could catch a lift. I told Li that I might be in the city around 1pm if I catch a lift with the cops, but I'd confirm with him when I leave Akhaltsikhe. My town.

Friday, 15 July
Lia, my assistant, told me that the car was full and I wouldn't be able to get a lift. I called and updated Li. I then told him, that meant I'd have to work the whole day, finish at 4 and leave then, and would arrive at 7.
After the 3rd class, Lia said I could leave, she'd do the last class. She didn't have to tell me twice! I was so out of there!
As I arrived at the rank, Li called! He was in Tbilisi! And to rub it in, he went by himself! So this would have been perfect, only, I was in Akhalstikhe and would only arrive in Tbs in 3hrs. When I told him this, he sounded disappointed, which meant he misunderstood me when I told him I would no longer get the lift and was going to leave much later than planned. Whew!
I asked him to hang around, and I'd catch up with him in 3.
In the marshrutka (taxi) I met Anna, a German lady that's holidaying in Georgia. We sat next to each other and spoke English.
3hrs later, we arrived in TBS! I called Li, no answer. Called Beqa, his friend and he gave the phone to Li. Bad sign! This meant Li went back home.
He said 'I'm in Rustavi!'. I asked if lhe was going to go back to Tbs, he said, 'no, I'm in Rustavi! I stay here!'. Beqa couldn't come meet me either because his family had come to visit, I was screwed! I called Nick, his phone was on voicemail.
Anna took me to my home stay, (guest house/hostel). Very kind of her! She showed me how to take the metro, which I'd never done before. Very fascinating, I must say!
We went for dinner, at an underground restaurant near the station. It was very hot in TBS that night. I bought 1.5Litres of Pepsi. We don't have these in SA! Only 1.25 of coca cola products and 2Litres. Anyway, it was gross! But I still drink it. Harriet arrived later, we walked Anna to the train and I met a black man, I think his name's Ben. He plays football for a Georgian team. We exchanged numbers, of course. On our way back to the homestay, we met 2more, I didn't give them my number, they played for the same football team, and seemed rather 'happy'.
Our homestay was packed! And very very hot. I chatted a bit to a Korean Doctor who's here on holiday, there were lots of people from Poland, more than 5, some from Iran, and the rest from all over the world.
I got a nice, comfy, double bed and the top bunk, near the window. It rained! Harriet and I went to the shop. She needed some snacks. we chatted to a Scott frm Denmark. He told me there are black prostitutes in Tbs. Interesting insight!
Around midnight, I got a text frm Nick, he wanted to know where I was. I told him, Tbs of course! He asked how come I didn't call him. because your phone was off, duh! 'Oh, I was drinking wine!'.
"Where are you right now, Brook?" At the homestay, home here! "Now?". Yep! "Ok, I'm on my way". Sure, I'll text you the address!
30mins later, he was outside. This was around 1. Outside the wrong address cos I managed to mix my homestay's address with that of the one I would've stayed in before. I walked outside and I didn't see his car. This is me standing outside a Russian church before 1am, talking on the cellphone. This kind of thing wouldn't roll in SA!
I gave him the right address, and there he was with his friend. I was co-erced into waking Harriet up who wasn't about to go out at that hour.

Nick drove me around Tbilisi for about an hour and bought me ice cream. I insisted on doing Mc Donald's drive through, cos why not! That was fun! It was so back home!
His dad called and ordered him to go home, he took me home, and uhm, and left :) :) :).
He told me he'd see me on Sunday, when he would introduce me to his family, take me on the promised motor bike ride and give Harriet and I a lift back to Akhaltsikhe. Deal!
We left the house early, had Mc Donald's for breakfast, walked Rustaveli Avenue. The main rd of Tbilisi, then I went for a 'shower' by the sulphur baths. I couldn't afford the baths though, R160 was a bit steep. I asked for a massage. They quoted me R40 (L10) for a 20min session.
This middle aged woman, in black full panties and a red playtex bra, took me to a 'shower' room with about 3 naked, elderly Georgian women, who could've easily been in their 70's. Did I mention they were naked?
I was myself at this point. I was orderd to stand under the shower for 10mins. Then this lady scrubbed me with a rough glove, then, under the shower again. Man, I was dirty!
Then, she scrubbed me with the ball thingy that you use in a shower to really clean yourself, back to the shower. Then massage time. This could've been longer and harder but oh well! For Ten lari, you can't complain.
When I was done, I had to pay L23 (R92). Even though I was quoted L10 (R40). She blocked the door when she saw the expression on my face after the told me the new amount. Relax lady, I won't run away with your money! I'm new here, I wouldn't take that risk!
We met up with one of our group mates that we hadn't seen since training. We had lunch. I had a wrap. They had pizza.
We walked and walked, bookshop, walked walked, train, bazaar. Harried went to the homestay to chill and read a book. We bazaar'ed for hrs, I saw some nice stuff, nothing in my size. Not even shoes! Back to the city centre to meet up with Jane. A former english teacher that I'd been talking to since I came here. Sweet lady! She showed me around her hood. The rich part of Tbls. We went to Goodwill, I bought some toiletries and tons of Cake. It was delicious!
We went to a Thai restaurant for dinner! Beqa left around 8, he bazaar'ed with me since 2/3. Li wouldn't come because he had dance lessons. Oh well, too bad.
We sat and talked and ate and and and until 11. By the time we left, the restaurant was closing and the ice cream shop next door, where Jane wanted to take me thereafter had closed. Maybe next time. She took me to a cab and pd for me. How Georgian of her!
I got harassed by a drunk man on my way to the train around 11:30pm. I survived! Got home at 00:00. Midnight here doesn't seem like midnight back home though. I never would've been walking out at that hour in SA, maybe driving, but still!
Nick had called around 2 and said he was working on his car and would call when he's done. That never happened.

I called Nick, no answer, texted him, nothing. I thought the best thing to do would be to leave. Harriet took a train to the city centre, I waited for one to the rank, when Maline called and said to hang out at hers. I obliged! I sat and talked to her while she was cleaning their new apartment. She and her room mates moved that weekend.

I left around 4, took a 5 o 'clock marshrutka back to Akhaltsikhe. I felt so miserable on my way back, just wanted to cry cry cry! I listened to music on my ipod, covered myself in my damp washing rag that I use as a handkerchief cos its so hot and cried.
I arrived at 8. I went to Clintyna's flat. Clint made Burrito's. Yum! I was hungry, broke and miserable. We ate and talked. Clint cooked some more, until he ran out of gas. Gas gas, cooking gas! Not petrol lol.
They walked me home around 10. I was half asleep and bummed.