Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Finding Lilo

I woke up nice and refreshed at D's. B and I had plans to go to the park, I called him, his cell was off, I sent him a text, hoping he'd get back to me at some point. D wanted to do her hair. We went over to her friend A's. We took a bus there, it's on the other end of Tbilisi, man that was far! A was excited to see us. We brought them some of the apples from Akhaltsikhe. She curently lives with her sister-in-law, who speaks her mother-tongue from Cameroon and French. So she and I exchanged a lot of smiles.

They did D's hair, I baby sat, secretly hoping B would call so I would get the heck out of there. They spoke mainly French and something else, and some English, even when they did, I didn't know they were cos I just zoned out. I made a few phone calls trying to get my other friend, N's number. I got it! YES! I called him, he said he would come over to pick me up. SUCCESS! I didn't know how long he would be,so I decided to go to Lilo, the biggest bazaar in the Caucasus. Imagine that! The entire Caucasus, that include Russia, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the works. I was ready to leave when D told me the place closes at 4. I called a friend of mine who confirmed with her Georgian friends that it closes at 9pm. Great! D said no it doesn't, blah blah blah. On my way to the marshrutka (taxi), I bumped into A, she told me I couldn't leave yet, she just bought ingredients to cook me a special meal. Great! Back to the house. She made fufu (paap), chicken and slimy soup. The slimy soup is SLIMY! It's not for the faint hearted, I tell ya. To make a bad situation worse, I had already eaten not too long beforehand, She had made us yum pork chops, French fries and bread, so I was full from that. I had half of my plate, trying not to make faces, and I was DONE! Done!

I finally left, if you know me, I have issues with travelling on a full stomach, I was even more concerned with travelling with a stomach full of something slimy. This should be fun! Well, that was the least of my concerns once I got on the road! It's a 1hr marsh ride to some place I had to get off for my marsh to Lilo bazaar. I got off and some guys told me where to queue for my Lilo ride. As soon as I got there, a marsh came and I squeezed myself in and off we went. That was some scary ride! It was 7:30 ish in the evening, it was dark, we drove in dodgy, dark, narrow roads, near the river, at some point I thought we'd miss the road and drive into the river. I was like OMG how will anyone know to look for me here! Where am I? That was a very long 30 minutes! Finally, we arrived! Kinda! The two girls that speak English had told me we'd get off together, they told me, "we're here!" Uhm! Really? Uhm, so this is Lilo? Yes it is. What number do you want to go to? Uhm, I want to go to the bazaar, I will see inside if I want to buy anything at all, otherwise I need a few things. Well, we don't have a bazaar here, just a few shops and stalls. What would you like to buy? Uhm, clothes?
I told you I'm going to Lilo bazaar or Lilo Mall. Is it on this street? It's supposed to be a huge bazaar.
AAAAAhhhhhh! Come please! She took be back to the marsh and asked him how to get to Lilo. THEY'D TAKEN ME TO LILO STREET! Seriously! I told everyone who cared to listen that I was going to Lilo mall or bazaar. And they took me to Lilo STREET! What would they reckon I wanted there? In the middle of nowhere! I didn't even know what that suburb was. I literally was int he middle of nowhere. It was 8pm and super dark.

The marsh driver said to take a cab for 3 Lari. I said never mind, I'm not taking another means of transport to get to this godforsaken place. Don't worry about it. They said it's not far, their idea of not far could mean anything, seeing as their idea of Lilo bazaar was lilo street. I went to the cab and he immediately hiked the fare up to 5 lari. I said 3 lari or nothing more, he said 5, I was like screw you! I no longer want to go there anyway! I went back to my marsh and tried to tell him I am going back to Tbilisi, I didn't know if I was still in Tbilisi to begin with. I was so frustrated, I forgot all the Georgian I knew. This guy spoke no word of English. I sat in there hoping that marsh was going back to the city. It got full, people stared at me, you know, the usual. I prayed a never ending prayer. We headed to what seemed as the way we came in. about 10 mins late, the driver told me to get off. I was like, uhm, this is not the centre of Tbilisi! Nobody understood what  the heck I was mumbling. I told him I was going to Tbilisi. Wondering if I was in a wrong marsh once again. He pointed me towards  Lilo direction, I said no sorry, it's late now, they close at 9, of course he didn't understand. I just said, tsa videt! (let's go!). I told him I wanted to get off by a Metro station towards Marjanishvili. He said aaaahhhh! (By the way, that can mean anything from Oh, I get it! to WTF are you talking about. Both are said exactly the same tone of voice.).

He dropped me off where he picked me up before, I went underground and found the Metro, thank Goodness! I saw a group of teenage boys, they pointed at me and burst out laughing. They followed me to the carriage. I walked through carriages, 3 carriages away from the crazy bastards, I was having a great day as it was, and didn't want it to get any better. I found a nice and quiet where I sat and chilled with my thoughts. 2 stops of so down the line, they teens found me! They budged in, pointed at me again and burst out laughing, sitting right next to me. They laughed until I got to my stop. I looked around to see if anyone would try to stop them. A girl sitting across from me looked at them with disgust, an older man across them looked at them in awe and laughed along with them.

Finally! Time for me to get off! I walked up to D's, then I remembered I hadn't called to find out if she were back home. Just as I was thinking about her, she called telling me she was on her way back and would be at the house in 5minutes. It started drizzling. I was so over everything. On my way to Lilo, N called and told me he was on his way to pick me up. He was shocked when I told him I was on my way to Lilo, when I got dropped off at "Lilo" I didn't blame him for his reaction. I was supposed to tell him when I got back to the house, I did and he neither returned my text nor took my calls.

Once again, I was glad to be safely back at the house.