Tuesday, January 17, 2012

... The doctor's finger, a man's private parts and and and

Dec 16th
On the plane, I sat next to a Georgian seaman. We were lucky to be the only 2 passengers in a 3seater, Lord knows we needed the extra space!
The dude wouldn't stop talking! He spoke English well. He told me about himself, his job, how much he earned, which was way more than I thought Georgian Seamen made, about $8 000 per month. His marriage, his wife, what she does and how much he made per month.

The flight attendant made the usual announcements, emergency exits and whatnot. The guy spoke right through those, they must've reminded passengers to switch their cell phones off, but I missed that. Before I knew it, the plane was getting airborne! My cellphone was off and I hadn't buckled up! I quickly switched my cell off, dude, made a phone call. I was like, say what nah? I felt like I was being punked, which is how I felt every single day in Georgia. The passengers behind us notified the attendants that my neighbour was talking on the phone. He was reprimanded. I told him to buckle up, he told me the belt was too small for him. It fit me! That says a lot! 'Nah, it's too small, plus it makes me uncomfortable'. Ok, Mr. Seaman!

He went on to tell me about how badly he and his wife want children. There's a procedure that the Turkish doctors perform on men that can't have kids. I'll spare you the gory details. But it had to do with a man's private parts, the doctor's finger and and and. This guy looked me straight in the eye and his face seemed much closed to mine as he talked to me about this. I don't know if he was, or it was me being uncomfortable. He may have breathed deeply too.

I remember thinking, I needed to sleep well before my flight out of Georgia so that I could watch the plane leave (I imagined having a window seat). It's the image I wanted more than anything else. This man ruined it for me! Trust a Georgian! And I didn't get a window seat!

Somehow, the subject changed and he asked me the usual Georgian questions:
'do you like Georgia?'.
It's a beautiful country.
'Do you like Georgians?'
Yup! Nope!
'Why? I mean, Georgia is a country like any other country. Georgians are normal people, we have our ups and downs, but nobody is perfect. Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!
Have you travelled to any other country? Could it be you just miss home and are not used to being among different people? That's the word! Different! Georgians are different to South Africans! Blah blah blah blah'.
Yeah, you're right. Georgians are different. I've met people from all over the world. But I find a lot similar in them and I find nothing in common between myself (and them) and Georgians. So yeah
'But, but-'
You know what? Let's leave it as it is. That's one of the things I find 'different' about Georgians, the defensive-ness. I've never met more defensive people in my life! Don't worry about my opinion, I'm just one person, if I'm the only not-so-well-travelled foreigner  to set foot in Georgia, I'm sure lots of other well travelled foreigners loved it.
'No, no no no! It's people like you that black paint Georgians out there. These are your own opinions and you should keep them to yourself and let other people come to our country and experience it for themselves!'
I'm sorry, but if people want my opinion of it, I'll tell them exactly, what I went through in Georgia, it's not my duty to sugar-coat it. They can make up their mind as to whether or not they want to still visit or not.

Like all Georgians, once he heard my opinion of his country and its people, he had nothing more to say to me. Thank heavens! I spent the rest of the flight (which wasn't much at all) excited that I made it on the plane without having to pay for my luggage and that I was actually on the way out! That I made it! Through all the drama!

In no time, we were in Turkey, Istanbul airport. According to the travelling agent, I had a 2 hour lay over. Very excited about that. When I went to Georgia, my lay over in Istanbul was 7 hours. I had lots of bags, heavy bags and tons of clothes on me. As soon as we landed, I went looking for a trolley. It took me an hour to find one! Yup! 60 minutes! I kept looking at the time and something didn't gel. If my layover was 2 hours, then I'd to be out of there at 8pm.  My ticket said 12, which meant the layover was actually 5 hours. Thanks Georgian travelling agent for clearing that up for me! See, here's the thing, when you talk about Georgian anything, you have to put the prefix 'Georgian'. That informs people that whoever/whatever you're talking about is SPECIAL.

I spent the remaining 2 hours sleeping on the benches. That's after, I munched on free Turkish Delight. What's Turkey without Turkish Delight? I'd never seen so many Chinese in one place in my life! They were EVERYWHERE! An hour before my flight, I went to check in. I knew I was in the right place, when I heard people speaking Afrikaans, until I realised it was either German/Dutch because IT WASN'T AFRIKAANS. I saw more black people and that put a smile on my face. Whew!

I don't know what happened but as the gates opened, they announced something (the airport people, not the gates lol), and we all were rushed through the gates without being checked. I squeezed through the passage to my seat, fortunately, I kind attendant helped me with my bags. She even helped me pack them up in the overhead shelf thing.

I sat next to a lady this time. She smiled to acknowledge me and I felt guilty stripping off 3 of my 5 jackets and jerseys. I didn't want to be that annoying person, with crap all over the place. I'm so glad I had a window seat because I just stuffed all my thing between my seat and the wall. She was reading a book. She was travelling with three kinds and her husband. HER HUSBAND WAS HOT! HE IS HOT! THEY'RE ITALIAN. They swapped seats for a little while. He wanted to watch a movie and his monitor wasn't working. Maaaannn! I was so mad that I didn't look cute that day. He's nice too! He told me it was going to be their first time in South Africa, they were going to stay for 2weeks, and all that good stuff. I had to bite my tongue and not invite them over to my sis' for a meal or 2. She's a great cook and it couldn't hurt to feast my eyes one more time on an Italian hunk. When I thought about how many they were, I was like, never mind! There's no way, we'll use 2 cars just to drive these people home! And none of those cars is mine. I'd feel guilty.

It was a very nice flight. I listened to music, all time favourites: Ray Charles, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Michael Bolton etc. As a result, I still want to buy myself Michael Bolton's The Duets album. It's great! I love his version of Make you feel my love. I watched a movie or two, I can't remember. I know that one was with Rob Patinson and Reese Witherspoon, something about water and the elephants. It's a nice movie that shows off Rob's acting talent.

When we landed in Johannesburg, I felt like it had only been the day before that I left the country for the first time to an unknown land. I felt all sorts of emotions take over me. I just wanted to call my family and tell them I'm here! But I couldn't because my sis and I decided to surprise everybody. More on that later. We were in Joburg for more than an hour. I spent the whole time listening to a dude making moved on a Norwegian girl sitting behind me. I was so over it!
I freaked out a bit when the flight attendants wanted us to claim our bags. I was like oh my gosh I knew it! My friend D's 'dealer' friend snuck something in my luggage!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you made it back all right, and got to be with your family again! I find many of your experiences really very perplexing and foreign; it's like the weirder-than-normal people seek you out or something. :( For instance, I've never (really, not a single time) had anyone even so much hint that they thought I might have sex with them. I've never had a conversation like the one with the seaman, either!

Georgians do tend to be over-the-top disorganized when it comes to getting anything done, or timing things (I went out into the city during my layover in Istanbul, and a lady I'm pretty sure was Georgian directed me by a round-about way to entirely the wrong part of town, from whence it took me some two hours to find my way back; I thought "what a very Georgian situation I've gotten myself into!"), but it's been as often charming as problematic. In fact, it's been surprisingly unproblematic, though I've picked up some terrible habits (which I noticed as I was trying to make plans this winter, and then in Istanbul).

In any event, I'm glad you made it alright (more or less), and hope that this year goes better for you! (with nicer, less weird people)