Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last day in Georgia?

15th Dec
The day finally arrived!
I woke up early, even though I went to bead really late. (By the way, I still don't get why slept late doesn't mean I went to bed late but I woke up late).
I hadn't weighed my luggage but hoped that the weight would have been more or less the same as I didn't do any shopping in Georgia. All my gifts were in my carry onS. Yeah, I had a few of those! I took out some stuff I wanted to leave behind and gifts for my friend D. My suitcase was still too full, and there wasn't much I could do about that but hope for the best and pile the thicker and heavier clothes on.

My friend, B and I had an appointment for 1pm. He only had an hour to see me because he had a boxing match that day. And I only found out then that my professional dancer friend was also a boxer. Interesting! I asked him to meet me at my friends, we'd talk for a bit, say our good-byes, then he could head back. He called me when he was 'around'. I ran to the bus stop to meet him and he was nowhere to be seen. We did that awkward thing of talking to each other on the phone, asking the other person to wave their hand so you could see them, I ran toward a statue that was in the middle of the road so he couldn't miss me. He told me he was looking at the statue and couldn't see me. I jumped, and waved and and and AND he still couldn't see me. He asked me to hand the phone over to a Georgian. I did, they talked, Georgian man handed me my phone back, B told me to wait for him right there. Apparently he got off a few stops too soon. Great! All that jumping and waving for nothing! I'd be damned if I must listen to this dude and wait for him, and NOT MOVE! I ran across the street to the bank and exchanged my money to Dollars because who knows if they keep Georgian Lari in South Africa? Or anywhere else in Georgia besides Georgia herself! Just as I walked out of the bank, B called and told me he got lost and ended up God-knows-where, he asked me to rather meet him in the City centre. I would have if I didn't have 100 kg (220 lb) baggage to take with me to the airport from our meeting. I had to cancel our meeting. The other thing was, he had about 20 - 30 minutes left before his match.

What was more annoying was the fact that I couldn't call him, whenever I tried, I got the annoying automated crap that said his number didn't exist, which, it obviously did! I had to text him, he'd call me in return. I could sense the disappointment in his voice, he probably could sense the pain in mine. Ahhhh! Painful Good byes! I sent Michelle a text, asking her to give B a big kiss for me. They were going to meet the next day. I later found out that didn't happen either. They somehow missed each other. Poor B :(  Poor us! He's such a great friend!

Cab----->Airport. Good bye D! Saying good bye to D was weird. It wasn't  sad, it was just weird. Cab driver and I had the usual driver/passenger conversations. In Genglish (Georgian and English).
Driver: Do you like Georgia?
Me:  She's ok.
Driver: Do you like Georgians?
Me: Not really.
Driver: Why not?
Me: Because, first of all Georgian men see us (foreigners) as sluts/prostitutes and they want nothing but sex sex sex sex from us.
Driver: What's wrong with sex? Don't you like sex? I like sex. Everybody does.
Me: . . . . How much longer before we get to the airport?
. . .

At the airport.
I was 2 hours early, if not a little longer. I wanted to have enough time to sort my stuff out i.e. The baggage. I was very nervous about that. Leaving South Africa for Georgia, I was allowed 30kg checked baggage and 8 kg carry on. Fortunately, they didn't weigh my carry on, which weighed about 20 kg. . . Don't judge! Luckily, I was flying the same airlines back to SA!

I sat around, chatting with my sister on email, not believing that the day had finally arrived. It was cold outside and I was sweating bullets! You should have seen all the clothes I had on! Time for check in! They weighed my suitcase, 30 KG! Yesssss! Errrr NOPE!
'I'm sorry, man, you're only allowed up to 20kg for checked luggage'. WHAAAATTT? TWENTY KILOGRAMS? BUT IT WAS THIRTY WHEN I CAME HERE! WHAT AM I TO DO WITH THE EXTRA TEN?
'You may pay for it at that counter mam, at €20 (R200) per kilogram.
WHAAAAATTT? TWENTY EUROS? THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY!
'Neeext!'

R2 000 ($300) for luggage! Good Lord! I could've bought souvenirs with that money! Sharks! Uhm, okay.... I went to the counter to confirm the amount.
'Miss Brook flying to Switzerland, via Germany?' No, that was meant for tomorrow, I didn't get the visa, I'm now going back to South Africa. (I was hopeful that they'd made a mistake thinking I was still flying Lufthansa whose baggage limit is less than that of Turkish.
'Ok mam, your limit is 20kg, anything over and above that will be charged at €10 per Kilo'. But - 'I'm sorry mam, those are the rules. If you have a problem with that, please talk to the manager. There she is.'
I emailed my sister an update of what was going on. She said: CRY! JUST CRY! THEY'LL FEEL SORRY FOR YOU.

Acting hat on, I started getting teary eyed, I walked toward the manager, she was talking to someone. I stood there waiting, getting 'really upset'. I had to interrupt them, they weren't getting done, I think the guy was trying to hit on the manager and she wasn't getting it.
Me: Hi! Excuse me. Are you the manager?
Manager: Yes, can I help you?
Me: (teary eyed) uhm, oh Gosh! Whew! My luggage-
Manager: Yes, they told me! I'm sorry. Those are the rules, I can't help you.
5 kilograms, that's it!
Me: (excited, tears GONE) so my limit's 25 kg? THANK YOU! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I ran back to my luggage which by then was all over the place, I took out my clothes, put more clothes on, threw some clothes away, oh my gosh! I had to figure out what to do with 5kg of my stuff. There was a security guard sitting next to me, watching me like a hawk. I don't blame him, I was acting rather suspicious running all over the show like a headless chicken.

I'd to go back to have my suitcase weighed. 24.6kg. I was like, oh cool! And ran back to my bags to get more stuff before she could tell me I couldn't. We stopped at 25.2kg. The lady told me to bring my carry on. I was like Lord have mercy! What if they decide to weigh these bags as well? I'll die! She looked at them, shook her head and just gave me the stickers to stick them on myself. Thang goodness!

I went upstairs, pretending as if my bags weren't that heavy, I passed a policewoman that looked at my bags and went, 'that's a lot of bags!'. I was like 'uhm erm, er, hi uhm'. I didn't know whether to agree with her or deny that those were a lot of bags or what. Security check! Dude told me I had a pair of scissors in my bag that he wanted me to take out. WHAT? REALLY? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Of course, I didn't say that to him. I couldn't find the darn scissors. I had to empty my bag once again, thinking to myself, "I tell you I'm not meant to leave this country! I'll miss my flight tonight". I had to strip, it was impossible to manoeuvre with half my wardrobe on.