Saturday, August 20, 2011

'Alone' Weekend

This has been one of those weeks for me. I wasn't in the mood for anything. I just needed to be left alone. It doesn't help that my host family has tons of guests. There are about a half a dozen guests ranging from grandparents to kids, to grand kids.

Whenever My host dad's sister is around, she asks me the same questions: hold old are you, to which I always reply, I'm 57. What do you eat in Africa? Do you want Wine? You must drink some wine, it's good for the brain! Please drink this, it's Cherry juice (it's not, it's alcohol!). Wine will help you sleep better. Mind you, I didn't complain to her about any sleeping disorder. It can get to a person. She's asked me the same questions on about 4 different occasions. Lately, there's a new tendency of people coming to wake me up for food. It can be 9pm or 11. They will wake me up. I have to eat, even if it's just to taste. But I must. To which, I usually say, 'Ara, madloba'. (No thanks).
It got to a point where I'd just keep to myself in my room because I'm tired of saying the same thing to the same people every single time I see them.
When I go to my room, it's another thing 'are you ok? Do you want tea? Coffee? Is it a headache? Your stomach? Do you like to sleep? Everything's got to be accompanied by an explanation.
At work, one of my groups just doesn't want to learn. When they're in class, they hang out, chat, talk on the phone, put their cellphones on speaker, play music on their cells. You know, the works!
Michelle asked me to go visit in Kobuleti this weekend. Even though, I really like to spend time with her, I just wanted to be alone. I saw Clint on Thursday, he came to my station. We walked back to Martyna's together. he invited me over for dinner. Unfortunately, I'd just eaten.
They made pasta and bacon. It was nice. Non-Georgian food. I stayed for about an hour or so, and left. I talked to some friends to find out about hotel prices, they are from R80 (GEL20) per night. Unfortunately non of those have internet. then there's a nice one for R200 (GEL 50) with internet and warm water etc. I wasn't about to splurge in my own town. Martyna offered to let me stay at her house when her friends, who are here on vac, but were out of town, return. She said they had planned to all spend the weekend at Clint's.
Clint invited me as well,i I declined. I wouldn't have been good complany, considering my mood. Plus, it would've been 2couples and I. What would that have made me a 5th wheel?
Martyna insisted I stay over at hers when they're gone for the weekend. I thought about it for five seconds and texted her on my way out that I'd love to stay there, if she will still let me. She has her own apartment with Wi-Fi. I felt slightly uncomfortable as I'm not good with accepting favours from people. Especially friends. That's just me.
Anyway, I texted her on Thursday night to confirm. She responded this afternoon, (Saturday): sorry i write just now
i'm sorry but i can't host u this weekend in my flat. i talked with my
organizaiton and because we had problem with the owner of this flat
(one week ago he wanted to kick me out from the flat, cuz he wanted
back; his argument was that i was supposed to live here alone and
there are also other people - who are my guests). So just not to make
him angry it;s better that i have guests here when i'm here.
i'm really sorry. i wanted to help but it occured that i can't.
i hope you will get rest this weekend.
hugs and kisses

By this time, I'd already forgot about the whole arrangement. I mean it had been 3days since I texted her.
I'd since decided to stay at my home, and spend the day at the internet cafe, to escape from it all. I slept in, watched a bit of Glee and left the house at 1 for the internet cafe. I took a 35minute walk in the sun, listening to my ipod. I was alone at first at the cafe, it's pretty decent, almost across the road from my police station. It's L1 (R4) per hour. I watched Jerseylicious online.
Jennifer called and said she'd be in my town, then she called and said they couldn't stay, they're on their way to Adigeni, her student's home and to join them if I wish. I declined. I got a call frm my assistant inviting me over to Vardzia (cave city). Apparently she was with an english teacher from Canada blah, unfortunately, I wasn't up for it. And I'd just been to Vardzia last week. After about 3 hours at the internet cafe, I got a call from my Georgian lady friends. They invited me over to a 'party' for 2 at a restaurant. I told them I wasn't up for being in public and being stared at. Apparently they were alone. They paid for my cab, I logged off and made my way there.
Just before I did, I met a couple (or not), a Polish guy and a Ukrainian woman. They're on their way to Adigeni. We talked a bit while they were waiting for their marshrutka to get full. It did, I left for the restaurant.
When I got there a random guy came out and paid for the cab. Apparently that's the restaurant owner. He's a friend of my friends. After they got over the initial forcing Brook to drink alcohol, we all chilled, and had a good time. My 2 friends and their guy friend. Did I mention, it was a set up? Some kind of a blind date thing between the restaurant owner and myself. He's married. They told me not to worry about that. He has money, that's all that matters.

The waiter brought us the stereo and we played some Georgian music. This guy and I were forced to get up and dance. With each other. Holding hands. My hands were, at one stage moved from his waistline to his butt. I refused to fondle his butt, so I just held back. Our heads were pushed towards each other many a times in order for us to kiss. I guess to my friend, our relationship was at that stage, (this guy and my relationship). We pulled back. There were a lot of awkward moments like this throughout our time there. At one point, they turned the lights off and both went to the toilet, leaving this man and I alone in a dark room. they also pushed his and my groin area toward each other, once or twice. The friend that was playing ambassador is +-30, married. With kids. I asked how she'd feel if her man would 'love' another woman. As I was told this guy loves me. He said I make him feel hot. That's what they said. I don't believe them. Her response was, 'Let him! If it makes my husband happy to love someone else, let him!'. I told her to quit forcing this guy and I to each other. She said it was a joke.
That's the Georgian excuse for anything that makes you uncomfortable. It was a joke.
We finally left around 9pm.

Yesterday, after work, one of my student, who's been asking to take me out for khinkali (the dumplings) or something. Not as a date, just cos he loves his teacher. (Is what he says), asked me again. I thought, you know what! Let's get this over and done with already. So I agreed. Also because one of the female officers went with us. I personaly think they would have gone out together anywa, but decided to ask me to join them at the last minute. I was done for the day, we all left right after class.

They bought food for the picnic, we drove about 15minutes outside Akhaltsikhe to Uraveli and set up. Basically, they moved huge rocks to ine spot to serve as chairs. This guy and the female officer are friends.
She had a dress on, when we got to the picnic spot, she took the top part of the dress on, and tucked the sleeves into the bra. Then she's sit on the rock with her legs wide open exposing her black underwear. It was weird for me. But then again, I don't know everything about this place yet. In SA, a woman wouldn't dare sit like that, especially a married woman. Infront of a married man.
We ate and drank and later on, the guy decided to take his shoes off. And his socks. And to rub his sticky, sweaty feet with his hands and then offer me some bread. Needless to say, I was full from then on.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Borjomi Weekend.

Michelle came over for the weekend. She arrived Friday afternoon. I introduced her to my students and we hung around the station a bit waiting for our transport. The police boss had promised to provide us with a car and a driver. He arrived an hour later. We drove to Borjomi, an hour away. On our way there, my assistant made a few phone calls and told me that her police friend from Borjomi will meet us at the park with an English speaking friend to help us with translation. Great!
As we got to Borjomi, we hopped out of the car and boom! My host family! What? Where did they come from? Apparently they saw the police car, (my host dad's a policeman) and thought they'd stop to say hi. They proceeded and left us waiting for the English speaking person and the friend. Eventually, the friend arrived, with 2 young men. None of which spoke English. To their defence, one of them were cute, so apology accepted!
We drove around, slowly, two police officers were now with us in the car, the cuties were driving the other car. The police asked everyone who cared to listen if they spoke English. They didn't! Eventually, at the entrance to the park, a cab driver admitted to speaking a bit of English, they asked him to come with us. He parked his cab, got in the car with us. Just like that!

We walked around, the parks beautiful! A real attraction. We took a cable car to the top and took some scooter type thingies for a ride. The police friend drove Michelle and I, one at a time. It was so fun. First, I asked if I could ride one, they thought I knew how and let me. I, of course made a fool of myself and given more time, would've killed myself and or someone else.

They asked what we wanted to eat, we told them what we liked. The friend got on the phone and sort of placed an order. He's from Borjomi, so I thought it was to his wife that he called. I later realised when we arrived at a restaurant, with a table already set, who he made the call to. We had the corn/maize cakes, khachapuri (cheese bread), meat and stuff. And the sun brought dessert. Heaven knows where from. It was delish, but the stomachs were full.
Drinks. They asked what I wanted to drink, wine? No! Cognac? No! Coca Cola? No! Milk? Maybe! Therefore a few minutes later, someone showed up with a litre of milk.
I had already filled myself up with water, as nobody told me they're bringing milk. I had a small glass and was so done.
While drinking, the friend, thought it a good idea to give Mich a peck on the lips. Err, gross! As if that wasn't awkward enough, she got another one. And another one, with spit and she had to fight his tongue from making its way into her mouth. Georgians! Georgians! That's a crime everywhere else in the world!

After Dinner, we drove back to the park and took pictures and drank some mineral water. Luke warm and gross in my opinion. But then I don't even enjoy it when it's ice cold.

Around 8, we drove back home. Martyna texted and told me to head straight to hers on our arrival back in town. We listened to good old school music. The likes of Living on my own by Freddie Mercury and 4Non blondes - What's going on. Martyna wasn't home. Our driver took us to mine. My host dad and his friends were drinking in the verandah. We sat with them, Clint called. I invited them over. They showed up in not time. Clintyna, and the Polish couple. Martyna's friends. Drinks, more drinksz, sarcasm, from my host dad. Don't know whether he just didn't like Clint or what, but oh well. More drinking and toasting. Our driver had to go to work, around 11pm. Clint and the gang caught a lift with him. My host dad and his 2friends named David, asked if Mich and I wanted to do anything. A friend of mine had promised to take us dancing but couldn't because he got busy at his businesses. So Mich said she wanted to go dancing, of course! We drove to the supermarket, bought more alc, I believe. I got M&M's and we were off DANCING! We drove up a dirt road. All the way up to a small mountain where there was no one else. But us, no lighting, nothing. Just grass and us! We pumped music, Georgian and English and danced for like an hour. I got tired and bored. My host dad made his move on Mich. He's married.
She wasn't interested, he didn't care, and didn't understand what her problem was. He loves her and her love for him should surpass the fact that he's married. Go figure!
I slept in the car while they finished drinking, singing, dancing and making passes at each other. We eventually left. By this time, everyone was sloshed. That includes, EVERYBODY! Michelle wanted to drive, my host dad wanted her to sit on his lap and drive. I wasn't interested, I opened the door and was ready to get off the car. While Michelle jumped over to the front from the back of the car, she knocked the 2Litre bottle of beer over from David's hand and it spilt all over me. Fabulous! Now I reek of beer. More than the people that actually drank it!
We drove home, the friends were dropped off on the way. My host dad asked Mich not to sleep because he loves her. My host gran had fixed the guest bedroom for Mich. The host dad sat on her bad and waited for me to leave so he could 'talk' to Michelle. Mich said not to leave her. So I thought the best would be for her to come to my room until she was ready to go sleep. The host dad went to his room and started texting me, wanting to chat with Mich. More drunk behaviour in my room. Long story short, I had to lock Mich in my room. 2 hrs or so later, I pretended to be asleep. That worked. Mich finally stopped talking and slept.

Next morning, I was so embarrassed and humiliated by the drama in my room the night before. From my first overnight guest at the new host family. I almost knew I'd get kicked out. I apologised to the host gran, she didn't know what I was talking about. Mich also apologised. Everyone was happy.
Molly and Harriet came over. My host dad offered to take us to the cave city. Vardzia. He brought his friend Dave along. It was hot, we were tired. Some were hung over. It was miserable. But we did it. It felt more like punishment than anything else.

From the caves, we went to yet another castle. Then back home. We dropped Molly home. Harriet, Mich and I hung out at mine.
we went to the supermarket, bought different flavours of Pringles, hid them in our bags, sat on my bad, watched a bad movie (confessions of an American bride), talked about boys and stuffed our faces with Pringles. Fun times. God forbid someone walks in on us and finds out we bought food. For shame! Why didn't you say you were hungry? Fortunately, no such thing happened.
Mich and I walked Harriet home. We went to my room, chatted a bit. Listened to random music. She went to her room. The host dad, started with the text. This time to both Mich and I. Wanting to talk to Mich. I put my phone on silent and went to sleep. He had the whole day to talk to her, you didn't he say anything? Beats me!

Next morning, I had muscle pain from walking up the hill to the caves and I was super tired. Mich, Harrie and I got a lift from one of my students. Well, I kinda told him to make a U-turn and take us to the station (rank). He did. We were an hour early. So we windo shopped. I bought 'Nike' flip flops and wore them right away. We had breakfast upstairs at the 'lovers' restaurant. We had Acharuli (the boat like bread with cheese, egg and butter inside). And 'Lemonade'. Back to the marshrutka. We saw mich off and got a lift back frm Harrie's student. Thank Goodness!
I stayed in bed for the rest of the afternoon. I watched a bit of desperate housewives and slept.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Enrique Iglesias Concert

Tuesday, 2 August.
I got up at 4:30. Soooo tired! Unpacked, and showered. My new room is sooooo hot! Literally! I have to sleep with my door open. It's almost half of my previous room. But then again, the previous room was the master bedroom. I'm happy with my new home so far. We have (slow) internet and I've my own room, we don't share a closet. I have only met 50 % of my family. My host dad, who's my student and his mom. The wife's still out of town and his dad.

Giorgi, my GE friend called me and was at the meeting point at 6:15. Really! Already! At 6:20 am, we left for Batumi. Nice drive there. 5 of us in the car, Gio, his wife, his cousin and his friend, another Giorgi.
We started in Kobuleti, met Gio's aunt. She has a tattoo on the chest her son has a temp tattoo of the middle finger on the arm. She's a chain smoker and she's Georgian! How different! Cos 'Georgian women don't smoke!'. *rolling eyes*
From there, we met up with Michelle and got surprised to see Cheyenne, one of our group members. Michelle can keep a secret, sorry, you couldn't be there to see the expression on my face when I saw him Mishel!
It was lovely to see them both. I 'withdrew' some money at the atm to pay Gio and after the transaction was 'complete', I got a notification in Georgian. The transaction was in English. Of course, I didn't even understand that I had a notification, I just stood there waiting for my money. There was a lady standing to why left, so close to me. She saw my pin, everything! It's Georgia! She told my friends that there's no money in the atm. The lady from the bank, came out for a different reason and also confirmed that there's no money in the atm. To make it clear, the atm, is just outside the actual bank, and doesn't have any cash in it. When I told Michelle that, she said it hasn't had money for days! Interesting!

Michelle and Cheyenne left, we went for a swim! I sat on the beach chair in a 32 Degree celsius sun and tried not to get sun burn, go figure! Gio's wife lay next to me catching a sun tan. The guys went swimming. Envy! I had pea nuts. One scoop, R4 (1L). Gio bought us Mealies R4 (1L). After the swim, we went to a restaurant and had khachapuri (cheese bread). And pear lemonade. Go figure!
Then we drove to Batumi. We drove around for hourse! Trying to find a spot to camp that night. We drove as far as the Turkish border, which was nice to see.
We found a few possible spots for the night and went back to the city. I met up with my friends and we went to the concert.
we were told 'doors' would open at 5. The concert was to commence at 7 and they would only let the first 8 000 people in. We were outside just before 5. We stood there for an hour or a little more. Vance, from a different joined us. He's from Batumi, I had got his number from my fb friend, one of his group members. When we got in, I saw this black mean, so of course I said, 'hi, Black person!'. He greeted back and asked me where I was from, south Africa! Ngempela, maphi nesouth Africa? (Where about?). Johannesburg! I'm so used to saying Johannesburg here that that's the first city to come to mind. We talked a bit in Zulu, he smuggled my water in for me as we were not allowed to take in anything. I believe the ladies' make up was being confiscated. Ladies were getting searched by men, etc. None of this happened to me. When inside, Michelle and I tried to make our way in. It was surprisingly packed, strange because we were some of the first people to arrive. We pushed our way to the front, yelling 'bodishi' (sorry and madloba (thank you) most people bought it. They thought it was cute coming frm an African American (me) and a Russian/German (Michelle. Who's an Asian frm Canada get your facts straight, Georgians!). We finally, got to the front, maybe 3rows frm the front row. By this time, we were so sweaty and gross! Our sweat and that of everyone we passed on our way to the front. It was 32 degrees celcius outside and probably way more in there. And the lights!
An hour later and the show had still not started. Ever heard of GMT (Georgian Maybe Time? Maybe the show will start, maybe not. And maybe it will do so on time, maybe not!). The show started at 8, 3 or four different performances frm people I didn't know who were clearly Georgian favourites. The first band, reminded me of the Supremes before Diana Ross was Diana Ross! One of the girls, had a body suit on and a Jacket. How Rihanna! She may have had a good night pad underneath there as well. The second, was a rock band, led by an Amy winehouse lookalike. Third one was a girl, whom everyone seemed to like a lot. Apparently she's beautiful and sexy. Well, from where I was standing, it looked like she didn't have underwear on because qwe could see her bum cheeks. She sang very well. She sounds like, never mind, I forgot her name. The Oprah Show kid frm the Philippines. There were huge gaps in between the performances. Dj played a lot of Michael Jackson and a song entitled You sexy Mutha fucker! That was a good track, I'd never heard it before. Oh and he played a little bit of phatha phatha! Of course, I sang along and screamed and and and!
Michelle left way before the show started. She went to the back and joined the guys. I ended up right at the front. It turned out the 'security' crew was a company from South africa. How random was that? I met most of them. We spoke in Zulu and Xhosa and it was fabulous. I got water whenever I wanted, and they'd pour some on my face to cool me off. I tell you, it was great fun, speaking in my own language infront of Georgians. Let them feel what I go through everyday in their country. They should be glad they had each other, I usually have nobody.
It was rather interesting how the crowd demanded water at the concert. As if it's not enough that the show was free, they wanted freebies on top of that! Oh and they got their water! Whenever they wanted it, someone would bring them some! What? Where else in the world does that happen? If you thought black South Africans have a sense of entitlement, think again! Everyone around me expected me to get them water, and this and that cos those were my black friend. One of the boys called me Black when I wouldn't move and let me stand infront of me. Like I would be offended, I've been called worse my Georgian friend! Way worse than black, I call myself black for that matter.
At this stage, we were all soaking wet, I was sweating, everyone around me was, so their sweat rubbed off on me, my dress was soaking wet and my legs were dripping of sweat. It's the most I've ever sweated in my entire life without being in a sauna or a steam room. People were passing out, and getting lifted off the crowd. It was hectic! More than 20 people were removed near me.
Enrique showed up at 11. The show was supposed to be 7-10. He just got on stage and started walking up and down. When I saw him, I almost passed out! I was soooooo happy! Oh my Gosh! what! I'm the same room as Enrique Iglesias? I never thought that could ever happen. I've loved his music since the first album and I'm a fan of his dad's too. Julio Iglesias.
He started performing, and using random Georgian phrases and had Georgian Wine and toasted in Georgian, it was all too neat! He probably got the wine from the president cos my connections told me he met up with the pres just before his performance.
The first song was I like it! And so was the last. Of course he kissed a girl. Very awkward! Cos Georgian girls don't kiss boys. Quote, unquote! He should've just kissed me! I kiss boys! And I'm clearly not Georgian!
I know most of his songs, especially the choruses cos I have them. So I'd pitch in and go completely insane! He looked at me while I sang along, I sang the first 2lines of the chorus and froze! I was sooo excited! He came down TO ME! Okay, wait, I don't think you got that! ENRIQUE IGLESIAS GOT OFF STAGE AND CAME TO ME! I freaked out! My arms were stretched out cos I don't know! That's what you do at a concert when you want to catch the performer's attention? he stretched his arms out, I touched them, rubbed them and kissed my hands, rubbed his legs and thighs, I did a total body search on the guy! I was so psyched and and and!
I stood right by some random steps to the crowd, he got on the steps, the crowd around me got wild, he almost fell off the stairs and of course I held him! OmG! I had my hands around his waist, it was insane! A complete dream come true and then some. The security wasn't so strict with me cos they were my connection, they'd act like they're taking my hands off, but not really! Oh man! Perfect moment! Just perfect!
After that, I got a high 5 frm my South african peeps. They were like, are you happy now? Yesssssss! Manje, yini indabukhala? (Why are you crying). I didn't even realise I was! I was trembling from head to toe with excitement. Wanting to die. That would've been the perfect way to end a life!
Enrique's guitarist was cute too! The kids were blowing him kisses, he was blowing them kissed, it was nice! I did show him the heart sign every now and then, when Enrique went to the other side of the crowd;). All in good fun! I could never cheat on Enrique! A few more songs, and the show was over!
The guitarist threw us his stick, the thing he uses to play his guitar. Unfortunately it never got to us. My hook ups, tried to find it for me to no avail.
After the show, I tried to find my group. They had my bag and my cell. I couldn't call anybody and I don't know anyone's number, not even mine. Note to self: memorise your own number!
My connections are staying at 2 hotels. There were 30 of them. Some were staying at the Sheraton, where Enrique was staying and the others elsewhere. Not to far frm the Sheraton. They told me I was welcome to join the ladies at the other hotel. I was more than happy to. I just had to find my friends first. Fortunately Gio and his wife were looking for me, and they found me! How often does that happen? We called Michelle. I memorised Gio's number, it's easier than mine, I can always ask him for mine or Michelle's in future, should we end up in a similar situation again, God forbid! My friends saw me on tv!
So did my cute friend from Ninotsminda! The show was an MTVlive production, so yeah!
Hopefully I'll see myself on youtube!
Michelle had my SA friends SA numbers. I called them, and both were on voicemail. Great! I had to go back to Kobuleti.
We drove back to the Tattooed aunt's house. The boys slept next door, the wife, on the couch, I slept outside! On a bed in the balcony. The balcony is hube, bigger than some houses, they had some laundry (washing) on the lines around the bed, not long enoug to hide my lower half when taking the clothes off. Which I was forced to do right there! I mean they could've let me take my clothes off in the house, or even in the bathroom. They wouldn't! Oh well! I did what I had to and clearly, didn't die, cos here we are!
I was up around 6, went to sleep around 2. Some lady, came and chatted with me. She didn't understand a word I said and yet was able to express herself and tell me all about herself in English. I don't know if she memorised It.
She left and came back to ask me if her character was interesting. I told her I didn't know. She said she has a nice character and doesn't like bad people. Really, you don't?
We went to the beach. The boys swam, we had pizza and left.
The ride was longer than on our way there. There was a bit of traffic and rain. I got home, watched a bit of a Dubbed Russian move with Damon Wayans and Bruce Willis. By the way, my host gran knows bruce willis!
We had dinner, I went to bed

The move!

Sunday 31July cont...
So this was some kind of a holiday where people splash each other with loads of water! When I got off my marshrutka in Akhaltsikhe, I walked through the park and these young man came and poured some water over my head. If he only knew how complicated it is to maintain my hair:( I hit ignore button, and on with my life I moved.
I was really nervous about going back home in case they've found out that I'm moving out. That could be really awkward for all concerned. When I got home, my host dad was in my room and my host mom walked in. I thought great, we're about to have a meeting! What am I going to say to these people! I didn't care much for my host mom's feelings, she's the driving force behind my move, it's my 'dad' I was worried about! He was kind to me the entire time.
They asked me where I went for the weekend even though I did tell them beforehand. My room reeked of cigarette smoke and my bed was made differently to how I make it. That gave me an impression they used my room while I was away. Maybe they did every weekend I was away. Which would be soooooo creepy, but that's their middle name.
Fortunately it was really very hot that night, and I managed to sleep on top of the blankets. I wouldn't have made it in between knowing what I did, ew!
I left them in my room, because I didn't get why we were all in there, kind of uncomfortable if you ask me. When I got back they'd left. I watched some stuff on my pc, talked on the phone a bit (a few hours) and slept.
Monday, 1 August
I woke up with a lower back pain, as I usually do when I wake up frm that bed. I packed, without any hassles, got ready for work, and left. The entire family was still asleep when I did. I waslked past the host 'grandmother's office' she asked me if my host mom who is a housewife and is always at home, was home. As soon as I got to the office, the grandma called. She's the one that speaks English, this meant that they saw my packed luggage and had questions. I did the only thing you do in that situation and didn't take the call.
She called about 15more times all of which I didn't answer.
Only 2 students showed up for class, they both got calls to go back to work, I had no class. My assistant and I went upstairs and bumped into my new host dad. Surprise! He's supposed to be in Tbilisi cos they have a newborn. He asked what time I wanted to move, I told him right away would've been perfect as I didn't have a class. I asked the sheriff to call my host fam and explain to them that I'd be moving. He said not to worry, and to get going. It took me 15 minutes to explain to them that I needed to know what they would tell the family as I didn't want to offend them. This is with my assistant/translater present. When put on the spot, she blanks out and forgets every single English words, she's ever know. Which helps!

We drove to the house in the Landcruiser I've been eyeing. Man, that car's awesome! When we arrived, my host mom was on the phone, and the baby was bouncing all over the show. I'm not sure why he wasn't at school. I had something for him, I gave him that, he was sooo chuffed! I've a feeling the mother smashed it and threw it as far away as possible as soon as I left.
She stood right by my door and stared. My assistant and I took the bags out, I asked her for my cd that was in the dvd player when she took it out of my room while I was at work, without my consent. She told me it must be in the village and she would fetch it the next day or so. Surely she doesn't expect me to call her thereafter and arrange for a meeting.
We moved to the new home with the biggest dog! I have a theory, dogs don't like me.
I tripped on the stairs and thankfully landed on my s. I met my host grand ma who's adorable and doesn't speak English. My host dad does. He's one of my better students. We had walnuts, chocolate and coffee and I got a call that my new roster has been changed and I had a class. We rushed back, a few people showed up. One said she's going to get the rest and didn't return. The ones that stayed wanted to chat about random stuff and one of them asked me to buy him lunch. He bought me last week. I guess it was time to return the favour. I gave him a 5 cent coin (South African).
One of my groupd returned fron holiday and I had a full class. A class full of people who missed 4modules of work, so I had to do some revision. My young kids gave me a lift home. I love them, they're so cute. One's 20, the other's 21 and a Georgian dancer. I still want to see him dance. I did my reports, which I couldn't send. Long story, hung out with the host mom, watched some stuff on the pc and slept.

Ninotsminda weekend

Friday, 29July after work, I got a call from Molly, another English Teacher from about 45mins outside my town. She told me she was in town. I met up with her at the marshrutka station. I was on my way to Jennifer's for the weekend. Jennifer was in Molly's group of teachers. Clint was also on his way to the station. He met Molly and offered her a place to stay for the weekend if she didn't have plans and she didn't, so we all left together for Clint's town, Akhalkalaki.
Molly had left her house to buy yarn (wool for crocheting or knitting ), and ended up randomly catching a lift to Akhaltsikhe, my town. There she was on her way to Akhalkalaki with Clint and I! You have to love the spirit!
To her credit, she did buy the yarn.

My students had assed their police friends to take me to Ninotsminda (Jennifer's town) as soon as I arrived in Akhalkalaki. I told the driver I'd be free at 5, after Clint's class. But one of Clint's Students lives in Ninotsminda, so her offered to take me there after class. I subsequently cancelled my prior arranged transport. After class, the student got a call frm his boss and had to work, and thus could no longer give me a ride. I called my student's friend and he was also no longer available. Grrrreat!

While we were standing outside the police station, me sulking, Molly listening to me, Clint started hitch-hiking for me. I stopped him, of course! I hadn't done that since varsity, and that was many moons ago! He assured me it's safe to do that there as there are no marshrutka's to Ninotsminda. There was another guy at the hiking spot, who was going to the same town.
We got a lift in a Mercedes ML driven by 2 Russian youngsters. Akhalkalaki Is full of Russians and Armenians, my little bit of Georgian was useless there. I don't even know the difference between Russian and Armenian at this stage. It's like Sotho and Tswana, only I understand those two languages.

30mins later, we were in Ninotsminda, a very rural village, in my opinion. Our villages in Akhaltsikhe aren't have as village-like as that town. Sorry did I say village? It's a 'town'. Chickens and cows and horses all over the show. The roads aren't tarred either.
Jen let me use her room for the weekend. I had lunch, bread, and fries. And cheese, probably. I can't remember.
We then went for a walk, I wanted to check the place out. We saw some cute boys. We bumped into a PCV, american, of course, who lives in the same town. Apparently he and Jen had heard about one another, only they hadn't met yet. We hung out for what seems like forever as he and Jen went on and on about college basketball, Ohio state this, Michigan that! Me, sitting patiently, wishing I had a car, so I could drive home or somewhere, anywhere. I didn't want to do be rude and be on my blackberry because, apparently that would be very rude and it's not rude to invite a friend over, have them travel almost two hours, including hitching and blatantly ignore them for 2 hours and later ask them when they're leaving when your new 'friend' invites you over for dinner!
Back to the house, bed.
Saturday, 30 July
Next morning, I woke up around 6. I went to bed around midnight the previous night, chatting on BBM to my friend Phumle about life and things. She's in Johannesburg. Two hours later, everyone was still sleeping, I had to do something. So I texted the guy I hitch hiked with. He had asked for my number and I took his instead, not intending to call him cos, let's face it! We met hitch hiking!
He texted back, and proposed to take me for a walk before the picnic. Jen's police friends had invited us for a picnic. He picked me up in a cab frm the house and we were dropped off near the park. I almost immediately got this text from Jen ' my host mom is mad that a guy in a taxi came to pick u up. She said the neighbors gossip a lot without knowing the full story'. I apologised and asked if I should head back. She said not to worry she explained that he was a friend. I don't know what else he would have been, but oh well. The 'friend' and I walked up and down as there isn't much to do there, then we sat at the park and talked. He bought me ice cream and Sprite! And I don't KISS and tell, so that's it for now!
We were there for about 3hours, when I got a text from Jen telling me to hurry up and get back to the house they were about to leave. It was 1:20 and I'd been told we'd be picked up at 2. And Clint and Molly were going to join us, they hadn't arrived yet. 'Friend' called me a cab, I got back at the house, the host sister was doing her make up. We sat there and watched her for about an hour and a half. We left at 3. Some took a cab because for some reason, they came to pick us up in a packed police van (truck). And assumed 5 adults would manage to squeeze in. And we were not allowed to hop on the back of the van. Photo shoot at the picnic, I had to be in. All the photos, because, well, I don't know. But it was exhausting, it was scorching hot and I was hungry AND I just met the lady that needed me to take tons of photos with her 6yr old daughter.
We ate, and drank and had fun. The picnic was at the lake. Beautiful, huge lake! We then were invited to spend this coming weekend in Batumi by the beach, at one of the guy's stip joint/hotel. Later on, we left the lake for this guy's restaurant. We had drinks and chocolate and danced to random music. Molly (the yarn lady, had still not gone back home! She and her yarn stayed the weekend!) decided to sleep over at Jen's so that she and I could head back to akhaltsikhe together where she'd catch her marshrutka back to her 'home'. We were told not to wory about transport, we'd be taken home in a police vehicle.
Sunday 31 July
I confirmed transport arrangements with the host sister as I didn't need any more transportation drama. The 'sister' assured me we'll be fine and had nothing to worry about, let's all just go to the restaurant and have khinkali (Georgian dumplings) as planned. It was 15mins before the last marshrutka left for my town and both Molly and I felt we needed to get back more than khinkali. Not the sister!
I asked her to call the guy responsible to take us home and confirm, she said that wasn't necessary. I literally begged her to do so for our peace of mind. Call it a hunch, she still refused. In my understanding, it's free for police officers to call one another.
We left for the restaurant at 1pm, had the khinkali, BILTONG and some wine. Came time to leave, the sister who was adamant transport was a done deal, told us she can call us a cab from Ninotsminda to akhalkalaki, we might still catch the last marshrutka in Akhalkalaki and then Molly would have to take another cab from Akhaltsikhe. Here's a breakdown: a marshrutka frm Akhalkalaki to akhaltsike is 6Lari (R24) for an hour's ride. Ninotsminda is 30mins away frm Akhaltsikhe and we're supposed to take a cab for 10Lari (R40) and Molly would have to take another cab for 20Lari (R80) for the 45min ride home frm Akhaltsikhe. All this instead of 'getting a ride' in a police car AS PROMISED! So, of course, I reminded her that she tols us to forego our taxi for khinkali with them, promising us a ride home. she explained how impossible my that was as their police cars aren't allowed to leave the region. I cannot stress enough that this is the same lady that had promised us transport and refused to call the boss to confirm for us. We ended up(pissed off) getting a lift to Akhalkalakhi, catching a marshrutka to akhaltsikhe, Molly caught a lift from a police officer to her house. Yarn in tow!