Monday, November 28, 2011

Host momma drama

I've been with my current host family since September 11. I don't want to talk smack about them, but things could've been improved upon Greatly in that household. They didn't get any better, the longer I stayed there.

More than 2months later, things went completely south! There was no hot water (for me), no food (for me). I'd see the host mom frying chicken and baking vetkoek / fat cakes, the next minute, there's overcooked rice with tons and tons of water on the stove for me to eat with bread. Go figure!
Sometimes. I'd smell food, hear plates in the kitchen. Then when I go make something to eat, there would be nothing in the kitchen. The dishes will be done and the kitchen will be super clean. She'd be right there in the kitchen (the host mom), and would say nothing when she sees me reaching for the fridge looking for food. Then I'd go to the shop to get bread. Only then would she wait for me outside the apartment to tell me break will be ready in 2minutes. BREAD! REALLY! You can see that I just bought bread, what am I to do? Flush this load down the drain and wait, 2minutes for yours?
I'd put my left over bread in the bread 'bin'. She'd take it out, I'd later find it on the table, lounging there by its lonesome.

I remember this one time, I went to make myself something to eat and found only stale bread in the kitchen. I looked at it and choked up. I opened the fridge up and there was nothing to have with the bread. I asked her if she had eggs. She went like, 'what?' EGGS! 'Oh, no babala! No eggs, edge? Eg? Eggs? Edges?' Basically, my search for food had become an English lesson where I had to teach her how to pronounce egg. She didn't care that I was starving and needed something to have with the bread besides the moulding butter! I was fuming.

I buttered up my bread, with the not-so-moulded parts and took it to my room. Mind you, I don't take any beverages, no coffee, tea, coke or any such stuff. Which means, I pay this woman monthly for food and accommodation, for her to feed me stale bread with rotten butter, and let me shower with cold water and sleep on a couch in her dining room in a house that smells like a night club because she's a chain smoker. She would insist I seat in the kitchen table and eat while she blows smoke right into my face! Of course, I don't her, I wasn't about to do that! I'd go eat in my room, if I didn't find hair in my food. Otherwise, show it to her and throw the food away. I'm sorry, I didn't come all the way here from South Africa and pay her every month to eat her hair.

I asked to be moved. A week later, they found me a new family. This is after things had become rather strange at 'home'. Host mom was screaming and yelling a lot. She was crying half the time and beating the kid up. The kid was crying a lot. It was insane. And they'd never acted like that before. Sometimes I'd hear my name, then the yelling would begin. I didn't know if any of this had something to do with me and wasn't about to ask them. I just wanted OUT! ASAP.

I got the call about my (4th) move Friday night. I was so excited! By then, I'd been having cold showers and buying my own food every single day. Nobody had been talking to me at 'home'. Before they used to keep an eye on me, if I as much as went to fetch some water in the kitchen, someone would jump and wander about in the kitchen until I finished what I was doing. My host dad's thing was to put his shoes on. Whenever I was in the kitchen, he'd come put his shoes on, with his eye on me the entire time. Once, I was so fed up, once he came in to 'put his shoes on', I walked out. I left the food on the table cos I was making something to eat. He left the house, I gave him a few minutes to come back. Because I knew how their minds functioned. He'd think that I wasn't onto him and come back to find me in the kitchen again, so I didn't go back. He came back! I was still in my (dining) room. I don't know what he pretended to be doing this time but he was quick. He left again. And came back again. I kid you not! Then he eventually left, or not. I never know when he's at home or not.
Lately, they'd all hang out in their room. I never got to see anybody. It was strange. From watching me like a hawk, to that!
Friday night, host mom greeted me. Lately, she wasn't talking to me. I even thought that she may have found out that I was moving. She was a lead from one of the teachers at my school. And when I requested to be moved, they asked the teachers to find me a family, so the information must've leaked. Anyway, on the rare occasion, I'd bump into host mom in the passage, and say hi, she'd ignore me. To prove that she heard me, anyone else that would be with her would greet me back, but she wouldn't.

Friday night was different. She said hi. She came to my room and asked if I wanted to go to the village with them. Of course that freaked me out. What do they want to do to me? In the 2mnths I've lived with them, they'd never taken me anywhere! Fortunately I had reports to do and couldn't go. Not that I would've if I'd nothing to do. What? And miss out on the opportunity to be home alone?

Saturday morning, I was up by 4am. I packed, and was ready by around 10. I had to be slow because I didn't want to rock up at people's houses too early. I chatted with my sis quite a bit via email. I downloaded some music videos on Youtube just in case we won't have internet where I was moving to. I called my rep around 11 and told her I was ready to leave. When she told me she was about to call my host mom who was at home cleaning, I took my key and went to find a cab. Somehow I felt uncomfortable. On my way the Rep called and told me host mom wanted me to pay the full amount before I left. I told her payment is due on the last day of the month and that's when she was going to get her as welI. And she wasn't getting the full amount. I have to deduct some money for the time I won't be there because I moved before month end and for meals. She told me she explained to her that I hadn't got paid yet and would pay her when I got my money. I told the rep, even so, she's not getting the full amount! I have the money right now, I could pay her any amount she wants, but it's not about that! Se has to wait, I'm not going to steal her money and she's still not getting the full amount. She can go fly a kite! I stopped feeling weird, but was pissed off. This was a better feeling than the weird uncomfortable feeling I had earlier. I was ready to head back to the house and have her ask me for the money to my face. I was glad that my Rep got to see this side of my host mom's because she used to call my rep and thank her for me and tell her she loves me. I'd tell my rep she's lying. Actions speak louder! She was the grateful for the money I was bringing in. It was all about money. Rep would say, oh no, kanisa, don't talk like that! First of all, my name's not Kanisa lol.
I haggled the cab driver down by 10 Lari (R40). We headed for the flat to get my stuff. I'd locked on my way out, but when I got back, I couldn't turn my key. She had pushed her key in, heaven knows what for. I'd been hardly gone for 5minutes! She opened up for me and said, 'aahhh babala!'. I said WHAT? Ready for war. She went back to the kitchen. I did finishing touches, and took my stuff to the cab. I came back for the last load. I made sure my hands were full so as not to have to give her a hug when I left. I told her where I left the key, she stood in my way and asked, 'ratom midi khar, babala?'. (Why are you leaving? I got a hug, she wouldn't let go, she kept asking why I was leaving. She cried. Ooooohhh. Lawd! I kept saying, 'I have to go'. What do you say when the course of all your miseries and your reason for leaving cries and asks you why you're leaving?

I walked out, relieved to be out of that hell hole. She stood by the door and blew me kisses. I took the lift and left.
it was a 20minute cab drive to my new place. In a few hours of arrival, I got this text from my now ex host mom: Hi least what crimet we. What grieve. Why go there? So to speak implicitly. Sometimes go in a visit.

I didn't reply partly because I didn't want to and partly because I didn't understand the message.

2hrs later, she sent me this: I am sad. Nothing undersand.

I didn't reply.
Notice how she didn't mention the money to me at all?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Office Drama!

My school has 5 English teachers. According to our contract, we should work with 3 co-teachers. I had three for the first week. A week later, they added one more. There's one English teacher I don't work with.

I have asked my co-teachers why I only work with the ones I do, they told me that was an instruction from the department. Fair enough. L, the new addition to my co-teachers, asked me why I don't work with N. I don't her what the other teachers told me. That the dept picked my co-teachers themselves. She told me that's not true. When she saw that she was left out, she talked to the other teachers and they squeezed her into my schedule. Simple as that. She asked if I'd have a problem working with N. I told her, I'll work with anybody, they should figure it out. I showed her my schedule. That I have 8 classes per week with Y, 5 with S, 3 with I and 3 with her. I don't know if they don't want to reduce my classes with Y, maybe take 3 classes out and give them to N. Also, for one of the classes, I'm there every single English lesson per week, they could take one of those out, and give it to N etc. L said, that's 5A right? I agreed. She told me how she doesn't like that class. It's the most unruly class out of the entire school. Blah blah blah. I just smiled.

After the class with L, I had 5 my minutes break, and had to go to my last class of the day with Y. Now, Y is the pregnant co-teacher that made the example, "I am Big and Miss Brook is --- BIGGER!". She's the one that sent her neighbour/relative to my English club who doesn't go to my school without my consent whom I had to let go because the club's strictly for my school. Since then, she hasn't talked to me. She's ignored me in class and taught the English classes entirely in Russian. I dare you to figure THAT out! During my sick leave, which came during the silent treatment, she texted me over and over again, about 3 times a day, wanting to know how I was doing and whether I'd be back the next day. EVERY DAY! I ignored all the messages because I felt that she wasn't concerned about my health, she felt guilty of how she treated me and thought that she could be in trouble.
This was my first or 2nd day back from Sick leave. When I walked into one of her classes that morning she told me how happy she was to have me back. I didn't buy it.

5minutes after my break, I walked in to class expecting to be ignored. Y said, 'I have one question for you!'
Me: Yes?
She: I believe you've been complaining that you have too many classes with...
Me: who told you that?
She: (yelling) It doesn't matter who it was! The bottom line is you were complaining about my classes and that you don't like class 5A. You said they are stupid and loud and and and...
(A week before, Y, who has 5A, L has 5B, asked me to compare her 5A class with L's 5B. I told her that 5A is unruly, one of the pupils said F*#k you in class when I was teaching alone, one of the days. Y knows about that. I said there's no comparison, because the other class is well behaved. She wanted to know which class is smarter, adding that she thought hers was smarter. Again, feeling uncomfortable that they always want me to compare classes, especially she and L. I told her that whether or not her class is smarter, which it isn't, because I've marked their tests, the other one still wins because they pay attention and are well behaved and want to learn. That's more important to me. The other class is easier to work with. She translated all this to the pupils. Telling them that I said they're rude and stupid, things I didn't say.)
I felt like I was being confronted for the above conversation than what L had told her during the 5minute break. Which was impressively quick by the way!
Me: so you guys talked about me behind my back, and all of a sudden you don't want to mention names?
She: (yelling) if you don't want to work with me, I'm fine with it. I am pregnant! In 2weeks, I'll go on maternity leave. I don't care what happens here thereafter.
Me: So you've already made you mind up that you believe what the other person told you about me and you don't care what the truth is? I thought you were better than that, obviously I was wrong. I don't want to talk about this anymore. This is a waste of both our time, I don't know about you, but my time is very valuable.
She: I want to know the truth! That's why I'm bringing this up to you.
Me: no you don't. Your mind's made up. You're yelling at me. You and I have spent so much time together. I'm disappointed that you think I'd tall about you or anybody behind their backs. If I'd an issue, I'd discuss it with you before I did with other people.
She: Me too. (Lies. She obviously had plenty of issues with me. She wasn't talking to me for days.)
Me: What do you think L stood to gain from this?
She: I don't know and I don't care. This is her problem, not mine. If you still want to reduce your classes with me, we can do that.
Me: you recently added more of your classes on my schedule, clearly you want more time with me, it's not true that you don't care. And I'm going to talk to L about this. I'm shocked that she twisted my words in such a short space of time!
She: Please don't do that! I don't want drama! Let's just leave it.
Me: you should've thought about that before you confronted me. You should've had L in the room as well, when you confronted me. But you because you believed her, all that didn't matter.

I couldn't wait to see L again. We had a class together the next day. I looked at her and felt sorry for her like I do all Georgians. It would've been a waste of my time to confront her. It's good to know who I'm dealing with though. She had a huge smile on her face when she saw me. She complimented me on my pink gum boots. I fake smiled back and we moved on.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Would you be my Armenian boy?

So there's this dude, I have been talking to for a while. For as long as I've been here actually. I only met him once. He called me recently and said he missed me, to go see him in his town, hours and hours away from here.
He bought me sms bundles and we exchanged a few sms-es. He told me to visit him and he would pay for my travelling expenses. Deal! It's not like I had anything better to do with myself that weekend. My weekends are long because I don't work Fridays and I only have 2 classes on Thursday, so yeah. I was like, you gon pay? I'm game! I finally got out of bed, and left the house after 1pm. Not a good idea for someone going so far away. But it was cold and wet!

I took the 2 o'clock marshrutka to Khashuri. We arrived there at 6. It was 0 degrees Celsius, dark, snowing, and THERE WERE NO MARSHRUTKAS! Not even one! Nobody spoke English! I felt like I was in a nightmare. I called dude and told what was up. He said, "oh, so you are in Khashuri? Take a marsh to Akhalkalaki" Which is where he was. I was like, but there are no marshrutkas! Ok, take a marshrutka here, and call me when you're close by, Click! He hung up. Awesome! I hitch hiked. I just wanted to get the heck out of that place I was literally freezing. I couldn't feel my toes and as usual, I was wearing the wrong shoes. I got a lift from 2brothers that were going to Akhaltsikhe, 1.5hrs from Akhalkalaki (yeah these are two different towns) where I used to live before. They knew all my friends from Akhaltsikhe. They turned the heater on full blast for me, and fed me mandarins (naartjies) and kiwis (obviously not New Zealanders! I'm not a cannibal, you know). The brothers were tired. And half asleep, we almost crashed or drove off the road the the 90minutes I was in the car with them.

While on the way, I called my police friends, no one answered the phone, they didn't return my texts either. Fabulous! I finally got hold of another cop that didn't speak English, I shoved my phone to one of the brothers that kinda spoke English, He told my friend I needed a place to stay for the night. My friend was excited, I was excited. Perfect! Dude called to find out how far I was, I told him I had to hitch hike and was on my way to Akhaltsikhe, if he wanted to see me, he had to pick me up from Akhaltsikhe or I was going to sleep at my friend's house and take a marsh back to Batumi the next day. He was like, "Brook please! I have no car! My friend that has a car is in Armenia. Please take a marsh here" I told him but it was too late and there were no marsh's anymore. He told me to take a cab and he would pay. I told my police friends. They felt badly that they couldn't just take me there with their petrol but they were broke. Which I totally understood. They took me to a cab the guy said he wanted GEL50 (R200). I told my dude, he said, that's a rip off, it should be 30 (R120) . The cab driver couldn't be haggled. My friend said, he would drive me there if I bought him petrol for the 30 Lari this dude was willing to pay. I called and explained that to him, he said that wasn't a problem, he would reimburse me. Cool!

The drive took forever because there was snow all over the roads. My driver didn't seem to care because, well I still think there's something going on between the married female police office that came with us. They are both married. To other people. We finally arrived in Akhalkalaki, around 9/10. We called dude, he came out running, aw, how romantic! He carried my bag, we ran to his house in the snow. It was beautiful there. And very very cold! There was about 10cm of snow. We went to his apartment, where he had a very small heater. He is Armenian, I couldn't resist singing him, "Would you be my Armenian boy" Cheesy, I know but who doesn't like cheeseburger every now and again, right?

Cut to when the blankets caught on fire from the heater.......
Cut to just before bedtime around 1am, when Dude told me he loved me so much he wanted to take me to Tbilisi the next day. Aw so sweet! He further explained that he would set his alarm for 4am. A.M.! FOUR IN THE MORNING! I was like, uhm what exactly are we going to do in Tbilisi?
"My friend has a big problem and he needs my help"
And what will I do while you're helping your friend?
"You will take a marsh to Batumi"
I BEG YOUR PARDON? So I should wake up in the morning to head back to Batumi? NO! NO! NO! Not gonna happen! I need to sleep this place is cold! I am not go sleep for three hours because your friend has a problem. You can go to Tbilisi, and I will sleep here, you will find me here when you're done.
"Ok you can stay with us then but we will only come back the next day"
Where are we going to sleep?
"In the car"
What? Heck No!
You have a bed, I have a bed There's no reason for me to sleep in a car in Tbilisi. You said I should come visit for the weekend, I am here, you said we'd go for a walk in the town, go to a restaurant and come back and drink beer or wine. I am still waiting to do all of that? I am not going to Tbilisi, tell your friend you can't make it this time around.
"Brook, Please! You have friends, yeah? ... You love them? Then you know how I feel"

I just slept. Around 5am, the alarm went off. Time to wake up. I was like, you're serious about this, aren't you? Well, I still need to sleep. Tell me where to leave your key when I'm done sleeping. Just leave me my transport money. Let's go to Tbilisi, please! I fake cried, he felt badly and told me to stay. Then I was like what if this mutha doesn't come back until it's time for me to head back to Batumi! Let me rather stick it up, and go to Tbilisi. I was up already anyway.

The 2hr ride to Tbilisi, took 5hours! The driver was driving at 15km/h It was a long drive! We were driving on snow. Every now and again the guys had to get off  and push or just get off, to minimise weight in the car. By the way, there were e other friends in the car, besides the driver, the main friend that had a problem. When I saw them, I thought to myself, clearly your friend doesn't need you that much because he has two other friends. There were no introductions, the friend at the back wouldn't stop saying zangi (nigga). I had to sms dude and tell him to tell his friend to stop calling me zangi. He said he wasn't talking about me, I said it doesn't matter, tell him to stop using the word in my presence. He didn't, the word was used all the way till Tbilisi.

Cut to an hour before we arrived in Tbilisi, dude got on the phone, he whispered sweet nothings for about half an hour when I was like, is this dude for real? Can he really disrespect a woman like this! I was tempted to be super dramatic, grab the phone and throw it out the window. I  hanged my mind. He wasn't worthy of a reaction. The call lasted an hour. We arrived at the marsh station, he got off to find a Batumi marsh for me, came back carried my bag for me, ever the gentlemen and walked me to my marsh. He paid the driver 20Lari (R80) and showed me in. I asked him where the rest of my money was that he had promised to refund me. I had spent 50LAri (R200) to get to him the night before. I could write it off but not for a behind like him that clearly has no respect for women. I was still kind of pissed off from him talking to a woman in my presence that long, I'd been disrespected my men before, but nobody had disrespected me like that. Especially a random dude that wasn't even my man. He told me he didn't have money, I was like I BEG YOUR PARDON! I want my money and I am not leaving here until you give me all the money you promised to pay me back. After a few minutes of drama, the people in the marsh looking at us, him, trying to stay out of sight from his friends that were still in the car and the marsh drivers asking what's going on and him calling me a zangi (nigga). I didn't care, I was too pissed off to care. Nothing these people say can hurt my feelings, I feel sorry for them instead. Drama, drama and more drama, he told me he didn't understand what I wanted him to refund me for because my friend took me to his place and therefore there was no money spent. I was like, I had to pay for their petrol, call them and ask them. Plus if you're so broke, how would you have paid for the cab? You told me to take a cab and you would pay... didn't work, he told me, "This is not my problem, Brook". I was like, SAY WHAT?! I wouldn't take my bag back from him, so he threw it on the ground and walked away. I told him to walk away, but if he did, he should do so knowing that he would pay a very costly price because my friends are police officers in his town, they know where he stays, I know where he stays, they've met him, they know what he looks like. He said, "Oh you wanna call your friends?" And gave me his phone, I took it and was about to call my friend when he said, ok, how much do you want from me? As if I am taking advantage of him or something. I told him the amount, 70 Lari, he asked his friend with a big problem. He gave him the money. I got my money, got in the marsh, which was apparently waiting for me the entire time. Not before I told him to pick my bag up. IT was still lying where he dropped it. Of course if we were in South Africa, I would have picked it up immediately, or else, it would be old news, by the time I went back for it.

I had motion sickness all the way to Batumi, it was the worst I've had it in a very long time. Probably because before the 6hours to Batumi, I'd already been on the road for 5Hours and was pissed off.
His last words were, "you are a bad girl!" I told him not to dare call me a bad girl when he is the bad person for doing me like that. I sent him an 8page sms telling him exactly what I thought of him. He said but you have money, Brook, I know that, and you know I don't have money, why would you make me pay you back. Er, because you promised s hole!

When I arrived in Batumi, I paid the driver, he told me dude had already paid. Which means he paid me 20 Lari too much. I called to confirm if he had paid for my marsh so I could refund him, I wasn't hungry for his money, it was the principle behind making empty promises to people and disrespecting women. I told him to text me his banking details and soon changed my mind about giving his money back because s holes don't deserve anything.

He's been calling me and texting me, Brook where is my money, I have no money Brook. I will text him just now and tell him his bank was too far, I had to take a cab, pay 20 lari one way, and 20 back thus I didn't deposit his money and he now owes me 20Lari. Just for the fun of i!

Breathe, Brook, Breathe!

Tuesday, 8 November

Work as usual, lots of breaks inbetween classes on tuesdays. I finally bought my pink Gumboots/Rubber boots/ Rain Boots (Michelle!) / Wellingtons. I finished work around 3 and came home to thaw myself infront of the heater, then back to work for my English Club. While at the club, I got a call from D. She told me her friend M was in town, she had an event she was going to attended and wanted to take me with her there. I told her to get M to call me. After the club, I got a lift home. M called, she wanted to meet up or something, I walked to my friend Tim's shoe shop to meet her there. It's easier to find than my place. Tim, ever so nice, had the heater on, he offered me a seat and we chatted away. M came over, with a Georgian friend of hers. She made a face and said, let's go, like Tim's place was beneath her. When outside, I asked what's going on? What's this event she's going to. Apparently, she was going to dinner with a much older Georgian male friend and wanted me to be a third wheel. Story of my life. I didn't understand why she couldn't go with her already there Georgian friend. She as like, come on, let's go! Where's your place? I asked where the "friend" was and when we were supposed to hook up with him. She said we could talk about that, it didn't have to be that night. Alrighty then! I guess we'll be going to my place then!

It was my host grandson's birthday. I gave host mom his birthday, introduced my M and her friend and we went into my room to defrost. They brought us yummilicious snacks from the birthday party. We talked about boys and life in Georgia  M told us stories about her men, her life, her this that and the other. I tried to squeeze in a few questions to her Georgian friend, wanting to get to know her, but we'd somehow end up listening to M talking about her fabulous life. Fortunately,  Her friend's uncle called, he was outside, he had come to pick them up

I got into bed, it must have been around 8 or so, heater on, ready for the night when I got a call from my friend Lo, she wanted a place to stay for the night at 9:30. I felt weird because I just had 2friends over and now another one wants to come spend the night. I didn't know how my family would react to that.I told Lo I had a weird feeling about that because it was too late, to have someone come over for the night. She stayed over at my other friend's who has his own apartment. After I felt guilty, gave in and asked my host mom if she could come spend the night and she said sure. I called Lo back and she said, "never mind, I'll sleep here at V's" okay then, I'll just go back to my host mom and un-ask her!

The next day after work, I got a call from Lo who said she needed a place to crash for the night. It was around 7pm. She said she was hanging out with a friend and was also waiting for 2 other people who would be available after 9:30pm. Which meant she would come over same time as the night before, which was a problem. She said if that was late for me, she would come over there and then, meat the family and leave after 9 to meet those people and come back. I told her I thought that was a good idea. I waited for her, until I forgot what I was waiting for, and went to bed around 10. It was freezing outside. I'd been indoors since after work around 4.

She called me around 10:30, she told me she was at V's picking her stuff up and would like me to wake up, get dressed, go outside, in the freezing cold,   me to go help carry her stuff. I suggested she ask V who was right there and a man to help her. She said, "oh yeah, I'll ask him". I waited for about half an hour, NOTHING. I thought she decided to sleep over at V's considering she knew how I felt about people rocking out at mine in the middle of the night to sleep over. And that she didn't make the effort by coming over when we agreed that she should, and instead chose to chill with a friend. I was ridiculous, I know, I actually expected her to respect my family! I don't know what I was thinking. At 11:30 I got a call from her that she was getting lost somewhere near my place. Great! I'm gonna have my first overnight guest at midnight! She said to come out she was outside, but didn't know where the entrance was. I got up, got dressed, went outside. She was nowhere to be found. I called her, NO ANSWER! I didn't even hesitate to head back to mine. As I got back in, she called and said, "hi. So..." I was like, dude where are you? I am not sure, but it seems like I am headed to the right direction. Can you come out and meet me at school #4, a school that's near my place. I hesitated, but was like, you know what, let's get this over and done with. So I had to open the door again, hoping not to wake the family up. I went out grumbling and mumbling to myself, wondering why I found myself wandering the streets of Georgia in my night dress in the middle of the night. I got to the school and called her. NO ANSWER! Great! Here I am standing in the middle of the street, freezing my hinds off, trying to find someone that doesn't know where she is, and she's not answering her phone!
She called me back, "Sorry, I didn't hear the phone!" WHAT? YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON WALKIN IN THE STREET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND YOU DIDN'T HEAR THE PHONE? HOW'S THAT POSSIBLE? WHERE ARE YOU?  I WANT TO WALK TOWARDS YOU COS I CAN'T BE STANDING HERE LIKE THIS, THESE GUYS WILL THINK I'M A PROSTITUTE, "No, wait for me there, I'm coming. I found someone who knows where the school, I am definitely on my way there. Click" Great, she just hung up on me! I walked back home trying to remember to breathe.

AS I got home, I got a call, she wanted to know where I was, I told her I was back at mine, she said, ok, I got a lift, I will call you when I get there. When she was outside, she did call indeed, I told her to ask her friend to help her up the stairs, I wasn't about to leave the house again for the third time, for the same mission. What's this? MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 13? She walked up, with a huge backpack. Of course, I felt sorry for her, but it was midnight, my host family was asleep. I felt guilty for all the commotion.

We stayed up and chatted for about an hour to an hour and a half and went to sleep.

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.

The 7hour date with Mr Hot

Friday, 4 November
Mr H. picked me up at 10 am. He looked really nice in his pink shirt and cream jacket. It was freezing in Tbilisi that morning. I had leggings, a top and sandals because that's what I had planned to wear that day and a plan IS A PLAN. On our way to the car, he asked, "Which one do you think is my car?" I had to play a guessing game which can easily go bad. I had to guess with a not so expensive car, just in case. He made me guess again. Ok, I get it, you drive a fancy Merc! Gees!
He opened the door for me. Once inside, he offered me chocolate. Nice! He then told me what he had lined up for us that day. We were to go to his office first, he'd send some emails, then we'd go to Tbilisi Sea, I'd told him I've never been there and he promised to take me. Thereafter, restaurant and we'd see where the night would take us. Sounds good!

On our first "date" he had told me that he has 3 000 people working under him. Those are the people he wanted me to teach English. When we arrived at the office, it was one small room, with a round table and +- 8 chairs. I asked him where the rest of the office was because clearly that's not where all 3000 of his staff sat. He said he has another office somewhere in the centre, blah, blah, I didn't buy it. He played music videos for me on the Huge Plasma TV. Whenever I saw a song I liked, he would change it and play another one, that's 'better' than the  ones I liked. PS arrived about an hour or so later. Se was a tiny little girl. Apparently, she's his right hand and his little lion. Apparently there are only two lions in Georgia, he's the big one, and she's the small one. (lion as in Leo).
2 hours or so later, I was so over being at the office, I was ready to leave or kill myself. He told the PA in Georgian, to get ready because we were going out. Err, say wha' ?
I hoped she would be dropped off somewhere because that's not how I imagined our "date" to be, with a permanent third wheel.
Off to Tbilisi Sea, we went.

He asked me how long I thought it took his "sports car" from 0 to 60km per hour. I said 3seconds. It took 8 seconds or so. Then he wanted to show off how fast his car was. I dared him to drive way above the speed limit, that may or may not have been 120km/h,  who knows? It's Georgia! He tried, but this was his maximum on that road:
just 100km/hr. Not good enough! I enjoyed making him feel small, cos he's so big headed.

At Tbilisi sea, we parked next to a couple that was sucking each other's faces. AWKWARD!
We posed for some pics.

From Tbilisi sea, we went to some stone age place. They had Georgian "Saint" statues and writers, Jesus and his apostles, you know, the last super, the works.
While on our way, my friend B called, he was in town! He got there hours early so we could spend some time together. Unfortunately I was in the middle of nowhere on I date that sucked. I had to let him down, I wish he had called me before he left Rustavi, so I could tell him I was tied up.

On our way to the restaurant, we discussed business, Mr wanted to know if I would teach his 3000 employees English. He would pay for my travelling costs from Batumi to Tbilisi. At first, he wanted Michelle and I to do it, this time, he said, " I just want you, Brook. You're the only teacher I want". He had told me that he would be in Batumi the following week and the week after. I suggested we discuss the details in Batumi. I got a vibe that wasn't going to happen. Just a feeling.

He took us to an Indian restaurant in the centre of Tbilisi. The food was divine! I want to go back there. I had  mutton tikka or something like that, he had something similar, mutton curry. Just delicious! I ordered Milk shake, I asked the waitress to make it as thick as possible because I like to have my milkshake with my meal.  She brought me what looked  like flavoured milk with ice cubes! I wanted to be dramatic, not because of the milkshake, but because I was having a day from hell. I couldn't take it anymore, I kept looking at the time. I just wanted to get the heck out of there and as far away from those people as humanly possible.

My prayers were answered! They had training that evening, I was dropped off, kissed in the cheek and he said he would call me in 2 hours, to take me clubbing, because we liked the same things and such, he wanted us to enjoy the nightlife in Tbilisi together. I was secretly wondering if he would bring the PA later on as well.
Earlier on, he told me that because I had never seen snow (I have since seen it, hooray!), he wanted to take me somewhere, 1.5hrs outside Tbilisi to some beautiful place that had snow blah blah blah. He turned around and asked the PA if she were free that day, and for her to bring their other friends. Listen, dude did say he wanted me to meet his friends, but that was just too much! I was dying! All this happened on Friday, he said he would take me to this magical snow place on Sunday before I headed back to Batumi. I somehow didn't see it happening.

I went home, my friend D was out with the FrenchES (the hot French dudes? Yup! Them!). I charged my cell and fell asleep listening to music glad to be back from the 7hour date with Hot and his PA. It's the longest (non) date I've ever been on.

He never called that night, no word from him (or the PA) ever since!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2 Hot French guys

When I got back home from the embassy, my friend, D was so excited to have met 2 hot French guys in the city (Tbilisi). She said they were coming over later on. She said, "I have 2 French guys for you, Brook! They're so hot! I know which one you will like, cos I know your type already!" OOOwwwkkaayyy then! C'mon, fix yourself up!
Me: Tell me about these guys. Are they your friends?
D: No, I met them today!
Me: Uhm, where?
D: At the supermarket!
Me: What are they doing here?
D: Business.
Me: How long are they staying for?
D: Thy don't know yet, but they stay at a nice 5 Star hotel in the centre.
Me: (couldn't shake the weird feeling I had about these guys) Are they French or do they just speak French like your friends from Africa?
D: They are French, from France!

I knew it! I have nothing against black guys, but when she told me about these guys being French, I automatically assumed that they were European, i.e. White. Like a typical French would be! I took off my jacket and slapped on some lip gloss. Gotta look cute for the French, right?
The French called, I heard D tell them she was home with me and that she did have food, she cooked that morning. Why do these guys seem suspicious? Why should they care if D has cooked or not? D haggled the cab driver for them. Another red flag! From 5 GEL (R20) to 3 GEL (R12). What's 2GEL (R8) to a Businessman, that stays in 5 * accommodation?

They arrived! Two black dudes in Track suits and snickers, with gold jewelery. As soon as they walked in, I put on my jacket, and got on Facebook. Sorry, not my type! This is not a racial issue, but these dudes had been misrepresented to me. First of all they have an African accent.They clearly were not born and raised in France. At least my friend was into one of them. I wasn't sure which one and I didn't care.
they talked about being black in Georgia, how everybody got here, who paid whom, how much and all that stuff that didn't concern me because my situation is completely different. D offered them Fufu (Paap) and the cabbage and fish curry she had made, they didn't seem to know what cabbage was, so she made them (my) apples (I'd brought all the way from Akhaltsikhe). They were hungry! Clearly, they didn't get fed in their 5 * hotel.

They left their hotel business card. I googled the place and it's self catering, 3 * accommodation. somewhere in the centre of town. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't about money or race, but what my idea of hot was, those guys didn't meet AT ALL.

Bubble burts!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Excuse me, where's the Embassy?

I took an 11 o'clock Marshrutka from Akhaltsikhe to Tbilisi. It's a  hour ride. I was hoping to quickly go to the embassy where I'd make some last minute enquiries before my Visa application appointment the next day.

The ride was, in the words of Tina Turner Nice and Easy. No stares, not weirdness, whew! We stopped halfway for toilet and smoke break. It turned out everybody spoke some English. We all formed a circle and had a nice chat in the sun. Then back on the road. I, being the blondie that I am, forgot to withdraw money for the marshrutka (taxi), i asked the driver in my broken Georgian if he could let me run to the ATM in Tbilis and draw the fare. He agreed.

When we got to Tbilisi, I asked around where the my bank's ATM was, the lady asked me where I wanted to go. I told her I needed an ATM, she was like, I can't help you! Where do you need (Atleast I think that's what she was saying). I asked her if she spoke Russian, very excited, she said yes! Good think I just downloaded a translator on my blackberry, I can just tranlate what I want to say into Georgian and we'll be good to go. NOPE! The phone froze, I had to take out the battery and restart. That takes its own time. I thanked the lady and let her go. On to the next. They told me the ATM was upstairs inside the metro station. Makes sense! I ran up the stairs and asked a lady up there, she said, sorry, no ATM here and directed me elsewhere. She said it was 10minutes away. 10 minutes away in Georgian, doesn't mean the same in English just FYI. I went back that way. By then I had even forgotten where the marshruka was with my bags. And my apples. Fortunately, the driver saw me running around like a headless chicken. I told him I couldn't find the ATM, he pointed me to the ten minute direction and told me to take my time, he would be there for an hour. (I think that's what he said). I ran across the street, trying to remember which one is left and right in Georgian. I asked 3more people before I found the ATM, about 3minutes away. Thank Goodness! I paid the driver and gave him a tip for his kindness and patience.

I took the metro to my friend, D's place. I arrived there at 3pm, planned to just leave my bags and rush for the embassy. She was cooking. She told me she was almost done, to wait for her and we'd go together. She told me she'd be done in ten minutes. She finished cooking, dished up, we ate paap and cabbage and fish curry. It was divine! As usual, I was starving as I had just travelled and don't eat when I travel cos of my motion sickness. An hour later, I told her that I think I had to leave. It was getting late and the embassy was closing at 5. She went, Do you think you will make it there on time? Uhm, not at this rate! She was ready, but just needed to take her meds, and to clean the house, and to do the dishes and to take pampers for the baby and and and.... Oh Lord! We finaly left at 4:20. Then she remembered that her friend had told her the embassy moved. I had to google it, find the number and call the embassy and hope to talk to someone that speaks Englis, that she would understand my English, and that she would know where the new location was. I got the new address, searched for it on google maps. It was 5km from where we were, D didn't know how to get there, she didn't know which bus to take either. I called a friend in Akhaltsikhe, she told me the best thing to do would be to take a cab. D said, cabs are expensive, there has to be a bus there. The thing with buses here, people only pay when there's an inspector in sight, otherwise free rides all day long! Time was running out, D wanted to call her friend and ask which bus we should take, when she found out she forgot her cell in her bag at home. Which meant, her running back.I said, you know what? Why don't you stay behind? I'll see you when I come back! I had 30mins to get to the embassy.

I took a cab, he seemed to know there street, we just had to find the number. The place was FAR! We found the street and the number. I gave the cab driver 50 GEL (R200), he told me he didn't have change. The ride was 5GEL. I told him that's all I had, the loose change I had wasn't enough. He could see I was in a hury. He told me  this was a problem, because he didn't have change. He spoke Russian, I spoke to him in broken Georgian.Eventually, he stopped trying to be cheap and gave me my change. You don't charge someone 5 bucks and keep the change from 50 bucks, I'm sorry! It sure looked like an embassy, only thing is, that's not what was written outside!
Me: Excuse me, where's the embassy?
Security: 'Down the street, turn right- --
Me: OMG!
The cab had just left, and I needed to walk some more, what's this a joke? I'm late God damn it!
Security: Lady, calm down! It's about 200 metres from here

Yup! He totally told me to calm down!
I ran down the street, and followed the directions. Passed one embassy, asked for directions, they told me to go further up. Great! When I got there, all I could see was the security's office, no other buildings were in sight, He told me to get to the end of the driveway and I'd find the embassy right at the end. Oh my goodness! I ran some more, I just wanted to make it there before they closed, but the small voice in my head told me I was kidding myself, I should just see where it is for my appointment the next day. Running...running,,,running.... I saw signage on the way as well, which helped. I got to the end, there was a T-Junction, no more signage! I didn't know whether to turn left or right. Infront of me was a swimming pool. I chose left, ran some more, Saw ladies with handbags going the opposite direction. They seemed happy! I thought, great, these ladies work at the embassy and are happy to be going home, I missed it! I kept running. Ahead of me, I saw the embassy!

There were people standing outside with the security guards.I thought oh no, they are begging to be let in. I finally arrived and told the guard who spoke some English what I needed, he told me to wait my turn. Hallelujah! They were still open! Whew!

Of course, it turned out they need more documentation from me, the 8 hour trip there was just to enquire, they told me to call their call centre to make another booking and to not even bother going there the next day for my appointment with insufficient documents.

I took a bus back to D's. The trip back was smooth. She wasn't home! I had to stand outside and wait for her in the rain. I opted to go for a walk to the shops. That's when I bumped into a hot guy from their church. I'd met him at the choir practice before. He played the key board. And he's good! He walked me to the shop and spoke Georgian for me. He's from Africa and speaks French. He walked me back to the house and we chatted a bit on FB

Georgian Funeral

... I finally made it to Akhaltsikhe! Just as they police officers were heading for the funeral. Had the circumstances been different, It would've been much nicer to see everybody! I quickly changed into my black clothes and got a lift to the house!

Everybody gathered outside the house dressed in black. It was tough! Having recently lost a very special person in my life, it was a great challenge to be attending a funeral. Gayani wasn't just my assistant, she was my friend, she was a very special lady. She was very talented, she did embroidery, drew, painted, was a qualified doctor and worked at a special police department, she was gorgeous, and she was my top student!
We walked around the coffin and viewed the body. Her mother and her husband stood next to the coffin crying the entire time. That was hard for me to watch. From the house, we all walked to her old school, her open coffin was carried around to all these venues. It was sooooo sad :( From the school, we went to the police station, then to the grave yard (cemetery) she she was put to rest.

From here, we got a lift to the hotel where the family had made reservations for everybody to have lunch. The atmosphere was much lighter, we even took some pictures. One of my police officers has a crush on my colleague and an old homie from Akhaltsikhe, Harriet, he wanted me to take a pic and show her:-
Because, I was unprepared for the cold, as usual, one of my police friends gave me that jacket! It's a pefect fit! I tried to refuse it because she literally took it off her back and gave it to me, but she told me she loves me and I should have it. I have worn it every single day ever since! cos it's perfect, I just layer and later underneath and cover up with it!

This is the same restaurant my German friend was staying in. We almost ate here but it was too big for just the two of us. It felt weird to be back. We stuffed ourselves silly (not with the German guy, but with the funeral people!).  The food just wouldn't stop coming! I was ready for it because I don't eat when I travel so it was my first meal for the day. From the Funeral, I asked one of the officers to take me to my ex-host mom's house to say hi! The whole family was home! It was so nice to see her and the kids, the rest, not so much!
Back to the hotel, then  TO A RESTAURANT! Seriously! To eat and drink again! I used this time to catch up with my friends. Toasts were made! I was toasted for being a nice person for going all the way there to the funeral, they didn't think I'd make the trip! Well, we're friends, those people have been nothing but kind to me and they continue to show me kindness. Constantly!

Thanks for the Jacket, Eliso

True Love

Good times were had at the Restaurant, fire in the fire place! I went home with Tiko. Did I mention it was freezing out? Fortunately, they had the wood stove on in the lounge and a small one in the bedroom where I slept. I was still as sick as a dog! The next morning, Tiko's mom gave be a bag full of apples because I'd forgotten mine from the ex host mom in a police car. Okay then! Now I have 2 bags of apples and 2 bags of my own. I met up with Martyna for a few minutes before I took a marshrutka to Tbilisi.

Good bye Akhaltsikhe, I will be seeing you again SOON!

Fucky! Fucky!

On Sunday, 30 October, I got ill. The dang cold was back! I stayed in and nursed myself. A couch surfer dude that lives in my town and I had been in touch via emails and sms-es. We finally met up on Sunday.
As usual, it took me forever to find the place!
We went to a Turkish restaurant along the beach. As soon as we got there, he got on the phone with his girlfriend. They sounded like they were arguing. He spoke Turkish. When he got off the call, he asked to take a picture with me and send it to his girlfriend to prove to him that nothing was going on between the two of us. Of course I refused, that was a preposterous request! How's seeing a picture of me going to prove that we're not together?

We had dinner, a meatball bun and lemonade.My nose got blocked and I couldn't even talk anymore, he suggested we call it a night and walked me halfway home. I skipped school for a week because I kept getting more and more sick. I got a text that one of my Assistants from the time I taught English to the police officers in Akhaltsikhe had passed away. She had a complicated pregnancy, they had to do an emergency caesarian. two months and 4 operations later, she passed away :( I tried to hitch hike to Akhaltsikhe. I only found out about the funeral the day before at midday. I got a lift to Kobuleti, a truck to Kutaisi, that took forever to get there! It was dark outside, and I knew it would've been risky hitch hiking all the way that night, so I called a friend and asked to stay the night at hers.

We had a fun time, freezing our hinds off, me trying not to die of the cold, and talking about men until I fell asleep. I remember trying to find the bathroom the next morning in the dark, without walking in on someone in their bedroom! That was fun! NOT. My friend walked me to the marshrutka around 7am. They dropped me off just outside town, where I hitch hiked from. I got a lift for like five minutes. Then it got tricky!. Nobody was stopping! It was freezing cold! I could see the snow on the mountain tops around me, I was dying when a red right hand drive, truck stopped for me. (FYI, it's "safe" to hike in Georgia.  I wouldn't do this back home in South Africa). That thing was high! It took me forever to get in! Struggling with the stairs. We did the introductions in Georgia, and that was the end of the conversation because he didn't speak English and I don't speak Georgian.

All of a sudden, dude decided to drive off the freeway, into a dodgy gravel road where there was a construction site and nothing else. I was like, Sorry, where I we going? In broken Georgian. He said nothing, and just kept driving. I told him the freeway was that way, and that's where I was going? He pointed at himself and I and said, "Fucky! Fucky". Which I suppose meant, him and I were going to to THAT! I said "GACHERET!" (stop!) He kept driving! I started yelling profanities that rhyme with truck! And the likes. I opened the door and was ready to fly out. He grabbed me by my clothes and pulled me back and said "Puli! Puli! ginda? (do you want money). F#&k you @$$ h0!3 I don't want your money! 34#%$^$^$&%&~! This went on for about a minute! One long S minute, if you ask me! He stopped, I ran off to the free way. My heart was beating fast! I was pissed off. I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and I felt unsafe, for the first time in this country. I felt like I was in his mercy because he could come back and run me over or something. He made a u-turn, as I saw him approach, I picked up rocks and threw them at his truck swearing him! I was soooo pissed off! All I wanted was to get to the funeral in time and not fucky fucky with a GEorgian Truck driver in his truck!

Meeting Mr. Hot

Saturday, 29 October

  Michelle came over to Batumi. We went to Khopa, the big bazaar. Window shopping, we ate some type of a puri (bread( with meat. Two type, one was worth mentioning, the other one, not so much. Back to the bazaar, PICTURES! with random strangers that just asked to take pics with us, with a huge, overweight mannequin,

and I asked a cute boy to pose for a pic with me. He had nice hair. Lord knows I love me a boy with nice long hair.

From there, we went searching for ice cream. It's winter time in Georgia and they don't sell ice cream in Winter because, well, it's cold! The shop keepers make that decision for the people - No ice cream for you, it's cold out! We went to Goodwill supermarket with the hope that we would find ice cream. I saw this nice guy, tall, slim, dressed really nicely, just like I like them! I was like, Oh my word, Michelle, I think, he's hot! I just need to see his face. She said, nah, the face is *thumbs down, but we can follow him, and check it out again. We started running after dude to the other end of the supermarket. I went, he's not so handsome, but I think he's hot! He's different, I feel like he has lots of stories to tell and I should hear them.

Me: Hi!
Him: Hi
ME: How are you? (to see if he speaks Georgian)
Him: I'm fine thanks, and you?
Me: Are you Georgian?

Him: Yes. But people think I am either Russian or English.
Me: You look good, would you like to ask me what my name is?

Him: Where are you from?
Me: South Africa
Him: Wow! That's one of the places I'd like to visit the most!
Me (getting all Georgian on him): Are you married?

Him: No, of course.
Michelle: Brook! I think you're scaring him! I think you're scaring him!
Me: You should marry me, I'll take you to South Africa with me.
Him: UUuuhhmmmm....... Ladies, would you like to order something? I can translate for you.
Me: Michelle, would you like something?
Mich: Nah
Me: It doesn't look lie my friend wants anything, I guess you won't be marrying me, bye!

On our way somewhere in a hidden corner, Michelle was like, I think you scared him when you proposed! I said well Georgians do it to us all the time, he's Georgian, this should've been normal for him. "I guess you're right!" said Michelle. We didn't find anything cheap enough to buy, so we left. On our way to the exit, Michelle went, "OMG there he is, let's keep going!" I said, he should be so lucky, I'm going to harass him! He turned around, and I said, "See? I'm following you!". He said, "Can you please help me choose a chocolate? I can't make up my mind". SCORE! WE took the project very seriously, Michelle and I. He asked where I was staying, I told him here in Batumi, it turned out he was staying at the hotel here, and was heading back to Tbilisi the next day. Great! NOT. He asked for my number, realised that his cell was off, asked me to take his and call him. I told him first of all I don't take guy's numbers, secondly, I don't call guys, they call me. This coming from someone who proposed to a guy five seconds into meeting him.
We agreed upon me taking his number, texting him mine, and him giving me a call later.

We got on our way around the city, (Mich and I).

We went to Vinyl, a cafe in the centre of Batumi.

WE ordered ice cream or milk shake. They didn't have it because it's Winter. She settled for iced coffee. I texted Mr Hot, he called back immediately. WE talked for 7 mins. Yup! I remember how long my calls are! He asked me to meet him at the hotel after 9pm. Michelle left around 6pm. It was freezing! I walked back home, did my reports, when Mr Hot called. His meeting was over and he wanted to know if I could still meet him. I agreed. An hour and a half later, 3 calls from him and about 7 songs later (that he sang for me over the phone while I was making my way to the hotel, some of which, I joined in and sang along), I arrived at the Radisson Blu. We hung out at the lounge, I told him in advance that I would not be going to his room.

I ordered H2O, it came in a nice glass bottle. Very fancy Radisson Blu! WE sat and talked and joked around, and flirted and talked about business, he told me stories about him, his life, his perfumes, his work, how many people he knows, where he has travelled to, how he is friends with the president (of Georgia! Not Jacob Zuma!), which perfume he wears when, when he started university, about his parents, him! him! him! If only I could take back the statement I made to Michelle earlier on when I said I wanted this guy to tell me his stories!

Then he asked me about Michelle, where she was from and was surprised she is Canadian seeing as she is Asian. Then he did the unthinkable! He said, "Asia has the most beautiful women in the world! The most attractive women in the world come from Asia!". I asked him if he liked my friend, he said, yes! I took my bag and told him I thought it was time for me to leave. He seemed to genuinely not understand what about that upset me. He went on to explain himself telling me he thought I was concerned as to whether or not he liked my friend, blah blah blah. And he wasn't telling me he is attracted to my friend but was just sharing the statistics. I was like do you not, at all think that your timing for stats was a bit off?
A few minutes later, he hailed me a cab, paid for it, and I left. We agreed to meet next time I'm in Tbilisi.

He called when I got home, thanked me for the evening, apologised for the misunderstanding and told me how much he appreciates me blah blah blah. He called the next day on his way back to Tbilisi, we talked for 40 minutes. It was nice-ish. He asked me about myself and my country. I wondered if he hadn't fallen and bumped his head, because that was out of character for him.

He called again the next day, when he arrived in Tbilisi and said to let him know when I am in the city, he would like to show me how he lives, introduce me to his friends etc

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Couch Surfers part II

So my friend, Lo had two couch surfer dudes over for 'drinks'. One was from Turkey and the other from Poland. She and I had had plans to meet up, it so happened that she was with these dudes.
We automatically paired up, you know what it's like whene there are two guys and two girls? We weren't couples! At least, the Polish and I weren't (I've to speak for myself, right?).

We went for a walk around the city and bumped into T. Another volunteer. She joined us, she and I sandwiched the Polish inbetween us and took over his entire soul. He probably wanted to die, or scream out loud with excitement. We were slightly ooc (out of control). It was okay though because he threw some punches back our way as well. We sat at the square, near the "vulgar" water fountains as Lo called them because they have female statues with water sprinting out of the ladies boobies. After hanging out there for a bit, we walked further to find something to eat and ended up at, I think a Turkish restaurant by the Black sea. It was beautiful! I love the seaside at night, especially when there are ships/boats, the lights make it look so magical! The Turkish Delight (Turkish guy) "read" Lo's fortune from her Turkish coffee grinds. And T's. Polish and I were sceptic. We left for home around 11.

The next day, I got a call from Lo, she wanted to meet up at a cafe this time. I called T up, she was with another volunteer. The more the merrier, right? I met up with them where they were eating. We sat it out for a bit and then joined the gang, including the couch surfers at the other cafe. There were about 6 people over there! It was interesting. It's always fun having that many English speakers in one room! As in any big group of people, people talked to the ones closese to them. As the night progressed, T and I got deeper and deeper in conversation. I was enjoying out talks when everyone got up to leave. I decided to remain behind to finish our conversation. It turned out the surfers were staying behind as well. AWKWARD! Two girls and two guys! Then T and the Turkish paired up, then I was left to talk to the Polish, who at this point I had had enough off. I couldn't help but wish I'd left with the gang. I didn't even try to make small talk with Polish. It was pouring outside, really pouring, cats and dogs! the streets were flooded! I thought I'd take a cab with Polish and share the cost. His hostel wasn't far from my place.
 After some more awkwardness and third wheeling, We agreed to share a cab. I got dropped off first and couldn't have been more relieved to be out of that awkward situation.

The next day, T called to ask me for hotels in Tbilisi for Turkish Delight, enough said!

Sex Ginda?

Friday, 21st October.

My friend D, invited me over for the weekend. She's from Africa, I met her my first weekend away to Tbilisi when I still lived in Akhaltsikhe. We kept in touch via phone, but never met ever since.
I decided to hitch hike, because I had so much fun with it the first time I did. I took a bus to the hiking spot, just outside the city. I must have stood there for two minutes and I got a lift from a dude that was going to Rustavi. Past Tbilisi. I hit a jackpot! He spoke some English, was dressed really nicely, very stylish, he was a gentleman, he said nothing about sex or any such awkward conversation. He did call just about everybody he knew and told them that he picked up a zangi (Nigger) on the side of the road. He dropped me off outside D's house.

I had told my Georgian friend, B that I'd be in town. We agreed to meet up after his dance practice. My friend, D, had cooked for me: rice and fish cury. It was delicious! We never eat rice at the house and the fish was so delicious, and the fact that I was famished, because I don't eat when I travel, due to motion sickness. It's a 5hr drive from Batumi to Tbilisi. We had dinner and chilled, talked about Georgia, Georgians and life in General. D has lived in the country for 3years, her friend A, who was with her at hers when I arrived, 2. Their experience is different from what I'd expect from life in Georgia. I didn't want to jump to conclusions, I'd only just got there.

Around 6, B was done with dance, I took the metro to meet up with him. It was so nice to see him! It always is. He took me to the mountain, Tatsminda, where I have always wanted to go. It was freezing out. I think that's why we were the only ones there that night. We spent a little over an hour there, taking pictures, talking and being goofy. Did I mention it was freezing? From the mountan, he took me back to the Metro. He somehow left with my blackberry. Luckily, I remembered it before I boarded the metro, I ran back out, tried to find him. Good luck trying to find a Georgian among other Georgians, especially in winter, where all the guys are wearing blue jeans, and black leather jackets. The ladies, are in all black! I saw a dude approach me, asking if he can help me ( At least, I thought that's what  he was saying, because that's what I wanted him to say?). I told him I needed to use a phone. I was walking towards a puclic (pay) phone. He offered me his, thank goodness, I have memorised my cell number, it took me forever but I finally got it! Just after using this dude's cell. He said something along the lines of - Sex?! Seqsi , ginda? (do you want) Asi dolari (hundred dollars). I was like, "Heck no, freak!" I walked away, he followed me for a bit, "Modi, modi" (come here, come here!). I was like, thanks for your cell, bye!

Mr. Policeman who was sitting inside the station was looking at me as if wondering what was going on, but not concerned enough to ask. I just blurted out (when I figured he spoke English), Can you believe this guy? He's offering me $100 for sex. Mr Police said, " Only $100?" I rest my case!

I got home around 11pm, after a long misunderstanding with my friend, B, whom I told to go to the wrong station, blah blah blah.

Not much happened the next day, I had planned to go to Gori, to see the Stalin museum. I went as far as Didube Station, where I was to take the train or marshrutka to Gori. I changed my mind because my friend, D, had planned to go to choir practice with me. I decided to compromise and stay, so I headed back.
Practice was from 3-4. We left the house at 3:30. We were the first ones to arrive a few minutes after 3:30. The rest of the choir arrived after 4, 5 and 6.We stayed there until 7. Call it African time! There were no Georgians there! It was different being in the company of only black Africans in Georgia! We were about 15 in there. Unfortunately I didn't know any of the song they sang, the ones I kinda knew, were sang totaly differently.

The day was over, D and I talked about life and boys and friends and it was time for bed, the next morning, I headed back to Batumi. I hitch hicked back, just for the heck of it! I got a lift to Khashuri and had to hitch from there to Batumi. I'd never been to Khashuri before, the streets are narrow and people can stare over there! They yelled at me "Zango! Zango!( nigger) And to top it off, I needed to use the loo. I asked a random lady, who took me to a house nearby. The toilet was level ground with a small, round hole, same size as a cup in circumference. It was interesting, I had to politely decline. She took me to another one, which so happened to be her house as well. The hole was a tad bit bigger, I just had to use it! I had to walk for a km or so to an open spot to hike, where I soon got a lift to about 1hr away from Batumi, then I got a lift from a marshrutka (taxi) to Batumi. It was very nice of the driver to offer me a free lift!

I got home around 6/7, not so bad. I knew I wanted to hitch hike again, next time, I needed to go somewhere, but that story didn't have a happy ending...

Why is there a hearse outside our school?

In class with my co-teacher, I saw a commotion outside, moved closer to the window and saw a hearse. Flowers were all around it. There were men, picking the flowers up and putting them on the hearse. I asked my co-teacher, 'why is there a hearse outside our school?'. "And uhm, because uhm, this is a dead person!". 'Did those floweres fall of the hearse?'. "And uhm, flowers? Ah! Flowers! Kho! (Yes in Georgian). Flowers are from Europe".
'Did the flowers fall off the car?'. "And uhm, because uhm, the flowers, uhm, yes! Yes!-".
'Why are the flowers on the ground? Did they fall off the car'. By then, I was just trying to figure out if I can get her to understand my question. "And uhm, flowers, sorry, Brook, slowly please. I think so, I uhm, don't understand. Excuse me Brook".
'Do you know what flowers are?' "Yes! Flowers! Uhm, kho! Kho! These flowers are from Europe, Germany".
'What are those men doing' "oh, Brook, that's a dead person, and uhm, because the flowers".
'Look at this! I'm going to drop it. Do you see? It just fell off from the table. Do you understand what fall means?'.
"Yes! Yes! And uhm, the flowers - ". 'Wait! So this fell off the table. Did the flowers fall off from the top of the car? Why are they on the ground?'.
"I'm sorry Brook. Uhm, I don't understand". 'Which part of the question do you not understand? (I proceeded to write my question on the board. They usually understand written English better than spoken)'. "Aaahhhh, yes! Yes! Uhm, because this is a business. This business is for dead people".
The bell rang and it was time to go home. That was a 15minute Q & A between my English co-teacher and I.