Due to power outages and a busy schedule (start of school, birthday, pregnant cow), I wasn’t able to really tackle my Tbilisi trip in the way I wanted, plus I have some thoughts churning up that do not involve Tbilisi, so I’ll try to sum up the leftovers on the capital in these next ten points. The lesson is to never let things sit, although I’m sure it won’t be the last time I make it to
Tertmet’i – Across from Old Tbilisi and up the slope of the hill, there’s quite the gentrification going on. It actually starts in Old Tbilisi, where the pedestrian walkway area leads to a brand new pedestrian bridge that crosses over the river. They still haven’t finished the entire bridge as it’s quartered off from the other side that leads to a yet-to-be finished park, but what is done is quite the spectacle. The entire bridge is made up of glass, and at night it’s glowing with lights that are built into the glass. More amazingly, the lights operate only when someone is on the bridge. The closer you get to the rail, the brighter that part of the bridge gets. For a country that is full of people living on the poverty line, it’s quite the lavish expenditure. Which isn’t to say that it’s not money well spent; it’s a really nice pedestrian bridge and is gorgeous at night silhouetting off the river. But I’m just sayin’…
Nicest pedestrian bridge this side of Venice
Tormet’i - Probably an even worse offense is the Presidential Palace (pictured below), which, granted I know little about (like if it was built by Saakashvili or the previous president), sits atop the hill above the new pedestrian bridge and is an absolute monstrosity. The best way to describe it is if someone with zero class won the lottery and decided to build a house that they considered “real nice.” It’s got these ridiculous columns on the face of it (which looks over the center of the city) and then an even more ridiculous glass dome at the top. It looks like something out of a bad future sci-fi movie (think Starship Troopers, inter-galactic congress type of building). I know the Georgian people and politicians want to have a nice building where they can host foreign dignitaries, but I could think of a million better ways of going about it.
That does not belong...
Tsamet’i – Like not building it in the middle of a slum. I mentioned earlier how
That's more like it...
Totkhmet’i – Right up the street from the palace is the fairly new Georgian Orthodox Church and headquarters (it’s only ten years old). Now this makes sense. The church isn’t absurdly large (in fact, none of the Georgian Orthodox churches are big, something I’ll tackle at a different date), but sits in the middle of a gated and well-tended property. It’s tastefully done and well put together, the type of project that should have been emulated when thinking about a residence for the country’s most powerful person. I digress, but in a country filled with beautiful old buildings dotting the countryside, it’s weird that they could get it right with a church, but so wrong with a government building. Well, maybe it’s not that weird.
Tkhutmet’i – I said I’d get back to the Metro but there’s not much to say. It’s extremely easy to follow with just one main line (and another that we never used that makes it’s way up into the nicer suburbs south of the city) while also very affordable at just 40 tetri (24 cents) per ride. It’s a much easier way to get around than by bus or marshrutka. Unfortunately, I have no crazy stories about a man that refused to give up his seat. One thing that did stand out were the beggars on the Metro and how much business they received (business in terms of money, not business in my terms). Everybody gave them change, except for us volunteers. We have zero patience for Gypsy beggars.
Public art in honor of the Rose Revolution inside the Metro
Teqvsmet’i – Bill was the most vehemently disgusted with Gypsies. One ruined his water by sticking their finger in the spout after being denied one of Bill’s new pears, while two other gypsies latched onto him for no apparent reason and gave him a “Gypsy Rash” on his arm that has yet to go away. Then while we were playing chess in the park, a little girl who was swimming in the fountain came over to us and started yapping at me in Georgian. I tried to communicate to her that I didn’t understand, and finally she got fed up and wandered off. Bill thought she wanted money and when I asked why, he said she was a Gypsy. “How did you know?” I asked. “She had dirty feet,” Bill replied. I hadn’t noticed, but apparently that’s a dead-giveaway. I have much to learn.
These aren't Gypsies, but the couple who sang Georgian folk songs at the cafe I wrote about in the last post; couldn't leave them out
Chvidmet’i – Probably my favorite part about
Me looking up to the statue that stands in the front of my favorite park in Tbilisi
Sketchy Georgian creeping on some unsuspecting ladies at the Tbilisi Sea
Tskhramet’i – One of the last days while in
Paul, Bill, and Raughley moments after our scrub down and massage, looking like a million bucs
Otsi – Bonnie M. How did it take me so long to get back to their sweet, sweet sound. I’m sure no one really cares by this point (and if you did, you clicked on the link from the last post and read all you needed to know about this German Disco group made up of
As promised, a picture of me with the crazy guy outside of the Beatles Club