This weekend it poured for a good portion of both Saturday and Sunday. I kind of liked it! I’m a big fan of rainstorms, and waking up to the sound of booming thunder and smashing rain is always a nice treat for me.
Yesterday was one such morning. I lounged in bed for a good long while, just enjoying the storm. Finally I got up and headed out to meet several friends for lunch. After hanging out with folks for a bit and failing to use the internet, I decided to have a small adventure: I wanted to take a picture of myself.
That sounds like a pretty lame adventure, right? Wrong! The day before, on Saturday, as I was napping during a rainstorm (Sensing a theme yet?), my neighbor Koba called me and said, “Raughley! I just saw you!” Seeing as I was sleeping on a couch in Liis’s house, I was a bit confused as to how Koba had seen me. “I saw your face–it was huge! Your billboard is at Didube!”
Sunday afternoon, this information in mind, I set out to find my billboard. It was raining only mildly when I stepped off the subway and into the Marshrutka station of Didube. I could already see several billboards advertising cellphone plans and casinos. I walked towards them, hoping to find myself. Not spiritually. Literally.
I scoped out the billboards near Didube and saw no sign of myself.* I decided to walk down the street a bit to see if maybe it was just out of sight. The next closest billboards (several hundred meters down the road) revealed nothing.
By now the rain was really coming down. It was pretty epic. I was getting thoroughly soaked and my hair began to visibly sag over my forehead (I know split infinitives are bad. Sorry grammar Nazis in the crowd! [I’m looking at you, Past Continuous Goebbels!]).
I called Koba to ask where he had seen my photo. I didn’t know what I was even looking for, really. I had heard that Danielle and Rhonda also are going to be featured on billboards but I was unsure as to whether it would be one mega-billboard with all our faces, individual ones, mix-and-match gotta-catch-’em-all billboards or something else entirely (something sinister, perhaps?).
Koba gladly told me that it was “huge” and it was near the “Coca Cola building,” wherever that was. I was on the right street, and so clearly off to a good start. I stopped to ask some soggy men standing outside an appliance store “Sad aris koka kolas korpusi?” (Where is the coca cola building?) They pointed me in the right direction (in which I was already traveling, much to my pleasure).
I walked on, not really knowing when I would see this so-called Coca Cola building. (Goebbels, should Coca Cola be hyphenated? Does it always need to be capitalized?) I kept my head down whenever no billboards were in sight, trying to minimize the rain-in-eyeball phenomenon that, sadly, my glasses do not fully protect me from (Dangling preposition–It’s okay, Goebbels, it’s okay. This is informal writing).
Suddenly, I looked up and peeking from behind a leafy tree I recognized a light blue shoulder with thin black and white stripes. In a coup which would make the most pious Buddhists jealous, I had found myself on a rainy street in Tbilisi in under thirty minutes.
Mission accomplished, I began the trek back to Didube Metro as the rain intensified. As I pondered the five lari that I had somehow failed to add to my phone, I gradually returned to the Marshrutka station. When I turned the corner I was treated to the second most delightful sight of the day:
I hopped onto the metro, no longer disgruntled about my disappearing phone-lari thanks to the double-rainbow (Funny story: it turns out I accidentally added five lari to a random stranger’s phone! You’re welcome, Unknown Georgian!) .
I walked home from Akmetelis Teatri metro towards my apartment across a muddy traffic circle. With every step my feet got heavier thanks to accumulated mud on the bottoms of my shoes–nasty, sticky stuff, this Georgian mud! As I passed the Wissol station I turned to look at the mountains. I usually do this because I like mountains. On this particular day I was treated to the death of the storm and the reemergence of the sun.
I turned again towards my Mukhiani apartment and resumed dodging snails (or snail remnants, as the case may be) on my way home. You know, I had never seen a snail before until coming to Georgia. They’re so much more badass than slugs.
*Note: All puns fully intended.