I’ve been back in Georgia for about 30 hours now. It’s remarkably familiar! I am very comfortable here, walking around Tbilisi, etc. I’m currently re-reading these first few sentences and hating them already! Sheesh. Let’s try again.
Before I returned to Georgia, I was a bit apprehensive. What if it’s different? What if I don’t like it anymore? What if I only liked it because of my awesome, awesome friends? What if I don’t find a place to live? What if I don’t have enough money?
Okay, so those last two are particularly well-founded. I visited an apartment yesterday in Isani. That’s two metro stops further south than I have EVER BEEN on the metro! I had been in Georgia for twelve hours and I was already breaking new ground! I walked there, to refresh my memory of familiar places, and to discover how to find new ones. Despite the ache in my shin (What the hell, shin?), I found my way there, instinctually. I stopped to ask one dude for directions, and he told me to continue in the direction I was going anyway!
The apartment in question was small, but nice. Two rooms, four beds, one couch, two tvs (one working, one not), a tiny kitchen, an inner courtyard, a large uni-bathroom (which is to say that the shower just dumps out all over the whole room), and a washing machine-to be. For the price, though, it was a little small. And so, my hunt continues. This one’ll stay in my back pocket for another day, and then I’ll make a final judgment on it.
On the metro ride back in to town with the realtor named, you guessed it, Giorgi, I began to notice the changes to the country I knew so well. It hit me like a ton of bricks when the voice on the subway announced “Shemdegi sadguri: Avlabari. Next Station: Avlabari.” She spoke ENGLISH! This was wholly unheard of last year! I listened to her announce the next few stations in English and Georgian and then hopped off at Marjanishvili, the place of my temporary residence. Of course, I had already noticed the shift in the square’s construction. The side of the street with McDonald’s on it was completed and the scaffolds had all moved to the opposite side, by the metro. Come to think of it, all of the other three corners are scaffolded now.
Freedom Square (Or “Liberty Square,” as the metro-lady would have us believe) has the same situation going on. The old colonial administration building is getting a facelift! But what’s more, there are bus times written up and down Rustaveli! Little screens that show how many minutes until the next bus are at each busstop! They even list the bus numbers! DC doesn’t even have such a feature! But the best of all, and that which I have yet to personally experience, is the marshrutka update.
I saw it. I swear to god I saw it with my own eyes. I saw a brand new marshrutka. I kid you not. It was bright yellow and spanking new. I could hardly believe it! (Okay, so I could, because Angela had sent me this article a while ago.) I cannot wait to ride in one! Oh wait, the prices are higher. Nuts!
So now I’m just passing the time, waiting for the weekend to end so I can take care of business with the ministry, etc. Not too much going on. Not too much going on creatively either in terms of how to end this post, so I’ll just say, fare thee well!