Turn and Face the Strain

Another summer spent in America, another slew of changes to welcome me back to Georgia in the fall!

Not only have I grown and changed both personally and professionally thanks to my (awesome) experience this summer, but Georgia has grown and changed a lot in my absence.  My coworkers are all shifted around, I’m in a different office, and my dearest roommate Angela has moved on to bigger and better things in the capital of the free world!

While those are sort of insidious, discomforting, and recurringly surprising changes, there are also physical changes to Georgia that bear mentioning.  I live on a little street above Baratishvili Ave. with a lovely wooden balcony that lights up at night:

In fact, my house comes up in the first twelve results when you do a Google Image search for “Tbilisi”!

The street connecting Baratishvili to Freedom Square is a little extension called Pushkin St. and it runs for about a hundred feet before becoming Baratishvili.  Or at least, it did.  Now it’s a giant hole in the ground!  Tbilisi has been doing a major renovation project all over the place.  They’re tearing down old buildings and replacing them with brand new doppelgangers (RIP 24 Hour Store that I loved so dearly!) and the two blocks just between my place and Freedom Square have been subject to a lot of the construction of late.  For this reason, all of Pushkin Street was torn up, revealing an underlayer of more fortress wall under the street!

I kid you not!  At the bottom of the hole, there are several feet of Fortress Foundation poking out.  Now, I don’t know what they intend on doing with Pushkin St., but I’ve got my fingers crossed for pedestrian thoroughfare and de-elevated park with grassy areas around the fortress foundations!  Too hopeful?  Probably.

Next up, Old Tbilisi has just gotten a Texas Chicken!  It’s not the greatest, but they’ve got barbeque sauce!  I went there the other weekend in hopes of getting some delicious barbeque and, of course, they had none.  So I was forced to eat my dry chicken in solitude and sadness.  A very unpleasant picture, to be sure.

Marissa and Cristen would be SO jealous!

Lastly, and most excitingly, in my absence my wonderful landlady did some remodeling in our apartment!  The bad news: she threw out the trophy of our wonderful exploding wine adventure!  The good news: She replaced our clothesline with four new lines for hanging clothes!


Oh, and she completely rebuilt our bathroom!  It’s truly beautiful!  With its crumbling walls, a mildewy floor-drain, and a lovely-but-terrible Snow White Sticker-covered medicine cabinet, our old bathroom was in a sorry state of affairs.  Now rose-colored tiles reach up higher than me, the floor drain has been replaced, the crappy tub removed, and the mirrored medicine cabinet has been moved so it is above the sink.  Just think! (You’ll have to, as I don’t have a picture just yet)

I know it’s tough to imagine, but bear with me and I’ll devote a whole post to renovating my apartment, I promise!

In the meantime, and in short, Georgia never ceases to amaze me with its ability to reinvent itself.  From the continued commercialization and renovation of downtown Tbilisi to the unrecognizably beautiful bathroom that graces my own apartment, the evolution of this city and country are happening right before my eyes!

Welcome to Georgia, folks!

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