The slightly longer vision is this: After a long and tiresome four months of searching, I finally found a job with a finance company that helps refinance public debt. They wanted me to start right away, so I moved back to the US last week.
Prior to leaving, I had so much to do and see. I needed to pack my things in every possible permutation, decide what to leave behind, and make sure I had everything I needed – money, chargers, a non-hidden-from-me passport, etc. Then came the worst part, the goodbyes.
I started things off with a visit to the host family. Tina was sick and Ilia was sleeping, but one of them managed to rouse herself and we had a lovely little suphra with all my favorite Georgian foods (Gupta!) and some bitter black wine. I even took a stab at explaining government bonds in a mix of Georgian and Russian. I was successful! With an understanding of the type of work I would be doing, Tina disappeared into her room for a moment only to reemerge with a set of gold cuff links and a tie clip. As my mother Tina would say, “WwwOW!”
The next day, a Sunday, I arranged to sell my bass guitar and used the money to treat all my friends to dinner at the wonderful Khinkali.ge restaurant across the street from my house. It was a lovely send off that I won’t soon forget. Loads of Georgian food and beer, excellent company, and fond farewells!
Finally, my last night in Georgia was upon me. I had to reconcile with the fact that I would be leaving Cosmos and Bailey behind, that I wouldn’t be able to watch Halloween 3 or The Walking Dead with my constant Georgian companion Morgan, that I would never again live atop a thousand year-old fortress wall. It was a tough night! We managed to have one final epic cooking event, though with Keti and I whipping up an amazing spaghetti with two kinds of sauce! Cheesy garlic mushrooms and a delicious spiced meat sauce. As my mother Mom would say, “Two words: De-lish!”
The next morning it was up early for our final shared mugs of coffee and a taxi ride to the airport. At the airport I had to do something I haven’t done in five years: exchange all my Georgian money for dollars. Then I left on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again, but I hope it’ll be before too long!
*Note: I haven’t yet said where I’ve gone, but the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the title of this blog and its cover photo have changed! See if you can spot the difference between this photo and Tbilisi!