Love of Georgia
Today, walking out of the apartment where I am catsitting, I went past huge tables of fireworks and Christmasy decorations, old ladies selling arrays of nuts/seeds and single cigarettes. Then I noticed a guy with a few crates of soft drink bottles filled with homemade moonshine and wine, and my smile really just spread even wider across my face (I didn’t get any – my freezer at home is still full of moonshine).
So I got into the office this morning (actually closer to afternoon today), and sat down, started talking to Dan, the other Fulbright guy, also working out of my office.
“So, I had that feeling again, that I really like this country. I’m not sure why. Maybe I just like the world, well, I know I do, but I feel like I really like this place especially, but I can’t figure out why I do.”
“Well, maybe, that’s cause of all of the parties. There is always something to do, the social life here is pretty busy” he said.
This is true, and I have gotten a real great circle of friends, mostly expats, and we have a great time together, but I don’t think that is why I feel these things I feel about Georgia.
“Yeah, good point, hanging out with friends is awesome, but that’s not when I really feel I love Georgia.”
“Well, let me tell you about why I like it here. Last night, when I was taking a cab home…”
“With Pam and someone else, right?”
“Yeah, Pam and Stefano. Anyways our driver was an old guy wearing a Svan hat. When we got going I asked him [presumably in Georgia, Dan’s Georgian is pretty good], ‘So, are you a Svan?’”
“The driver smiled and said, ‘No. my wife is Svan, but I’m from Racha. Have you ever been there?'”
“‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘I was in Saketsia.'”
“‘Oh!’ said the driver, ‘That is 5 kilometers from my village. Have you ever tried kvanchkhara [a type of Georgia wine]?'”
“‘Yeah I have, I liked it.'”
“‘Well, that is what my village is called – Kvanchkhara, the grapes for that wine come from my village.'”
“Then the driver promised to give me some of the wine. He is going back to his village after Easter and is going to stay there until the harvest, and when the wine is ready, he is going to bring some to me, he said that it is just incredibly delicious. I think I’ll get a trip to his village at some point.”
Well, that is what makes Dan love this place. I’m still trying to figure it out for myself.