Saturday, May 10th
I’m settling down on the 11 o’clock train to the portside city of Batumi, where I’ll enjoy the weekend with TLG friends. There are two of them on the train, but in the next carriage, as they bought their tickets before me. The other two seats in my row of three are occupied by a couple of guys from somewhere in the Middle East. Across the aisle are a couple of young people from somewhere in Europe. Between the guy’s blue eyes, the girl’s blonde hair, and something about a Norwegian sandwich shop on the guy’s shirt, I assume that they are from Norway.
The guys in my row aren’t impressed by my presence, but I’m definitely getting “we should talk at some point before the ride is over” vibes from the Norwegians. As I listen to their conversation, I keep hearing words that sound Georgian to me. I guess that happens when you are constantly surrounded by a language.
Eventually, our ice breaker comes in the form of light pelvic thrusting. On their part, mind you. I laugh when the girl makes eye contact with me while attempting the “moves” her friend is trying to teach her. She responds with laughter as well. And thus friendships are born.
Despite the blue eyes and blonde hair and the audacity to engage in pelvic thrusting in public, it turns out they actually are Georgian. But it doesn’t take long before I feel confident that they are not typical tradition-bound Georgians. And for the first time, I’m able to engage in nerdy conversation. With Georgians. I even mention Lord of the Rings Online and am met not with “Seriously, you play that?” but with “What do you have? I have an elf.” So impress. Much amaze. Wow.
I’m with American and South African TLG friends and a Canadian we know from the hostel, walking around Batumi, looking for a place to hang out. We end up meeting with the Georgians I had met earlier at a pub that’s popular with internationals.
As modern as they are, they still follow through with a special tradition of Georgian “hospitality” and buy me shot of cha cha. And despite being an American 21-year-old, I’m a baby and only do half of it. Then some Turkish guy comes and starts hitting on me….then some Ukrainian guy comes and starts hitting on the Georgian girl….it’s funny how pub culture is so widely homogenous.
I totally forgot to take pictures while there so please enjoy these googled ones instead. I'll try to post different ones if/when myself or my friends get some.
Photo from www.levke.net
Photos from Wikipedia