At the hostel, I chat with a former TLGer who is back in Georgia for a visit after a couple years away. We share stories with each other and others hanging out at the hostel about the craziness that is Georgia. His host family, for example, was an extremely traditional family full of men who very well could have been connected to the mafia. They had a stock pile of questionable weapons and assured him that if anyone in Georgia gave him a problem, they would kill that person. And their parents. And their children. Sounds like a good place to live. Why not?
After a while we head out to indulge in the small but potent Tbilisi underground, comprised of disgruntled 20-somethings who know that their country is backwards but can’t escape it. We end up at Dive Bar…a popular hang-out for us foreigners and the locals who enjoy our company. I see a Ukrainian guy my age who I’ve met here before, while he was hosting a crazy group of travelers from Barcelona. He tells me they were traveling in a caravan, but couldn’t take it to India, so they just left the vehicle and all its papers with him. He also tells me that he and some other friends are going to the wine festival tomorrow, and then camping tomorrow night. I’m welcome to join. Sounds like fun…why not?
Sunday, May 25th, 2:00pm
A TLG friend of mine and I meet up with the Ukrainian and his friends, and he shows us our weekend home. As you might guess, it isn’t a usual sight in a country where black is the most popular color of clothing. She also hasn’t been used in a couple of months, and they didn’t clean her out before they left…but hey, our chariot awaits! We hop on board and settle in on the bed in the back. Looks like this could be an adventure…so why not?
We camp out at a lake called Lisi Lake. By the end of the night I’m sitting around a fire with two British guys, another American, a Ukrainian, a Turkish guy, and an Iranian girl. As it gets darker, the scenery around us gets more beautiful. In front of us is the water, dark and still. Part of the city is framed by hills to our right, and we can see large buildings with hundreds of little golden lights lined up in rows stories high. To our left are more hills, standing tall and deep purple, never minding the quiet lightening lighting up the sky behind them. I can’t help but think to myself that this is what being young should be like. No…that’s not enough for me. This what I want my life to be like. Spontaneity, companionship, beauty….I mean really, why not?