Sights of Tbilisi after 4 months

In the bus from Batumi I thought I would sleep for a while, exausted of the hitchhiking and bus tours from Ankara. But there is this kind of instinct, that one wants to see the last moment of ones life, and because the driver for sure did not get his driver licence in Canada, where one of the criteria of good driving is not spilling the cup of coffee inside the car, he was stoping when it was necessary and when it was not, what is naturally hard to judge if you are sleeping, therefore in a overtired vigilance I was observing all the cows and old zhigulis to be taken over from the left and from the right.  

It was raining in Tbilisi. This time I am more familiar here. Even though without a bike it is much more difficult to find your way, I ask now easily, romeli nomeri marjanishvilis kucha midixart? Which one is going to Marjanishvili, where I rented a room for a month, to get sorted the impressions, to write and plan the life forward.

 

I like Tbilisi. Months ago, I even put it in my list of my top top cities. But since cities are also people, I was wondering about them now. I never met people in Georgia who would listen. They would talk. Monologues. It is ok. But it is the feeling of coming back here. I know I will be quite here. When I was a child in Vilnius, I used to live an autistic life with no one to talk, but since I did not know any other state, I did not suffer, and had my friendship with stones and walls I would visit every night I would go out with my dog in the dark streets of Uzupis. Entering Tbilisi I had already a list in my mind, what places to go to and was looking forward to see them.

I realised already a while ago, that the most efficient survival strategy is not to get atached to anyone and anything. Then you cannot get hurt. You might become empty as a tin bucket, but you can hardly be hurt. The thing is, it never works. Subconcious has its mysterious ways and while I am busy ejecting someone from my mind, I might get already attached to someTHING.

I liked a chachiapuri kiosk in Rustaveli. There is no trace of it there, as if it did not exist. And the people just vanished like from a screen after the film is over. I laughed about myself not being able to find a photo lab on Rustaveli, walking there down and up several times, until I realised, it is not there anymore either. And the armenian guy in the photoshop vanished naturally as well. The gallery, where I used to work with and had to pick up my post, I realised was also closed. The state does not give money anymore. I calculated again. Five months. But the old women, selling sunflower seeds, semochki, are still there. Probably also not for a long time. There are constructions in the underground zones. Sure, these people soon will be a bad sight surounded with some more expensive shops in the background.

 

The city council decided that it is also a bad sight to have the clothes hung out from the windows. If I refered earlier to a law in Germany prohibiting to hang out your laundry, I treated as a case of madeness which would never be strong enough to take the mainstream tracks. The more scary it sounds hearing the news about the new imposed Tblisi esthetics. Even though I could imagine someone like certain style more that the other, what does not fit in my mind is the discrpepance between the gracious law and the realities people live in. I could bet that there is virtually no room to hang out the clothes inside of the houses.

 

If I admire the cities like Damascus, that did not follow the esthetical dictatorship and cleansing of the city centers as did Vilnius, N.Y. , or many others. Where people of mixed economical and social background share the spaces. For me personally it is one of the criterea of subjective well-being – living in an environment, where facets of priviledges are drawn to a minimum, where there is more mixing and mingling together rather than segregation or getho building. It looks as if Tbilisi does not seem to realise it as a value and for sure their encouraging partners, such as World Bank, would be the last to object the contrary. Another law is in discussion. All the citizens of the old Tbilisi are supposed to pay taxes for the fund which should cover the costs of renovation. So far so good, it is possible to follow the neoliberalist logic. But the thing is that the amounts of money to be collected from people stand in no reasonable relation to their theoretical and practical possibilities to earn this money. Let us say, an old woman, getting her 47 lari pension is supposed to pay 80 for just the right to live in the old town. For sure, this strategy to make people sell their houses is much more convenient than burning houses in Vilnius.

 

The logic of the rule goes as follows    as soon as one is in power, one should release laws that serves your interests, but makes the others criminal. Soon all Tbilisi will be criminal, since I doubt if even a small percent of people would be realistically able to keep up with the law and pay these taxes.

 

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