Archive for Georgia

(SUR)real Georgia

Posted in Photo with tags , , , on 2015-09-22 by candycactus

Here is a collection of images from Georgia taken during prolonged stays in 2004-2012

GEORGIAN

Earth day – balloons and professors

Posted in English, Stories and Tales, Travel diary with tags on 2008-04-23 by candycactus

Yesterday, to celebrate the Earth day the Georgian authorities let 500 rubber balloons to the sky. Georgia will become one big old condome soon, it is not only the small people in the market that do not realize the harm of all the plastic, but also the decision makers who have no idea of what could possibly mean ecological.

On the other hand just to fly somewhere by plane is THOUSAND times worse, and every smart educated westerner, who are most probably vegetarians at the same time, does it without slightest feeling of spoiled conciousness. There are crowds that admire the Al Gore film, where his magesty flies on the helicopter to see the disasters. Psychological effect of that film is nothing more than “let us all go and see”.

Even Georgians are very funny and not very smart concerning the eco thinking, well we, the westerners are so much worse concerning the eco- acting. How many times a year an average educated vegetarian flies to conferences?

Disaster, because tooooo many times, and too many these kind of people.

As long as people act what they consider is “normal”, nothing ever change I guess. The good thing about Georgia – it is also full of crazy people. There is one Georgian professor, who lives here in the same district, but works in Austria, well he melted all the platic bags he collected through the years in one big stone and took it to Austria, in order to throw it to the recycling bin. The security was not sure what they should think of it. The professor kept his lectures at the spot about how bad plastic. I suppose at least the staff of the airport will remember it until their last days 😉

In the shadows of USHBA

Posted in Caucasus, English, Photo, Travel diary, World Bike Trip with tags , , , on 2007-09-18 by candycactus

It smelt like death. Dead meat. Must have been an animal or something, I thought. Hm, so this is the known Svaneti, the praised place. I was walking to Nakra, and looking at the pieces of woodlogs on the side of the small dirt road I thought only how I really like it small.. small mountains, small lakes, rivers, I missed Ajara, Spirakiai and felt so unfitting in that place. No people. Then a young woman with a child. We went to fetch some mzhave zkhali, the mineral water coming out from the ground. There used to be some tourist bases in soviet times. Many sovietzt toursist would come to hike around Ushba, bringing kedi, sportshoes that they would trade with locals to cheese and other food. Empty houses in Nakra. There used to be a sasadilo, an inn. I could imagine tourists flirting with the locals here on the stairs. Only ghosts remain.

I walk to the main street again, 6 km, no people, in the shadow of the narrow  valleys mountain. It is a little bit spooky, but there are no objective signs of what i should be afraid of.

In the main road there are no cars. In the way I enjoy the facts, since there is so much dust after anyone passes by. but now, the warm suns light is turning to dusk and i admitt to myselft that i dont want to walk here. one car comes from the front. we talk, they live in a village in the opposite  direction, say surprised xochax xochax, when they here my story, that i travel alone, by bike or by foot. Their excitement does not comfort me much, since I have read and heard of Svaneti being a little bit wild place. Therefore I let my bike in Batumi and came up by marshrutka.

They leave and I walk again. Strange, I think. THis landscape is not mine.

…..

pics are here http://www.candycactus.net/qdig, look for Svaneti

Download

Posted in Caucasus, Downloads, English, Travel diary, World Bike Trip with tags , on 2007-07-02 by candycactus

Upload and print the last three posts here, so that you dont have to hang around on the net too long.

back-to-georgia.doc

Sights of Tbilisi after 4 months

Posted in Caucasus, English, Travel diary with tags , on 2007-07-02 by candycactus

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.

 

Misle apie mergelike

Posted in Caucasus, Lietuviškai, Stories and Tales, Travel diary, World Bike Trip with tags , on 2007-02-28 by candycactus

ne, neimanoma visas idomybes surasyt, tai jus prasom surasykit, as tik klausimelius pametysiu, kaip tas butu?

Kas buvo per mergelike is Sirijos, katra per Kapadokija vare ir koki stebukla padare Gruzijoj,  kad ana Krikscionybe priemo?

Masterpiece of Georgian Experience

Posted in Caucasus, English, Travel diary, World Bike Trip with tags , , on 2006-12-23 by candycactus

Instead of writing my own impressions in English, I better quote here my absolute favourite writer now, Tony Anderson, from his book  Bread and Ashes – A Walk Through the Mountains of Georgia, 2004 Vintage. A small masterpiece of Georgian experience.  

‘Do you have a gun?’ asks Akhmed.
‘A gun?’
‘Yes, a gun, do you have one?’
‘No, I say, ‘no gun’.
“Would you like one? A rifle? A Kalashnikov?’
‘No, thank you.’
‘Here, take mine.’ He passes over his old hunting rifle, made of a Soviet army barrel from the last war, a Turkish breech dated 1919 and stock he had carved himself.
‘No, thank you. I thought you said this was a peaceful place.’
‘Yes, of course, it is a completely safeand peaceful place, ochen spokoynoe mesto, but there are bears and even wolfes.’
‘But the bears are no problem, ‘ I say, ‘are they?’
‘No, no, absolutely not,’ Akhmed assures me, ‘but here are people.’
‘People?’
‘Yes.’
‘Ah, so you would not say it was entirely safe.’
‘No. It is completely safe.’
We sat on a grassy slope above the village, watching the great mountains darken, the fireflies and the stars coming out. Below, on the low wall of the little border post, a young guard coughed and lit a cigarette. I t glowed comfortingly, way off in the night. His friends inside played cards and drank endless cups of tea, like soldiers everywhere. Akhmed, leaving reluctantly, had told them to watch over us. So, we settled down and drifted into sleep, listening.

Tony Anderson was born in 1950, read English at Oxford and has taught both in Britain and abroad. He has worked as an editor and writer for television, books and theatre, and has recently edited works on Russian/Caucasian subjects. He lives in Somerset.  

Somerset must be definitely a nice place to live, since there is at least one inhabitant of astonishing wit, insight and simplicity around. I could hardly believe, that travelers experiencing the world around them as Winnie the Pooh can find publishers nowadays. So, the news for the world are not that bad then! Whaaaa, I wish I could write like Tony. And I’m glad I am not at the university anymore and can learn from books and people beyond academic. So much more exciting!