About a year ago, my brother got really obsessed with Armenia, and started dumping Armenia stuff all over my facebook wall. This includes many, many pictures of old monasteries, delicious fruit wines, and crude sexual insults transliterated into Armenian. (This is how we communicate.) Zoe, at the time, was getting into India hardcore, in hopeful preparation for a “yes” the Fulbright people. Damn, I thought, Everyone’s getting obsessed about an exotic country these days. It looked like a lot of fun. I picked Georgia. It was a pretty easy leap, because it was right next to Armenia and I knew a ton about Armenia by proxy because my brother’s insane, and also my piano teacher is from Georgia. Question 1: where the hell is Georgia?
Oh weird. I thought it was in Eastern Europe somewhere. Let’s zoom out:
Whoa indeed, map. That’s an entire Black Sea away from Eastern Europe. Then a bunch of other stuff happened, and the Georgian government invited me to come teach English to their happy sixth-grade children. I really have no way to describe what happened. It’s standard stuff: apply for X, wait for excrutiating period to discover if you get X, fret about choosing X, flirt with idea of doing Y, freak out and take the train across country Z, freeload with friend Q and stranger S112, find out that the travel abroad company needs medical document D, wait period of time T, bite nails N1 through N5, get accepted to X, get marching orders M.
Sorry. I really, really wanted this to be a “so why the hell are you going to Georgia and by the way, isn’t Georgia that place that was invaded four years ago” sort of post, but I was never able to explain it myself. My desire to live and teach abroad at some point morphed into this all-consuming amoeba, which stretched out its pseudopods towards a small region of the Caucasus mountains to consume it in a kind of microscopic ecstasy. At least you know where it is, right? So instead, in no particular order, a list of reasons why Georgia is great:
1. Language. Isolated, old, and rich with consonant clusters. (“Gmadlobt” means “thanks,” and “mkvdari” means “dead,” as in “I will be dead after I try to learn this language.”) The alphabet looks like someone sewing with the hiccups.
2. Supra. This is a culture based around 3-hour dinner parties, or Supras. At these epic dinner parties, frequent toasts are made, many foods are consumed, and people sing songs around the dinner table. Which brings me to…
3. Music. Spend some time on youtube clicking through Georgian music videos. They get progressively weirder. Start with folk polyphony and then move on to boys serving creepy older men and drag lady gaga.
4. BEAUTIFUL. The entire region is full of beautiful beautiful mountains and monasteries and villages that look like they’re from the middle ages, and let’s face it, have probably survived since then AWESOME.
5. POMEGRANATE WINE.
6. KHACHAPURI. Their national food is the Georgian version of pizza.
Anyways. I’m leaving the thirteenth of February, and will post as frequently as I can, because I love attention and my thousands of readers will want to know, I’m sure, the many adventures about to occur.