Five Waters

On the flight over, ALL of us were dehydrated. Aerosvit serves tomato juice and tea, but not a hell of a lot of water. I’d filled my water bottle in New York but for that to last 12 hours, between me and my newfriend Leigh? Yeah probably not. Imagine our overjoy when Tamara, our TLG guide, reveals to us that we get 4 bottles of water a day, each. Clearly not a problem here. We’re also not allowed to drink (alcohol) this first week of orientation–apparently the first few TLGers decided it was spring break in the former soviet union, so the director decided to slap down a ban to keep things sane. So, lots of tea, and lots of water.

Last night we went out to the freedom bridge to see the city at night, and were richly rewarded (see getty images below). After the epic 40 minute hike to the city proper I was hongry, BIG DOBLE HONGRY. “Anyone want to eat?” There were a few scattered yeses, so we walked off the bridge and found this touristy place, “La Trappe,” set on the instep of a stone wall near the Mtkvari.

Inside was all stone too, and we sat around the table. It felt pretty medieval, except for the giant heat lamp off to my right. Anna ordered a big khatchapuri to split, and I ordered some soup to warm up. And right before our waitress left, I wanted to impress everyone with my broken georgian, so I asked for five waters. “Xuit ts’q’ali.” She wrote it down and scuttled away to the kitchen. “I asked for some water,” I informed the group.

We made jokes until the food came. Kharcho, my soup, is sort of a beefy-barley soup, and Khachapuri Imereti is a big, warm circle filled with sour cheese. The group each jumped on a slice, and we all began talking about how great this khachapuri was. It was awesome.

Then our waitress comes back, and both Leigh and I see she’s carrying a plate with, guess what, five tall, empty glasses, and five bottles of water.

“Uhhh how much is that?” I asked Leigh on my left.

“I think I saw it was 2 lari apeice somewhere.”

Anna looked me dead in the eyes. “Pretty sure this one’s on you, buddy.”

“Drinks are on me tonight WOOOOOOOOOO!” And we toasted and lol’d and walked home in the cold.

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