07/09/2018 – 02/10/2018
Never met a Mexican
After saying goodbye to my friends, sister and father at the airport I stepped on the flight towards Istanbul. I flew from Amsterdam to Istanbul to Tbilisi. During this time, I found out it is quite hard to say goodbye to your friends and family for one whole year. I actually watched 3 movies during the flight and transfer to get my mind of everything. I arrived at the airport at 4:30 AM in the morning, and Levan, my friend and EVS coordinator, was waiting there for me. Before coming here, we agreed on getting “Khinkali” the moment I arrived in Georgia. So we did. At 5 AM in the morning sitting in a restaurant being extremely exhausted because of a 10 hour trip to getting there, and waiting on the food that you know that everyone says you will marry someday (I got this love for Khinkali, because I just thinks it’s super amazing). When we finished all the Khinkali and we stepped outside, and it became quite disorientating because all of the sudden you are awake during sunrise. Levan drove me to the apartment which will be my house for the upcoming year. Levan told me that I will be living together with a “Mexican guy” who will be studying in Tbilisi. Standing in front of my door and thoughts just run through my mind, “what if he is not nice”, “what if he does not like my too much music listening every second of everyday”. Levan opened up the door and there was my new roommate called “Gerardo”. I shook his hand and instantly forgot about my questions because he already seemed like a real kind and a decent person. After some getting to know each other I was dying to get some sleep.
After sleeping until noon, me and Gerardo went outside to get me a Georgian Sim card for internet. Of course, during this we talked to each other and talked about everything that is our lives. During this I noticed that he is a kind man, but a more enclosed and not an explorer kind of person. Which does not matter at all, and I knew that I would not mind at all living with him. After some more sleeping, we went out to buy a lot of new stuff we needed for our house. I bought probably way too much, but I still use everything which is good. At night we met up with Levan and the other Georgian friends because they told us about a soccer match which will be held in the Dinamo stadium just across our house. Me and Gerardo went to buy some tickets at the counter, which was crowded with enthusiastic Georgian citizens who wanted to see their country win. When we finally reached one of the counters we asked the woman for 2 tickets, and then this a guy behind us asked to buy 3 tickets and gave us 15 lari. After this man, 3 other men asked us to buy tickets for us and the woman started giving us around 10 tickets. I found out that this is how it worked when buying tickets, everyone around us was buying tickets “together” by giving money to the person in front. Finally inside I was actually amazed by the stadium. Biggest reason is because I had never been in a stadium and that made it more amazing. All of the Georgians were really enthusiastic and excited about the game and eventually Georgia won from Latvia by a penalty goal. The game ended and we tried to make our way through the mass to find a restaurant because we were starving. After walking around for 40 minutes we found a restaurant which actually exists in more places in Tbilisi so we knew that it was a good place. During this dinner I got quite amazed by the questions that Gerardo could come up with. The whole dinner we had real philosophical conversations and questions. These questions made me think of the way I conversate with other people and that I should work on asking better questions or the amazing conversations that grow from philosophical questions.
The next day me and Gerardo went to Rustavi for a traditional Georgian barbeque with my colleagues from Caucasus Youth Nexus. The Georgian barbeques always amaze me because of the way they prepare their meat and don’t use any grill but just a shish kebab stick in the meat and put it on a barbeque not fired up with coal but with these special wood sticks. I made a small video of it because I was just amazed by how it all looked, which you can see here. The following days I explored my neighborhood and started working at the Caynex office where I found out that Dutch people are more punctual and make a bigger problem out of being on time. After some days Gerardo and I decided to join a gym 6 minutes from our house. It was quite expensive for other gyms in Tbilisi, but we think it’s one of the best as well. We both try to become more healthy in our time in Georgia, and try to go at least 3 times a week to the gym.
I heard that in other countries that it would be a cultural shock or experience to go to the cinemas so, I went there with Gerardo. We took a taxi to a huge shopping mall in the outskirts of Tbilisi. We went to the movies but there was no cultural differences at all, it was just a normal cinema just like in the Netherlands. For next time I think we should choose the less fancy cinemas.
On the 15th of September we had the World Cleanup Day where I worked as a photographer and videomaker. A whole day of picking up trash and cleaning Tbilisi and the surrounding areas. We started cleaning at the Tbilisi sea, I started taking pictures and filming everyone and all of the sudden some cars drive towards us and a man steps outside of the car. I asked one of my friends “Who is that” and she says laughing “That’s the president of Georgia!”. The day passed and we picked up a lot of trash and filmed everyone doing it. Afterwards I started editing the “aftermovie” which you can see here.
The following days I started to get to know Gerardo way better, and learned the ways of my neighborhood and had some standard working days at the office.
This was my blog for the first few weeks, hope you liked it and see you on the next one!