Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rustavi Lunch, Rain, Drink, and Dance

The ladies of "my" building invited me and my hostess, Nino, to lunch. Every building has some outdoor space with a couple of picnic tables. All morning, I'd noticed women and some men clearing up the environs, picking up trash, pruning trees and clearing brush, and then burning grass.

In the afternoon, Nino indicated that we were to go out to lunch at what I thought was her friend's house, who'd I'd met yesterday. So I put on my hat and threw my bag over my shoulder. Nino kind of laughed, but we headed out. That's when I realized why Nino had laughed - we were only going down to the communal yard.

The ladies had prepared a great picnic - khinkali, watermelon, and various other dishes. They'd filled a couple of small wading pools for the kids to play in - it was very hot. There was also cold beer, mineral water, and some kind of soda.

Khinkali. Dumpling filled with meat and juices. Credit: Chef Premier

We had a pleasant time, stumbling along in hashed English and Georgian. Later, I shared the photos I'd brought. Among all of them, the photo of a family pig roast, with said pig, on said roast, being the highlight of the photo, evoked from the Georgians sighs and poetry (and may I suggest, even tears) of love toward the deliciousness of roast pork.

One husband sent off for tcha-tcha, a powerful Georgian alcoholic beverage, made with the dregs of the wine making. I think it's on the order of vodka, but made with grape base. To go with the tcha-tcha was brought cherry juice. One downs the shot of tcha-tcha and then follows that with the cherry chaser. I had three shots.

Amazing how much clearer one's vision becomes and how much more skilled one becomes in the local language after three shots of tcha-tcha.

Later met the son of Nino's sister and two of his friends. Had another beer. Watched a Georgian dance video, which I show below. It is a classic military dance - I think you'll agree it is pretty fantastic. After that is another video, with English subtitles, on the "legend" of Georgian dance.

The afternoon brought a cooling and drenching rain. The streets are the storm drainage system.

View from my bedroom

View from my bedroom - the rain created a lake in the courtyard. 

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