Monday, July 25, 2011

Rustavi - Meeting the Boss, New Friends, and Looking Into the Eyes of the Dog

This morning, I reviewed my materials for tomorrow's first lesson at the police station. ... only to discover in the evening, when I met my new boss, that the group I'll be working with is on Module 10 instead of 1. And I don't know what module the group in the second location is on. (Second location? What second location?)

Fortunately, recruits are told to bring their flexibility and their go-with-the-flowness, so I'm OK with this new information. Plus, my new boss will get me from points a to b to c. No problem. (Or in Georgian, "Ara problema.")

My hostess, Nino, took me to visit with friends in a different apartment building. E. speaks English, and she translated quite wonderfully for me, Nino, N., and N.'s son O.

N. plays piano (she plays by ear) and her son, O., sings. They gave us a lovely performance, singing some Georgian folk songs, plus Besame Mucho, Santa Lucia, and another love song. O. demonstrated several regional dances. It was all very charming, all the more so when one looked out the window to another gray Rustavi apartment building. It was hot. At various intervals, we sweated in place. A big grasshopper flew into the window. Quickly dispensed with.

N. served a nice coffee, some home-made cake, and the slender pretzel sticks Nino had picked up in a market on our way.

So we three women talked about the usual stuff - comparing notes on men at home and abroad, jobs, relationships. I mentioned to E. about we women recruits being told not to look Georgian men too long directly in the eyes, as it sends an unintended message that will likely result in undesired attention. At which E. smilingly agreed, saying, "Yes, you never look a dog in the eyes." I roared with laughter.

We walked home pretty late this evening, which all three women assured me is entirely safe in Rustavi. The crime situation is quite different now than in the past - when things were run by criminals, one never knew what would have been stolen whenever one left the house, even if only to walk down to the corner store. The police presence now has evidently made a huge difference.

I should note, too, that everyday life is vastly different now than even a year or so ago, when electric power and regular access to water was very unreliable. While power and water still shut down pretty regularly, it is nothing like before.

I don't remember who, but someone today told me that Rustavi isn't much to look at, but its people make it a beautiful place. 

Nino and I stopped at the Princess supermarket (across the street from the Prince supermarket) on the way home, where I loved finding an icy cold Pepsi Maxx.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Great reading. I like the local colour you add each time, such as food and surroundings. Terry A.