Saturday, March 03, 2012

Postcard from Tbilisi

This from Terry in Georgia:

The sun came out today so of course I was like "Let's move to Georgia!"

Very Russian sort of place - more so than Armenia. Lots of 2500 year old towns, fortress monasteries, Orthodox churches, blah blah blah.

Georgia itself reminds me a bit of Gambia - but not at all. What I mean is that the main part of the country is a giant river valley moving east west to the Black Sea with mountain ranges above and below. Down by the Black Sea, the river valley is enormously wide and flat (where the ADP is) and Tbilisi is up at the narrow end where it sort of oozes up on to the Eurasian Land scene.

Georgia is a country way more divided by conflicts and separatist movements. The bulk of the ethnic Georgians (85% of the country) live in the big river valley while the other ethnic groups who want to separate live up on the mountains that border either Russia or Turkey. So suddenly that was more understandable.

Another thing about Georgia, you can't throw a brick without hitting a castle. I mean, they are everywhere - plus stuff like 2000 year old towns, monasteries from before the birth of Christ (joking), and all sorts of history here - I mean, history that we don't know anything about in US or even in Europe. The joke here among the Georgians is that Armenians claim to be Christians from the 4th Century B.C.

Sneeze-Gargle (name of the town) is cool in an old, small town sort of way. The ADP manager and the assistant manager took me out to eat tonight as a host thingie. It was cool, but didn't work out the greatest since the place we went to had drunken old Russians and live music set at deafblaster levels. So we spent most of the meal making faces at each other and shouting "WHAT?" - not the best environment for reasoned discussion on international development dynamics.

He gets back next Thursday.

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