Out to Space

A freak who enjoys discovering and sharing a simple beauty of life even in a strange place

Three Months in Tbilisi: Settling in and Starting to Get to Know You

Dear Tbilisi, 

I have been in your arms for three months now. But, to my sin, I have not expressed my impressions about you properly. It’s time to utter it.

First of all, I’d like to pay my gratitude for accommodating me in the past months. The one-year visa-free scheme persuaded me to land on your ground. In this turbulent and unstable time, you become a host to those fleeing the war and conflict in the neighbours. The sights of Georgian and Ukrainian flags alongside each other in the city show how compassionate you are.

That gives me chances for a yarn with people from all over the world—expats and visitors alike—including Ukrainian, Russian, Armenian, Czechs, Chinese, Bahraini, Thai, and so on. Surprisingly, I can find more Thai food and massage places than in the much larger Istanbul. And ultimately, the locals are hospitable. 

In addition, I’d like to apologise for not getting to know you as much. After the previous expedition in Turkey, I need a break to settle in, recreate routines in the new city, and most importantly, calibrate my mentality. Simply put, I have been in a shell. And your peaceful lifestyles are supportive.

Initially, I booked an Airbnb in Saburtalo for a month to see if I wanted to stay longer. Within a week, I reserved another Airbnb for another six months in Isani. When I moved to a new place, six-month gym membership and a six-month travel card were sorted. It is a long commitment for me. But I follow my guts and synchronise my time with you with Mars in Gemini for seven months, astrologically speaking.

Although I’ve been focusing more on myself for three months than our relationship, there are things I truly admire about you, Tbilisi.

When I discovered Georgian wine—saperavi in particular, it just clicked. I couldn’t help myself comparing it with shiraz in Australia which goes well with my palate. The only chance I got out of the city so far was the rtveli in Gori to experience a harvest celebration. It is apparent that Georgian culture and wine are inseparable as it is the world’s oldest wine region. Wine in unlabeled plastic bottles is common. Even the pomace is turned into Georgian brandy aka chacha (ჭაჭა), which becomes the spirit of my choice.

Of course, Georgian cuisine is unique. I cannot go deep into this realm but can name a few: khachapuri (ხაჭაპური), khinkali (ხინკალი), kupati (კუპატი), pkhali (ფხალი), etc. You also feed me other cuisines from the neighbours such as Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish, Indian, and usual western foods. Asian foods are also available but I know you work with what you have. 

There are more of you to get to know you and other regions. I don’t even attempt to learn the Georgian language. That should change somehow, especially, the intricate script that I’d like to decode. 

On the other hand, there are some of your sides that make me cringe. Your outlets for other sexualities and gender identities are comparably limited. Even though the city is pretty clean, a recycling mindset is almost non-existed. And in spite of legal cannabis consumption, the commerce around it is still in the grey area. But no worries, I am getting by. Nowhere is perfect.

All in all, I had a good rest in these three months with you and would love to get to know you better. There are another four months to do so. That’s a promise.

3 months in Tbilisi, PPE masks
PPE masks become rare

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