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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shoes, Guns and the French

So I’m going to be super lazy and bullet point a blog post. I’ll even go so far as to not even bother using actual bullet points and just use the dashes. Deal with it dear reader.

- Started making my own sweet tea at home in the apartment this past week. I’m having to make it in a liter and a half bottle so the first couple of batches were a little too sweet. Yeah, I drank it anyway, but I think I’ve got the mix down now.

- Got the Internet up and running at the house so that’s nice.

- Why do they call is breaking in shoes when it should be called breaking in feet? I’ve had this one pair of dress shoes for a few years now and have never really had occasion to use them outside of weddings and funerals and the rare occasion that I wore a suit. With starting the new job I figured, hey, I need to wear these shoes because I’ve been hauling them all over the world and now I have a job where I wear slacks and a tie most days. Well, my feet are none too happy about it. Two of my small toes on my left foot and the heel of my right are blistered and sore. I thought only women had to endure foot pain for the sake of fashion.

- Downloaded and watched a documentary called “African Cats” just because it was narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. I thought for sure it would be awesome. It was ok, but I knew it would fall well below expectations when I saw it was produced by Disney. I was so hopping to hear Samuel L. Jackson drop a few F-Bombs while describing a lion chase or something. Oh well.

- My Georgian residency card expired this past week and I learned they want about a hundred bucks for a new one. I don’t need one to be here legally, but it was nice cause all my info was in Georgian on there. I just got my school to translate all the information for me and then photo copied my front passport page to the back of it. All will be well.

- I was walking down the street the other day and saw this guy literally selling an AK-47 out of its case. He had these two other guys around him and they were talking about it. I couldn’t resist. I had to stop and at least try to listen in. Of course they were speaking Georgian and using vocabulary that was way above my level, but I did get a good look at the thing. I was still in my school clothes and I guess looking like I had money because the guy who was selling it turned to me and asked me if I was interested. I was not. I just wanted to get a good look at the thing. It looked awesome and I totally wanted to take it up in the hills and squeeze off about 200 rounds. I just thought that this was a funny example of how even though Georgia has come a long way; it still serves as a giant army surplus store.

- Got my hours reduced at school by two. No big deal. I was pretty loaded down and this at least gives me a break now in what was quickly becoming ‘kill me now’ Thursdays. The Ministry of Education decided that my second graders needed more Georgian Literature so instead of having them every day, I now only have them three days a week. I could see reducing their hours, but for Georgian Literature? I mean how many times can one really read Rustavelli in a lifetime?

- Started teaching private lessons this week. My first student was late for his first lesson. He’s Georgian, I expected that. Surprisingly though he wanted to talk about how Westerners are always on time and how Georgians can work on that aspect of their culture. I wanted to congratulate him on completing the first step ‘admitting you have a problem.’

- Got my first surprise day off from school this week. (There will be many more for random Georgian holidays and events.) French President Nicholas Sarkozy visited Tbilisi on Friday and since a lot of the streets would be blocked off, all of the Tbilisi schools decided to take the day off as to not have people showing up three hours late. Love when Georgia does stuff like this. Mind you, Sarkozy spent Friday morning in Azerbaijan and didn’t get to Georgia until the late afternoon to make an outdoor speech at Freedom Square and then take off the same night back to Paris. How this would have affected school traffic I’m not sure. But, I’m not complaining. See article here: (Also: I’m glad he, “felt like” he was in Europe. Wish I could say the same thing.)

- I got a package from home in record time. Mom was the first to mail one off and it got from her post office to my hands in only 10 days!!! Amazing. I now have my winter coat and some awesome kitchen knives. Score!

- I’ve found my favorite brand of orange juice. It tastes the most like real OJ and says its 100% juice. But, and this goes back to my questions about Georgia and their customer service and pricing, the price of the OJ is kind of weird. For 1.5 liters of this OJ it costs you 4.75 Lari (not too bad) but for the 2 liter of the same brand it’s 6.75. What the hell is that? Two extra Lari for another half liter? No way!

- Just noticed that Monday is Columbus Day in America. As much as I like to make fun of random Georgian holidays, Columbus Day has to rank right up there on the list of most useless holidays. I for one think we should change it to Leif Ericson Day, (or [insert first Indian to cross the land bridge’s name here] Day) or just drop it all together. As if we don’t have enough holidays we stick this one in at the beginning of each October to show that we really don’t know who discovered America but that we’d all like a Monday off. And, by all, I mean those with government jobs because everybody else goes to work. I’d like to see us vote to strip the government of all of their holidays until they can prove that they actually do some work on the days when they are supposed to be there. (I’ll stop here because I feel a rant coming on).

Well, that was my week. I’ve got to run some random errands this weekend and then play our last softball game until spring. So sad that we’re preparing in advance for winter by shutting it down this early in October. But, it’ll start raining and getting cool here pretty soon as everyone rushes out to the fields to haul in their grapes.