Thursday, April 14, 2005

Finally - The Other Georgia!

I’m typing this up on my laptop in my dark living room in our new house in Tbilisi, Georgia. Dave just went to bed – he is still fighting jetlag (We are now 8 hours ahead of EST time). Blaine is on the rug rotting his brain with a Thomas Tank DVD. Today is our second night here and we love it. Of course we have only been in this country a little over 24 hours, but if first impressions count for anything, we are going to really enjoy the next 2 years of our life.

We don’t have internet yet, and may not have it for another week or two – so in the meantime I plan on keeping up my blogging in Word and copying it all over once we are back on –line.

So, what’s Georgia like? My very first thought as we were going from the airport to our house was that Georgia was very similar to Naples, Italy. There is beautiful new construction next to crumbling buildings. Traffic is CRAZY. There seem to be no road rules at all. There are very few streets signs (I have yet to see a single sign, but I have been told there are a few). Even though many Americans tend to hire drivers here, Dave and I plan on driving ourselves. I am going to have to get very good at honking my horn as that seems to be the universal signal for “I’m driving here, this is my lane, get the hell out of my way”.

The people are very friendly. Blaine is a bit spooked by all the people tickling him under his chin or rubbing his head. And, unlike Italy, it is not just the older ladies who do this. Women and men, young and old, they all seem to be attracted to Blaine, maybe because of his strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes, or maybe just because he is the cutest kid in the whole world (in my humble opinion). Today we took a stroll downtown and he was either tickled or patted at least 4 times. At the airport, one of the workers ran up and scooped up Blaine in his arms as we were headed down the stairs from the plane to the tarmac (Blaine promptly freaked out and the nice Georgian gentleman put him down as quickly as he picked him up).

The food and shopping are great – much better than I had been led to believe. During our walk today I picked up some tomatos from a roadside stand and they were to.die.for good. I bought a loaf of bread from a local bakery – it was delicious. Regina (Dave’s boss’s wife) took us to the local supermarket, which is named “Goodwill”. This was a western-style grocery store. It had a coffee place right inside, carts with little plastic cars on the front that Blaine could “drive”, an ATM machine and they took credit cards! Yippie!

I’m off to change Blaine’s diaper (oh, you can buy Pampers here…I wish I had known that before I bought and shipped 8 Costco-sized boxes. I won’t even mention the shampoos, soaps, deodorants etc etc that I shipped that I did not need to.) and head to bed. Tomorrow we may walk down to the bazroba (central market) just a few blocks from here. And then we might stop and eat at the Chinese restaurant. Just like home!

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