Saturday, June 11, 2005

Does this gun go with this outfit?

Much like the wild, wild west of yore, many Georgians carry guns openly on their hips. Usually the Georgian is a "security guard" at a restaurant or casino. But it's disconcerting, to say the least, to sit down for dinner at an outdoor cafe and have men with guns tucked into their belts strolling around. One of our favorite restaurants is a popular spot with expatriates and is owned by an American. She has 2 to 3 armed guards outside of her business at all times. Does it make me feel safer? I guess. Is it necessary? I honestly don't know. And honestly don't want to find out. I also find it interesting that I've only seen men with guns, but that doesn't necessarily mean the ladies aren't packing heat as well.

In another case of guns and dinner, we went to a great little Italian place for dinner the other night. It was our first time there and we went because we saw a banner hanging up in town that said "All you can drink free beer Thursday". So, I guess it's safe to say that we didn't go for the food as much for the free beer (not that I had any, but Dave and some of his buddies from work had quite a few). The food, though, was outstanding, really the best Italian food that I have had in Tbilisi. But I almost choked on my bruschetta when, out of nowhere, 2 police officers came rushing into the restaurant with guns drawn. And when I say guns drawn, I'm not talking a little handgun. Nope. One of the police officers had an AK-47 and he was, as they say in the movies, "locked and loaded". I was ready to grab my child and dive under the table, but no one else in the restaurant even looked remotely interested. Not the waiters. Not the other Georgian patrons. Not even our American dinner companions. Everybody just seemed to ignore them. They talked to one of the waiters for a few minutes and one of the officers even got a glass of water and drank it. Then they left. Who knows what they really wanted - I can't see the need for a glass of water being so great that you have to brandish an AK-47.

I wasn't even going to blog about the gun culture here in Tbilisi or about our experience at the Italian place (because I know my mother and mother-in-law will probably freak out and worry - but it's ok moms....we're fine. Really.) but David has been bugging me to post about it. So, I hope you are happy Dave. Here's your gun post. You get to answer the phone when your mom calls.


At 6/14/2005 3:36 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Hi Jen! It is Kim Byrne....from TLC...just caught up with your blog! WOW! You are a long way from home....

At 6/14/2005 3:38 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Ok.... I obviously hit the send button too quick. We had an exchange student, Irena, from the Republic of Georgia, only months after they became independent... VERY INTERESTING experience... it sounds like the Georgian people have flourished in their independence!


At 6/15/2005 9:56 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi Kim!

We are a long way from home, but we love it here! Which is a good thing considering we will probably be here for at least 2, if not 3, years. LOL



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