Sunday, September 04, 2005

Booze, Bread, Baskets and Pottery!

David, Blaine and I took a trip out of Tbilisi today - we had no particular destination, we just wanted to head down the road towards Poti and shop along the way. David went to Poti on business a week or so ago and he took his GPS along and marked all the cool little shopping towns along the way, the ones that you won't find in a guidebook. There was the little town where Gomi Vodka is made, a small village where sweet bread is sold at stands every 5 feet, there was the basket shopping district and the pottery district. We also lucked into a boiled corn section of town (no I'm not kidding).

The first stop was at the Gomi Vodka factory store and restaurant. Mainly because I had to use the bathroom and we figured the restaurant would have something better than a squatty potty, which in my pregnant state is just not a feasible thing to try to do. The store itself is small - once Blaine, David and I were inside, there wasn't room for anyone else other than the cashier. We really had no intention of purchasing vodka as neither one of us are fans of the stuff, but we changed our mind when we saw how much a half-liter bottle of the stuff cost. It was 3 Lari and 60 Tetri. Which translates roughly to 2 bucks US. How can you turn down a 2 dollar bottle of vodka? Especially when they come in such nifty flavors? We purchased 5 bottles: Pepper, Honey, Lemon, Mint and regular vodka flavor. We also ended up getting some khachapuri in their restaurant to munch on before we hit the road again. Oh, and our assumption was right, they had quite a nice bathroom.

We left the vodka stop and headed down the road, on our way to pottery, baskets and bread. We decided to pass by the bread and baskets and head all the way out to the pottery town and then work our way back. The pottery place was just amazing. I had no plans to buy any pottery (I was planning on spending most of my cash on baskets) but once I got there, I changed my mind. We bought vases, wine pitchers, wine horns, keti pots, and a little piggy bank for Blaine. The stuff was amazing and amazingly cheap. I plan on going back an buying more.

After pottery, we turned the car around and started working our way back toward Tbilisi. Our next stop was for baskets. The basket stands had some very beautiful things and some really crappy things. This is where it pays to be careful and inspect what you are buying, especially as the baskets are not all that inexpensive. I did end up with a nice basket to put all my crafty cross-stitch stuff in and a basket for baby blankets for when the baby arrives. I also got a neat little basket for the kitchen to toss fruit into.

Along the way back we stopped to check out the corn stands. Now, we have tried buying corn at the farmer's market here in Tbilisi and it's not sweet and kind of tastes blah when boiled - even if I add sugar to the water. But this stuff? It was delicious. It only costs 1 lari for a boiled ear of corn on the cob and it's some of the tastiest corn I've ever had. We stopped and bought one ear from a little old lady on the side of the road and after David and I both took a bite, we decided to stop again and bought a few more ears from a young boy tending the fire a few blocks down the road. It's hard to explain, but literally this corn comes from people's private gardens and they just build a little wood fire on the side of the road and set a pot with corn on to boil. Then they sit and wait for someone to stop and buy from them. If it weren't a 2 hour drive away, I would go there at least every other day to get fresh boiled corn. Seriously.

A little further down the road we drive into what David refers to as "the Colonial village" and what I called "bread town". As far as the eye can see lining each side of the road are little stick and mud shacks, each a little bigger than the size of an outhouse, where bread is made. Regular Georgian Lavash bread and also "slotkey hleb" which translates as "sweet bread". The little shacks each house a raised, round concrete oven in which the breads are made. We stopped and bought a sweet bread from one of the stands, which tastes like it was made with honey and cinnamon. It was delicious.

Our last stop on the way home was at a small farmer's market on the side of the road. I bought a kilo or two of delicious tomatoes (Georgia has some of the best damn tomatoes I have EVER had). I also bought some apples and peaches to make a crisp and a cobbler, respectively. Oh, and we got Blaine some bananas and a small watermelon for me.

All in all, it was a great day in Georgia.


At 9/13/2005 5:31 AM, Blogger Its Just Water said...

I love your site. I am always waiting for your next post. I love it so much I was inspired to created my own. I am so lousy at sending emails and responding to them but I love to write. I think this is a geat way to keep in touch.

Give the boys a hug and kiss from me and the girls. Waiting to see you.


At 9/13/2005 10:09 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey Kathy!

I just read your blog. Fantastic. Maybe you will be quicker about updating than I am LOL



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