So we arrived in Tbilisi late in the afternoon and grabbed a taxi to our new apartment. We met our Cousins near the road our place is located and they guided us the rest of the way and helped drag our luggage up to the eighth floor. To be perfectly honest, I was a little concerned. I am used to Soviet era apartments and the general outside being not as important as the inside. However, as I
It is huge, big rooms, modern kitchen, and lovely views. We have half of the floor with balconies on both sides and big windows all around. It is very nice and not at all representative of the downstairs. Curb appeal has even less influence in Georgia! We were sent on our journey in
Our cousins welcomed us with typical Georgian hospitality. For North Americans, this means treating you like visiting Royalty. Toasts and the food were enjoyed and then we were delivered back to our home for our first night.
The next morning brought chores like banking, mobile phone
“The Village” is the little town were Inga’s two Aunts live. It is about an hour and forty minutes by minibus from the central bus station in Tbilisi. The scenery on the trip out reminded me of the Okanagan and the surrounding area. The Village reminds me of my Uncle Jocks farm near Spy Hill by the Manitoba border in the 1960’s. Except I was never there in the sixties, but I remember him telling a story about getting a “throne” in the house after I was born. The farmhouse has internal plumbing, and an awesome hot shower large enough to wash a horse in. But, the toilet is outside and it is the squat type that causes my calves and thighs to clench. Clenching calves and painful past ninety degree squats are not conducive to easy morning relief no matter how much coffee I drink. I contemplated changing the design to a North American one. My hosts were very concerned about the rustic bathroom and my Canadian sensibilities. However, a little research on the internet provided me the information that we are doing it wrong. The past ninety-degree angle aligns everything perfectly and it is simply my inexperience at adopting the position that is the problem. Russian and Georgian people take this position for resting and having a cigarette in casual situations or waiting for a bus. In exploring my bench with a toilet seat idea further, I had to admit a further flaw that even I was familiar with. The dreaded spider!
The roosters dream woke me up. The damn bird must have been dreaming as sunrise was hours away. I am not a morning person, less so when I have only slept three hours. I tried to dress in the dark and not wake Inga, but she must have been feeling slightly guilty for talking me into this and got up to make me coffee in the strange dark kitchen. We heard the men gathered on the street as we exited the house and I tried and failed to complete my morning waking ritual. The morning was crisp, the coffee hot, and the clenching yoga position was looming. Things only loom in foreboding.
We arrived at the spot. I only knew it was the spot because everyone got out and let the dogs out. I had no idea we had dogs inside the van until this point and they obviously didn’t know a Canadian was in the van as they all came over and introduced themselves in the usual dog way. I was even happier for the
However, the decision was arrived
We hunted for several hours. The other men hunted with the dogs and we occasionally heard them bray from our dedicated kill zone. It was a good plan. It didn’t work and it was a very enjoyable. The men returned in slow succession in that defeated way hunters do. Happy to have the time to hunt and wishing it had been more successful. I was happy to share the time and culture of this Men Only sport here in Georgia.
Defeated by chance we returned to the other thing hunters do the world over. We tossed plastic water bottles into the air and blasted them with shotguns. I liked this and in truth was a lot more confident blasting a water bottle than a bear! The hunt completed I was offered the front seat for the drive home and accepted this honor quickly. The drive back was even more beautiful and I shared it with men that only knew my name and family connection. We couldn’t communicate in the usual way, but there were no awkward moments. I pondered this and found it odd. We shared so little past being men and yet we all were comfortable with just that. The “Village” life is at first glance a little simple, but it does afford people with the gift of time. As we age, we understand time is priceless. While the young people in Georgia move to the
In case it is illegal for a Canadian to carry a shotgun in Georgia parts of this story are fictional and only representative of what it would be like actually doing the things portrayed in this fictional account.