"My soul is elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there." -- Rumi

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tbilisi Files -- Day Four

My fourth day in Tbilisi, Thursday the 21st, was a very special day.  That is because I got to eat sushi with my very excellent friend, Dani.

The sushi bar didn't open for another hour after we met up, so we agreed to pay a visit to Prospero's.  I got a Cold Mint Coffee.  And let me just tell you...

A very happy girl.
After lunch, Dani had to go, but I visited both Tbilisi's Art Museum and National Museum.  I am a complete Museum Nerd, happily dedicating whole days to the Smithsonian back in DC.  I've really missed the quiet serenity that always accompanies a leisurely, solitary stroll among beautiful and ancient things.

By the time I finished, it was mid-afternoon and really incredibly hot, so I ended up retreating back to my very wonderful hostel for a little while.  I got a beer -- the hostel includes a fridge and stocks beer, water, and soda (for a fee, of course, but still so convenient and thoughtful), and hung out in the common room, reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything.  Gradually, I made friends with Max from Sweden, Kafil from Israel, another gentleman from Turkey who'd recently scored British citizenship, and a couple other folks drifting in and out from all over the world.  What was supposed to be a short rest stop turned into an extremely fulfilling couple of hours as we talked about all manner of things.  I had one of my "Damn, I am one lucky girl" moments -- because seriously, how freaking awesome is it that I got to find myself in Tbilisi, sipping a cold Georgian beer and talking with lovely people from across the globe?

After a while, Max's father Magnus made an appearance, joined the conversation, and invited me to dinner with him and his son.  We went down one of Tbilisi's wonderful twisty back alleys, that look like this,

And ended up at a hidden restaurant tucked away in a tiny square.  I was so happy because it was one of those places that you have to be taken to -- the chances of someone just stumbling on this place were almost nonexistent.  It was so tucked away, as a matter of fact, that Magnus had to excuse himself to go and rescue/guide Tina, a friend of his and native Tbilisian.  Magnus ordered wine and encouraged me to to do the same.  I ordered "grilled beef and mashed potatoes," which was not exactly a steak but close enough to bring very real tears of joy to my eyes.  For a moment I contemplated whether I could get away with ordering an entire second entree.  I mean, I have really missed steak.

Some day, I will really learn better, but for now I still forgot to take pictures of this amazing evening and these incredible people I was lucky enough to run into.  So you will have to trust me that my companions were the height of hospitality and pleasantness, the Saperavi-Cabernet blend was rich and dark and velvety, the atmosphere perfect and the evening a 100%, all-around success.

After dinner, we went back to the hostel and continued our conversation out on the front porch until the wee hours of the morning, where the hostel staff, Kafil, and the guy from Turkey/England joined us.

Life is good, folks.

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