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

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Week in Review

Due to my really very frustrating cough, this week has been really quiet.  Quiet enough that I think I can knock it out in one go.

This past Sunday, I went with my host family to an outdoor concert to see my host sister Anna dance.  Weather was overcast and damp, but the rain held long enough for her troupe to do their set.

On Monday, I went out with my friend Ben and his host, Gia.  Gia took us to a really great restaurant on the water.  My bugspray (98% DEET, gratefully shared) kept the hordes of mosquitoes at bay, and the food was really fantastic.  I want to take Mark and Julie here, but we will need to cab it because it's a little far to make it on foot.

The next day, Ben and I made plans to hang out again, and he and Gia ended up having lunch with my host family (there was a mini-keg of Lowenbrau, just on coincidence), and then Gia invited me to his house for wine, cake, and Cognac.  I met Gia's wife and his son, and the five of us passed a very pleasant evening.  I was happy to get to spend some time with Ben, because dude has since taken off to backpack around Eastern Europe for the summer.  I am quite jealous of both his independence and solitude right now, not to mention all the wonderful things he is seeing.

On Wednesday, I went to Julie's house to hang out with her and Mark and celebrate the eve of Julie's birthday.  Quiet and fun; we sipped the Georgian Cognac I bought her for her birthday, swatted mosquitoes, and chatted.  I showed them a few NicePeter Picture Songs.

On Thursday, I got up "early" and met Julie and Mark and the bus station.  We were going to Batumi for the day to celebrate Julie's 26th.  When we got into the city, I mentioned that I had gotten a sandwich at a restaurant called Press Cafe the last time I was in Batumi.  An actual sandwich sounded pretty good to everyone, and I was super proud of myself for finding the place after on being there once before, over a month ago.  But... their kitchen was closed, for some unexplainable, doubtless very Georgian reason.  So we went to the Ukrainian place just next door for simplicity's sake and had a pretty good meal.  Susan and Suzanne joined us there, as well as Michelle, who'd hitchhiked here from Kutaisi.

After lunch, we got cake and pastries at a lovely bakery, then went to hang out on the beach for a little bit.  Mark had bought Julie a bottle of Johnny Walker Red for her birthday, so we cracked that and had a toast.

Happy birthday Julie!!
Well, then it started to rain.  It was also pretty much time to head back to the bus station, because the buses in Georgia stop running absurdly early.  We said goodbye to Susan, Suzanne, and Michelle and headed back to Poti.  Back on home turf, we stopped in at a local place to sample their pizza (pretty damn tasty), and then I said goodnight.

Because I had to head home to be sure I got to talk to my Number One Favorite Girl -- my sister Eve, who also had a birthday on June 30.  Happy 27th my Love!!!  Had a great phone call with her and Mom and Dad.  They're having a blast in Maine.  I can't wait to hear more about their adventures!

Due to my cough not knocking off even a little, I decided to lay low this weekend.  Didn't go out once, unless you count my daily walk to make sure my blood is still flowing and my limbs all work.  I think the downtime did me good, but two days of amoxicillin capsules have not made a dent in the cough itself.  Meg's warnings on my last post made me stop and think, and eventually I called our Program's insurance hotline and made an appointment to see a doctor on Monday.  So... we'll see how that goes.  My host sister Nata volunteered to go with me.  Nata's a pretty awesome girl.

Tomorrow is also the 4th of July.  First major holiday away from home.  I was feeling rather apathetic about the whole affair, but this evening Mark called to say he was making potato salad.  Wha????  He found the ingredients to make potato salad??  Not only that, he found ground beef!  And our friend Pierre knew of a friend who has a grill, and would love to have us over.  And... Mark found fireworks.  We're gonna have a bonafide barbecue with fireworks tomorrow.  To put it lightly, my man Mark pulled a genuine solid, and I could not be happier.

My contributions are to be sliced bread, ketchup, mustard if I can find it, tomato, lettuce if I can find it, and watermelon if I can find it.  I also found a surprise bonus today that I can't wait to whip out -- individual slices of cheddar cheese.  Oh yeah Baby.

Looking forward to tomorrow.  Looking forward to maybe finally getting this cough kicked, looking forward to a good cheeseburger and laughter and fireworks (!!) with friends.  Things are good.

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