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

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tbilisi Files -- Day Five and Six

Okay, let's knock this out.  Pretty lucky that nothing post-worthy has gone on since I've been back, huh?  Just sweat.  Lots and lots (and lots and lots and lots) of that.  I bought an electric fan.  Best 35 lari I ever spent.  I've going to enjoy thinking back on this God-forsaken summer in a few months, when my excuse has switched over to "it's to COLD to post!"  Ha.

Friday, July 22.  Day Five in beautiful Tbilisi.  I had my follow-up appointment with the doctor, which was uneventful.  I reported that the shots had been miracle drugs, and now that I was on my first morning without one, the pain was definitely present but considerably reduced.  And that was pretty much that.

I said goodbye to wonderful K, thanking her about ten times and still not nearly enough.  They dropped me off at the McDonald's (Hoooray!), and once again I was free.  Quick burger for lunch (so. awesome.), and then I set off in search of the post office.  Yesterday afternoon in my hostel had also included my penning about ten cards, and I was determined to get them in the mail while I was still in civilization.  After a long, hot, and sunny search, I ended up a few blocks from my hostel.  Success!  Four lari and 80 tetri per postcard!?!?  Fail!  Once I picked up my jaw from the floor, I forked it over.  God knows when I will have a chance to mail a postcard again.  Might as well make this time an occasion.

I really wanted to visit Tbilisi's sulphur baths, but with it being as damn hot as it was, just couldn't justify now being the time.  That's something you do on a freezing rainy day in November.  So, I just walked around.

Back on Chardin Street, I stopped into a wine shop and had a winetasting.  One more thing I've really missed doing!  Escaped the heat in another quietly tasteful bar and had...

That's a vodka cran with a twist.  That twist is actually a lime.  Remember how I said gin n' tonic was my second-favorite cocktail?  Well, you're looking at the grand prize.  I've thought about this particular drink way more than I should, these past few months.  And Tbilisi had one for me.  You do realize Poti doesn't have limes, right?  Or cranberry juice?  Or ice?  This thing was so damn pretty I almost didn't want to drink it.  Almost.

After my break, it was late enough in the day that I could start off on my pilgrimage... across town to an Indian restaurant that I had seen when we drove past it this morning on the way to the doctor.

Indian food.

When I found myself stopping on the way, into Prospero's for an iced double caramel macchiato, I realized I really was starting to behave a bit like an addict on a bender. :)  My desperation for all things western -- for all things clean and air-conditioned and tasty and modern, with ice -- had turned me into a bit of a crackhead these past few days.  I was loving every damn second of it, too.  In fact, I decided I would come back to Prospero's for lunch tomorrow, to try their chicken salad with pineapple and grapes on a croissant.

The only thing I can say about my dinner of Indian food was that it was so yummy I forgot (again) to take any pictures.  My Tbilisi vacation was about comfort and familiarity and not about being adventurous, so I checked the menu only to make sure my two favorite Indian dishes were present before ordering chicken samosas and chicken tikka masala.

It was spectacular.

After dinner, I stopped into an Irish pub that had live music, and listened to a Georgian bar band play the songs of my childhood.  They were pretty decent, too.

 Walking home, I took some pictures of the city I had fallen 100% in love with.

One of the city's many fountains

Presidential Palace

Finding myself once again at the lovely Chardin Street, I took a seat at an outdoor cafe to write up my experiences and memories of the night, lingering until they were clearly closing.  And then, not willing to bring the amazing evening to a close just yet, found another cafe that was open even later, and ordered some creme brulee for dessert.  You know -- because my day obviously needed more delicious calories. :)

And finally, I went back to my hostel and had yet another great conversation on the front stoop.  Not bad for my last full night in Georgia's capital.

So, compared to the sheer awesomeness that was Thursday and Friday, my last day in Tbilisi proved to be rather low-key.  I slept late and then walked with Kafil from Israel over to Prospero's to have lunch like I planned.  I of course had the day to do with whatever I wanted... but my chest and cough were acting up again, so what I wanted ended up being a walk right back to the hostel, some extra painkillers, and a nap.  Woke up to pouring rain.  This was distressing because the plan had been to walk across town again, this time for Mexican.  After waiting an hour, the rain let up slightly and I decided to risk it.  This choice led to my being stranded in Tbilisi's cool but small Minerals Museum for 45 minutes.  At which point I made another dash for it... but ended up retreating into a conveniently-placed British pub.  So, oh well.  Had a proper steak-and-onion sandwich for dinner instead, including steak fries with balsamic vinegar.  Life could be worse.

But ironically, after dinner the rain really DID let up, finally.  I walked to another bar I'd seen near the Indian place, Buffalo Bill's. 

Damn fine American saloon, also complete with live music and a couple of very cool American Marines to chat with.

But all too soon, the clock hit Pumpkin O'Clock and it was time to pack up, say goodbye to all the amazing people I'd met, and hail a taxi for the train station to catch my 2:05 AM train back to Poti.

I think it goes without saying that I had a very much-needed Time of My Life that week in the capital.

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