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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A taste of the finer things...

I've been such a tremendous slacker that I'm not even going to try to put this stuff in chronological order.  So -- here's some cool stuff that's been happening post-Turkey.

Probably one of the coolest things is that my Program surprised western Georgia volunteers with tickets to the opera in Batumi!  It was the opening night of the Georgian comedic opera "Keto and Kote."  So the Sunday before school started, we all threw our fancy duds in a bag and bussed it down to Batumi's beautiful new opera house.  The only letdown was that they told us Georgian President Saakashvili was going to attend as well, and that he wanted to meet the Program volunteers after the show.  Well, Saakashvili was there, in the same theatre and all, so that was pretty awesome, but apparently there never were any real plans in place for a meeting.  Ah well.  I suppose the president of a country does have a fair bit on his plate.

Batumi's new opera house
Mark and I waiting for the show to start.
Opening number
The title characters
Ensemble finale
 I enjoyed the opera quite a bit; the singing was excellent.  The interpretation was a bit abstract though, which made it even harder to follow the plot than it would have been otherwise.  There was a screen showing English subtitles, but often the stage lights drowned it out.  But all in all a fantastic experience.  Seeing a Georgian opera was one of the things on my checklist, so many thanks to my Program for making it happen!

The downside of the whole trip was that unfortunately everything was really rushed from start to finish.  The bus was late picking up the Poti gang, and it took forever to check everyone into their proper hotel rooms -- which were at the spectacular and posh Intourist Hotel!  (Everyone had a roommate, but mine chose to be out literally the whole evening, which worked out pretty well for me as you will see!)  But due to the rush, we didn't get the chance to eat anything all day, which had gotten pretty old come midnight when we finally got back to hotel from the opera.  Our Program was taking a bunch of folks out for a late dinner, and a bunch of other folks were planning to hit the town...

But I took a look around at the nicest hotel room I've seen since coming to Georgia.  I took a look at the complimentary slippers, for Crissakes, and at the large soaking tub that actually looked clean.  I looked at the room's balcony, and I looked at the English-language menu on the desk that said "Room Service."  And I made one of my smarter decisions in life.

Quick trip around the corner for a litre of water and bottle of saperavi, and then it was back into the slippers and a call to Room Service for a hamburger and chicken ceasar salad.  While I waited for my food, I watched some of Clear and Present Danger, in English, with Georgian subtitles.  I ate my awesome western dinner.  And I poured an entire mini-bottle of shampoo into a scalding tub and took a bubble bath -- one of the things I have really missed, especially now that the weather is getting so much colder.

Why yes, that IS a glass of whine in the soapdish.
And after all that, I stayed up until 5:00 in the morning reading Coraline from start to finish on my kindle.  Such a perfect, relaxing, wonderful night... and a perfect way to hit my "reset" button before heading to face the new school year.

The next day, I hung out on Batumi's beach by myself for an hour, not doing a damn thing but daydreaming and riding that peaceful wave of zen I had caught last night right around the time I slid into the tub.  Then I met up with Julie and a couple other folks; we got drinks and food at Press Cafe and eventually marshrutkaed it back to Poti.

So, a serious Thank You to my Program for making this all happen for me, and for all the volunteers.

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