Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Le Photos

Alright, first we'll start with my sweet apartment:

See? Too big. But I spend a bit of time here, so I'm glad to have the space. And my favorite part, the balcony covered in grapevines:

Now, some tasty Georgian grub. This is badrijani: eggplant stuffed with walnut sauce (the Georgians put this stuff on everything: peppers, chicken, whatever. It's so good.), spices, oil, and pomegranate seeds.

Here's a little guy outside the Metekhi cathedral up on a hilltop in Tbilisi:

And an Orthodox priest chatting up his boys on the cell. I tried to play it off like I was photographing the church, but he totally knew what I was up to. He waved.

At some point, I felt that my photos of Tbilisi were giving the wrong impression. They appeared pretty and charming and sanitized. In fact, looking over my photos from my last visit, I bought into the myth myself and somehow remembered Tbilisi as a city practically on the verge of being Prague. When I arrived, I was surprised all over again. Your first impression, I'm sorry to say, is of the filth and the disarray and the crumbling buildings and the smell of gasoline everywhere. After awhile you don't notice the dirt so much and you start to see the old, faded, but very vibrant charm of the place. But not at first. I took this next shot trying to capture that side of the city, but it still looks somehow quaint.

I'm sure there'll be more to come once I upload my camera again. I haven't taken tons of pictures, to be honest. So far, most people on the streets seem to assume I'm Georgian and I've been reluctant to dispel that impression by publicly photographing the city. Crimes on foreigners, as the Embassy incessantly reminds us, have really skyrocketed in the past year, and violent crime in particular. Anecdotally, women are not the typical targets of these crimes, but until I feel really comfortable with my surroundings, especially in the area around my apartment (where people can see where I live) I'm being extra cautious.


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