A Typical Tbilisi Day


Wake up around 8am to a kiss on the cheek as he runs for the bus to get to work. Groggily open the curtains, check emails and glance in the mirror. Drink the water by the bed and take a chilly shower in the almost-outside bathroom. Avoid the neighbours when wearing a towel, they won’t mind that you’ve just showered and want to get dress so will try to talk (in Megruli, not even Georgian) for the next half hour.

Spend more time than necessary doing make-up whilst gazing at the chickens outside. Fluff-up your newly-cut hair (of course it’s too short and won’t sit properly). Eventually you give up and focus your attention on breakfast instead, procrastinating for as long as possible. Finally sit down to work after breakfast, slowly but surely, before attempting to exercise before lunch (if you’re not too hungry).

Lunch will be something quick and usually involving bread, you need to get some shopping later. Quickly get changed into clothes that are acceptable to wear outside and rush for the bus. You don’t want to miss it and get the one which takes twice as long. Make very awkward small-talk with the neighbours while you wait, admiring the cows who are waiting with you. There’s nowhere to sit on the bus so you’re going to have to hold the handles which wobble more than you do, and do you best not to get your foot stuck in the door again, that bruise still hasn’t healed.

Get off early, yell “gaacharet!” because the driver won’t stop unless you look like you want to move. Hop off clumsily, walk down past the church and anticipate the weird looks for not doing the ‘spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch’ thing before speed-walking down to the metro. Avoid potholes and lumpy ground, you haven’t got the best balance anyway. Admire the bebos and their veggie displays, ignore the cow feet in the Tupperware container and smile because the accordion player is back again!

Get blown through the Soviet metro, patiently waiting as the escalators are at a stand-still, no running upstairs like in London so do your best to ignore the person standing too close to you behind. Get to Rustaveli, squint at the sun, apologise to the beggars for your lack of change and take a sharp left – you only have 10 minutes to get there.

Resist the popcorn sellers, bread makers and florists as you zoom down the street, anticipating a collision. When you get there make sure to look the drivers dead in the eye when crossing so, if they run you over, your face is burned into their memory. Beam at the local shmoog who always sits with the blind man outside the supermarket whilst avoiding the men arguing in front, and that strange man who always sits on a red chair in the middle of the road chatting to himself..

You’re still somehow 10 minutes early. Say hello, how are you? Yes tea would be great thanks and get teaching. An hour later and it will be almost dark outside, the men are still arguing and you’re hungry but your sweet is waiting for you at the end of the road armed with a smile and a warm hand. Battle the streets together and chat about your days, miss the bus by 2 minutes so opt for a taxi instead. Somehow always ending up with the Soviet car with a smashed windscreen but it doesn’t matter. You forgot to get food but it’s okay. Get home, kiss, cook some kasha and chat before sleep. Until tomorrow.


14 thoughts on “A Typical Tbilisi Day

  1. La Sabrosona says:

    Very nice synopsis. Love this: “..your sweet is waiting for you at the end of the road armed with a smile and a warm hand. Battle the streets together and chat about your days…”



  2. williambean2014 says:

    Your days sound interesting. Young love and all that, the days are always exciting. I’ve had a few light that myself and treasure them. What kind of radishes are those in the photo. They look like the ordinary kind we see in stores here in the US. I did manage to find some French Breakfast radishes at Central Market, an upscale and pricey big box food store. Well, a month from now I’ll be in France and can have my fill. I like to smear a little dijon mustard on them.


    • itstartedinoxford says:

      Yes we’ve been together a few years but the fun is still there (probably because we were long-distance for a while too). I have no idea what type of radishes I’m afraid but I know they’re Georgian – they’re wonderfully strong. Enjoy France! I miss it. I can’t think of anything better than mustard and radishes now, what an idea!


  3. awtytravels says:

    I don’t see mentions of Borjomi here! But nice synopsis indeed, love the idea of waiting for the bus with the cows and doing small talk. If I ever attempted that on the District Line my interlocutors would be reaching for the pepper spray… 😦


    • itstartedinoxford says:

      The drink or the place? I’ve been trying to avoid the drink in all honesty, I’m not good with so many bubbles! My heart goes crazy with anything bubbly in Tbilisi ):
      Hahaa you know someone actually did that to me on the Piccadilly Line and now we’re good friends! I think you’d be surprised how many people fancy a chat in London. Once, sat in St Paul’s churchyard, a business man started telling me about how him and his wife saw a wild weasel when driving near Peckham on their anniversary. He told me because I was feeding biscuits to a squirrel I’m quite attached to who’s missing a tail (: Quite a lot of random people spoke to me in London and I loved it – I say just chat!


      • awtytravels says:

        The water! I found Georgian water to be really nice, I tried all brands and didn’t find a single one that wasn’t more than, well, great.
        As for chatting… well, it might be me, but I recently realized that all my friends, here in the UK, aren’t from the SE of the country. A minority is from the North, some are Scots, the overwhelming majority is either European or from elsewhere in the world. I just don’t seem to be able to bond with Londoners, or with the English south of the Black country. God knows why!


      • itstartedinoxford says:

        Oh don’t get me wrong, I love it too, and Nabeghlavi, and I usually hate sparking waters. I guess I’m just not used to it ):

        I found the same in London! I only met foreign people, Europeans mainly, and quite a few northerners. I love that but coming from the South of England it was a bit weird for me. I guess the mentality is different and they’re more introverted or shy? Or completely stuck up, either or (: They’re much chattier in Oxford, more of a village attitude


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