Live like a Georgian

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Shota and I had a lively discussion last night about what both the West and Georgia need to learn from each other. Despite my bitching, he was impressed with how many things I thought Georgia did better, so I figured I’d share it. Why not? We’re all friends here.

1: Food

Now, I’m not going to preach about how delicious khinkali and khachapuri is, that’s not what I mean. What I’m talking about is the quality of the food available here, and the approach people have towards it. I expand more in this meaty post. What I mean the fresh veg being accessible and cheap, people growing their own food, locally and seasonally. I feel like my own cooking has become so much more versatile just from understanding what to do with fresh produce.

2: Relaxation

Wow, do Georgians know how to relax. No matter the stresses of work or politics, they always make time for sitting with their family and friends and talking. Regular trips around Georgia are common too to break away from city life, all without an ounce of guilt I often find myself plagued with when I join them. They don’t take things too seriously, which is a good and bad thing, but that means it’s much easier to sit back and unwind when you know that tomorrow is just around the corner.

3Social situations

Again, I’m not going to be obvious here and talk about supras. I mean not being socially awkward, which is something a lot of people I know back home struggle with. Georgians can just pick up the phone and ask for something, no problem. I have to mentally prepare myself for everything, which naturally means I overthink things too. I know I’m not the only one, and I will forever be jealous of that Georgian assurance that commands a situation with such ease.

4Identity

Okay, I’m slightly on the fence on this one for reasons you can read here, but for these following aspects we have a lot to learn. I’ve never seen a country so sure of itself. So stubbornly proud of what it has to offer. It’s refreshing. For people to be so aware of what they are and what they stand for is impressive, albeit dangerous… I feel incredibly inferior with my lack of national dress, characteristics and patriotism. Not that it’s always a good thing but I’m sure you see my point.

5: Attention

Another good and bad thing is that everyone is paying attention at all times. You have to, so not to fall down any gaping holes in the pavement, but everyone is aware what your shoes look like, how tall you are and how you told them months ago that you don’t like cucumber. Bad thing because a lot of it is being plain nosey, but good because that means you’re never ignored or alone. Someone will always find a reason to start chatting, help you with your shopping bags, or actually listen to you when you speak. As someone more introverted than your average Georgian I find it testing, and generally prefer being ignored, but for those people who are on their own or need help with something you can guarantee you won’t be left to struggle. This isn’t such a guarantee in the UK, drop your shopping bags and people will assume you’re a pickpocket who will snatch their phone as soon as their hands are full.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and taken something away from it for today. I’d love to hear about anything you’ve picked up from travelling or living abroad in the comments, see you there!

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2 thoughts on “Live like a Georgian

  1. LAnthony says:

    I found a big difference between traveling abroad and living abroad. For example, living abroad in Germany I found people genuinely interested in connecting and learning about me and my country. Traveling in Europe, the Caribbean or Mexico I found people trying hard to make sure I had a good experience, because of an invisible contract between us. Living abroad exposes the hidden flaws no one is proud of, and well they don’t ever get fixed.

    Like

    • itstartedinoxford says:

      Yes exactly! I agree, I also think it’s hard to have a bad impression of a place if you only stay for a week or so, but when you live there you really get to see how things operate and the inner workings of society. No matter how long you stay there though, you always learn something!

      Like

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