About feeling like a local, drinking beer in a gallery and Georgians in Germany Jerseys, Tbilisi in daytime.
Saturday 23rd of June
What a city! We stayed for nearly a week with Robin in Tbilisi, even when the next couchsurfer, Mark, arrived. Just a few days before Mark’s replacement, a hitchhiking couple, arrived we felt that it was time to move out.
Being a local foreigner
Searching a cheap hostel was not too easy. The first one appeared weird to us and the second one was full. But the lady sent us to her neighbor Natasha, who rents rooms as well. Natasha had no room either but she called Tamar, who gave us shelter.
Tamar, a clever and hard working woman who hardly ever seems to sleep, has just opened her guesthouse two months ago. Her son Shako helps her with the work. For 15 $ each they rent rooms for 1-4 persons. What we most liked about the place was that we felt like a part of the family. Every time that we entered the backyard we saw the kids playing with water pistols and footballs. Their mothers sat on the balconies or by the kitchen windows, having a coffee and watching them. The young adults sat on the stairs chatting in Skype or having a beer. There was always somebody in the guesthouse’s living room and we could talk to the family and neighbors. We felt very local in Tamar Guesthouse.
Still we went to visit Robin and Mark a few times. One night we met with Nikoloz, a friend of mine who I got to know in Bremen. We all were very excited because it does not happen too often that we meet somebody who we have already known before. Nikoloz went with us to a traditional restaurant and introduced us to many Georgian dishes that we had not tried yet and he gave us a great tour through the old town. We went to see his friend’s art gallery and had a bottle of beer inside with Misha, the artist, and his friend.
The center of the city is packed with plenty of statues, a glass bridge, a giant piano, many churches, some bars and restaurants and a few parks. As usual in Georgia – all brand new. There is a lot to see.
An International night
We spent some days writing, taking pictures, researching and sightseeing. Though it was time of the Euro Cup there were some games to watch nearly every night. Our favorite place to watch them was like a mix of a German beer garden and a Mexican Taco place. They sold food that reminded me on Döner Kebap and Roberto on Taco Árabe, cheap drinks and they had a TV.
Of course we went there to see the game Germany – Denmark. We arrived late, just in the break, so we ordered food and a German drink (Spezi: Coke and fanta mixed) and waited for the second half. So it started. But why was there a team dressed in Orange? And where were all the German players? We knew it but we did not want to know: They showed the Netherlands – Portugal game! So there we were – prepared with my Werder Bremen shirt, a big Spezi and a lot of motivation and they did not want to switch the channel. For nearly five minutes we sat there, staring at the screen and each others, hoping that they would show both games alternately. When our food was ready we had seen enough, grabbed our Shawarma and the drinks and bolted away.
We were very lucky and just some meters further down the street we found a group of young people dresses in Germany jerseys and a smaller group cheering for Denmark. They all watched up to a big screen. We were saved! So there we stood outside the fence, eating our brought international Shawarma, drinking Turkish Ayran and German Spezi and cheering with a big group of Georgians in German Jerseys and a small group af Georgian in Denmark Jerseys.
A long to-do-and-to-see-and-to-meet-list
The Georgian team was not qualified to play in the Euro Cup, so everybody cheered for another European or Eurasian team. It was fun. Even though Roberto wanted Germany to win the match he felt bad for the poor Danish team to be kicked out already.
As usual when there is much to see and do we stayed far longer than expected. But after twelve nights it was enough. We got our sunscreen, searched in the entire town’s hidden bike shops for a tool to fix the chain and another one to get the cassette off the wheel – nothing.
But we found ethylated spirit for cooking and some tape to repair the tent’s frame it breaks again. We met with Nikoloz, saw the football game and ate a lot of Georgian food. We stayed in Tbilisi for so long time that we do not even need a map to orientate anymore. But we are ready to leave now. We feel well prepared for the next aim now: Armenia