Before I get into my travel and arrival to Tbilisi, allow me to get all of the honky Georgia references out of my system before the temptation to employ them in any other context becomes too great:
I’ve got Georgia on my mind!
Well I declare, I’m now a Georgia peach!
I took the Midnight Train to Georgia!
The Devil Went Down to Georgia, and took me with him!
I’m ready for that Sweet Southern (Caucasus) Comfort!
I’m a Good Ol’ Rebel! (Too far?)
Phew. Glad that’s out of the way.
Cross-continental travel always reminds me of the value of things I take for granted on a daily basis. First, it reconnects me with the sheer joy of brushing one’s teeth after 24 hours of muddled airplane coffee and Trident chewing gum (thank you, Turkish Airlines, for providing a complimentary toothbrush and toothpaste on the flight to Istanbul). Second, sleep. Blessed, joyous sleep. I don’t think there is anything more divine than finally falling asleep in a bed after being awake for thirty-six hours. Third, a hard-learned lesson: not drinking water does bad things to your body.
If I haven’t done so already, I need to express how much I love Turkish Airlines. Complimentary travel accessories, free headphones and bottled water, cute little bags of apricots and hazelnuts, good food, and real silverware. The flight attendants are consistently beautiful regardless of gender (yes, I’m betraying my superficiality here, but long flights are boring and I need something to stare at while I’m failing to fall sleep). And perhaps most importantly, this.
After a seven hour layover in Istanbul (a city I’ve never visited, though it eternally teases me with overnight layovers), I took a short flight to Tbilisi. I could see only snow-capped mountains through the window. Sadly I forgot to take a photo.
The next morning, I went to work bright and early. Returning to an office was much more gratifying than I expected. I felt like a part of my self was restored after a year and a half of (sort of) unemployment. I did all sorts of grown up things: wore a suit, opened a bank account, got a set of business cards (one side in English, the other in Georgian), and went on a lunch break with the boss, during which we ate something like eight plates of traditional Georgian food (khachapuri, khinkali, and mountains of cheese). I didn’t need to eat again for another 24 hours. Seriously.
All free time has been spent sleeping, reading, and finishing writing assignments, so I haven’t seen much of the city yet. But I was lucky enough to catch a brilliant sunset from the balcony of my apartment. So for now, I leave you with Tbilisi, on fire.