Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Things about Georgia...

Observations on Georgia - Work in Progress

So, I've been thinking about writing this one for a while but I don't think it's one that I'll be able to just write in one go and so it has sort of sat on the sidelines.  With my lack of activity on this blog though, I think it's time to put it into action.  

I wanted to write a post about the things I've noticed about Georgian culture and things in the day to day that are different; not good or bad, just different.  I may write about them in a negative sense because they bother me but it's not that it's wrong, it's just not what I'm used to.  These are in no particular order.  

- Every road is an F1 race.  We had read that Georgian roads are some of the most dangerous in the world.  We have seen that this is very true, and it's not because of the conditions of the road....well, it's not JUST because of the conditions of the road.  Georgians speed EVERYWHERE!  

- Be prepared to never be listened to when offering directional advice.  It doesn't matter if you're asked to look up directions on google maps...they won't listen to it/you anyways.  

- Have you ever wondered what a car with no bumpers looks like?  Well, come on down to Georgia and see for yourself.  Maybe as a sign of how often there are traffic accidents, seeing cars driving around without any bumpers at all is something you get used to pretty quickly. 

- When ordering at a restaurant, food will come out when it is ready, not all together.  So be ready to eat parts of your meal all at different times.  This also means that at big meals, you should not fill up on a dish you like; there is always more and better dishes coming. 

- As a part 2 to the previous one, when you believe the table is full and there can't possibly be more dishes coming....there are...and they're the best ones.  Except for ajapsandali (an eggplant stew)'s always been the highlight every time we've had it.  

- When we moved to Slovenia people always asked us how the food was and we always said "meh".  It wasn't just wasn't memorable aside from 1 or 2 things.  This is not the case with Georgian food because it is FANTASTIC!

- Georgians are very proud of their water.  If you ask if you can drink the tap water, they will say yes of course.  Rae and I most definitely had a different experience and so many of the people visiting that we spoke to also had mystery stomach bugs when they first arrived.  I think this is location specific but if your place is a new build in a good part of the city you're probably fine but bottled water is super cheap so if you're here for a short time it might not be worth it to risk it. 

- Cashiers will mostly refuse to take money from your hand.  You must place it in the money dish on the counter, they will pick it up and then put your change in the same dish after.  We've heard this is not related to covid but because of superstitions around handling small coins. 

- There is a real love for firecrackers and fireworks here.  You WILL hear them every single day, it doesn't matter what time of year it is.  We've also been told to not try and sleep early on new years because it won't happen.  The city becomes a war-zone with all the firecrackers going off.  

- A horn honk can not go unanswered.  It must be answered by a longer, more aggressive honk.  

- Do not wait at lights when driving....for any reason whatsoever.  Every single other car on the road will begin honking at you the second the light turns green and if you will come from miles around just to honk /s.  

- Georgians are not an early morning people.  Restaurants open for breakfast later, work starts later, rush hour starts later, etc etc.  It takes a bit to get used to but I honestly love it.  

- A bit of a follow up to the last one; because they aren't early morning people it would make sense to think that they are late night people and this is very correct.  Go to any restaurant late day and it will be packed.  Go to Mcdonalds at 10pm for a snack on your way home and it will be full of families with toddlers.  

- Have you ever gone to a pharmacy and wanted to buy just one pill, bandaid, whatever.  Well, in Georgia, you can!  It always shocks me when you go in for something and they ask how many you want.  Want just one bandaid?  They'll pull it out of the box and give it to you.  Want just one pill?  They have the scissors handy to cut out one.  Although to be fair it has definitely come out handy for us and I have started to really appreciate this.  

- Walking anywhere is a minefield...with all the street dogs, there is a lot of dog crap all over the city.  As i'm gawking at everything around us, Rae is constantly reminding me to watch out where i'm walking.  It's a real issue of making sure you don't step in a nice surprise.  

 - Districts.  So, you've just arrived to the city and your glasses break...shoot, well now what?  How about you go to the eyeglasses district!!!  We're not sure if it's purposefully set up this way but it seems like when you find one store selling a certain type of item, there will be another 50 stores on that street selling the same thing.  We've started calling it districts after the Simpsons when Homer goes to the "Hammock District".  You find one glasses store, there will be another 50 within 3 blocks.  You want your car oil changed?  Well, just go to the car oil change district.  Lighting for your home?  Go to the home lighting district!  It makes it quite easy to find an item and then compare prices.  

- Which brings me to pricing...doing due diligence is a must.  Never buy on the first sighting.  So many times we bought things when we first arrived only to find the exact same item very close for half price.  It pays to shop around.  

- Have you found an item that you like in the grocery stores?  Normally, you're like 'oh great, I'll grab the same thing next week.'  That kind of attitude will leave you unhappy since here if you find something you like you'll never know if it will even be there next week so STOCK UP!  Who cares what it looks like when you walk out with 8 bags of your coffee can't take those chances. 

I will post more and edit this as I notice them through our time here. 

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