Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Turning 23

(Meant to be posted on the 11th)

Yesterday was a little rough, but then ended with the best birthday eve I have ever had. I'll try to incorporate my very limited Georgian into this post as well.

ავად ვარ (Avad var - I am sick) 

I have been having stomach problems the past few days, and the signs are far too recognizable - my body is desperately attempting to adjust to the food here, which is delicious, and as local/organic as you can get (I've actually seen the chickens killed from the backyard), but still is far too different and comes in far greater quantities than my poor stomach can handle.

My host mom said I needed to wear socks. The thought seemed to be that I was cold, and it was making me sick. Nothing to do with the fact I was given huge amounts of fried potatoes, left over birthday cake and beer for breakfast. I don't like being chilly, but I don't think my lack appropriate footwear was making me run to the toilet. 

My host family are kind and lovely people, but little cultural differences like this can be frustrating. My host mom strongly believes being cold is the problem here. I believe the food is different for me and I need to drink more water (they stare at me whenever I drink a second glass). Every culture has its different beliefs that we each take as common sense and American culture is no different. It's really just the inability to communicate that is the most frustrating. You don't have to take my opinion seriously, but I do wish I could at least express my opinion! 

Cake Saga update: 
The birthday cake appeared again this morning. It is left over from a toddler's birthday we attended. I was given two giant pieces to take home since I couldn't possibly eat any more there. (And for the record, I am the only person expected to eat this much...) I fully believe that cake will continue to be at the breakfast table until it is eaten. I took evasive action and scraped half of it in the trash this morning in one swift and stealthy move when all persons were absent from the kitchen premises. Unfortunately, an even larger piece awaits once this one is finished. A plan must be formed.

კონცერტი - Concert 

After feeling sick most of the day, I was invited to go to a concert. This concert turned out to be a crazy, techno dance party in the little park off the town center. I saw a side of my small Georgian town I never knew - by day they may herd cows through the streets, but by night they break it down! Of course, while the music was basic Euro-electronica, the dancing kept its Georgian flavor, with men mostly dancing with men and women with women. The men would link arms and dance in a line, or create a human pyramid, which would inevitably fall, seeming to break all of their limbs, but they would leap up dancing, because they are men. And that is what men do.

Mothers were there with toddlers, old grizzled men with their sons, kids racing through the crowds and teens dancing in groups. I loved it. I've tried to explain many times to people how much I love going out dancing but they usually take this to mean I love to get drunk and party, and they either judge me for that ("the only clean dancing is ballroom dancing!") or support me far too much ("yeah, take a shot!"). No. I just love to dance. This was my kind of dancing - everyone having a good time and keeping it classy. As classy as you can while eating sunflower seeds, trying not to step on small children or be crushed by the antics of crazy, teenage boys.

სუფრა - Supra 

Then we went to a supra for someone else's birthday (I never found out who...) but they found out it was my birthday eve and I was immediately toasted and given food. I don't really know how to describe how much food is at a supra, even a small one. They stack plates of food onto other plates of food. More food is in the kitchen waiting to be carried in. Most of the men also have their own jug of homemade wine. JUG. OF WINE. Meaning, bigger than a bottle of wine.

They men drank out of ornate carved horns. I was made to do a traditional toast where you link arms with someone across the table and drain your glass. Then they kiss you three times on the cheek. Or maybe that was just these friendly people. I never know.

I was made to dance, along with some of the older men and kids. Again, at supras age means nothing. Old men got up and danced, young kids drained their wine glasses. Great fun is had by all. Except for sometimes the overly-fed American, but at this supra I was going strong!

They sang half of happy birthday to me, as they brought out a piece of cake so covered in candles I thought they had lit the icing on fire. They might not have known the lyrics to the song, but the feeling was there.

Techno dance party. Traditional Georgian Supra. In all, just a regular Monday night in Sagarejo.

Question to be answered: How do people wake up for work after nights like this? 

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