Friday, January 18, 2013

The Shadier Side of Living Abroad

"Sounds fun! And a little miserable at the same time!"

This text sums up a lot of my "Random Inexplicable Georgian Experiences". Supras can be really fun - until your stomach starts cramping from the food, and you can't get up to pee because you are on a long bench surrounded by grandmothers, and then they force you up to make you dance for the 5th time...

Living abroad is never easy. At least, not if you are doing it right. If you are actually getting to know local traditions, people, and culture there are going to be aspects that are strange and uncomfortable. Sometimes you will get used to them. Sometimes you won't. I present to you some texts from Georgia that were sent during the bad days, the days when you haven't spoken English in awhile and you are fed that dish you hate and forcibly given chacha (homemade vodka) and there is no hot water or electricity....the texts when you are at the end of your rope, and even the beautiful landscape is nothing compared to your desire for a hot bath, someone who believes in germs and an American style pizza (meaning, sans tons of mayonnaise). 

These texts were sent by friends of mine, but I'm sure the feelings they express were felt by all of our fellow teachers (and certainly by myself!) at one point or another. Read them and remember that I loved my time in Georgia and I'm glad I went. But some times, I contemplated running away to Armenia. 

Texts from bad days:

"This country is like Mars to me"

"I can't escape the chacha"

"The drunk lady who wants me to marry her son keeps kissing me and saying I have beautiful eyes. At least someone in this country loves me."

"Surprise supra! Try to call later. We're using a chainsaw now."

"Tmrw is better. I've been kidnapped'

"Just had 5 grown men pull their eyes into squints when I said I was going to Korea. 10 more days"

"Feel like crap. I was laying in my comfy bed and now I'm at a supra"

"I hate people today. Being patronized by school staff again"

"Omg everyone freaked out on me when I came in the kitchen to look for napkins. Couldn't find them and didn't know the word for it. Kept saying nevermind but they were like no! Call Ana so she can translate! Finally I found half a tissue in my pocket. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill"

"My whole fam is sick. I wanna be like maybe you shouldn't share a water glass!

"At my aunts. Liver for dinner. I think all they ever eat here is liver"

"Georgia mystery. Why do the teachers check each others blood pressure in the staff room? And its always a different person checking. Do they all really know how?"

"Just saw the class pic for the first grade. Looks like they all have depression."
Editor's Note: Georgians don't smile in photos. I was at a supra and while taking a photo of a group of Georgians, their digital camera actually said "searching for smile" while an erratic little square bounced around the screen. No one understood why I was laughing.

"I just realized that I look like I'm pregnant"
"Who's the father?"

"Back to the Sagarejo post office tomorrow to try to send a fax. They're gonna love me waltzing in again with my broken georgian and weird requests"

"3 weeks from today I will be leaving my host family forever! Yay!'

"8 Am -host sister gave birth to son, me tipsy by 9am bc of supra. Then, fellow teachers bday party at 2pm - I remain faded till 6pm. Just got to hostel in Kutaisi, host gives me chacha, day destroyed!"

"Just had to change my tampon in a bathroom with no doors on the stalls. Hate this country."

"We had nasty cow parts for supper so I just ate bread and potato salad. My vp's son texted me and said "my mother gave me your number for future relationship' Haha I was trying not to laugh at the dinner table when I got that"

"... love how in Georgia children get yelled at for not having the tv turned on"

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