Woke up late. If by late I mean before noon.
The riff I've been playing on the green Gretch is a good one,
maybe one of my best ever, but I'm not happy with
the lyrics. Time to hammer them into shape.
That's the plan for tonight. The immediate plan for today
is to head over to the "American Embassy" This is foreigner
musician speak for the "Golden Arches", aka McDonalds.
The Mickey D'sin Tbilisi looks more like some sort of "new/old"
monastery. It has a "greeter" like you used to see at Wal Mart.
I hurriedly snatched up a Quarter Pounder with cheese,
and jumped on the adjacent metro. This required stealth maneuvering
the longest, steepest under ground escalator I have ever had
the non-pleasure of setting foot on. It was so steep it looked
like it was flat when I was going down. Bad case of vertigo personified.
I'd rather have a case of Pilsner Urquell. The metro is replete with
Soviet Era trains, though repainted and refurbished to look "modern."
Next stop, and I'm at Liberty Square. Without going into
great detail, it is a tribute to Georgias' independence
from the Soviet Union. Ironically, it's also the site where Joseph Stalin
and his cohorts robbed a bank to help finance the
beginning of Bolshevik Revolution, an event that would help ensure
the country of Georgia to be part of the Soviet Union, whether the
people wanted to be a part of it or not. I walked around
the old part of town and saw some beautiful churches.
There is little left of Soviet Georgia even though I'm
in the the oldest part of town. There are some street signs and
buildings that let you know the Red Bear looms
as a dark shadow of this nations' history.
The jaunt leads me to discover ruins, rehabs, and new buildings.
Tbilisi is a city that is moving ahead independently of the
rest of the world. This is good news for the city and it's people.
I passed by the Norasheni Church, built in 1793, and the
Sioni Cathedral which was originally built in the 7th century, but
had been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The Armenian
Cathedral Of St. George was not a great stop due to it's
current reconstruction. Next, I stopped by the Orbeliani Baths
to see if they had a sauna. Not much intel. I'll look further into this later.
I crossed the Mtkvari River and back, and took a great walk down
Shavteli Street, and hung in some really funky shops and buildings.
A local matron tried to hustle me on an antique rug that I really liked
for a hundred USD and it was the size of a "Welcome Mat."
The phrase operative was no sale, Babes.
After walking for what seemed like months, my lifetime-ago-ankle-injury
had once again reared it's ugly head, and I was starting to get hungry.
I decided to make for this place I call "The Barrel", which isn't its real name,
but it has a big barrel-like structure shrouding it's otherwise missable entrance on
Rustaveli Street. It's a home-style Georgian affair, and my heart and
stomach were set on eating some kind of fresh fish. I decided on grilled trout.
It was a decision that I didn't regret.
Next stop was a used bookstore. As a confirmed "analog man" I'm
still partial to hard-copy books, shun the newfangled (if by new fangled
I mean ten years or so old) e-readers. I do see the value of going digital,
although I probably won't do it in THIS lifetime.
There weren't a ton of books written in English to be had.
I found mostly old copies of Encyclopedia Britanica, a Windows '97
manual, and a New Testament that was also translated in French
and Russian. I did manage to dig up two books of grand interest;
works by Rustaveli and Gamzatov. The translations from Georgian to
English are excellent and will hopefully prove to be inspirational in
my never ending quest for perfect verse and chorus.
After leaving the bookstore, I still had the Zep-like riff pounding in
my head and it just wouldn't leave me alone. Not that I want it to.
A quick trip to "Beer Mania" resulted in me misplacing a debit card.
Must. Call. Bank. NOW. My dear friend Courtney at the bank
puts up with these mishaps out of me a couple of times a year.
Next stop, a super market for wine, cheese crackers, and cheap
cowboy killers. At least they taste better than Winston.