Monday, September 30, 2013

Georgian Vacation Day 3 or “How to Hold Rocks with your Feet Like a Parrot”

Gohar is awake before me. We are both in pain. I realize my first time trying yoga shouldn't be when I cannot even walk without feeling my skin burning, so we decide to just go for a swim. We have our protein shake and head to the beach, where the lifeguard greets us and right away pulls out two fancy chairs for us. Gohar tries to pay him but he refuses. She tries a little more and gets the money in his hand but he then sneakily puts it on my chair. I accept defeat but Gohar the sly fox pretends we will leave and he finally takes it. We read for a bit and head right in the water, early enough that there is for sure no sun to worry about and we feel the water cooling our burns. The swim was great as usual and I still see no jelly fish. My knee feels almost 100% better as well which I celebrate in my own way of splashing a lot.

We get out about an hour or so later and get right to smashing walnuts – but this time on fancy beach chairs. We give one to the lifeguard and when Gohar goes back in to swim, comes out screaming because there were jellyfish and she can't stand touching them. I still don't know if they sting or not but we notice an Armenian family beside us and each one is obsessed with picking them up and playing with them, so I have to assume not. The youngest child picked one up and dropped it by the rocks and then tried to throw a rock at it in disgust (then why did you pick it up, annoying child?) and the older brother said “meghk a” (it is pitiful) and rescued the jellyfish. This kind of made my day.

When it is around 11am we decide to be safe and head back. The lifeguard brought us an umbrella by this time but we made a plan to avoid the sun until our skin healed. We ate cucumbers, carrots, peppers and nectarines and watched some more House – all the episodes were really sad and all the patients seemed to die (spoiler alert). I cried a little and wondered if Gohar did too. We read and around 4ish made the plan to head back to the beach at 5pm when the sun wouldn't be as scary. Outside our window looked quite shady so we felt confident and went for a “night” swim. We sat down and right away realized the sun was still way too strong and that our skin felt like it was fire. I wrapped Gohar's shawl all around my face and shoulders and chest and she did Yoga. We tried to meditate which only made me think of the dog I had in Yerevan for 2 weeks and then began to read.

Around 6pm we felt there was no change – but hearing the water splashing was too much of a temptation to bear. We kept debating to go in or not – but realized our already burnt skin would just get worse. We decided to go for a walk for an hour or so and then head back to swim. The options in Gonio were pretty limited. About 20 minutes into our walk, where we were sweating quite a bit, Gohar suggested we go back home and wait there to pass the time as we were still under the strong sun. I agreed and it took a good hour and a half for the sun to calm the fuck down. We realized it was officially the perfect time – the sun was just setting, the water was still relatively warm and the wind was calm.

We went in, which was still super painful for our feet and Gohar told me to “hold the rocks with my feet like a parrot” and I couldn't stop laughing. Apparently she could do this. We swam a bit, and I finally saw a jellyfish. And many more. And a lot of garbage. It was everywhere and things kept touching us and anytime we tried to do some distance swimming, felt like we were swimming directly into garbage. How could the sea have changed within a day? Either the area we were in was dirty or the waves were so strong during the day that they brought a bunch of garbage with them to the shallower areas.

We soon got out, dried off and Gohar lit an incense her friend brought for her from India, which was the first one that didn't give me a headache as a result of a fragrancy-like smell. We sat and made our plans for the following day, which included a run, swim and heading to Batumi after 4pm to bike with rent-a-bikes. I have a fear we would need credit cards to rent them, but we will see. With the sun finally setting, Gohar said what a wonderful view it was. I agreed, even though I felt like the sun was saying “I’ll get you again tomorrow, kiddies”.

We headed home and I decided to wash my sand filled hair. It made me realize how badly my face had burned as well and Gohar and I kept saying “tomorrow is another day”.

Observations: all Georgians have blue eyes.

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