Saturday, September 28, 2013

Part 2/2 of Georgian Vacation Day 2, or “Flying a Little Too Close to the Sun”

The second half of our second day in Georgia...did we really get burned already?! Find out now!

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At some point we realized we were in pain. Everywhere. My face was hurting but it was nothing like the back of my calves. Gohar's thighs were on fire. We examined each other and realized we were much more sun burnt than originally assumed. It just took a while to kick in. We were red all over but Gohar's thighs and the back of my legs were the worst. We sat on a bench to read and felt it the most then – and I realized my butt was also burned as well. The worst areas of our burns made sense – the sun was strongest when we had the umbrella, but my calves were sticking out and Gohar was on her back so her thighs were exposed. We felt like failures who couldn't handle the first day of sun. I decided to never tell my mother.

We decided to continue walking around until we found a spot to eat dinner, and instead of swimming in Batumi, we would head home earlier and spend the rest of the night at the beach in Gonio to soothe our burns. We walked by a Church and I noticed Armenian writing so we went in to hear a little girls choir sing “Shogher jan”. After getting into two places that were not actually restaurants, we went into the next suitable place. They had beans and that was all that mattered. I noticed all the customers speaking Turkish and that the news channel was a Turkish one. The beans were a type I knew very well growing up. Lightbulb: this was not a Georgian restaurant but a Turkish one. Hungry, we sat and ate the delicious and familiar beans and decided the next time we went to Batumi would be the appropriate time for traditional Georgian food. At this point more than ever did we realize how badly our butts were burned. We still couldn't believe we failed at not getting burnt on the first day at the beach.

We headed to the market, and bought carrots, peppers, nectarines and cucumbers for beach snacks for the following day and got on the mashootka home. To our pleasant surprise, the driver was the same one who originally took us to Gonio and to his friend's house to stay. When a woman got off at our stop, we asked him to wait while we looked for our change. Defiantly, he began driving. Gohar awkwardly asked him again if he could just wait because we were looking for our change and he told us he would turn around and drive us directly home since our stop was on the other side of the road. We did the collective “awwwwww” and sat back down. But then he passed our damn house again driving fairly quickly. Did he already forget his promise? Did we sit too far back in the mashootka and he forgot about our existence? Gohar politely asked him to stop because we missed our house and he asked “don't you want to go back to Batumi?” and laughed. He knew a secret road that was a block down that would take us directly home. We were relieved and thanked him and went our merry way.

Our host-grandfather saw us and told us to put beer on our burns to make them feel better. We were slightly convinced—and desperate not to use madzoun as it is quite a process to take it off and our skin could not handle a shower, so we confirmed with out host-mom and she encouraged us to do it. I asked if there were any aloe vera plants but to no avail. We bought a beer and headed to the beach, which was a lot chillier and windier at night of course. Gohar the brave went in. Slowly and very robot-like, but she went in. She swam while I told her I didn't want to get sick when I came out since my towel was wet. I clearly forgot that night time is much colder. Once she came out and dried up, we opened the Georgian beer, tasted it, and begun rubbing it all over ourselves. I wondered how crazy we must look but desperate times call for desperate measures, creepy old man staring at us!

The lifeguard came and we explained what happened and he agreed that either beer or madzoun would help. He then said if we waited another hour, he would be off his shift and he could take us to Batumi. We realized he didn't know that we had already gone so Gohar had to awkwardly explain that to him while I was happy I didn't speak Russian. After all the flies in Georgia were having a party on Gohar's beer-soaked thighs, including there being a threesome (I swear), we decided to head back.

The Georgian lifeguard asked Gohar something and she said “da, kharasho” and then turned to me and said “I have no idea what he just said” and we started to think of the worst-case scenarios of what he asked. We would find out the next day. He said our burns were serioso and we couldn't help but laugh, even though in this context it was appropriate. I also realized I swam too strenuously and strained or injured my left knee. I would find out which it was soon enough. Tomorrow we plan to do yoga early and swim and not make the same mistakes. We are burnt but not broken. Well my knee may be, but for now I am in denial.

Observations: the peanut butter I brought has a creepy bear looking through a window with a perverted smile, as if he wants to watch you sleep. Why?

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