Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Georgian Vacation Round 2: Day 5 or "Return Stopover" Part 2/2

We arrived to Tbilisi shortly after and the beer had made the ride all the more enjoyable. I fell asleep in an awkward position and woke up realizing my underwear was in full bloom, but buzz=not feeling too embarrassed. The driver was clearly trying to ask my sister if she and I (but I assume mostly her) would join him for another beer but she somehow got out of that with hand movements and being polite. 

My sister and I head back to the hostel Gohar, her, and I had initially stayed at, only to find out it was all booked. We decided to try the hostel right across the street, by the little Armenian restaurant, and they had two rooms available, so we booked the cheaper one that actually had a much nicer view. We decided to go for a final walk around the city, and dropped by the Armenian restaurant to see if we could come in the morning for a quick coffee. The woman confirmed and we headed out. It wasn't too late but the mashootka ride was taking its toll for sure. We walked for about an hour and a half and headed home to shower and sleep. We noted this, of course:
Who knew smashing patriarchy could be so easy?
We called our Armenian taxi man Arthur and he agreed to pick us up in the morning to take us to the mashootka stop. He then expressed his frustration with us not calling him right away so we could stay with him. He asked us to see if we could get out of the hostel so he could pick us up and his wife could meet us as well - we had already paid but as usual, Armenians have got your back.

We wake up feeling nice and rested, and leave to head to the Armenian restaurant. We order two coffees and drink it with the door open and with a cute huge dog sticking his nose inside but never coming in. My sister and I chat while trying to take in the last bits of the city in and finally ask for the cheque. We thank the wonderful family, tell them we will come back next time we're in the city, and see Arthur outside waiting. He chats with the restaurant-owners and we are on our way, while he gives us some tidbits about Tbilisi before we get to his car:
We arrive to the mashootka stop and when trying to give Arthur the money he refuses and tells us "amot a" (it is shameful). He again tells us that next time we come we must call him right away and arrange to stay in his home. We thank him and get into the mashootka heading to Yerevan. I sit in the front which I am of course annoyingly excited about (A FULL WINDOW TO MYSELF) and my sister sits in the back by a nene who feeds her chocolate and asks her if she will listen to what her future husband says (oh dear). The driver is grumpy and a little cold, but when Paul Baghdadlian is blasted on his mix CD, I can't help but sing along and he turns it up (perhaps to drown me out) and I feel that we begin to bond. 

When we arrive to the Armenian border, while waiting for everyone to get back on the mashootka, the driver asks me if I like Georgia. I say yes and that it is a very beautiful and interesting country, and he goes into full-patriot mode telling me how much better Armenia is, and that even though he lives in Georgia, Armenia will always be his home. I feel the need to interrupt him to tell him that just because I like Georgia, that doesn't mean I do not appreciate Armenia, and he calms down a bit and tells us some history tidbits he knows. Much better, and it was a pleasant and drama-free ride all the way back to our house.

See you next year, Georgia.

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