I often have amusing anecdotes from my life here in Tbilisi, but I usually don’t share them on my blog because they could be misconstrued as making fun of people, which is definitely not my intention. A big part of why I love it here is because the people are fantastic–and their amusing antics are a large part of it (I also think many of the humorous moments are purposeful).
But today I have an amusing and bizarre story that I just have to share. I was running all over the city today–breakfast with the girls, errands, and private lessons all in disparate parts of the city. Due to one of my errands, I was in a part of the city that I don’t frequent, and from there I had to go to the suburbs for a private lesson with my friend’s kids. I go there once or twice a week, so I know my way to their house from many corners of the city, but since I was travelling from a new place, I had to search for the correct marshrutka to take me there. I got on the appropriate marshrutka with little fuss, and it was empty enough that I was able to get a seat, look out the window, and quietly mind my own business. It wasn’t long before this marshrutka began to trace a familiar route, and I was in a familiar part of town on my way to my friend’s house. Everything was going according to plan.
And then the marshrutka stopped. This isn’t particularly odd in and of itself–I assumed someone had flagged the driver down, or he was stuck in the snow, or pulled over by a cop, or something…. The driver got out of the vehicle and walked around it slowly, so I assumed he suspected something was wrong with the car–maybe a flat tire? I was a bit worried about being late, but basically considered the situation normal. Then the driver started lobbing snowballs at his windshield, so I looked around at the other passengers to see what they thought, only to discover that I was alone. I decided to wait it out for a bit. I’ve seen plenty of odd ways of cleaning the windshield in Georgia, so I wasn’t too suspicious. As I suspected, a few snowballs later the driver returned, and we set off down the expected route–and continued going right through the light where we should have turned to my friend’s house. So I sat up a little bit straighter and began looking around confusedly (probably appearing a little like a curious meerkat). At this point the driver noticed me and asked which micro-region (section of the suburb) I was going to, to which I replied (very eloquently):
“Ummm…I dunno. It’s over there”
::waving vaguely towards the right::
“The third? The fourth?”
“No, I don’t think so…over there…Jussec”
So I called my friend and asked her which micro-region she lived in, and she confirmed that it was neither the third nor the fourth. I know exactly where she lives, but I have no idea what the address is. Addresses aren’t such a big thing in Georgia. I don’t even know the name of the major street near her house. After a minute of confusion, since she knows I know where she lives, she realized why I might be calling, and told me to just give my phone to the marshrutka driver. After a brief exchange between the two, the driver returned my phone and turned around with the apology “Sorry, I thought it was just me. We’ll go straight there”. So, I got a direct ride to my friend’s house. She very charmingly greeted me by saying “What was going on? Why are you confusing people?”
Yup, that’s what I often do as a foreigner in Tbilisi–confuse people.