National Public Viking

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

(Wanna Go) Back to the (Former) USSR

|current sounds| Wolf Eyes with John Wiese- Equinox (yep, still listening to it)

The New York Times has an article on Georgian wine and the country's splendid return to their ancient ritual and rite. Reading about the writer's experience with former Soviet country's bend-over-backward hospitality brought back many memories of my time doing mission work and playing music for two weeks there. A host will literally save up a month's salary if a guest agrees to come over for dinner, a grand feast of shashlik, heavily olive oiled cucumbers and tomatoes, kingali (Georgian dumplings), and hachipuri (a very salty cheese-bread - quite divine). As C. J. Chivers mentions in the article, guests are the equivalent of gods, especially Americans whom Georgia now anxiously welcomes as tourists after years of civil turmoil (there's still unrest, but no where near as bad as after I left in 1999). Now that I'm not 16 nor a tetotaller and an aspiring wine enthusiast, I feel like I should travel back to Georgia, peruse the vineyards, and sit on the rock beaches of Batumi on the Black Sea.

Looky what I found on one of my old websites. I cannot remember the names of the two on the left (though they were my favorite students at a camp we directed for one week), but there's a spikey-haired Lars (nicknamed "Metallus" by the kids for my metal necklace) sitting next to Lika, my first international crush. Jason, one of my team members, pulled me aside within a few days to inform me that Lika, at 18, was already married (not an abnormal practice in Georgia). My first attempt at Slavic hook-up-age thus thwarted.


At 10:29 PM, Blogger helen said...

have you also been reading the Times stuff about all the not so hot stuff happening in Georgia? I think you might not want to travel over there just yet, : )


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