Time-travel into pandemic struck Georgia.

Oh, Tbilisi. True mother of all cities. The cradle of western civilisation. A place that went through a lot, throughout its long existence…

Let me take you on an imaginary trip to this awesome city. Accompanied by one of the best cameras I’ve ever had, I got stuck in this Caucasus country during the very first of lockdowns in the spring of 2020. Now as my favourite (not so) European country is facing a big wave of Russian refugees, I have stumbled across some old photos, which resurrected many great memories and motivated me to share them with the world.

My arrival to Georgia was still before cov(it). A young and pretty good looking lady at the border control took my passport, stamped it without a blink of an eye and handed it back to me with a small bottle of red wine, saying: “Enjoy Georgia!” and I tried my best fulfilling her best wish. As we have happened to land in Kutaisi (the second biggest city) in the middle of the night, my mission was to catch a shared ride to the capital Tbilisi. Some three or four hours of absolute horror drive. You sure have heard of infamous Georgian driving style. It is bad. I mean terrifying. In the curviest of curves, drivers are overtaking each other, honking and shouting on themselves from half opened windows. Needles to say, it was an awesome start to my adventure. I was first time alone in a country that far from home and I needed some sort of action. In Georgia, you don’t have to look far for such stories really.

Next thing you know I have entered a three dollar a night hostel in the old town. Total improvised garage-like bunker with bunk beds and military style sheets.

Not for everyone. The same day one Japanese lady turned herself out literary on the spot, when entered the room. I was alright with it, as I was still fresh into my adventure appetite. The plan was to look for an apartment of my own as soon as possible anyways, so staying in somewhat crappy place only boosted and sped up the process of moving out.

I got really lucky with my apartment search. A young wanna be realtor arranged a meeting and the very same day I was in. A 65m2 double room with a winter balcony became my home for 200 a month. The last picture with the fortress in the background was almost how my view looked like. Old town of Tbilisi became my playground.

Cheap food and beer, many clubs and a vibrant expat community was treating me very well.

Until the unexpected happened and the world slowly but surely stopped turning.

Lockdown in Tbilisi was really more than fine. Off course everything closed and there was not so many late nights out anymore, but for the most part, Georgians took it quite easy during the first few months of the so called pandemic. Luckily for me, being a skater and out goer, I have managed to meet enough people before the lockdown and kept some level of social life throughout the whole curfew and all…

The city became literary a ghost town. I was wandering around with my camera capturing some of the most surreal pictures ever.

Few masked people here and there, but my overall experience was that I was the king of the streets. With bunch of street dogs and cats off course. And they are truly on every step. some of them fat and unhealthy as they eat any leftover available. Georgian bread is also really good, so they probably get a fair amount of that as well. Not good for carnivores though…

Although economical situation is getting better by the week in Georgia, locals don’t have an easy life. There is still a big difference between what it means to be poor and rich. On one hand you have wealthy Arabian investors building quite magnificent buildings and than local, sometimes poorly educated members of the proletariat wandering around them in black jogging pants, looking for ways to kill some time.

But don’t worry about Georgians, they are masters in killing time.

Not that they would be lazy, they just like to do things on their own terms and conditions…

Personally, I wish only the best for Georgia, as it is really such a special place, both physically and culturally. A historical bridge between worlds which always kept its own identity and balanced on unstable foundations, border disputes and both political and social issues. Nowadays, they find themselves yet again in very difficult situation, stuck between their soviet past and somewhat american future. I hope, no matter what happens, Georgia will welcome me once again with a warm smile and small bottle of their amazing red wine.

Until next time,

Tom D’Kar

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Tom D'kar

Bohemian citizen with background in philosophy, economics and entrepreneurship. Off/on grid nomad and wannabe surfer...