It’s Sunday evening and I needed to cool off and shatter my thoughts, so I went for a walk. A perfectly peaceful summer evening in Gori with the stars out and the moon only one day away from full.
I pass the little cornershop by my house and head down my street, Shartavas kucha. Soon some boys call “Aron!” They know my name since a couple of weeks when I started my regular afternoon run past their block. We chat for a while – mostly about football and rap-stars. I continued down the street. An intense smell of cow-shit hit me, but I somehow enjoy the smell. The fact that cows live in backyards, and that I meet them on the street as I walk to work and they to graze, is simply too charming. Thick grapevines cover the outside of the houses, making some passages thick of greens.
I think of Tbilisi, where I’m moving next week. A couple of days ago I met up with a couple of real estate agents to look for a place to live. They were young, perfectly fluent in Georgian, Russian and English, equiped with Iphone, SUV and high heels, throwing quick smart comments. I enjoyed their company because they’re sharp attitude also revieled a kind of warm depth. They felt sorry for me, having lived in Gori for 9 months but comforted me that I’ll get a life back, now that I’m moving to the city. They made comments insinuating that Gori people are quite behind and exaggerating the dullness of the place. I’ve heard that kind of thing before, such as, “The good thing about Gori is that it’s only one hour away from Tbilisi.”
Meanwhile, when I told the young man selling newspaper (in Gori) – someone I’ve been getting to know for many months now – that I’m moving to Tbilisi, he looked me deep into the eyes and told me to be careful. “You can’t trust anyone there, so be aware. People in Tbilisi only think of themselves.”
Yes, I can definately feel the distinction. But yes, I also feel how both views are exaggerated. People also have trust in Tbilisi, and people in Gori aren’t as disconnected as attributed by Tbilisi folks.
And I continued my walk. Old people sitting outside their houses, just sitting. I reached the central square, filled with young people, probably as young as 9 or 10 despite the late hour (appr. 2200). Skateboarding, eating icecream, but mainly flirting, I think.
I really like it here. I know I will miss Gori, miss the peacefullness, the simplicity, and mostly, of course my friends and local acquaintances. Passing a young woman with a tight T-shirt saying “I love Tbilisi” and I smiled, knowing that moving is the right thing to do …