is a travel blog.
Georgia reminded me to keep an open mind. To be true to myself. To follow my gut down the road into the valley as night falls, and not be afraid. This place doesn’t care about your flashy, bullshit car, despite the flow of foreign luxury logos streaming down the boulevards of downtown Batumi. Georgia doesn’t care about your set of rules either. The cow has just as much of a right to walk on the road as you do. The wild, rabid dog under your portico needs shelter just as much as you do. The begging, hunchback lady with one tooth, needs to make a buck just as much as anyone else. Everything needs to eat, make delicious food of it if you have to cook anyway: call it khachapuri, khinkali, ostri, lobio, mchadi.
Those could be fireworks outside your window, or an invading army exploding the sky apart. The building could be about to crumble underneath your feet. You could be about to die, at any moment. These could be your last seconds on earth, conscious in this body you move about in: have you made peace with death? Have you lived a decent, full life? Did you do your best? Or did you spend so much time worrying about the toilet that didn’t flush properly? Or the mouldy walls? Or the thief who charged you twice, so gifted at theatrics?
It is the world that teaches us otherwise, tells us we are superior in our own ways. Better. This is no fault of any one individual: it is the absurdity of elitism, the myth of cultural superiority, inherited at birth. Why do we always have to do our fucking best, why this endless, rotten competition? Where does this pressure cooker come from and why do we have to push it so far in one direction or another? Tick things off our little lists. All I will remember at the end is the rain: sweeping sheets of it, pouring battering the streets, draining from the gutter pipes, irreverent and holy, nonchalant and wild, scattering humans and shopping bags, blowing umbrellas inside out.
Georgia has taught me the parallels life has to a marshrutka: life doesn’t come on time, nor does it leave when you want it to. You just wait there on the side of the road, hoping you’ll end up home, or else somewhere close enough to walk. So be kind to one another. Offer each other a lift. There is nothing in life more valuable than loving one another: no amount of money and slavery, no renovated house, no neatly paved sidewalk, no clever online train ticketing system, no shining city hall, no designer handbag - could ever offer anything, even remotely close, to the value of seeing another as they are, loving them as they are, not projecting your own hatred and frustration onto their reality. To each their own. Everybody just wants to get home. Try helping them, checking your ego whenever it deems you better than anyone, or anything else. If you fail, don’t worry: you’re only human. Try again.