Almost a month ago I took my first weekend trip with a couple of friends to Batumi (the resort town of Georgia). The drive to Batumi was amazing because we spent most of the time driving along the coast of the Black Sea. It was also sunset so the sun was setting behind the water. It would have been such a romantic moment if it weren’t overwhelmed by the stench of Georgian men. Just as a side note, I don’t know what it is or where that smell comes from but dear god-find a shower. It’s strange because everyone looks like they have showered, at least in the last two days, but they still smell so bad.
Anyway, when we got to Batumi we were met by a Georgian man who was a friend of a friend of one of my friends that I was traveling with. He said that he had some apartments we could rent for the weekend and we thought it sounded like a good idea…not.
He first took us to his apartment and told us (through Yev speaking Russian) that they had a spare room where we could all sleep. We tried to tell him that we didn’t want to stay there with him and his family. (At this time as we are all standing in the front hall his daughter is running around us like it’s totally normal). We finally convinced him that we didn’t want to stay there, so he insisted that we go to another one of his apartments. As we arrived to the other apartment, we walked up 6 flights of stairs, and through what could have been a set of a horror film we got to the second apartment.
When we went inside we weren’t that impressed but it was close to the beach so whatever. We paid him for two nights (mistake) and got him out the door as fast as possible. We were so hungry we just wanted to drop our stuff and find a restaurant. Not five minutes after he left the water in the apartment stopped working. We weren’t too shocked because the water in most of Georgia is on a cycle so we figured it would just come one later. Again, we were wrong. But at that moment the only thing we were focused on was food.
As the night went on we found ourselves at a Turkish restaurant for dinner (as the Turkish border is only kilometers from Batumi), walked along the stone beach of the black sea, climbed a tower over looking Batumi and the water (even though it was night time it was still cool), and found some other English teachers at a bar by the sea. Finally we had had enough and we made our way back to our waterless apartment.
The next morning we still didn’t have any water and we were all feeling a bit gross but I guess at this point we were just beginning to fit in and become Georgian (remember the smell I spoke of earlier). We found a restaurant and got two Irish coffees to start our day then we walked around a bit and found a book store with some English books. I bought two books for my host-sister and then we decided to walk back to our still waterless apartment to rest and get stuff so we could shower a friends’ hotel room.
After our showers we grabbed some dinner and a few bottles of alcohol and headed for the beach. We spent the rest of night drinking and catching up with friends from our training group on the beach, with the sound of the waves crashing in the background. My friends Carla and I had the bright idea to go ankle deep in the water for a drunken heart to heart. We almost fell several times but we managed to stay somewhat dry. At the end of the night we flagged down a taxi and returned to our still waterless apartment.
The next morning we still didn’t have water, but at this time we had given up hope. We got some food and went to the bus station. It was definitely an experience, one that I don’t think I will do again. I vote hotel from now on but you live and you learn.
Best quote of the whole weekend, “I don’t want to complain but, this orange juice could use some work.” –Yev, who was the only one who never really complained the whole weekend regardless of what happened to us and finally the OJ broke him down.