What I am about to say might not be appropriate, but it was such an absurd vision that I can’t resist blogging about my rendezvous. But first I’ll backtrack to last evening. Yesterday I was bedridden with a 102° fever. I was taking all sorts of medication all day, but couldn’t shake the fever. I ended up going to the hospital (which seems like a huge deal and made me bawl my eyes out since I would normally never go to the hospital for a fever—but my host family felt it necessary) to get an IV to bring my body temperature back down. And let me tell you that Georgian hospitals are…and experience. I’ll leave it at that. I’m home now, on 5 different prescription medications, and on a strictly boiled potatoes and hot tea diet. I’m feeling almost 100% better today, so I’ll be starting at school tomorrow morning to meet my students and the three “English” teachers I’ll be working with. I use quotations because it turns out that the English teachers don’t speak much English. I’ll dedicate an entire blog posting to my experiences in the classroom once I’ve spent some more time in the school.
Today I layed around the house for awhile, ate potatoes and more potatoes, and then went with my host sister to a restaurant where she was meeting her friends from school. I got there and immediately realized I would need a companion, so I called Yev. To give you a sense of the scene, I can say that the restaurant was three floors and used to be a nightclub but it now apparently the local hangout for middle school students. I felt like a chaperone at a teenage dance. When Yevgeniy arrived, we were asked by a fellow 14-year-old boy to join him and his friends for a supra. Supras, if I haven’t mentioned, are huge feasts/parties, and we basically attend a supra per night; Georgians like to party! So we get to the table with our middle school friends where the proceeded to order 5 bottles of vodka, tons of beer, and various sodas. These children were downing shots and smoking like crazy and ordering mass amounts of food. I wish I had brought my video camera to share the madness with ya’ll. I couldn’t stop laughing at how surreal the whole thing was. I guess that’s what happens in a country with no drinking age. Yevgeniy grew up in Russia and noted that even though there is also no drinking age over there, it’s strange to see kids ordering alcohol in abundance in a public restaurant. Leave it to the Georgians ;) Yev and I left the supra to go grab some coffee at a café down the street and I saw a young girl, about 5-6, walking alone and carrying a pack of cigs. The sights never seize to amaze me.
That’s all for today. Something to look forward to: Some friends and I are going to take a marshutka to Batumi this weekend, get a hotel, and enjoy some quality American time together. It’ll be my first trip away from my host family. I wonder how many calls I’ll get per day from them checking up on my whereabouts and wellbeing ;)