Relocation from Bolnisi to Batumi, 23 Dec 2011 to 5 Jan 2012

Batumi Travel Blog

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Niniko, quite the ham when having her photo taken

Gee, it’s already 5 days into the New Year and a lot has happened before and after my relocation to Batumi. Said my goodbyes to Bolnisi School and the co-teachers, said goodbye to my Bolnisi host family and hello to my new adventure into Batumi.

Actually, I couldn’t or wouldn’t know much about this place accept without the assistance of a TLG Volunteer,  respectively EK, and he mentioned that there was an opening in which I requested that I be relocated there due to <bleep, bleep> and I was ready for a change of scenery.

He said he had no other plans during the Christmas holiday thus he didn’t mind the train ride into Tbilisi where we’d meet up and provide his assistance with my relocation.

Medea statue in the center of Batumi notice my over winter is much more comfortable than Bolnisi
His leave from his village was a struggle because the transport had a flat tire, then he had a 6hr ride into Tbilisi. I truly appreciated his offer; I knew he and I didn’t speak much via mobile connection because I didn’t have his contact number during the first 4mos, but when the TLG organization again supplied the spreadsheet of the remaining TLGVs I then decided to give him a shout to see how he was doing and managing with Georgia.

With the help from my Bolnisi host couple, they managed to bargain with a cab driver’s cost into driving me to Tbilisi and to The Nest, a foreigner haven hostel. On 23 December, I hugged goodbye to Maka and Zura, then loaded my luggage into the cab’s trunk and drove off with the driver who only spoke Russian or Georgian.

So for an hour and a quarter, only silence was between us till we got into Tbilisi, then is when he searched for the hostel. EK was already on his way and we were playing phone tag regarding where we to meet, but finally decided in meeting at the hostel, which taken the cab driver an extra 30mins of searching for its location.

The Nest was hidden away within the walls of the neighborhood which if you were really wasn’t looking, you’d certainly miss. Luckily the sign “The Nest” identifies its location, once inside I already felt like I stepped into a psychedelic tunnel of the 70s and certainly had a bachelor décor, you could imagine the bathroom and kitchen. One large room with 4 bunk beds, another room with a two beds pushed together as a private room, and other with only 2 bunks.

Other than that, the place was comfortable.

That evening, EK and I walked around town before retiring for the night then by an early morning we explored the city and watched as the sun rise. We walked for several hours whereas EK started complaining about how old he was, there is a 10yr span between us, and that I need to slow down whereas if anyone had interest in me he could catch up with me.

Rather civilly ignored his statement and continued taking photos of Tbilisi which I really didn’t have the opportunity when I was in Bolnisi. By Sunday morning, we went to the central station, boarded the 0830 train and prepared myself for a 6hr ride.

On occasion I had awakened from sleeping and viewed the passing mountains through the dirty  windows. The train was going through a time passage and the mountains were gray and covered with patches of snow.

What once was richly majestic was at the mercy of Old Man Winter forcing the entire vegetation and flora into lying dormant.

By afternoon, the train arrived in Batumi and I actually finally saw the Black Sea, what a view! Although drizzling, the sight of water was refreshing. Upon arriving at my destination, I contacted my new regional rep and she said she’d call the family after I finished describing the color of my luggage. Once I disconnected the call, a very large burly guy came up to me and spoke with a thick Georgian accent, “Are you Key?”

EK being quite protective stood between me and this nameless stranger, then two other men, one older and thinner, a European version of Adrian Brody with a receding hairline, his name Badri, and, Iankika, a younger yet tall man with an unshaven face and wore a sock cap covering majority of his head.

“Yes,” I responded.

The two other men who truly resembled seamen were friends of Badri, the host husband also owner of the British version BMW which he loaded his truck with my luggage.­  

Badri had dropped EK near the traffic area of transit transportation of minivans, buses and taxis for he had to return to his village. My new host family resides is in the middle of Batumi, meaning, I’m near the major sites and 5mins walking distance from the Black Sea. I certainly was in a city for majority of the homes were apartments and I was in walking distance to practically everything.

My new home was on the first floor, and Keti, Badri’s wife, is also younger than myself, thus I’ve another host sister with two host nieces, one soon to be sixteen, Niniko, and Mari, a spunky talkative 4yr old going on 20.

I really love this clock.
The family operates a small local market downstairs below their apartment.

{Portion of the blog has been removed}

Enjoy the pics of my new host family, after New Year’s Eve, the family’s been hosting and celebrating with leftovers for the last 5 days for Georgia celebrates their Christmas 7 January. They entertain with their neighbors and family members. Since I’m on a month holiday, I’ve been retiring rather late and waking up later in the morning. I know once school resumes, I’d return to my normal sleeping habits…

This New Year and Georgian approaching Christmas, I never ate so much … I’ve really got to discipline myself after this holiday, once school resumes, back to eating more fruit and yogurt and less meats, especially the chocolates and breads, don’t mind the cheese though.

Also, for those who really want know the feeling of being in a real village, not the ones whose locals are staged in tolerating passing visitors who from a distance admire the village life; Tskhmorisi is an actual rustic village established on ridges of a mountain, which elite Westerns undoubtedly would feel out of their city element. Muddy hilly paths, manure at every step… but the view of the surrounding mountains against the blue skies made one feel in touch with true nature.

Folklore tales filled the bristling blown branches and if one looked very carefully, you can almost see hidden gnomes and forest faeries and nymphs, and the villagers warmly shared their hospitality upon seeing my presence. Tskhmorisi is a true village.

Author’s Note: Normally, my style is more artistic and picturesque with typed words, but this is more of an update of recent changes which taken place in 13 days.

I’ll get back into my groove again …

Update 6 January 2012, my brief description of the village I visited is only an introduction and really haven't had the opportunity in writing a more journalistic version of the my short visit, however, what I artistically wrote wasn't an offense but a personal experience.

monky says:
Posted on: Feb 03, 2012
pretty_girl says:
Posted on: Feb 03, 2012
Vanessa_Mun_Yee says:
Congrats on the featured!
Posted on: Feb 03, 2012
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Niniko, quite the ham when having …
Niniko, quite the ham when having…
Medea statue in the center of Batu…
Medea statue in the center of Bat…
I really love this clock.
I really love this clock.
Neptune / Poseidon fountain not to…
Neptune / Poseidon fountain not t…
(l to r) Ianikas mother, Keti (ho…
(l to r) Ianika's mother, Keti (h…
photo by: mskaye