Wednesday, July 6, 2011

At Home, Abroad

writing the Great Franco-Italo-American novel, natch.
Note the llama in the corner.

After an extended absence (during which I took a couple of minor examinations), I am now back in Tbilisi for part of the summer, and significantly more "established" here than previously, as my mother (now working in Uganda part-time) has decided to return to Tbilisi part-time start a business, and will be taking over the flat in my absence, hence alleviating my need for a constant revolving door of subletters. I'll be in Tbilisi for about six weeks over the summer, spending the rest of the time in Turkey with (on separate voyages), my mother, grandmother, and Very English Gentleman. (Thank you Pegasus - normally the bane of my existence - for introducing low-cost Tbilisi-Antalya direct flights!)

Mademoiselle Flaneur herself
on the leafy, leafy terrace!
Life upon my return has been idyllic - reading books in the newly-installed terrace hammock (highlights of my return so far, Francoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse and the memoirs of Madame de Stael, although Jelinek's The Piano Teacher earns points for sheer audacity) - eating a novel badrijani-yogurt concoction at the newly-established Cafe Gabriadze (new favorite!), and marveling at how much the Old Town has changed even since March. THREE new Moroccan shisha-bars have joined the existing two in the Chardini Street area - one of which, Marrakech Express, earned particular favor from me after providing me with air conditioning and a power socket during today's outage (and for those who complain that Chardini street is expensive - my 10-lari "glass" of sangria proved to be an enormous Pimms-sized PITCHER for about ten people. The wait staff seemed offended that I declined to drink it all).

Carpet from Tbilisi antique shop, guitar
from Dry Bridge, pillows from Rome, shisha
pipe from Oxford, prints from Uganda (via mother!)
The ongoing flat-decorating is nearly finished (found a carpet for the study at the antiques shop near the Dry Bridge market!), although I'm increasingly aware that the lack of solid BOOKS in the flat - as opposed to my full-to-bursting-kindle - makes it feel somewhat cold. The next trip over may involve carting an Oxfam raid's worth of tomes for the currently-decorative shelves.

Hence: pictures of yours truly in the (Almost-Completely) Decorated Flat!

With Bear, my longtime travel companion
and noble chronicler of adventures.

Coffee-table book: "The Grand Literary Cafes of Europe"
Future posts - on Cafe Gabriadze (!), the million-and-one new bars in Old Tbilisi, and an oh-so-loving ode to the waiter from a cafe I visited in March who, despite getting NO information (credit card or otherwise from me), somehow found my number and persisted in telephoning me at odd hours to enquire if my boyfriend was Georgian.

No, he's English. This means he probably will not challenge you to a duel. But he will (as he did to one would-be lothario 'in the day), "have words with [you]. At Mass."