My Georgian Family From The First Sight
We have mixed time zones and told our host not the right time of our arrival. He wanted to meet us at the airport (have you ever met a person who wants to drive 30 km just to pick up strangers? Never!). That was so sweet that I headed right away to inform him about my stupidity. We stayed on a highway so we wouldn’t waste anybody’s time. 1 minute. First car. Best car ever stopped for me. “Boys give them a place to sit! We are so happy to meet you, giiiiirls!” It seemed they were happier to take us, then even we. I recall how they started applauding me when I noticed that I’m Ukrainian. They never stopped asking us a question. I knew we could trust them. We spent in total of 4 days with a Georgian family. Nika and Tornike (boys who looked after us 24/7) couldn’t communicate with us in any language as they spoke only Georgian and Greek explained us everything with funny faces and gestures. When they wanted to say “Georgians ” just mentioned “babushkas” and always repeated “Davay – let’s go”. We never knew the plans and as blind puppies followed our guides.
All in all, they invited us to the best restaurant in Kutaisi just to show us the folk dances. They organized the home party with all neighbors (they were 2-3 generations older) and national cognac. The 60-year old man was turning us around, kissing us on both cheeks and hurling compliments at us. The other night we drove to the neighbor city. The snow was falling. We could see how Georgia turned into a fairy tale. Snowy roads, mountains, rivers and dark lights. Our rescuers stopped the car, turned on the music and started a snow battle. Despite the fact we were all wet and tired, we continued dancing under the snow battling with parents. Next day Babushka cooked Ukrainian borscht and pancakes. Believe me, she did it like my granny does it!
Every member of the family came to meet us, made presents, invited to their homes to spend a couple of days altogether. They have a habit to give a phone number even if they just met you. It’s not flirting but a helping hand. “For us, guests are God’s appeal. So we never reject strangers”. How can you stay with a tough heart after all of it?
We continued the adventure hitchhiking in Georgia…