Monday, July 13, 2015

Flashback to July 2011: Rustavi: In the Society of Women

From July 26, 2011, when I was in Caucasus Georgia, in the city of Rustavi:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Rustavi: In the Society of Women

Tonight I enjoyed another evening in the society of women.

I did the same the evening before, the day before that, and the day before that.

At such gatherings, the hostess presents an array of light foods. In the past week, I've seen watermelon, honeydew melon, cheese, nuts, chocolates or cookies, pretzel sticks, khachapuri, bread, coffee, and often, some sort of alcoholic beverage (beer, chacha, cognac, vodka).  A visitor always brings a little something. A large candy bar, a bag of cookies, or some sunflower seeds are examples I've seen this past week.

Credit: Khachapuri


And then women chat about the usual stuff of life - births, deaths, illness, relationships, politics, religion, neighbors, work ...

Toasts are made, offering good thoughts to others present.

It's very nice to be in this society of women. They have been very kind and welcoming to me.

Tonight, when the hostess began to pour the coffee into our glass espresso cups, I watched transfixed as it seemed to crawl out of the kettle like some living thing from the primordial ooze. I thought maybe it wasn't coffee - perhaps it was a thick, thick chocolate drink.  I wondered what it was going to taste like. As it turned out, it was coffee, and it was good.

Our hostess, N., whom we'd visited a couple of nights before, again played the piano while her son, O. sang. Later, despite the heat, he and a couple of the women danced traditional Georgian dances. By this time, we'd drunk a bit of cognac, so all of us felt quite mellow.  The man of the house came in, and we consumed more cognac. He brought with him a deliciously cold ice cream bar for each of us. Wonderfully cold.

Those who can leave Rustavi during this sweating season do so, taking refuge in the cooler mountains. Alternatively, they go to Batumi and hang out by the Black Sea.

I'm hopeful to go to my hostess' family village in Gurjaani this weekend.

I crave the sight of trees, cool streams, and distant mountains. 




Credit: Rural Tourism

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