Monday, April 16, 2012

Georgia: The Earring


I got together with a group of TLG colleagues in Tbilisi awhile back.

We vented about living with host families, school problems, poor customer service, sex discrimination, the winter cold, the dearth of showering opportunities ... the usual expat bitching.

On my way home to Rustavi, I climbed aboard a packed marshrutka, lucking into the very last space. It was a pull-down seat almost smack against the sliding door. As I squished my backpack into the space between me and the seat in front of me, I heard a tinkling metallic sound to my right. Something had fallen. Within my tight quarters, I did a body and pack check --  keys? coins? what? Oh, I thought, as I put my hand to my right ear, an earring fell off.

It had fallen onto the running board alongside the marshrutka's sliding passenger door. I could barely see it if I carefully looked down on my right, as if peering into a narrow crevasse. Damn it.

As I contemplated retrieval strategies, a man behind me called out gamicheret, indicating the driver should stop the marshrutka. I slid open the door and prepared to stand up, close my jumpseat, then step out of the van to allow room for the man to get off the vehicle. But he motioned to me to stay put.

While 20 cramped humans waited in silence, the man reached down, picked up my earring, and handed it to me.

And we took off again for Rustavi.

Georgia.  So exasperating at times, and so charming.

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