Friday, July 25, 2008

"Life Here is Like a Cartoon"

Conversation in a hotel (Georgia), 10 days ago.

-"Is it safe here?"
-"I will explain everything. People here are tense, very tense. They are wondering, where is my next piece of bread going to come from. Some of them - my God! - they use the streets as a toilet. They are like animals. The other day I was walking along the street and I saw a man with his trousers down. My God!"
-"So people don't have much money?"
-"Listen. You need money here to get money. You cannot get money or a good business unless you already have money. You understand? I will probably be in trouble for saying this... Everything here depends on money, even your personal relationships."
-"Is it easy to find a job?"
-"Many people here don't want to work. They are ashamed to work. They want quick, easy money. My parents are doctors. But there is no middle class any more. There are the rich, and the poor. The people who think they are middle class are just the poor."
-"But the centre of this town is reasonably safe?"
-"Yes, it is ok. It is not clean, but it is ok. You can never predict life here though. It is strange, I tell you, a very strange time. Life here is like a cartoon. You never know what is going to happen next. I cannot take it seriously. People here want to be European, but also to hold onto their traditions. They do not understand that this is not possible."
-"People want to be European?"
-"Yes. I used to live in Europe - I lived there until one of my parents became sick and I had to come back. But I was ashamed to say I was Georgian. European people always think you are a thief as soon as you say you are Georgian. Many jobs I lost out on because of this. I thought - shall I say I am Romanian, or Turkish?"
-"It sounds difficult"
-"Yes...but I am preparing for something. I do not know what. But I will do something, something in the name of my nation. I say nation, I do not mean country. My country has so many peoples - Turks, Armenians, Russians, Azeris. But I will do something for my nation."
-"What kind of thing?"
-"I am an artist, a painter. I have my own style, like a magical world. I am a sculptor too.
-"Can I see your work?" [She shows me photographs on her mobile phone]. "Very beautiful. Maybe you will have an exhibition?"
-"Maybe. Who knows? People here pretend to care about culture. They don't really care, all they really care about it is politics. But one day, I will do something".


Najam Iftikhar said...

I hear women at hotel desks in georgia are hot.

nagihun said...

I see some people have it even worse than the Turks in this business of wanting to be European *sigh*