Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Couple of Life Lessons. Or: This is an Emily Post. Ha!

Lesson 1: when you are at your tutor's home, finishing up a lesson, and you are walking towards the road, you may overhear a bunch of people in the half-building in the yard. When you ask what they are doing, you may be told that they are making homemade vodka. Despite your interest, it is proper etiquette to first ask, "along with making homemade vodka, are people also swinging an axe at a dead pig's genitals in there?" before you express desire to go inside and watch. This way, your surprise when you round the corner will not offend your hosts.

Lesson 2: always make sure to be courteous to your host, whether that host is merely hosting a dinner party or hosting you for two years. Good things come to those who are courteous -- often in the form of new gas-powered heaters in two rooms of your house. Jesus will let you know that these heaters are a reward for your good behavior in the form of the name of the company that apparently made these heaters: a Czech company called, swear to god, "Karma." I musta done SOMETHING good. Even though it has been downright balmy for the last few days, these heaters are almost as awesome as the Toblerone that was delivered in a care package from my mother today. There are, conservatively, 30 tubes of Toblerone in this care package, and I will eat all of them, conservatively, by the time I go to bed tonight.

More, perhaps, tomorrow, when I hope to post Better Know a Georgia, Part V -- Guria Region, In Pictures!!1!1!1! Except, I am still not allowed to leave Chokhatauri, so it will be more like Places I Can Walk To In Chokhatauri, In Pictures!!!!!111!!1!!1!!1!!!!!

Speaking of not (yet) being allowed to leave Chokhatauri, which really isn't a big deal, I am also not allowed to mention some of the things about the Current Situation that I have mentioned in this space. Peace Corps has said this to be so, and while I disagree with that assessment, I have redacted major portions of the large post about politics. If you had not yet read this post, or have any specific questions for me about the Current Situation, send me an e-mail and I will send you the whole post and/or answer any questions you may have. Because I live to be informative, and the stance being taken by several Western media articles I have seen is, well, I can't say what I think it is on this blog, other than to say it's illy-say. But I cannot discuss it further in this forum. Sorry.

But, some links to OTHER news reports:

  • The state of emergency has been lifted, as of yesterday. (Civil Georgia)
  • The opposition has taken the opportunity of the lifting of the state of emergency to say some fun things about President Saakashvili. (Civil Georgia)
  • President Saakashvili has nominated a new Prime Minister to head a new cabinet in Parliament. (Civil Georgia) I don't think it's in this article, but I have been told that he is a graduate of Emory University, joining renowned Georgian seven-footer Zaza Pachulia in the club of Georgians who made it all the way to America only to find another place called Georgia.
  • A Tbilisi city court has suspended the broadcast license of Imedi TV (the station whose equipment was damaged in a police raid), accusing it of inciting government overthrow and being in league with the Russians. (Civil Georgia)
  • A senior American diplomat is confident that Georgia will continue to move in the right democratic direction, stating helpfully, "we have spent over a decade contributing part of our the success of Georgia's democracy." No word yet on how this has been affected by piracy on the high (Black) seas and the falling value of Spanish dubloons against the Euro. (Civil Georgia)

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