Going to the wine region in Kaketi I was thinking to team up with some other backpackers and explore some wineries. Unfortunately, the booking somehow went wrong and it was canceled. So I had to find a guesthouse in the night and ended up at grandma Nana’s house.
But I mean, it is a wine region. So I just tried wine anyhow – in fact, Nana asked me “Tea, Coffee,….. (wait for it) wine?”, even before I had checked in. So I ended up having fun anyhow. Well, the wine is strong in Georgia! 😉 Nana is one of a kind. No word of English, no one to translate. It was a fun ride. Since technology is somewhat unfamiliar to Nana (she is probably over 80, which is an age when it is OK if that happens) google translate was not really an option either. Google is not built for a thinker pause before the sentences I learned. I am sure Nana would say that she learned that technology is useless.
Anyhow, we got along all splendid. I just took a hike to a local monastery one afternoon. Here there are incredibly many street dogs. For some reason, they always seem to like to follow me. Sometimes in an almost protective way, but I am almost certain they expect payment. Which, needless to say, they never get. Since I never carry anything that they should eat.
In one case a big dog followed me around in the very early morning when I arrived in Tbilisi by night train. I ventured fare away from the place where I had picked him up, or maybe he had picked me up. Anyhow, he stood by my side, always running some meters ahead, checking the area, looking at me, waiting for me to catch up, and repeat. When my GPS said I should enter in a small alley he briefly looked at me with a look that seemed to me like saying “Dude, are you serious? This is not my turf anymore!”. But he then seemed to shrug and tag along. Sure enough, there was a whole gang of dogs coming our way. Maybe five of them, barking and telling us (well, my friend mostly), that he had gotten lost in the wrong neighborhood. But he stood his ground like a real boss. Not barking, just trying to look as unimpressed and impressive as possibly could. A shame I could not take him with me. But I think he needs his turf, and I, well I need freedom, mostly. Just like a solo guitarist who is best solo.
In the evenings I tried a lot of nice food. Some wine. And ended up at a place with live music one evening. I was surprised – although it is offseason – that there were not more than maybe 10 people. But it did not matter, the band was jamming and freestyling with some rather capable singers. The concept was to alternate between the three singers who followed some jazz-kinda-theme.
It was only in one of the band’s breaks that I learned three of the people there actually worked at the restaurant, five were part of the band, and there was one fan. Plus me. But whaaatever, it was fun to just hang and talk and listen to the jamming. I also learned that gras is legal in Georgia. But there was really no reason to tell me since the theme of the band was slow jazz and improv. And their eyes were lighting up in the dark. I had already figured as much.