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September 24, 2018

Zen and the Art of Georgian Toasting

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Tbilisi -- “The moment we were born, the moment we entered the world, so many people were happy. Our mothers, fathers, relatives; the doctor who delivered us, the nurses that helped; maybe some guys hanging out with our fathers said ‘Cheers!’ or ‘Congratulations!’ and patted our dads on the back. So many people and we don’t even know their names, who they were. Let’s drink to all those people who were happy that we were born – that with this toast we can say ‘thank you’ to them.”Read more
Tbilisi -- “The moment we were born, the moment we entered the world, so many people were happy. Our mothers, fathers, relatives; the doctor who delivered us, the nurses that helped; maybe some guys hanging out with our fathers said ‘Cheers!’ or ‘Congratulations!’ and patted our dads on the back. So many people and we don’t even know their names, who they were. Let’s drink to all those people who were happy that we were born – that with this toast we can say ‘thank you’ to them.”

The year was 2001, and I had just crossed the border from Turkey into Georgia with my partner, Justyna. The Batumi train to Tbilisi had been roasting under the blistering June sun all day. Boarding with heavy backpacks, we were instantly pummeled with the grim reality that the windows of these Soviet-born wagons were all sealed shut; save for one in the middle, just big enough for three heads to poke out, panting for air. Read more
August 27, 2018

Ksovrelebis Sakalmakhe: House of Trout

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Tbilisi -- We had no sooner finished unpacking our Tbilisi lives from the car for a Garikula summer, when our neighbor Zakhar stopped by to welcome us with a firm handshake and a bristly cheek kiss. He sat down and immediately told us about a restaurant he had recently visited in Kavtiskhevi, a neighboring village about 12 kilometers away. Read more