When we entered Tbilisi last week on Friday, it was exactly one month ago that we had left. The main reason for coming back was that we needed some things done: the best places to do that is here in the capital, where most people speak English.
We’re staying in an AirBnB very close to the city center and the park; it’s the one we stayed in before. It’s actually pretty nice to be back and it almost feels like we are home again. By now, we have managed to get most things done: we went to the dentist, Sparta has had his castration and the car is fixed, once again (we hope).
Getting your car fixed is such a different experience than in The Netherlands though. Here, people don’t do the annual checkups like we do. Georgians only go to get their car fixed when something is broken. The only thing in Tiny that is really broken, is the leaking radiator. However, it doesn’t always leak. When we got to the garage, of course it didn’t. So, we couldn’t show the problem. Besides this, unfortunately, the three mechanics didn’t speak English at all, so it was quite a challenge to tell them what we needed to get done.
Besides having the radiator fixed, we mainly wanted a good check, but that didn’t really seem possible. After one hour of waiting, standing around the car and trying to communicate, the mechanics told us that we could leave and that we would get a phone call at 5 o ‘clock. They kept our English list with things we wanted done, told us they would fix ‘everything’ and then we left.
A little after 5, we gave them a call and we understood the word ‘modi’, which means ‘come’. So, we took a taxi (there is an Uber-like service here that is very cheap and super-efficient) back to the garage. Tiny was ready for us and we had to pay about 200 euro. Of course, we wanted to know what they actually did before handing in the money, but even with someone translating for us, we still don’t know everything… They said they fixed the radiator and fixed some other things, but we still are not sure what they did exactly. We will just have to trust them. Time will tell if our radiator is really fixed this time. We certainly hope so!
Besides getting all the things done, we are also enjoying our time in the city! It’s so nice to see that things are slowly opening up again! Of course, with a lot of Corona measurements, like everywhere: we have to wear face-masks in every shop and before entering a shop (or having a coffee/food at a restaurant) we also have our temperature measured. It’s a bit annoying, but at least things are open again!
Yesterday we went shoe shopping, which was a challenge! Some shops are very strict and yesterday we ended up buying shoes before even trying them on. Trying on shoes is not allowed because of Corona and so we had to buy the shoes first, go outside to try them, get back in to exchange them and so on! Luckily it didn’t take long to find the right pair.
During our stay here, we also met up with some of our friends. On our first night back, we enjoyed a night with the people that we had been travelling with before. Most of them were back in Tbilisi and it was very nice to catch up. However, we did have to leave ‘before the party was over’: our hosts called us to tell us that there were 5 police cars next to our van. Apparently, one of the neighbours had called the cops because Sparta was barking in the van and they were worried that someone had forgotten about him. It was late at night and not hot at all. Sparta is really used to sleeping in the van at night, but with all the things going on in the street he must have woken up and started barking in the front seat. We usually put him in his box, but he is too big now and we just let him stay in the van. We always leave a note in the window to call us if something is wrong, but we guess our neighbours didn’t see it.
Luckily, our host could convince the cops that it is Sparta’s house and that he is used to being in there (with food and water). By the time we made it home (pretty freaked out, because we were worried that maybe they had broken Sparta out), he was asleep, and all the police cars were gone. Because of this adventure, we have now bought a ‘barrier’ to make sure that Sparta doesn’t go up to the front anymore.
We’ve only been here for a week, but with all these little adventures, it feels a lot longer! I guess we also know the city pretty well by now and have been to a lot of different areas. We take a walk around a part of the city pretty much every day. Today, we ran into two of our friends from Gudauri! I guess you know that you have been in a country for too long, when people start recognising you on the street… So, it’s time to go! First, we’ll see some places that are still on our to do list and then, maybe, we will finally be able to leave this country!