Saturday, June 25, 2011

A walk

Things I really enjoy about a place are the unique history, the cultural heritage, the use of space. I notice these things where ever I go, and every place has a story to tell.

Tbilisi, being old, at the crossroads of so much of history and then being sort of mired in the Soviet time-capsule, has these things in spades! Tbilisi is undergoing a bit of Urban Renewal, investors are coming back, I meet US banking agents exploring 'emerging markets' at local eateries. (How can you tell they're American? Seriously, we stick out. Our clothes, our mannerismsms, our persistence in the belief that if you you speak English slowly and loudly enough these foreign people have to be able to understand you...).

Public spaces. They're all over the place and filled with the sort of old world monuments Americans rarely see. To the left top, is Shota Rustaveli (1172-1216), on Rustaveli avenue. The Georgian Shakespeare, author of 'The Night in the Tiger Skin' (I have a copy I'm picking through). And right next to this icon, yes, another, this one decidedly American.

As one of the first peoples to accept Christianity (they were beaten out for the title of 'first' by the ancient Armenian Kingdom, but most Georgian's will contest this fact...), the town is also filled with these iconic cruciform Churches. Little old ladies in black (widows) sit on the steps with cups. Everyone makes the sign as they cross. A very different place from what an American is used to.

And yes, I'm still plugging away on my next book. Working title 'Mission First'.

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