Sunday, March 25, 2012

Georgian Look

Well, either my family has been lying to be for years about where we come from, or Eastern European Jews and Georgians have some common ancestry or something, because every single Georgian I meet in this country thinks I am Georgian. This has been going on since I got here, and I have mentioned it before, but today was the funniest.
Georgians and especially Georgian women are very particular about their appearance. At all times, they should be impeccably dressed and somehow, they tend to pull it off. Me, I set foot outside the house and my pants are covered in mud from the dirt streets within seconds. Especially on the weekend, I do not dress for success, because I just want to be comfortable. This is where I am very lucky in my host family. Though we have talked about how I dress (hiking shoes, sweatshirts) vs how they tend to dress (heeled boots, tights, skirts) we have agreed that my ability to walk around Poti without dying from falling into the gutter or catching my death by cold is more important than how I look. It helps that they can see on a regular basis how just walking in slippers can be a challenge for me.
As many of my friends from high school or camp can remember, I do not tend to wear colorless clothing all that often. I do not wear tye-dye here, but I only have one or two pieces of black clothing. I have green and brown and gray pants, and not a single pair of black. And since winter began, I have not worn either of my two skirts. This is also very very unusual for a Georgian girl. I once asked Lela if she could see a Georgian wearing a pair of my pants (they are faded green corduroys). She looked at them, looked me, and said "no".
So, I look like a Georgian, but dress like an American (I did not bring a single pair of sweatpants, and though I sometimes wished for a pair this winter I felt like that was going way too far on the "dressing like an American").
Now imagine you are a Taxi driver who is a little turned around. A girl is walking down the street in a purple bandana, green zip-up sweatshirt, gray hiking pants that can be unzipped into shorts, and white sneakers with blue stripes. You are a GEORGIAN taxi driver. Instead of thinking,"that girl looks weird", you roll down your window and start to ask for some street, but she interrupts you and says "ar vitsi kartulad," and continues down the street. Now, maybe you didn't hear her say that she doesn't know Georgian, so you ask again, louder. This time, she gestures no by waving her arms like like an ump saying the runner is safe (ok maybe a Georgian would not get that) and says things like "Inglisuri" and gestures to herself saying "Amerikeli." But you know this girl is lying to you and just doesn't want to help, so with a huff, you drive down the street.

This is the first time me saying I am American didn't turn the pissed off look that this rude Georgian girl is ignoring you into a huge smile and a toast to America. It is very funny though.

Also fun, a couple days ago, I was craving chocolate croissants. Well, today, on my way home, I stopped in a corner store (magazini) and they had what looked like croissants, and they seemed to be chocolate filled. The whole thing was incredably imitation (the chocolate is a weird icing they have here) but MAN was it good.

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