I must preface this post with the fact that I am… for lack of a better word, lit.
This house and inhabitants, although well intentioned and I love them to pieces, are germ infested. Counter to a common belief that we as a species figured out that spit from sneezing carries germs, my host family consistently does not cover their mouths. And that’s just an example of the unsanitary health practices that are employed here. So it is of no surprise that I not only had the sniffles at school today, I have since increasingly shown signs of a cold (hopefully that’s all it is).
The first sign that alerted my host grandma that something was askew, was I did not come down to eat my first second lunch. I didn’t think this would rat me out, but, I’m obviously still learning Georgian culture and customs. When I did finally come down from my room, grandma was all over me with concern. But since she doesn’t speak English, it was easy to deflect her. And a cold isn’t really THAT serious.
Fast forward to tonight….
Not eating second lunch, I was fairly hungry by dinner. As I mentioned before, my host grandma can cook her ass off. The main dish was a meat and rice stuffed green pepper. Yum! She told the host dad (who had just got home from work) that I didn’t eat second lunch. He was truly concerned. I told him I just have the sniffles and he understood. Then as a second thought, he got up and went to the cabinet…
As I mentioned before, my family aren’t heavy drinkers. When we host supras, the only alcohol we serve is wine. They have yet to pull out the cha-cha, homemade wine. Making me believe that they family was ‘above’ such primitive brews.
I have heard that shots of cha-cha is also served when a person is sick. But I have observed my family to pull out respirators, pills and syringes. I don’t know if they use them correctly, but you gotta give points for heading in the right direction.
The host dad goes to the cabinet and pulls out what I thought was a mineral water bottle. But when he blew into the two shot glasses, I knew what was coming and pulled up my big boy pants. He poured two drinks and explained that this will help clear up what ailed me. “Sinuses? GONE!”
Now the funny thing about this developing action is the reaction of the rest of the family. Starting with Nika, 12 year old brother. His eyes went wide and temporarily speechless. Nika is an aspiringto drinker and LOVES take part in any and all toasts. More than anything he was curious of my reaction to the vodka of his homeland and secretly wanted a shot of his own.
Nino, 4 year old sister, although young, knew EXACTLY what was going down and made silent gestures of protest, as to say, “Oh Jesus, What is getting ready to happen. Somebody warn the nice foreign man and stop this from happening!”
The grandfather, who was also seated at the table, and mind you usually doesn’t acknowledge my presence except to yell at me, made silent gestures as to say, “Hell yeah, shit’s about to get real!”
And lastly, the grandma, my guardian angel of the house. She reprimanded her son openly and loudly protecting me from the liquid hell that was about to be unleashed upon me. But to no avail. I was a willingly participant in my own demise. But before I drank, we made eye contact, so as to tell her, I was fully aware of what I was doing.
To Georgia and America! Bottoms up!
For lack of more poetic words… it burned… all the way down.
After the third shot, Grandma was very concerned, because as told by the host dad, she made it herself and knows how potent it is.
After the fourth shot, Nino couldn’t take it anymore. She took matters into her own hands and took the bottle and put it back into the cabinet.
May God bless this family that has taken me in. May God bless my friends and family back in the States. May God Bless the beautiful country of Georgia, and may God bless the United States of America!!
“Shots shots shots shots shots shots
Shots shots shots shots shots
Shots shots shots shots shots”