Making Connections

1. Conversation with another TLG #43 member:

Me: Hey, Do you mind if I add a link from your blog to mine?

Friend: Totes.

Me:  … so is that a yes?

2. In Armenia, I saw another black person. He was simply walking down the street. I think he was Jamaican (using context clues of his gait of walk and the dreads. But I have no idea).

In America, Blacks are the minority in a lot of places. Some geographic areas or events one could be the only Black person interacting in a sea of people of non-color.  So much so that seeing another Black person, regardless if you know them or not, warrants immediate acknowledgement. Not necessarily verbal communication, but usually some type of head nod or “I see you” movement.   (I think a similar context would be when an English speaker comes into random contact with another English speaker in a non-English speaking environment. It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to make a connection.)

Well, this other Black person in Armenia didn’t acknowledge me. Here we are, the only Black people probably in a two-mile radius (maybe more), and he’s strutting along marching to the beat of his own drum.

I’ve only seen one other Black person in Georgia, sans the others in the TLG program (and the random second rate rappers at the rap concert). He was in Batumi standing outside of a Hotel. Again, no acknowledgement.

3. The food here is really good. I don’t mean just the ‘authentic’ Georgian restaurant food, but the everyday cooked in the kitchen Georgian food. I am fortunate to have a host mom who cooks well and a live in grandmother who cooks better. And that’s just the everyday food. When they get down to cook supra food is RIDICULOUS level.

However, some food is simply weird…weird as in Non-American. Like the mayonnaise thing. I like mayonnaise just as much as the next guy, although I know some people don’t like it.  But they take mayo to the next level. I don’t mean in/on the  Georgian food, I mean the “American-ized” food. Mayo on pizza, mayo on Caesar salads, mayo on hotdogs (or ‘pigs-in-a-blanket’), etc. Maybe it’s more a European thing.   Or like chicken. I like chicken, especially the Bojangle’s single breast dinner.  But today, my grandmother literally killed a chicken from the chicken coop, and fixed it up in a chicken soup. I’m not balking over the way and method she killed lunch. It’s just how it was just… not Bojangle’s.  Or ketchup just… isn’t ketchup.

But I know I will adapt. Already started to. They say that there are four different kinds of Georgian cheeses, but we only seem to eat the white rubbery salty kind. It’s growing on me! Or how in the States, it was an effort to not go a day without drinking several Coca-Cola. Most days, I started my day with one.  Here, I don’t think about it. I drink strictly water and tea (and the occasional hot plum tasting stuff with the consistency of jelly).

4. My other host brother, Nika, is on his computer right now listening to AC/DC.  His English is basically none existent. But he is rocking out like an ol’ school fan. I mean straight up doing air guitar and all. I guess music can do that.

5. I am VERY fortunate to have Western-style toilets in my host home. Two as a matter of fact. But I don’t know if its the plumbing or style of toilets they use, but sometimes… well, the poop doesn’t always go down when flushed. That, my friend, is a socially awkward dilemma. It might be me.  I might just need to go more often to not overload, but still.  It’s to the point that it makes me nervous when flushing. “Pleeeeeasseee all go down.”  Like a craps shoot (no pun intended). I’m going to spare the details of methods I use to solve the situation, but if this happens to you too, and you need advice, email me.

6. I taught high school back in the States. For those that know me in that arena, it can be said that that environment ‘fit’ me. I am most comfortable around youth; high school age particularly. Given the choice of people my parent’s age or people the exact opposite of, I will chose youth every time.

What’s refreshing to note is the similarity of youth from the States and Georgia. My host brother is pursuing this neighborhood girl in the same manner I would expect from his States counterpart. And the girls are EXACTLY the same. The jokes, the cast of characters, the drama— same script, different characters.

“Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.
All of us under its spell.
We know that it’s probably magic.
Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name.

Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.

I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.
It’s something that I’m supposed to be.”

The Rainbow Connection, The Muppets


2 responses to “Making Connections

  1. Be a good little southern boy and go break the ice! Flash that big smile and pearly whites…TRUST ME…no one can resist your smile!

Holla atcha boy!

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