I hear all sorts of crazy stories about the initial year of TLG. I personally call them ‘the wild west’ days. When I say crazy stories, I don’t mean the “Haha, that’s a crazy story!” kind. I mean the “ Oh Shit!!!! Really!?! That’s CRAZY!!!” kind of crazy story. They apparently were acting so crazy that we unfortunately got a bad reputation from other exPats here. They still give us dirty looks as if to say, “Oh, you are T.L.G… [stinkeye]”. For example, I heard about all these fights in the bars. What? Who does that? Seriously. Ugh.
I have never fought in a bar, much less a foreign bar. Call me uppity, but what’s the point. Which brings me to the point of this post. I love going to bars in Georgia (and surrounding countries).
This past weekend, we descended upon Kutaisi. We stashed our gear at our favorite homestay, and headed out. We started slow, stopping to get some shawarma and posting up at a pool hall. But later that night, things got super fun.
There are still enough TLG here to meet new people occasionally. We met up with a TLG guy living in Kutaisi, who knew the area. He took us to our first bar of the night. It was owned by a young Nigerian couple. It had a western European feel and eventually a DJ started playing techno music.
Older Georgians tend not to appreciate non-Georgian style dancing. They see us gyrating and shaking and whatnot. They prefer the tried and true traditional old, old school style of dance. I know first hand, it’s so hard that very few can do it well, but they sure do hold high appreciation for it.
But the younger crowd is well aware of the more contemporary ways of dancing (they haven’t got to the bump ‘n grind stage of post 90’s). They take no time in gravitating to me and mimicking my dance moves. I kept it simple so they could keep up, but I’m always impressed with them.
Got tired of that place. Wasn’t really feeling techno. So my partner in crime, Erin, and I launched out to see what shenanigans we could get into. We realized a club we had visited on a previous time was close by, so we ended up there. Last time it was a full out DJ fueled dance party. This time, there was a band. At first, I didn’t want to settle for a band. But we were there and decided to at least get a drink.
While sipping on a rum and coke (yum), it can only be assumed the band realized English speakers were in the building. They started playing ‘Hit the Road Jack”…now that I think about, hopefully it wasn’t a message. Erin and I started dancing on a previously empty dance floor …and the party started!
Everybody came out to dance with and meet us. We got free shots and was greeted by every person who could speak even the smallest amount of English. We were invited to drink with the lead singer of the band, her husband and their friends. Good people. We danced and drank the night away.
The place was starting to thin out and we thought the evening was over. But the band asked if we wanted to go to another bar. Yes, Please!!!
The next place was smallest but the best of the three. The DJ was playing hip-hop tunes. Once we were shown our seats, the owner of the bar rushed up to me and screamed, “Where are you from!?!”, and to my reply he screamed, “AMERICA!!! I LOOOOVVVEE, LOVVVVE, LOOOVVEEE AMERICA! I am owner of bar! I am gangster!!!! I am gangster!!!! Come drink!!!”
He pushed me back to the bar and asks what I wanted to drink. Modestly, I answered, ‘whatever’. He insisted I choose whatever I wanted. He eventually settled on Jack D. for me. But not a shot, oh no. He had the bartender pour a GLASS of Jack. And one for Erin.
…and the party started!
And so it goes in every bar/ club I have been to in Georgia. Good people just wanna have a good time. As soon as I walk in people want to meet me, get to know me, dance with me, or simply try out their English. They buy me drinks and invite me to sit at their tables. I always feel and give nothing but love.
So I am baffled by the kids of the ‘wild west’ days. You have to TRY to mess up the good time vibes in a Georgian bar or club. Oh well, I’m here now, and damage is being repaired.
We left the bar at around 3ish. But not before Erin (traditionally) took over the DJ booth and played Kanye and Jay-Z. Throw your diamonds up! Rock-a-fella forever!
Thanks again, Kutaisi. Much Love. See you soon.
“Now, the party don’t start till I walk in…” — Tik Tok, Ke$ha