Cuttino's Georgian Life

A journal of my Peace Corps service in the Republic of Georgia, 2006-2008.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Water and Wine

I believe that the rainy season has hit. Yesterday marked four straight days of rain. There's an overall lack of drains here in Gori, so I was seriously contemplating building a raft. Fortunately the weather has cleared, although the temperature has dropped considerably. One of the problems with rainy days is that the power has a tendency to go out. The Georgian power grid really deserves an entry unto itself; for now I'll say that I spent most of yesterday sitting at my desk, staring at the light bulb, and trying to get the electricity back through mind control ("The power will come on...NOW......The power will come on............NOW"). I asked the office manager why the power always goes out when it rains, but she insisted that the rain wasn't to blame. "Oh no," she said. "It's not the rain. It's the Russians." I still think there's an undeniable link between rain and no power, but I saved that argument for another day. Maybe she's right. After all, she's lived here longer that I have. Maybe there really are nefarious ex-KGB operatives snipping power lines in the middle of rain storms.

Fall not only brings rain but also the grape harvest. All of Georgia is awash in wine. I returned to my training family last weekend and was treated to a large dinner. Aside from the actual grapes on the table, I was given grape juice, grape wine, a grape desert made from the juice, and some type of half-fermented wine. So many would have shocked Bacchus. For those of you who are interested, this is a really good article from the New York Times about the Georgian wine harvest and Georgia's efforts to bust into the Western wine market. Look out, you may soon see a bottle of Alazani Valley's finest at Harris Teeter. Perhaps it will come with a ram's horn.

Next update: The 2006 Trans-Caucasian Halloween Party


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