Cuttino's Georgian Life

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

Monday, September 24, 2007

What I Did on My Summer Vacation, Part 1

Admittedly, I’ve done a pretty bad job of keeping everyone updated this summer. I promise that from now on, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me. Anyway, here in Georgia, the leaves are changing, it’s a lot windier, and we’re planning the Gori Halloween party. Fall must be upon us. But before we get into that, I’ll share some things that happened over the summer…

In mid-August, I traveled to Kobuleti, a Georgian beach town, with my NGO for a staff retreat of sorts. Kobuleti is the Myrtle Beach or Coney Island of Georgian beaches—a real blue collar resort town. It lacks the faux nineteenth century architecture of Batumi or (so I’m told) the natural beauty of Sokhumi. However, it makes up for this with a sparkling new amusement park and a loud, raucous café/discoteka every fifty feet. Kazakh investors are pouring money into the town and there are about five large hotel complexes under construction. The feeling one gets walking down the street is that Kobuleti is a very rough work in progress. Cows graze along the boardwalk. Abandoned Soviet hotels sit crumbling and overgrown between spiffy modern buildings.

Kobuleti's beach

I spent most of the days sitting on the beach and reading. Georgians at the beach act much like Americans at the beach…sitting in the sun, reading, yelling at their kids for going too far out in the water. Unfortunately, Kobuleti has a stone beach, so sand castles are out of the question. Men in boats offered parasailing and tubing. Every ten minutes, a vendor would come by hawking inflatable toys, sea shell necklaces, soda, chips, beer and….corn on the cob?? Yes, corn is synonymous with summer here in Georgia.

A beach toy vendor making the rounds.

One other food worth mentioning is Adjaran khachapuri—the cheese bread that is specific to the coastal Adjara region. Its bread shaped like a football, filled with cheese and an egg cracked open in the center. Once I got over my squeamishness to half-raw eggs, I found that this was one of the more delicious things I’ve had in Georgia. Interestingly, its really only sold at the beach; my Georgian coworkers bought a bunch to take home to Gori.

Delicious Acharuli Khachapuri

Next entry: A hike in Borjomi National Park


Post a Comment

<< Home