Sunday in Georgia, quiet day just exploring the city, walking along the Mtkvari river, art galleries, flea markets, Sunday quiet, lovely.
I stopped by a local art gallery, The Art Palace, around 10:30am and strolled in, immediately a young security guard excitedly started talking in Georgian, when I looked baffled he switched to Russian, I laughed and he laughed and disappeared, he came back with another young security guard who slowly said “Us closed 11:00 O’Clock”, I smiled and went for coffee. When I came back about 40 minutes later he gave me a big smile and said “At your service now!”.
Interesting art gallery, I paid 3 lari and stepped into a dark room, an older lady spoke to me in Russian and turned on the lights to the room I was in, she proceeded to follow me around the gallery, turning on the lights in each room I entered and turning them off behind me, added an interestingly surreal tone to the artwork which was really not to my taste, endless 19th century oil paint landscapes, I didn’t stay long.
This is a kvevri, the Georgian wine-making vessel, they are buried in the ground up to the neck and filled with grape juice and must and sealed to ferment.
Very, very interesting flea market, thousands of interesting old Soviet items, I bought some old coins with Lenin on them, I asked about a coin with Stalin on it, the gentleman said there was only ever one produced, very rare, he reached into his breast pocket and pulled it out, very cool but not for 100 lari ($50).
More delicious churchkhela for me, I am addicted, a stick is .50c Canadian and a perfect backpack snack.
I don’t know what this little bush is but about 10% of the men I saw today and about 60% of the women were carrying a bundle of the leaves, I did finally ask one lady what the significance was and she answered, in Georgian… still no idea. I also smelled smoke all day and am theorizing that they may be burning the little bundles for some reason.
Quite a few old men tinkering on the hoods of their Ladas, I saw men fixing tv remotes and speakers and a lot of other electronic items that we would consider not worth fixing.