Saturday, March 19, 2016

At Home With The Georgians 2

At Home With The Georgians.. Or Not. (continuation)

Day 1 of 2016, we explored outside Tbilisi with this other hotel guest (OHT) who joined us the prev night.

Fast forward to evening of Jan 1 2016 in Tbilisi, we've gone to McDonald's in Rustaveli avenue and had our dinner there. One old homeless man sat next table to us whom started showing us his drawings. The locals stared at him bluntly. So we started giving him some of our food till the McDo's manager (I assumed) came and muttered something to him. 

We proceeded to watch a musical program (it's like a concert of some artists or band) in Rose Revolution Square somewhere near Rustaveli avenue. When we arrived I saw a special wall of messages where people wrote their messages, so I took my pen out of my bag and started writing "I ❤️ NAIF", can you spot it where?

While walking near the stage, a band playing an upbeat song so Roomie and I started jumping dancing to the beat and mixed up with the crowd. At one point, we were given chocolates by the locals as bribe to make us stop hopping because they're on their 'Happy Holidays' mood. Though they were singing in Georgian language, we still enjoyed hanging up with the locals who were in a very party mood. In the middle of the concert, a guy and a girl were called up and came on the stage. The guy knelt down and presented a ring to the girl and congratulations were in order - sweet!.  It felt great doing something different, having fun with strangers in a strange land. 
  • There were a bunch of teeners there who were pranking us throwing us 'firecrackers' after they saw how scared I was of firecrackers. They always got me every time. I always panicked, ran and screamed to death (don't blame me, the experience from previous night was very traumatising).
Late night after the concert, we walked to this old building somewhere in Rustaveli, where pubs/bar are located in a dark underground of the building which got me scared (apparently, everything scares me).
  • It looked like an old theatre building. The pubs/bars  weren't opened that time because it was still early (it was around 11pm). I was told the nightlife begins there at 12am. I have noticed the Gulf flags there and was told some of the bars are owned by Gulf nationals (unconfirmed).
Anyway, we left the area and started walking towards Freedom Square metro station. On our way there, we passed by two men arguing with one another, one is middle aged and drunk (Mr Drunk) and they got a little physical. While we were almost near the entrance of the Metro station, someone stepped on my right boot behind me and when I looked back it was Mr Drunk so I just ignored to avoid trouble.
Tbilisi Metro platform

When we were in the platform, we saw the bunch of teeners who continued pranking us throwing 'firecrackers'. So I walked away and hid behind the pillar. And then suddenly Mr Drunk started harassing OHT, dragging OHT's baseball cap from his head and covering his whole face over and over, which again scared the hell out of me. 

Thankfully, a mother with a girl, stood between them and pulled OHT away from him while saying something to him. And an old lady called the attention of the security. Then she, the mother, came to us and apologised saying they (Georgians) are not really tourist-drunk harassers people. We thanked her for her concerns and niceness.

So we stayed far away from Mr Drunk and when we saw he was going in a compartment, we immediately entered in another compartment. To our surprise, he followed us. And just like a movie scene, we silently moved fast to the other end/next compartment while he was trying to get near us. Luckily, the compartment got crowded and he got blocked by the crowds. When we reached the next station (where we were heading), we hurried briskly towards exit. We ran from the platform to the up escalator. When we were on the up escalator catching our breaths thinking the chase has ended, I looked back and got horrified to see Mr Drunk passing through others on the up escalator looking at us as if he wanted to beat us.  I told roomie and OHT that Mr Drunk is behind us, when they saw him, we started running again. 
  • Just so you know, Tbilisi has deeper metro station than Dubai, it has an escalator length of 120 meters.
Roomie and I on the down escalator to the platform of Tbilisi Metro station. This was taken on our way to McDonald's before things got suspenseful, LOL

Glad we're young and sober so we reached the ground and hotel, which is a minute walk from the station, panting but safely. 

It was tremendously an experience - in the truest sense of the word! It was really a big step out of my comfort zone. 

Thank you Georgians!