Brief messages from the front lines...
Remember, these tidbits aren't meant to be full of hopes and dreams, lollipops and rainbows, puppies and sunshine. They are a collection of noticeable cultural differences I've encountered and share from my perspective that we may find odd, ridiculous or downright terrifying. Besides, positivity is rarely funny.
I went to a wedding and got hit by a car in the parking lot. I then drank a horn full of wine, danced my ass off and hung out at the Mafia table.
I thought 13 year old Georgians were having "wedding themed" birthday parties, but no, these children are actually getting married.
I was uncomfortable when I first saw the chickens getting their heads cut off, but this nemesis-rooster is pissing me off and I hope his whole crew gets it.
My host-mother says my facial hair makes me look like a goat and my hair stands up like I'd been licked by a cow. My mother in Canada says the same thing.
My host-mother said they didn’t really want me, but when I showed up to surprise them they learned to love me over time. My mother in Canada said the same thing.
My students at school have started sticking their hair up, just like mine. They look stupid.
Bebia slipped on the kitchen floor today and sprained her wrist. It's the only part of her not covered in deep wrinkles because her whole arm looks like the Hindenburg. Ice it Bebia. No child, a nap and a shot of vodka is the cure.
Classes came to an abrupt end and the children were ordered to stack firewood as the older kids chopped. The teachers drank wine and supervised.
Positive: Haircuts only cost three lari here ($1.80). Negative: They aren't worth three lari.
Bebia has walked in on me using the toilet three times in five days. Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, but three times is a fetish.
Today P.E. consisted of raking leaves (with brooms made from sticks) and setting the piles ablaze.
I was continually telling a student to stop cheating on his test when my co-teacher undermined me and gave him the answers. Why do I even bother?
My entire host-family called me into the kitchen only to ask me if I missed my wife. They thought it was hysterical when I said I did miss her; even going so far as to mock me with fake crying. I'm glad someone found it funny and not utterly hurtful.
I had to call the Hotline (translator) today because I could not understand what my family was saying about weddings. "She says you are very good at weddings, and two other weddings now have asked if you can come." I was apprenticed by the one R. MacKenzie, so I know a thing or two.
I haven't been to a funeral supra yet, but something tells me I'd kill at that too. Badum pshh!
I have photos of myself and two men in the village that have died since I arrived here; one of a car accident and the other of heart failure. This has to be the most common one-two punch for cause of death here in Georgia.
Test 2 was spent blatantly and shamelessly copying from the smart girls book. My efforts to stop it were futile as the my co-teacher stood by, thinking it was normal and acceptable.
My class schedule has changed seven out of nine weeks. I remember when I thought it was odd when still happening after day three.
I hear that yelling out the word as children are reading, and mocking the way they mispronounce words is a great way to boost a kids self esteem and confidence in the classroom. Especially if it's the teacher.
Georgian Class Discipline 101: Bang, stomp, scream, twist children's ears, pull their hair and if all else fails, hit them in the face with a Physics textbook. I assume the only logical step from there is to stab them in the arm with a penknife or shoot them in the leg, non-fatally.
I draw small pictures to demonstrate meanings of the vocabulary I put up on the board. This, of all things, makes the kids go bananas. How boring has English class been that this simple gesture is so exciting? Time to kick it up a notch.
I coordinated 'project one' in class today, wondering why my co-teacher has never bothered. Paint splattered everywhere; desks, kids, teachers, walls... but we made flowers and they learned the word scissors because I had to yell "Put down the scissors!" every fifteen seconds, not because they were misused for cutting paper, but rather continually wielded as a weapon.