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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Articles

From Georgia with love

2011-06-15 22:52

Poor is not the right word. I have never seen such poverty like in Georgia before. Even poor, devastated Iraq does not have so many people begging for money. It hurts and it scares to see poor Georgian old men and women. You can hardly walk a dozen steps without hearing their cries, and you don't know what to do to escape dry elderly hands that cling to you. Only here you see the difference between "beggarly business" flourishing in Moscow (alas) and real, hopeless poverty. People do ask money for food here.

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Georgia's average pension is GEL 100, i.e. RUR 1700, nearly USD 60. As a comparison: a lunch in an ordinary restaurant costs nearly GEL 40. It's all right for people used to Moscow prices, but for locals it's undreamt-of extravagance. One kilogram of sugar costs GEL 2,5, potatoes cost slightly less. Yes, it doesn't look like an easy life here with Saakashvili.

Here I am having a rest after the flight in a café. Suddenly, the head of a 7-year-old appears over the fence. "Sir, give me something to eat", - he says in pure Russian. Shocked to hear the Russian language young representatives of the Georgian society speak and the request itself, I give him what remains of my khachapuri scone. In Moscow any beggar would throw this peace down insulting me with all possible obscenities. Meanwhile, the hungry boy, burning his fingers on the scone, eats it up and disappears in an instant without even trying to cheat me out of my money. This is another reason to hate Saakashvili for. How come that children in "the most developed and modern" country, the "beacon of democracy" ask tourists for food? Learning to eat by handouts...?

Back to showing off: the presidential palace built on billions, tasteless constructions, classy events, pompous speeches... They say the first impression is always right. So here it is: in Georgia people and government have nothing in common. Neither enemies, nor friends, nor objectives. Though, basically, there is one thing that unites tham: Sakartvelo authorities shamelessly live by alms - but they do it with more pathos than poor old men and women in the streets of Tbilisi. But even here beggars don't lie that they "take loans".

It looks like two parallel worlds have intercrossed in a small proud country contrary to all laws of physics and geometry. Fragile unreliable glass of "futurism" of Saakashvili epoch hits the ancient stones of Georgian churches. Looking at one of the two dimensions, the second one gets blurred and seems unreal and visionary. The main thing is to choose what to follow and what to believe in... (to be continued)

 

Vladislav Simonov

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