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Splendour and poverty of the georgian capital2011-06-17 13:36
In the recent years Tbilisi has turned into a European city as good as Western capitals. At least local mass media say it according to the authorities. What is really at the back of the reports of Tbilisi changes: another blague of Saakashvili or real transformation? The GeorgiaTimes correspondent had a stroll along the avenues and streets of Sakartvelo's heart, dropped in at some bars and shops, admired some ancient churches and new houses. And made hisown conclusions.
"Flet to lease, 30 m2, only foriner, 15 dolars per hour/150 dolars per manth, with wosher". The walls of Tbilisi are full of such advertisements in three languages, Georgian, incorrect Russian and incorrect English, with funny mistakes typical of a child's copy-book. It becomes clear immediately that the holiday season has begun.
There are enough foreigners in Tbilisi. English, French, German talk can be heard. Foreign guests prevail in the restaurants, local residents can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Menus are available in English everywhere and in Russian almost everywhere, which hurts a little. "It could be the perception of an occupant, I thought grievingly walking along the stone pavement, but it is still somewhat unfair that a Russian in Georgia should read a menu in English".
However, I console myself soon: it cannot be said that the Russian language is rarely used in Tbilisi. Local residents speak Russian and Georgian equally. The names of the central streets are written in Georgian and English but small side streets are full of Russian signs. By all appearances, Georgians themselves treat the language of their opponent called so by the authorities quite loyally.
- Where are you from? - asks an elderly salesman when I popped in at a small shop to buy a bottle of the local lemonade.
- From Russia... from Moscow.
- God bless you Russians, - he said with emotion. And added smiling: We miss you so much. Tell Russians that Georgians miss them a lot.
- We miss you, too, - I smile involuntarily giving him one lari. He backs out my hand with a handsome gesture.
- What money! You are my guest!