Monday, April 17, 2006

Random Photos of Georgia

Monday, April 10, 2006


One of the tragedies of accepting my Peace Corps assignment is I won't be able to dedicate much time to Hazard Industries, an Internet start-up I've been developing with the highly regarded James R. Cooley of the Stanwood Cooley's.

We had big dreams of becoming a sort of small scale Enron. Wall Street was to be abuzz as our IPO shot out of the gates like a steroid-fueled sprinter. We were to follow that up with a rapid expansion, features in Fortune, fame, prestige, questionable campaign-contributions and appearances in charity golf tournaments. Eventually, however, we would have been ruined by the creative accounting and lavish expenditures (marble desks and diamond encrusted collars for our Pomeranians). The end would have been nothing but a flurry of document shredding, congressional inquiries, public humiliation and betrayal. Thanks for nothing Jim.

Since the beginning, we have worked diligently to develop a corporate image that reflected the big things to come. In hindsight I now see the toupee as a rather frivolous investment. But the time and capital invested was not a total wash. My brief stint in the business world will help me during my time overseas. Clearly Jim and I have developed a business prototype that, with some tweaking, will bring a bounty of riches to the small village I'm placed in.

Capitalism is on the march.

Monday, April 03, 2006

You Know You've Been In Georgia Too Long If...

This has been cirulating a Yahoo Group message board on Georgia. It offers some insight into the country and the expat community. Plus, it's kind of funny.


The two hardcore communist Peace Corps volunteers you met in your first year here are now heading the World Bank and the IMF.

Your father-in-law is secretly jealous of your mother-in-law's moustache.

You feel more bored than annoyed when some drunken idiot holds a gun to your head at a party.

You can navigate five flights of stairs, find the door to your apartment, and fit the key in the lock in complete darkness.

You find nothing romantic in candle lighting.

You bump into a newly arrived foreign businessman in the pub and decide it might as well be you who rips him off.

You’re disposed to sit in a taxicab for 45 minutes at your destination
without budging if the driver is unwilling to give you the proper change.

Your oldest foreign friends stop bothering to pretend that they're not
working for the CIA.

You’re no longer surprised when a building that looks like a Beirut
crackhouse gives way to a sumptuous apartment inside.

You consider amoebic dysentery to be a weight loss strategy.

You walk down the street holding hands with your buddy.

You are not taken aback when a complete stranger at a supra (dinner party w/ ceremonial toasts) kisses you and
professes eternal love.

You appoint someone tamada (toast master) even when dining with foreigners.

You have grown used to the picture quality of pirated DVDs.

You find sit-down toilets uncomfortable.

You aren't aware that one is supposed to pay for software.

A PhD in Nuclear Physics fluent in 7 languages irons your socks for a

When you go to the toilet you bring your own toilet paper.

You no longer wonder how someone who earns $400.00 per month can drive a

You throw your trash out the window of your apartment, car or bus.

You honk your horn at people because they are in your way as you drive down
the sidewalk.

You have figured out that it is actually the Russians who are running this

You are able to jump the queue because the idiot foreigner left 2
centimeters between himself and the person in front of him.

You consider McDonald's a treat.

Georgian fashion starts looking hip.

The word “salad” first brings to mind mayonnaise.

You don't notice your gastrointestinal problems anymore.

You start recognizing the Russian songs on the radio and sing along to them
with the taxi driver.

You drink the brine from empty pickle jars.

You think a bus with 200 people on it is "empty".

You can think of at least fifteen medical conditions that can be cured by
chacha (100+ proof grain alcohol). Sorting out a blocked ear by pouring chacha into it is my personal

Your long-standing girlfriend pecks you on the cheek and you think it's one
of those life-defining moments you will never forget.

Back in your home country, you smugly lecture the policeman on how it only
counts as drunk driving if you're actually swigging behind the wheel, before
giving him a dollar anyway because he looks like a nice guy.

You start learning Georgian because you're anxious that God might not
understand your prayers if they're in a foreign language.

You try to bargain over the price of tomatoes while in a grocery store back

There is a brass plaque with your name on it on the bar at Smugglers.

You turn off your car engine at stoplights to save fuel.

The lady in your local corner shop stops asking when you are going to get

Your wardrobe is shimmering with a million hues of black.

Your weight has doubled despite the near-disappearance of several internal