Friday, October 12, 2007


Recently my friends Allison and Luka Dvaladze visited from Bainbridge Island. Allison (formerly Allison Ekberg) lived in Georgia for a number of years, where she met her Georgian husband Luka. Both gave me a lot of good advice before coming here.

Even before I’d applied to Peace Corps, every time I would spot Allison I’d always corner her to hear about her latest adventures from some strange land called Georgia.

Luka and Allison even took me to a Georgian supra in Seattle a few weeks before I left. It still is the best Georgian food I’ve ever had.

About a month ago they were both in Georgia and they invited me out for Allison’s birthday at a restaurant near Tbilisi. The night was very unlike the supras I experience in the village. The conversation was multilingual (Russian, English, Georgian). Those in attendance were mostly Georgian artists, the drinking was moderate, and the toasting was casual, sincere and unforced. The restaurant was spectacular. It was built into a ravine, with cozy little tables separated from one another by narrow stone paths, running along a small creek. The trees were wrapped in Christmas lights, there was a view a large lake, and the service was actually really good.

Living in a village provides one view of Georgia, but this dinner provided an insight into a more educated and cosmopolitan side of Georgia. The Tbilisi crowd is a totally different set and I’ll remember the evening fondly for a long time to come.

Some of the artists in attendance gave Allison a couple of paintings and I was really impressed. Some of them have showings in the U.S. and England. One artist couple gave me a catalogue of their work and I’ve since cut pages out and decorated my wall with them. I’m not in the income bracket to purchase their work, but I’ve included links to their websites below. Some are probably affordable, but others cost thousands of dollars. I won’t get any commission if you buy some.


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