Linda: long meeting and spontaneous dancing

A meeting day at the office. If the meeting is agreed to start at 10:00 previously, then it starts around 11:00-11:30 here- we are learning to take the Georgian factor in account.

Met Israeli named Matan in the office planning his trek with the help of Levani, before he left I had the urge to run after him and arrange to meet up in the evening- I am in the mood of meeting people, getting to know them, sharing experiences, and I was sure that he would be happy to have some company, as he was traveling alone.

Discussed my idea of the trekking route Marta and me could take ourselves, as well, part of it is not possible due to the poor condition of the trail.

At the meeting were introduced to some of the key staff of the park- Natia and Levani, whom we already know, Jaba- Tourist service manager in the Kharagauli side of the park (Marelisi Visitor Centre), and local interns doing their study internships in the park. Discussed the Visitor Management Plan draft and had loads of ideas and discussions on needed improvements and tasks to be done by us. 

In the middle of meeting had a lunch together with all the staff present including the director of the park, causing confusion among them with my vegetarian ways and clumsily spilling tkemali sauce- an event that spurred a discussion about Ayurveda between me and Marta, that quickly evolved into a discussion on different aspects of alternative ways of thinking and spirituality. With her physics background she is a stern defender of the scientific worldview, while my life experiences have led me to feel that there is much more behind the scientifically proven reality and science itself is becoming very close to a religion- the opposite extreme ends on the science-spirituality scale are joining together to form a circle. We still agreed on many things and this is a topic open for further exploration by us.

Tried our luck at post office, which reminded a long abandoned factory entrance room and appeared to be closed, although we were led in by an elderly man, who discussed something with a lad behind iron bars in Georgian, out of which I understood that he is trying to arrange a possibility for Marta to make international call from post directors office. In the end no services were arranged and we were left without any postcards, stamps or international calls. In fact, there is no place in this “tourist oriented resort town” to buy postcards.

Sent my local contacts to my embassy, family and also to our post-card exchange partners- although we might have to make the post cards ourselves.

Good news for Marta- the medicine she forgot in a fridge in Riga will be brought to Borjomi by Matthias, when he comes to visit in August. Still that leaves some more fridges in central Europe containing her forgotten medicines.

Met Matan in the evening and sharing Imereti khachapuris we listened to his stories on life in Israeli kibbutz and the overall Israeli worldview, which could be summarized in this idea “Israel is the focal point of the religions of the world and as such instantly experiences the effect of any tension in the world”. A man from neighboring table presented us with wine as a thanx for speaking some English to his son. None of us drinks wine, but Matan tried it- not to insult the well meaning giver. The dinner ended by Marta, me and the owner lady of the place breaking out in a dance to a Russian pop-song. Some compensation for Marta, who had been despaired of having no rock-bar or disco in this town to hang out. We award this place 4 stars- for good food and a chance of spontaneous disco.

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