Monday, September 10, 2012

Batumi and Back

Last week several volunteers from my region and I traveled to Batumi. We took 7hr marshutkas (public minivan) to and from Tbilisi and taxis from our region to Tbilisi. We stayed in a hostel located in the center of the city. 

The main attraction of Batumi is the boardwalk and the pebbly (the pebbles are an inch or bigger) beaches of the Black Sea.  But for me, Batumi had something else better than a potential tan. I spent most of my time walking from one café to the next sampling Batumi’s lattes. “What a peculiar activity? “ you may ask, but when the nearest espresso drink is an hour and a half away from your home-sipping espresso everyday then becomes an activity of luxury only to be experienced on vacation.  

One café called the Boulangerie was a stellar commercialized (at least it seemed so) café that was the closest to an American café. To be honest, it is actually a bakery that just happens to sell lattes and European hot chocolate (the kind that resembles a thick pudding rather than a liquid). Obviously, I frequented it daily.

The cafés of Batumi not only fed my addiction to caffeine but it also quelled my craving for internet (at least for a few days). Living without wifi has definitely been the biggest challenge since entering the village. Back home in the US, I could instantly wiki an answer to a question, or constantly know what all my friends are up to via Facebook, but here, I have to wait and make a daily list of things that I want to search on the internet.

Overall, the most enjoyable part of the trip was being able to communicate in English with people who shared the same cultural literacy as me; therefore, our conversations were colored with jokes and familiar references that communication in the village is often lacking.

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