If somebody would ask me to describe Georgia in one word, it would be “Hospitality”. Maybe second choice would be “Drunkenness”. After short time in Caucasus, you can understand, that it is the perfect country to have Borjomi springs, after drowning in wine rivers…
1.The first words you can learn in Georgia are: gaumarjos(cheers for all), gagimarjos(cheers for you), khvino (wine), ludi (beer) and chacha (stronger version of vodka). And they will be the most useful for all time you will be in this country.
2. Chacha is not a dance. It’s a killer, which makes your brain to dance for a moment and after it – to shut down. Never, NEVER drink it after hours of consuming wine or beer (or both). You will puke or you will have black out …or if you lucky, you will just pass out.
3. Another advice- avoid horns. It’s some very special way of drinking in Georgian style. You have horn (it can be small or artificial one and big) and after long toast you have to drink it bottoms up. So, in a minute you have to drink around 400ml wine(if it’s the big one, like in the picture). Outcomes similar as after Chacha.
It’s better not to tell, what had happened after it… My lovely drinking buddies- Otto and Linas 😀
4. In Georgia, you will experience something very unique called “Tamada”. It’s a role of person who is proposing toasts. People can drink for…everything. But you will never miss traditional toasts like: motherland, family, kids, people who can not be now together with you, love, women, friendship… And it’s not some kind of toast like “Let’s drink for love”. No, no… Before drinking you have to listen the story, why this or another thing is so important. Honestly, I love this tradition a lot!
5. Places you can drink: Hmm….Everywhere. And don’t be surprised if you will see some people drinking and eating in cemeteries. That’s tradition.
Yes, it’s cemetery.
6. Beer sucks in Georgia. But it’s so cheap and less strong than other beverages, so you will drink it.
7. Wine is wonderful. Rkatsiteli, Separavi, Mtsvani… Even saying these names, makes me to get thirsty. Advice- drink good homemade wine, it tastes the best. Another advice- do not drink the cheapest one, as we were calling it “challenge” (5litres-12lari in shop). Yes, it’s drinkable, but …there are many good wines for good price(comparing with European prices-much cheaper).
8. As I have already said – chacha is a killer. And don’t be tricked- the best chacha you can find is in… coca-cola or mineral water bottles. These kind of chacha you can find by asking any old granny if she has some of it. Of course, she will…or at least her neighbor will be happy to sell/give it to you. Oh, I forgot to tell you- Chacha is 50-80 per cent alcohol by volume. And if you are drinking that in smart way, everything will be OK.
It’s not water. 1,5 litres- around 10 lari (4euros)
9. If you will spend some longer time in Georgia, for sure you will gain some extra weight. All Khinkali (huge dumplings), chachapuri (georgian pizza), lobiani (beens) and others will not be good for your diet, but your stomach will be happy. Even the cheapest food in street tastes very good (but be careful, some of us got sick of it). And if you will be invited as a guest, or you will have a luck to live with Georgian family (as I did), you face a challenge to taste all food on table. And little bit more after you already feel so full, that you would like to puke.
10. I am not a big fan of Georgian cheese, but I loved all fresh and local vegetables and fruits which we were able to eat already in May. And prices were great… Ahh, I won’t be able to eat watermelon in Lithuania, exported from Spain, which taste like…nothing.
I am even surprised, how many things I learned in Georgia. I guess Part 3 will be soon also.