Well, my plan to eat delicious Georgian food backfired a little bit when I got a nasty case of food poisoning from the hotel restaurant. I spent two days eating toast, cheese and oatmeal. Needless to say, I hope that I wont be sick like that again, ever!
Since then orientation and training in Tbilisi has ended and I am with my host family in Kutaisi. Even though I have been here for 4 days now, I am still figuring out who exactly lives here on a regular basis. I have a host mother and a young, about 7, host brother. Then there are two host sisters, one who will be going back to work in Italy, but in the meantime has been in and out, the other who is married and has a baby seems to spend some nights here and some nights at her husbands mothers place.
Oh, yeah they don’t speak any English. My host mother has called her niece to translate about how to do the laundry and when I went to the city center park she took me to her neighbor who spoke German to confirm that I had understood that I needed to be back by 4pm. I am surprised how much I have used my German, once in a restaurant in Tbilisi and once in a bookstore in Kutaisi.
The restaurant in Tbilisi was the only time I had an evening with the rest of the volunteers and we had khachapuri, hinkali, lobio (beans), eggplant, romi (cornmeal with cheese), and wine. Oh was it delicious! I still couldn’t quite feast, I was concerend my stomache might get angry, so I just sampled everything and enjoyed the company.
My host mothers food has been delicious. It tends to be fairly simple. There also hasn’t been much variety. We always have bread and cheese. Then the other dishes vary between a few: eggplant, fresh cucumber and tomatoes, fried potatoes, fried eggs, chada (a dense cornbread), beef and tomato stew (rarely), and a cherry marmalade. Meat is not a staple of a meal.
I have asked if I can help in the kitchen, but there really isn’t much to be done and she always says “no”. One thing I have figured out is that most Georgians do not want to make hinkali. Instead, there are many many many Georgian restaurants that serve traditional Georgian fair including hinkali. I wonder if I told them I had made hinkali if they would be shocked.
Anyway, using the internet at my host families is a bit inconvenient, so I am going to start to try and use the omnipresent internet cafes. I hope to post again soon! Sorry for the wait.