Around 7:11 I wake up and begrudgingly get out from my warm cocoon of blankets and tiptoe to the kitchen to start chai. I rummage in the fridge for a bit. If I find butter and honey, I pull that out to put on my chunks of delicious fluffy bread. If I don’t, I hope that there is cheese. On occasion I boil an egg or make oatmeal.
Before I eat, I shuffle to the living room to stretch and embrace the hippy in me by doing a few yoga poses. Emphasis on plank and downward dog. After I am sufficiently limber, I return to the kitchen to eat.
Then I do the usual put clothes on, make my bed, and go to the bathroom (because it will be the last time I use it until about 2 in the afternoon, I have vowed to never use the “bathrooms” at my school). I walk out the door and down eight flights of stairs at around 8:00.
I do all of this as quietly as possible because my host family is not awake yet and the sound carries well in the apartment. I actually have no idea when they usually wake up during the week because I am always gone before then.
By choice, I walk ten minutes to catch the N1 bus to take me to the center. Once I arrive at the center, I then walk 15-20 minutes to school. There is a mini-bus that could take me from the center to my school, but I prefer to walk. Even during torrential downpours, I usually choose to walk. I do my best thinking when walking.
If I have timed everything just right, I will be in the teacher’s lounge 5 minuets till 9:00 (when school starts). Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I have lessons right at 9:00. Tuesday and Thursday I do not have lessons, but I like to sit in on the first graders’ Georgian lessons. It is so interesting how they learn Georgian, at least at my school, they learn the concept of vowel and consonant before any of the letters of their alphabet.
Anyway, typically from 9:00 until 1:30 I have lessons, then I sometimes have a break and another lesson, or I am done. So, I am either done at 1:30 or at 2:25.
As soon as I am done, I walk back to the center to either catch a bus towards home or I go to the internet cafe. On the way I pick up a lobiani to munch. If i catch a bus to go home, I usually end up at McDonalds using their wi-fi and restroom until about 4:00pm. Then I walk 20 minutes home. If I go to the internet cafe, I use their wi-fi, chat with the workers, drink tea, and use their restroom. I do that until 4:00pm or 5:00pm. I greatly prefer the internet cafe, Medea’s, but their wi-fi has been on the fritz and unreliable.
Whenever I arrive home, I like to change and go for a jog. Usually if I get home around 4:00pm, no one else has come home yet and I do a few more stretches, if someone is home, I just go for the jog before they can rope me into eating instead.
I jog for about 30 minutes along a busy, dusty, smoggy, unattractive road, but the sidewalk only has two uncovered man-holes and the broken glass is easy to avoid. It might not be the most pleasant jog, but it is a jog which makes me feel much better in the long run. During the jog, I get stares from pedestrians, people sticking their heads out their car windows and anyone I happen to pass. I occasionally get chased by dogs, but that only lasts for a short while and then they seem to loose interest in me.
After my jog, I either stumble up the eight flights of stairs, or I push myself and take them two at a time. Either way, I am huffing and puffing when I reach the apartment door.
By this time, someone in my family is usually home. Fortunately, they are used to how red I get and no longer say how much I look like a pig. I then eat with my host mother and older host sister. My little host sister is often still playing in the yard when the rest of us eat. I always find it amusing how when she comes in to eat, she complains that she is the only one eating.
Then my host mother has me chop vegetables for whatever dish we are going to have for dinner tomorrow while she studies with my little host sister. Then we swap places and I have my English lesson with Nino and have a cup of tea.
The rest of the evening is either me reading in the living room, playing with Nino, watching tv, or going to bed early because I am tired.
My normal bedtime here has extended from 10:00pm to 10:30 or 11:00pm. I am often sleepy early. About that time my host father is getting home and eating his dinner. Our schedules are not very compatible to seeing each other.