Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

In the “Cudablin” project, we send completely different people on trips at our expense! Alexey and Maria Glazunov visited Georgia: they visited little-known and breathtaking places, experienced Caucasian hospitality and dispelled all stereotypes about this country. More details in their report!

Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

Georgian people

Before, we had never communicated particularly closely with Georgians, and there was a stereotype in our heads that these people were quite quick-tempered, hot-tempered and aggressive. In fact, after this trip, we got the impression, almost the opposite, that Georgians are quite calm, leisurely, relaxed and incredibly good-natured people.

Their relaxation was especially noticeable in the example of taxi drivers. When we left for Gudauri, we arrived at the bus station in Tbilisi and began to find out how we could get there. We, of course, were surrounded by taxi drivers and offered to take a taxi – in principle, the price suited us if we could find two more passengers for the car.

The driver went around looking for travel companions for us, and his friend calmly and somehow humanly told us why he couldn’t take the two of us for the same amount. That he has a family, and our amount will hardly cover the cost of gasoline, etc., but at the same time, all this happened in a positive way, without trying to force pity and without aggression.

No one tried to tell us a price 3 times higher, no one grabbed us by the hand, as happens, for example, in India, no one shouted curses after us when we decided not to wait and go by minibus. In general, completely positive and constructive.

Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

Another example is hitchhiking. There is no public transport in Gudauri, and we had to drive several kilometers along the highway. We went out onto the road, raised our hand, and literally the third car stopped, despite the fact that there were simply no seats in the first two, and the drivers threw up their hands with regret, saying that we would have taken it, but there was nowhere to go.

Those people we encountered in public places, on the streets, in transport, as a rule, were smiling, open, happy to help and suggest something to us, tourists. We talked more closely with several locals and again, we only enjoyed it.

At the same time, we never met with negativity addressed to us – there were those who criticized the Russian government and the president, but at the same time they all said that their attitude does not concern ordinary people, but Russians and Georgians are fraternal peoples.

Caucasian hospitality

In general, our impression of communicating with Georgians was very positive, everything went wonderfully, but the trip was coming to an end, and somehow our task – to evaluate hospitality – somehow did not work out for us. We already thought that this was yet another stereotype, but at the very end a small adventure happened.

Let me remind you that the task was as follows: “Visit a local family and experience Caucasian hospitality.” In general, initially, when you voted for this option, the task seemed quite simple to us. We used to be very active in couchsurfing in our travels and had the opportunity to visit many families around the world.

Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

But this time we didn’t have much time in Georgia, so we didn’t specifically write or make arrangements with anyone in advance, and we didn’t manage to get to know anyone very closely on the spot. So until the last moment we were thinking about what we should do with the task and had almost come to terms with the fact that we would not be able to complete it.

We flew back to St. Petersburg with a long, almost a day, stopover in Baku (we specially took such tickets). We were somehow completely unprepared for the trip to Baku, so we spontaneously started talking to a man of Caucasian appearance who was sitting in the next seat on the plane to find out something useful about the city. They asked if he was local and if he could recommend some place in the center where the food was tasty and not too expensive.

He said that he knew and could only recommend those places where the food was very good and very expensive. We got to talking, chatted a little while we were flying, and before saying goodbye he said, write down my number, call me when you’re ready to have lunch, and I’ll tell you something or I’ll come and show you. And he added – just be sure to call, don’t have lunch without me!

We walked around the city center for a couple of hours, then called Elchin, made an appointment, and half an hour later a black Mercedes arrived to pick us up.

Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

Our new friend said that we were his guests and took us to his cousin’s restaurant, where gastronomic madness awaited us!

Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

We sat at the table for about 3 hours and during this time we ate so much that it would probably be enough for lunch for three. We tried Azerbaijani soup, appetizers, salads, and of course – meat, and in several types: pork kebab, lamb kebab, rib meat, kebab and it seems something else, in the end we lost count (Lyosha I was especially delighted),

so it’s hard to say how many food changes there were.

Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

After a super-heavy dinner, Elchin drove us around the city for another 2 hours, showed us interesting places in Baku, talked about the city and himself. It turned out that he is a businessman, selling clothes that he makes in China and delivers to his wholesale warehouses in Moscow, Baku and Tbilisi. In general, a very serious comrade, but he found the time and desire to chat with us, show us the city, and even treat us.

After we said goodbye to him, for a long time we could not come to our senses and understand what it all happened. How could a complete stranger on a plane turn out to be so welcoming, open and hospitable, and what motives prompted him to do so? But in any case, we were very touched by this attitude and glad of this chance acquaintance.

Honestly, it’s hard to imagine that a Russian businessman would treat travelers from Georgia this way.

See the second part of the report here.

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Adventures of the Kudablin participants in Georgia. Part I

Text and photo authors: Alexey and Maria Glazunov
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