Thursday, June 29, 2017

Things You Might See in Georgia part 1

Well, we've been in Tbilisi 7 weeks now. Everyone is asking how it is going, what it is like, and so forth. Sorry for the delay, as I'm finding unpacking/moving in to be a difficult task with two toddlers.

Tbilisi, Georgia is very modern. We are learning you can find just about anything, if you happen to be at the right time and in the right place; or you can find something "close." But there are definite differences to what modern means here and what it means in the States. (I had hoped for pictures, but just haven't gotten that far, so please try to imagine.) For example, here are a few things about roads/cars:

- Cars park on the sidewalks, people walk on the streets. (Really wish I had a picture of this!!!)

- Driving is seriously aggressive. I've seen taxi cars pull in front of a nice neat line waiting to turn left, and turn left in front of them, cutting them off, and laugh while doing it. People park everywhere, and if you take too long to park in one spot, a little car may pull in behind you and steal it. Most annoying trait is that they will pull out, needle their nose in, then stop instead of merging.

- They love to honk their horns, and there seems to be a horn-honking language/communication sometimes.

- Cars park so tightly, a rear camera is more necessity than luxury; if your car needs towed, they will have to (and do) use a crane to extract it.

- Georgians don't look before crossing a street; they just cross and the expect the cars to stop. (Even major roads!)

- Washing your car in your driveway is a ticket-able offence. Car wash locations MUST be used. (They recycle the water; though I'm not sure why, as Tbilisi is on a river.)

- Street signs are not always present at crossroads.

- Lights go from green to yellow to red, then back to yellow again before turning green.

- Almost all parking in the city requires a parking permit of 50 lari a year, but the vehicle registration/tag last as long as the car is owned/runs and costs about 200 lari.

- Not having the registration in the vehicle is a jail-able offence.

- It's hard to know what lane to drive in (and some of the Georgians make their own lane.) The right lane has buses and taxis stopping plus cars waiting to turn right (no right on red here). The left lane has taxis stopping plus cars waiting to turn left. The middle lane seems to have cars that don't know where they're going or which lane they want to be in!

- Georgians will stop their car in the middle of the road, put their hazard/flashing lights on, and that means they can park there. It's not technically legal, but it is very commonly done.

I think that's enough for now... more later!