Have you got your shoes on? Good, because we are going for a walk. You won’t need your jacket because it is mild outside today. Okay, stay close to me and I will take you for a little tour of my neighbourhood. Ready? Great. Off we go.
Keep up! The tall person has long legs and takes big strides, which is good because I like to walk quite fast.
This street goes all the way down to the railway. I will try to keep my tree and lamp post sniffing to a minimum so we will have more time to see interesting things.
Hmm, bear with me for a few moments. Another dog has visited my favourite bush.
Sorry about that, it’s a territorial matter.
Okay, we are now at the bottom of the hill and have crossed the road by the bus stop. You will have noticed that there are traffic lights here but you still need to be very careful because some drivers ignore them.
The tall person has to be particularly careful crossing roads because he is English and used to driving on the left hand side of the road. This means he naturally looks to the right when crossing a road. Here in Georgia cars drive on the right hand side and you have to look left when crossing the road. The yellow minibus that has just passed us is one of a new fleet recently introduced for one of the routes. The little person calls them ‘Sponge Bobbies’ because they are the same colour as the popular cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.
If you look across the road you can see our shopping mall that was opened last year. I’m not allowed in there. It has a no Bassas sign.
My butcher works in the supermarket in the shopping mall and you may remember that he saves the best juicy bones for me.
Opposite the shopping mall is the railway that separates my neighbourhood from the one that leads down to the Mt’k’vari (Kura) River that flows through the middle of Tbilisi. We are not going that far but we do need to get to the other side of the railway. If you look over this wall you can see the railway. I can’t because I’m not as tall as you but I can hear a train passing.
To get to the other side we will use an underpass. It’s a little dark but I am with you so don’t worry. Okay, we are now on the other side and walking towards the train station. This is a very busy place because it is also a shopping mall and a terminal for mini buses. Stay close to me.
We are now outside the train station. Phew! Is any one thirsty? A popular drink is Burakhi. It is mildly alcoholic but apparently very refreshing. I’ll wait here while you get a cool Burakhi from this street vendor.
You are hungry? Okay, there is a hot dog seller over there. I’ll wait in the shade.
Right, you have had a drink and a hot dog – let’s go. Everyone keep together. It will become very crowded soon because we are nearing the big market. There will be lots of interesting things to see so give me a shout if you want to stop and look at something.
Ah, I thought you might be interested in those. This stall has pictures of religious icons. They are very popular in Georgia. In the Old Town, the oldest part of Tbilisi, there is a whole street of shops selling icons and other religious artifacts.
Wow, I think you got a bargain there. Let’s keep walking towards the big market and we might see some more interesting things.
Would anyone like some cakes? The ones dusted with icing sugar are delicious!
Would anyone like some bread? I haven’t seen this type before. De! Can you get some for me please. Thank you.
Whilst we are waiting for De to buy the bread have a look around at some of the other shops and stalls. If you want to buy anything it might be an idea to let De get it for you. If they know you are a foreigner they might increase the price! De never lets the tall person speak when they are in the markets!
I see you have noticed the pigs heads and the fish!
Perhaps some fruit?
Much of the big market is covered and is a rabbit warren of hundreds and hundreds of stalls selling anything that you might want and need. I’m not allowed in there so I’ll say good bye. Thank you for walking with me through my neighbourhood. You’ve been great company! Come again soon and we’ll go for another walk through a different part of Tbilisi.