Friday, November 10, 2006


Yesterday at lunchtime I went to a little shop to buy a Khachapuri. A beggar nearby accosted me and asked me to buy him a meat roll. I said something like 'over my dead body' but since I would not be able to finish my whole Khachapuri, I offered him the half I had not bitten into. He refused!

Tbilisi has the most beggars of all the post-Soviet countries I have worked in. Even in the much poorer Tajikistan there seem to be fewer beggars - most of whom are of school age there. Here it is mainly older people who sit by the side of the road or go up to cars stuck in traffic jams. There are also some street kids, but not that many of them. One of these caught me last Saturday, but I did not give him anything also on account of an older lady (not begging) who kept shaking her head. There are facilities for street children in Tbilisi.