Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The trouble with not having a church hall for practicing our singing is that the singing club met at the opposite end of town; which is fine for folks with cars. I found the street on the map and decided to take the metro to near the person's home.

The metro in Tbilisi is like the metro in Kiev, Moscow and Armenia. Possibly the metro in Kiev has more modern cars. These cars, like the cars in Armenia, are old Moscow metro cars. If they were western I would say they are from the 1920s, but since they are Russian I expect they are from the 1950s. With a hint of art deco, and while they are old, they are in good nick - with gorgeous rows of wonderful lights under the ceiling. Unlike the Armenian metro. Also the stations are being renovated (unlike in Moscow - where they are probably protected, and Kiev and Armenia). Like in all three other metro systems, the stations are spotless, and at the bottom of each escalator a lady sits in a little glass hut, supervising all the passengers. In my arrival station the lady smiled and said good bye to every passenger. (I have noticed that in Georgia customer service assistants anywhere are much friendlier and much more smiley than in most post-Soviet countries).

On the way back from the singing someone told me horror stories about people being mugged and robbed and all that sort of thing, and not to use the metro - but you hear that about metros anywhere - Prague's system is quite notorious; I have had my own do on the tram in Warsaw, and I don't suppose the London Underground in the crush hour is much better.

Oh yes, and I had to ask only 6 people for the street of the 'singing' house; in the process I crossed the very street 4 times and walked up and down it about 5 times - but I found it in the end! Even better, I discovered that the No 4 marshrutka (minibus) which passes my house, has one of its termini in the same neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the Armenian family whose house we were invading are moving to the US shortly, so no more return trips there.