Monday, May 07, 2007

Of turtles, snakes and a goat kid

Running in the town of Tbilisi has its challenges, not least the stares by people - but I am getting used to those, since going to work in a short skirt with bare legs also causes much interest. I'm waiting for the day I cause an accident because someone did not pay attention to the road! I hope it's just because it's only May, and people think that it is not warm and one should not have bare legs, when in fact at night I am sweltered in my bed because the landlord still has the heating on. I wish it had been like that in the winter!

Anyway, so on Saturday I went for a run, and decided to head up into the hills above my house. Landed amongst others in someone's garden, and later found myself defeated by dense jasmine and lilac thickets. That's quite apart from the thorn bushes you really don't want to grab hold of as you drag yourself up the almost vertical side of the mountain. So then the population had to contend with a foreign woman wearing shorts and covered in blood running round their city - amazing how much blood tiny scratches can produce!

Yesterday then joined the hash on an outing to Rustavi, formerly the second largest and very industrial city of Georgia. It's quite run down, now, with people living in masses of Soviet concrete blocks, but there is not much work there now - though it isn't the poorest city in Georgia by far!

Our running spot was in the mountains above Rustavi; a beautiful landscape, a bit like Scotland, what with them having not a single tree, or indeed thornbush. Extremely green just now. The only other inhabitants of those mountains were some shepherds with herds of cows and flocks of sheep; the bunch of noisy foreigners running about their pastures rather startled them, but not the animals. Here we met the turtle, strolling, rather faster than the average domestic turtle, around between the rocks and small bushes. The snake slithered away too fast for me to see, and the little goat kid popped out from under a bush, not a mum or other goat in sight. I wonder what had caused it to be there on its own? Eventually we united it with a shepherd (of cows)....