Our second lecture was about public opinion in the Caucasus and featured the data (and a website with which to manipulate it) of several years' worth of research and polling in the three south Caucasus countries--Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. A valuable tool and one that I am sure I will use as I do research for my thesis for this course. I spent some time briefly discussing my possible topic--Georgian/Iranian relations--with our lecturer today. I will reflect on the topic here more when I have a bit more time.
A funny side note: I expected Georgians to be dressed very formally when out and about, much like I observed years ago in Ukraine. In fact, Georgian men and women dress very casually--jeans, tank tops, flats, etc. Very few stiletto heels, mini skirts, and fishnet stockings worn by Ukrainian women. So I asked Thea if I could pass as a Georgian. She immediately said no--neither Kristin nor I could pass. I asked her: is it my hair, my skin, my clothes? She said no...and then, through the help of Eka, she said that `'You do not look like you have lived under a Soviet occupation. You look too happy." Wow! For the record, I do NOT think that Georgians look unhappy. On the contrary, they appear (and are) very pleasant. And yet there IS a sadness here which was reflected in "Street Days." Humor in the face of despair--that is how the Georgians must have survived the occupation.
And now, the events of my day:
-Morning jog--in one inch of mud since it rained buckets yesterday.
-Left a tad too late for the marshrutka (mini bus) this morning so, sigh, had to take a cab!
-Had a shawarma with Kristin and a couple of the guys from our group. We are the 29 and older club. :-)
-Walked much around Old Tbilisi, visited the Sioni church, and enjoyed a light dinner at a cute cafe.
-Attended Tbilisi's very on marionnette theatre this evening as a group. Very creative.
-It is late and I am tired. We leave tomorrow morning at 8am for a two-day trip to the mountains where I will likely NOT have wireless so I may lag behind on my blog. Not to worry! I will return.