I can see Russia from my hotel!

Well, just about. Mainly I just wanted to say that (thank you, Tina Fey). Russia is about 100 miles from here, and the view is blocked by a rather imposing mountain range.

Here’s what I actually can see:

Tbilisi, Georgia

I’ve now been in Tbilisi for a couple of days, but I haven’t seen much apart from the inside of a hotel and the inside of an office. It hasn’t helped that I start getting sleepy at about 2 in the afternoon.

There’s a little deli around the corner from the office that serves up very tasty local dishes (whose names I’m still trying to figure out). The owners and staff are pretty sweet and patient–and pretty good about understanding the pointing/grunting method of ordering food. So, I know I’m not going to starve or anything.

I had dinner with a big group one night, and got to try several different local dishes. Kinkhali is a popular dish that is kind of like a large potsticker, filled with meat and juices. There’s a trick to eating it so you don’t end up with all the juice on your shirt or in your lap. Fortunately, I’d read that somewhere, so I knew to approach with caution.

We also had several bottles of Georgia’s famous wine. My favorite (so far) is called Saperavi, which is something like a merlot.

Anyway, that’s pretty much the zenith of excitement so far because I managed to pick up a bug on the flight here, and I’ve been snot-ridden and feverish, as well as jet-lagged, the last few days.

My hotel promised in-room coffeemakers. I figured I’d be completely fine. Ha! That’s the last time I believe you, you giant, world-wide luxury hotel chain! Not only is there no coffee in my room, but to acquire coffee I must go to the hotel restaurant. This is horrifying for someone who lives by Ambrose Bierce’s notion that “hell is other people at breakfast”…and without the assistance of caffeine, I’d argue that it’s something a bit worse than hell. Not only that, but the servers appear determined to limit my morning intake to a single, miserly cup. Barbarians.

I was up most of last night with a stuffy head, sore throat, and no Nyquil, so I decided I deserved room service coffee this morning. Room service will bring one cup of coffee to your room, but apparently they’ve never heard the word “carafe.” So, I order two cups. They arrive and I get the brilliant idea to keep one warm while I am drinking the first. This is my solution:

Yes, that is a fleece hat pressed into service as a coffee cozy.

So, my visit to Georgia is off to a rather slow start. I’m hoping to feel better by the weekend and be able to get out and take some pictures of slightly more interesting things than my hat.

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