It was our last night and we had another amazing dinner with Georgian dishes and (of course) a bottle of vodka to clear our throats… uhumm uhumm..There was me, Johan, Tiko, Lika and her friend, Natia and Gigi – all enjoying our final night in Tbilisi. So after dinner we had a short stroll in some ‘fashionable’ streets of Tbilisi – where a cup of tea costs more than a regular workers daily wage. We took a taxi back to the hotel to get our suitcases. My backpack and the souvenir wine bottles that our precious hosts had presented us earlier went into the trunk of the car since they didn´t fit inside. To make the story short, I managed to forget everything when we arrived to the hotel and the taxi driver had taken off when the horrible discovery was made. I havn´t see the backpack since or tasted the wine. Except for the shameful lost of my friend’s laptop, that was generously lended to me for my writing, I also lost my camera and some other valuables of developed countries. What hurts me the moooost is all the pictures that I lost and will probably never retain. There was:
* portait of the farmer along the road with an axe on his shoulder.
* the old lady with the sun shining so bright on her face that she looked like a modern enlightened messias.
* the next generation of Georgia hugging and posing for a picture in the park.
* the young boy sitting smoking outside the ticket office of the opera.
* the picture of the monestary from distance with white pillars alongside the road.
* the domino-playing old retired men that were not bothered by anything than occasional strategy discussions.
* all the intervieews from different Georgian institutes
* the nice ‘mafia’ guys that invited me over to their table for drinks and let me drive later to give myself a ride to the hotel.
* the anti Da Vinci Code demonstration where ortodox Christinas expressed their stand point regarding freedom of expression in a similar manner as previous Muhammed caricature opponents did some months earlier.
* the video of the hundreds of sheep and the shepherd crossing the road in front of the car.
* the picture from Stalin museum where Stalin and an American pilot are about to kiss and look very much in love.
* … and lots more….
Most of the pictures this time are from friends’ cameras and I’d like to thank them for sending them to me. Hundreds more pictures and circumstances in Georgia are now only available in my head. These images of people, places and situations will be more vague and narrowed in my memory as time goes on and new places, people and situations claim their space. I will indeed miss them but it is a challenge also to try harder to remember. No matter what, there are somethings I will never forget from Geogria. The people, those I met and most certainly those I became friends with. But I was also brought to an insight of much greater value that I will carry with me in life. This new insight is a definition of how to look at people. It goes: Human first, then the rest! What is the rest? By the rest I mean things like culture, gender, religion, history, sexuality, wealth.. and so on… everything that we think defines us. Of course things like culture or religion, that are very important to many, connect people together but at the same time it means in many cases that they exclude others with dissimilar “shells“. I call such things shells (they can also be described as borders) because I see them as layers hiding what is truely behind every individual – the human being. You want to know an obvious secret for how to connect to people? Look at the person as human, talk to the person as human and act as a human to another. No matter how we look, what we wear, who we pray to, who we have been or who we make love to, we are first and most importantly human beings. A dream would be a global culture that is rather including of human beings than excluding of the unknown, different or new. I know for many of you this has been an obvious fact since long and thats why I´m proud to be your friend. I´m just happy to be able to put this to words and define it for myself. But for those who havn´t looked at it this way: Take a second and think about it!
Culture, religion, clothes, sex, sexuality, income, job, social standing, political and social ideologies are all factors that we think define us. But they are only layers! Layers hiding the true human being- who we truely are.
If you pick one layer after another you will discover a beautiful human being underneath all. Something we all have in common which made civilizations possible. Off course the more layers a person carries the longer time for others to discover the real individual behind.
With such new insights I can´t say I lost anything in Georgia.