in our single hard bed room, I drink a cheap Georgian beer and gaze out the window at the Soviet era apartment block through the waning rain and gathering gloom. It is a tableau of a former, not yet liberated, life under Communism: clotheslines, mops, jugs of home-made wine, rust-bleeding concrete balconies; a babushka beats on something like wool, shreds it and hangs it to dry; a woman finishes hanging clothes, they sag the line in the soggy air; another babushka drinks wine and eats bread and stares into the mountains drifting with shards of stringy charcoal cloud; an old man limps the short length of his balcony repeatedly, as if exercising, indomitable spirit;
When Claire and I traveled the Silk Road, we rode our tandem bicycle the length of the Caucuses. We spent a night in Gori, the town that Russians have taken
In another small town to the west, we were welcomed into a graduation party by a group of teens, watched them dance traditional Georgian folk dances, enjoyed the beauty of the town and surrounding countryside.