Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I live in Georgia. This is my life.

So I was taking the bus home this afternoon, and it was packed up like one of those pictures from the '40s of kids in a phone booth. Only this was a bus. And at every stop, more people would just look at the wall of people when the bus doors opened, and sigh, and then shove in. And this was making the bus driver angry, apparently, which made him reckless.

Check that. Georgian bus drivers are reckless when they're calm and carefree. There needs to be a superlative of the word reckless in English, which will be able to describe an incensed Georgian bus driver. It will need to include concepts of blindness, homicidal and suicidal behavior, and will conjure images of a person randomly punching at the air. He kept driving with the doors open, which wouldn't be bad, except that I was at the outside edge of the wall of people -- facing the open air. Did I mention that these new busses have a history of catching fire? So I'm not saying I was in the most dangerous spot.

Anyway, I got to my stop, got off the Goddamn bus, threw my change at the bus driver's head, and went to buy some bread from the bread maker around the way. He works in the basement of this building, and there's a huge, hole in the ground, with clay walls around it, and basically he takes the dough he's rolled out (something like a ton of dough two or three times a day) and then leans waaaaay in on the edge of the clay wall, waaaaay down into the burning hot hole-in-the-ground oven, and slaps the dough on the side of the wall. When the bread is finished baking, he scrapes it off with a long stick, with a hook at the end. It's blistering hot in his basement all the time -- like Hephaestus in Hell hot. And he works something like eighteen hour days, every day of the week. So, I don't blame this man for being generally grumpy. We've developed a rapport -- wherein I gingerly set money down on a nearby table, and he throws bread at me.

But it's amazing, fantastic, warm, delicious bread. So I'm figuring he means well. But today, I came in, and he greeted me with a big smile, and said "welcome" -- in English (I think he's been practicing) and I noticed that right by his hole-in-the-ground oven, there was a little black and white kitten, all curled up and purring. I pointed at it, and he shrugged, and looked grumpy about it. And then he threw two loaves at my head.

And... I love Georgia again.

1 comment:

Karen said...