Cross town traffic
04 November, 2010

Not too long ago, I came across an interesting article online about the best and worst places for driving in the US. This of course got my wheels turning, “no pun intended”. Joking apart, it really got me thinking about how people get around. My own personal preference is to have a reliable and comfortable vehicle. Back in the States, I had a vehicle for every occasion; a small economical car to get around in, a 4-weel-drive gas guzzling truck for

winter weather and all other truck related endeavors and a couple of miscellaneous recreational vehicles (“a spoiled American”! - yes I know what you think!). However, having so many cars was sometimes more trouble than they were worth, which is one of the many things I was hoping to get away from when I came to Georgia. Now that I am here, I have found that the woes of getting from point A to point B are somehow inescapable, which is why I  chose to write about  the way people get around  this week. If you are lucky enough to have the luxury of owning a “good” car, you are lucky to avoid dealing with the joys of public transportation, (yes that was sarcasm) but for those who have no vehicle and have to travel by public transport (including yours truly), you already know that getting around in Tbilisi can be much less than fun, and sometime even treacherous. Not unlike my experiences back in the states, having busy people behind the wheels of today’s mechanical marvels that we call automobiles can be a bit unsafe and sometimes downright dangerous. As a fully fledged pedestrian, I have accrued countless stories about the pros and cons of public transportation in Tbilisi, “mostly cons” but I have heard rumors that “the winds of change” will soon be blowing through the public transport system too. Moving on, some of my more memorable tales of travel are centered on the unique environment I have come to know and love here in Tbilisi. From the above mentioned mechanical marvels, to the countless numbers of everyday people franticly navigating the city’s streets, I am forever amazed by how different my new home is from the one I once knew. From my point of view, the biggest thing is “riding on the bus”. However, I am not a big fan of traveling by van. Yes, both are an inexpensive mode of transportation but let’s face it: no matter what country you live in, standing in a jam-packed bus or van after working your tail off all day, is no one’s favorite thing to do, and it doesn’t help matters that the bus drivers seem to thoroughly enjoy taking out their frustrations on innocent passenger by driving like maniacs, often sending occupants from one end of the bus to the other (myself included); but what do you expect for 40 tetri? Aside from the battle of busses and vans racing through the congested streets and the overzealous motorists, I really do enjoy walking around the city. For me, it is still, and always will be, an extremely new and exciting experience to just walk around and marvel at this wonderful city, which I now call HOME.

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GEL Exchange
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