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Author Topic: My new life in the Republic of Georgia  (Read 123548 times)

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Online DaveNY

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #625 on: September 26, 2018, 11:23:57 PM »
Back in '90 I was driving a hire car in San Diego with a friends who were a US Postal Policeman and SWAT respectively ..

I raised the UK style 'TWO fingered salute of displeasure'  to a guy who tried to turn left right in front of me -  he failed - due to the car in another lane failing to stop and so we were face to face ... He smiled and gestured 'peace' back at me ...


Had a -stern - lecture about gun toting loonies who settle road rage disputes ..

Always been lots of gun toting loonies in California for some reason.

Online Maxx2

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #626 on: September 27, 2018, 03:30:07 AM »
Always been lots of gun toting loonies in California for some reason.


I was born in the Oceanside Naval Hospital. Both my parents were United States Marines. I went to the grammar school the Beach Boys went to. It was in Gardena. I'm sure GQ is familiar with all these places. My parents developed a serious lifetime affliction gotten from the military of wanderlust. We lived all over. I went to 12 schools as a kid. We mostly lived in the Upper Midwest of Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. About age 26 we, my ex and I, decided to move back to our home state of California. It was 1979. First thing we noticed was what crazy people Californians are! They do not make any effort to conceal their eccentricities. You meet a guy at work. In your first conversation he tells you he just got of prison for shooting a guy. The reason he says is because he threw a birthday party for himself and nobody came. So gets his 22 caliber pistol and shoots the first person walking down the street. He lived. You get invited over to someone's house for dinner, you and your wife. You find out later was they were swingers and wanted see if they could start something up.


Out in the parking lot one of the Mexican employees buys guns, any guns out the back of his trunk. I heard they would be smuggled into Mexico for the revolution. More likely for the drug cartels.


Frequent topic for conversation at work was the effectiveness of various guns, rifles and calibers. We used to take the scrap metal parts from our work and use them for 'plinking". Blasting these defective sheet metal parts full of holes We'd do it up in the mountains on Federal Land. Our employers didn't mind use taking their scrap as long as we returned after we filled it full of lead and holes.


California is a yahoo culture full of guns and 4 wheelers.

Hey GQ! Has California changed any since 1979? What year did you get there?



Online GQBlues

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #627 on: September 27, 2018, 11:28:52 PM »
Lower left coast is no different when it comes to guns. Where you have gangs, guns are the primal tool. Private citizens though are much more discreet and diligent about gun ownership. Pre-90s, places like Venice, Inglewood, the usual sh!thole are terrorized by the two major gangs - Bloods and the Crips. The red vs the blue. Anyone wearing any type of clothing with either color, at times even non-gang citizens - have a greater chance of getting shot. When the LA riots happened (Rodney King), those two groups called a truce and momentarily joined forces to perpetuate their common angst - the white man.

Have they changed since 1979...IMO, yup. Are there still gangs? yup. But like roaches anywhere, they pretty much stay within their 'territory'. LA's not as bad as places like Chicago, Baltimore, St Louis, etc...

But then...I don't really hang in these places to be an authority as to the exact prevalence of life beneath the underworld. Too many 'better' things to do, see and occupy ourselves with living here..still too many gorgeous Barbies, too.
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Online Maxx2

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #628 on: September 29, 2018, 06:35:43 PM »



a P.S.A. for you...


Open a Charles Schwab account. Get free checking, no minimum balance, no monthly fees and





I got credited last month $46.31 for my ATM fees. I get hundreds of dollars a year from my monthly ATM rebates. Also if you lose your ATM card they will send you a new one by FedEx at no charge. I know because this happened to me a year ago. C.S. is open 24/7 so I contacted them. After I got my new card I was contacted by them and asked how they could improve their service. I told them it would help if money could be sent immediately (I had only 37 cents in Lari on me). I was told that could be arraigned and in fact they do have a method for that. The ATM machines here finally got smart and the money will not come out until after you take your card out of the machine. What happened to me last year was I got distracted by some people I know. It wasn't intentional and I didn't find out I left the card in the machine until the next day. Someone after me took the card because it wasn't eaten by the machine (It gets eaten after 3 minutes). Anyway I thought you might like to know. I know having other cards and some cash stashed is a good idea also.
.

Online GQBlues

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #629 on: October 01, 2018, 02:28:45 PM »


a P.S.A. for you...


Open a Charles Schwab account. Get free checking, no minimum balance, no monthly fees and





I got credited last month $46.31 for my ATM fees. I get hundreds of dollars a year from my monthly ATM rebates. Also if you lose your ATM card they will send you a new one by FedEx at no charge. I know because this happened to me a year ago. C.S. is open 24/7 so I contacted them. After I got my new card I was contacted by them and asked how they could improve their service. I told them it would help if money could be sent immediately (I had only 37 cents in Lari on me). I was told that could be arraigned and in fact they do have a method for that. The ATM machines here finally got smart and the money will not come out until after you take your card out of the machine. What happened to me last year was I got distracted by some people I know. It wasn't intentional and I didn't find out I left the card in the machine until the next day. Someone after me took the card because it wasn't eaten by the machine (It gets eaten after 3 minutes). Anyway I thought you might like to know. I know having other cards and some cash stashed is a good idea also.
.


maxx-


FYI. This practice had been trending the past 20-24 months, if not longer. Rebates, discounts, etc...one is left to believe you're getting benefits more than you really are. You're not.


An example, BofA checking card (Visa) or any of their CCs, mails me notification almost everyday telling me which merchants (mostly picked from my list of recent merchants I made purchases in recent past) is being included in their 'rebate' program. Meaning, if say I used any of BofA's CC/Visa and bought something at Starbucks, they'll issue me a 10% rebate of the total purchase I made (to a certain cap). I spent $20.00 - they credit me $2.00 back in whichever account was used. ALL CC companies are doing this these days.


The banks have an agreement with these merchants that when this happens, there's an added 'premium' with that merchant's fees. The merchants, as expected, simply raises their prices (5-10%) over than normal so in essence the only thing gained in all these exchanges is it gave the consumer an impression they're *benefiting* from this newly developed customer relationship. So Joe Blow goes out and likely spends more than he would normally do because he thinks he's getting a good deal.


I haven't been charged any 'fees' for anything in a very long time. As a 'premium' customer, I can use my BofA ATM card anywhere or on any bank for 'free'. Free everything. Cashier's checks, money orders, check reordering, etc...that benefit is extended to my wife as well. The interest rate in my CC is in the lowest single digit interest rate available with higher 'rebate' percentages.


This is just all about *receipts*...
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 02:51:31 PM by GQBlues »
My wonderful rebuttal to the Prague Spring thread is now *relocated* again (being actively hidden, lol) in *Anything Goes* section, titled: Willy Waving. Hurry before she deletes it altogether. LMAO! Enjoy.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #630 on: October 09, 2018, 10:57:41 PM »
Georgia
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 11:49:37 PM by mendeleyev »
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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #631 on: October 09, 2018, 10:58:21 PM »
Tbilisi, Georgia
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 11:48:30 PM by mendeleyev »
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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #632 on: October 09, 2018, 11:10:21 PM »
We spend a good deal of the summer in Georgia, first for a photo project in the ancient capital of Tbilisi, and then down in the modern beach city, Batumi, along the Black Sea.


The somewhat high speed train between those cities is as modern as anywhere and very comfortable. We rode first class at approximately $14 each for tickets.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 11:46:08 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #633 on: October 09, 2018, 11:17:44 PM »
Our first trip to a supermarket cost all of $4 (in Georgian GEL) and we carried 3 bags back to our apartment. Our favourite restaurant was the Ukrainian restaurant along the beach boardwalk. Very nice meals averaged $6 to $8 for dinner, and we often ate lunches at smaller cafes for less.


Just a couple blocks over a new boardwalk highrise was going up--45 floors. One day we checked it out and could have purchased new, fully furnished, one bedroom units for $18,500 with a beach view. We didn't know enough to make an informed decision so we didn't plunk down any cash, but we still talk about it being a nice Airbnb investment. Foreign investment is welcomed. We have a friend in Batumi and would pay him a percentage to manage it, but not quite ready yet.


The roads are modern and in good condition, the people are awesome, and prices are very affordable. One could retire for very cheap if the permanent visa requirements were not so strict.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 11:21:06 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #634 on: October 09, 2018, 11:52:07 PM »
Batumi, Georgia. Along the Black Sea.
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Online jone

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #635 on: October 10, 2018, 01:03:13 AM »
Welcome back, Mendy!
Experience keeps a dear school but fools will learn at no other - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #636 on: October 10, 2018, 01:33:54 AM »
Welcome back, Mendy!

Seconded .. your mines of info and suggestions and opinion are sorely missed
The internet, in the end, was not designed to give people the information they need. It gives people the information they want.

Online Maxx2

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #637 on: October 10, 2018, 11:56:41 AM »
Our first trip to a supermarket cost all of $4 (in Georgian GEL) and we carried 3 bags back to our apartment. Our favourite restaurant was the Ukrainian restaurant along the beach boardwalk. Very nice meals averaged $6 to $8 for dinner, and we often ate lunches at smaller cafes for less.


Just a couple blocks over a new boardwalk highrise was going up--45 floors. One day we checked it out and could have purchased new, fully furnished, one bedroom units for $18,500 with a beach view. We didn't know enough to make an informed decision so we didn't plunk down any cash, but we still talk about it being a nice Airbnb investment. Foreign investment is welcomed. We have a friend in Batumi and would pay him a percentage to manage it, but not quite ready yet.


The roads are modern and in good condition, the people are awesome, and prices are very affordable. One could retire for very cheap if the permanent visa requirements were not so strict.


Hi Mendy. Nice to see you posting here!


I've busy lately so I haven't had much time to post. I even have a few PMs that I am late at answering.


At the end of next month I'll have been in Georgia 3 years, except for the 7 months in America in '16


I am not sure when you took your trip. Some of your info seems dated but generally correct. Yes, Georgia is retiree's dream, with some exceptions of course. The cost of living is about a third of the US. Profession services such as dental, healthcare and auto repair are about a tenth. As I've said before an American living on a small pension can afford a Mercedes and the cost of repair and maintenance (labor is about $15 an hour).

I often go to this one grocery store called Fresco. I feel like a talked about celebrity. Not that people are rushing up to me asking me for an autograph but I get allot of stares and smiles from the staff. Georgians are generally a hospitable people but they do have that Soviet reserve. So getting smiled at is definitely a sign I am being talked about and probably in a positive way. I think I have developed the reputation of being a friendly fellow. And Americans are generally liked here.

I also get noticed because I look and act strange to Georgians. At first glance I can pass for a Georgian because of my dark eyes that I have inherited from my Sicilian grandmother. However on a second look my Swedish and English heritage gives me away. Georgians have a tint to their skin that I don't have. I was told by a Georgia, "You look like a Viking. Put two horns on the side of your head!" He speaks very good English.

The other thing that gets me notice is the strange things I buy in the stores.



How many people come into a Georgian store and buy out the entire store supply of coconut flour?

Or buy a steamer to cook vegetables?



My observation of the staff's reaction when I bought this was, "Thank God we finally sold that!" The very pretty young woman that rang up the bill told me, "I love America!" And I guess the money us Americans spend there....



The vegetables tasted great! I like them well cooked, salted and buttered. Butter is A-OK on a Keto Diet. I know I am going off-topic here, but this is my thread.

If you're a diabetic, pre-diabetic or just plain having trouble losing weight, watch this video.




Butter Bob Briggs tells it like it is.


OK back to Georgia.


Mendy, you have great instincts. You should have listened to that inner voice of yours.


Below is a chart I made of conversion of dollars from GEL


I USD = 2.4 GEL
 GEL 50,000  $20,800  $10,400
 GEL 60,000  $25,000  $12,500
 GEL 70,000  $29,200  $14,600
 GEL 80,000  $33,300  $16,650
 GEL 90,000  $37,500  $18,700
GEL100,000  $41,600  $20,833
GEL110,000  $45,800  $22,900
GEL120,000  $50,000  $25,000


The USD now goes 2.6 instead of 2.4


Basically how buying real estate in Georgia goes. And this would be for a new development. You put 50% down and pay off the balance in payments for 5 years. Generally the developer will wave the interest. Otherwise using a bank they usually charge in the neighborhood of about 10% annually. This also requires a 50% downpayment. My budget was set at around $50K (Hence need for the chart) for an apartment. Now I am going to go into business in the hope to make up the extra $50K I need to get what I really want. But that is another subject.

I found out for $18,500 you get a Georgian building (SNAFU) apartment a good distance from the Sea and with a mountain view. The type you described, and the one that I wanted, in a modern building with a Sea view, goes for about $100K. The apartment I live from November 1st to May 1st is one of those. It is in the modern ORBI Residence Building. The apartment 3 floors below me is being sold at $95-100K. In the off season, October to May, I can rent these for $350 a month. However if I was to rent on the other end of the building, furthest from the Sea, I can get them for about $150-$200 a month. Come busy season monthly rent goes up, way, way up. From $150/$350 a month to $1500/$2100 a month. This is one of the reasons why I am living in Tbilisi now. But in 3 weeks I'll be back to my beloved Batumi. I love that place!


GQ, you're in the know about prices of homes in SoCal. What would be the price of an apartment near the Sea with a clear view of the ocean? Someplace where you can hear the sound of the surf like I do? I know, apples and oranges. Not much of a surf in the Black Sea. Batumi is sort of a faux Malibu in my opinion. A poor man's Palm Beach. And such beaches here! Fist size rocks instead of sand that are at least smooth.

About the permanent resident requirements being so strict. I've heard the opposite. I've heard from an American expat that lives here that getting LPR status is just matter filling out some forms and sending in a fee. I was also told getting citizenship was not too difficult either. Citizenship with a presidential waver of the no-dual citizen constitutional requirement. BUT, I do not know if this is incorrect information I got. I did have a Georgian woman propose marriage to me to help me become a citizen. She did it in a joking way, but I am 100% certain she was serious. I've had a number of odd things happen to me here....

One important thing to consider if contemplating living in Georgia is the no-visa required and the 360 day stays when you enter the county. You can stay here up to 360 days without being considered an overstay. To get another 360 days all you got to do is a visa run into Armenia. Or a 2 1/2 hour plane flight to Kiev. Armenia is a few hours south of Tbilisi by car. Leave the country, get your passport stamped, reenter Georgia, get your passport stamped and you are go to go for another 360 days.

Back in September 2014 the Georgian government changed their generous residency stays to reflect those of the EU, 90 days in and 90 days out. There was such a squawk by the Turks who do a lot of business here that the Georgian government changed it back to the way it was. This was on March 2015. That is what I like about the Georgia government. It is reasonable and not bureaucratic. Can you imagine the American government moving so fast to fix one of their screw-ups?

As you said Mendy, the Georgian government wants foreign investment. That is why I tend believe that getting LPR status, especially for businessmen, is not too difficult. Though I might be wrong.


Mendy, could you check with your friend in Batumi about that apartment? It is something I would consider getting. I so hate being a Airbnb nomad, sort of.     
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 12:13:20 PM by Maxx2 »

Online GQBlues

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #638 on: October 10, 2018, 12:58:26 PM »
...GQ, you're in the know about prices of homes in SoCal. What would be the price of an apartment near the Sea with a clear view of the ocean? Someplace where you can hear the sound of the surf like I do? I know, apples and oranges. Not much of a surf in the Black Sea. Batumi is sort of a faux Malibu in my opinion. A poor man's Palm Beach. And such beaches here! Fist size rocks instead of sand that are at least smooth...


$3,000.00-3,500.00 on average for a 1 BR/BA- from Sta Barbara to SD nation. Ventura you can still get a decent 1 BR/BA unit for low-mid $2Ks if you're socially slow. You want the ocean foam moving your front door mat, add $2K on a blue moon Monday.

The apple is, an average 'renter' for these areas will undoubtedly be snagging an income of $75-100K minimum annually. Whereas your oranges are those nowhere near the aforementioned. So yes, relatively no comparison on both fronts, Maxx.

As for 'hearing' the surf, cheaper to buy a wireless speaker and tune into those virtual soothing sounds. That way you have the 'power' to switch from ocean surf, to rain, to trickling stream, to birds happily chirping...but that's just me.  ;D
My wonderful rebuttal to the Prague Spring thread is now *relocated* again (being actively hidden, lol) in *Anything Goes* section, titled: Willy Waving. Hurry before she deletes it altogether. LMAO! Enjoy.

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #639 on: October 11, 2018, 09:19:33 AM »


$3,000.00-3,500.00 on average for a 1 BR/BA- from Sta Barbara to SD nation. Ventura you can still get a decent 1 BR/BA unit for low-mid $2Ks if you're socially slow. You want the ocean foam moving your front door mat, add $2K on a blue moon Monday.

The apple is, an average 'renter' for these areas will undoubtedly be snagging an income of $75-100K minimum annually. Whereas your oranges are those nowhere near the aforementioned. So yes, relatively no comparison on both fronts, Maxx.

As for 'hearing' the surf, cheaper to buy a wireless speaker and tune into those virtual soothing sounds. That way you have the 'power' to switch from ocean surf, to rain, to trickling stream, to birds happily chirping...but that's just me.  ;D


I should have added besides the sounds of the "surf" there is also the sound of the Karaoke bar downstairs. Instead of birds chirping we have those strange black and grey crows cawing.







I think "Caw Caw" from Tbilisi followed me to Batumi.



Thanks for the info on the rentals. 
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 09:21:04 AM by Maxx2 »

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #640 on: October 11, 2018, 12:17:56 PM »
maxx,

Not sure what its like in Georgia, but FWIW I've lived by, or at least no more than a half mile of the beach all my life and personally believe it's overrated. The corrosive nature of the ocean mist is pretty destructive and beach traffic alone is more than annoying. When running errands, it's a biyatch navigating through the hordes of beachgoers.

Given the social life is outstanding. In Socal, one huge advantage is being able to be within walking distance to a lot of hip places to hang out and not to have to worry about DUI. But by and large, for an upstart single person, save some $$ and live a bit deeper inland.
My wonderful rebuttal to the Prague Spring thread is now *relocated* again (being actively hidden, lol) in *Anything Goes* section, titled: Willy Waving. Hurry before she deletes it altogether. LMAO! Enjoy.

Offline ML

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #641 on: October 11, 2018, 12:41:53 PM »
maxx,

Not sure what its like in Georgia, but FWIW I've lived by, or at least no more than a half mile of the beach all my life and personally believe it's overrated. The corrosive nature of the ocean mist is pretty destructive and beach traffic alone is more than annoying. When running errands, it's a biyatch navigating through the hordes of beachgoers.

Sort of reminds me of looking for a house to buy.
You find one that seems close to perfect, and then . . . omg . . . it has a swimming pool.
Calculate what it would cost to remove it, and then . . . on to next house.
I still like Ike.

Online Maxx2

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #642 on: October 11, 2018, 12:43:33 PM »
maxx,

Not sure what its like in Georgia, but FWIW I've lived by, or at least no more than a half mile of the beach all my life and personally believe it's overrated. The corrosive nature of the ocean mist is pretty destructive and beach traffic alone is more than annoying. When running errands, it's a biyatch navigating through the hordes of beachgoers.

Given the social life is outstanding. In Socal, one huge advantage is being able to be within walking distance to a lot of hip places to hang out and not to have to worry about DUI. But by and large, for an upstart single person, save some $$ and live a bit deeper inland.


I found a place by the airport that was in the back of a person's house. Actually a couple with a son and two beautiful daughters in their 20s. The window in the bedroom looked out to the back of an Army barracks. A particularly safe neighborhood. Anyway I liked it even though it had no view. 


One thing about the Black Sea is it has much less salt in the water than the oceans and no dangerous sharks.

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #643 on: October 11, 2018, 12:51:01 PM »
WOW! You're a tough sell...

2 beautiful 20 year olds is not enough 'viewing' to you?
My wonderful rebuttal to the Prague Spring thread is now *relocated* again (being actively hidden, lol) in *Anything Goes* section, titled: Willy Waving. Hurry before she deletes it altogether. LMAO! Enjoy.

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Nancy, Erma, Nano, Joggo and little brother Nika
« Reply #644 on: October 13, 2018, 10:24:33 AM »
WOW! You're a tough sell...

2 beautiful 20 year olds is not enough 'viewing' to you?


They were truly beautiful. Not just attractive, but undeniably classically Miss Georgia beautiful! I was invited over for dinner by my Airbnb hosts. These two young women were there doing the translation. The brunette 'Nancy' or a name that sounds like that, sings me a song. She sings in the Batumi Opera House. BEAUTIFUL voice! She tells me she wants to learn English better as it will help her  singing. I'm thinking, "I will be GLAD to tutor you!" but I know she would see through my proposal in a Batumi minute second. The other girl, Erma also gorgeous, is a blonde with long hair like her sister. Her English is much better. She does most of the translation. Both girls, very sweet and respectful. EVERYONE always addresses me as "Mr Maxx." Even by people that know me well.


A few days before this dinner I'm chatting with the father, Joggo. The translator then was a family friend, a Georgian guy. He tells me that Joggo said his highest hope is to find good husbands for his daughters. Georgian men have the same reputation of their Slavic brethren. I had a young Georgian woman Ana, age 26 (And she is also very good looking) tell me she didn't want a Georgian man. She said she would never tolerate her husband running off with his male friends all the time.


A few months ago I sent a PM to the mother, Nano. I invited her and her family over for dinner when I get back to Batumi. She happily said, "Yes!" Since then I've perfected my 'Sweet and Sour Chicken.' I don't eat much of it, just taste test it. I am working on 'Beef Fried Rice' and 'Egg Rolls' but more on that later (with photos). I'm going try to get a family photo and post it here.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 10:31:03 AM by Maxx2 »

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Shto etta? What it?
« Reply #645 on: October 13, 2018, 02:13:26 PM »
Could somebody tell me what this is? I found it in the cooking oil section of the grocery store I go to.



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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #646 on: October 13, 2018, 02:34:23 PM »



I came out of my dentist's office and crossed the street and thought my friends at RWD might like to see some photos of street life in Tbilisi. I seen this on the two street corners opposite of each other.





I said to the old lady "Yah Americanets too-reests. Photo?" which she nodded to. I wish now I had bought some of her produce. I will next time.





On the opposite corner was model being photographed. Nancy and Erma, the sisters, are MUCH better looking!


 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 02:36:47 PM by Maxx2 »

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Re: Shto etta? What it?
« Reply #647 on: October 13, 2018, 03:05:33 PM »
Could somebody tell me what this is? I found it in the cooking oil section of the grocery store I go to.



Some kind of vegetable oil.  (i think it means warm vegetable oil)

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Re: Shto etta? What it?
« Reply #648 on: October 13, 2018, 03:11:17 PM »
Some kind of vegetable oil.  (i think it means warm vegetable oil)


Could it be lard or a type of butter? Something from an animal and not a vegetable? I see it is a solid like butter and lard and not a liquid oil. The last word "MACnA" is butter isn't?


Thank you for the help.

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Re: My new life in the Republic of Georgia
« Reply #649 on: October 13, 2018, 03:22:02 PM »
It's probably something like 'ghee'. Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It's very popular in India and has made its way into cooking in the Middle East, Russia and many of the ethnic food stores in the US.

Never seen that brand in Russian food stores in NYC but seen something similar.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghee

 

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