Experiencing Tbilisi Through the Eyes of a Georgian

Georgia

This post and its photographs were contributed by Kote Beridze


It is cold for the first time this year. Whether it’s because it’s 5:30 a.m. or because September hit in full force, I am not sure. Me and T. stand on the corner. I lean against the Lamppost, while she snaps a Polaroid of me. On the other side of the street, a group of people walks into the club we just left. A mix of grunge and fabulous, all beautiful and speaking a language I don’t know, they are preparing to spend the night in one of the best clubs in the world. We finally manage to whistle down a cab driver who agrees to drive us each home for 4 dollars. The windows are down and the cold air hits our faces.

Photo Cred: Kote Beridze

I notice the two Germans I had talked to earlier stumbling along. They see me and wave.  Me and T. don’t talk. Our ears are still ringing from the music and our legs still hurt from dancing. The buildings, some from the refined 1800s, small and built of brick, some tall, Brutalist, dirty gray, Soviet, and some modern, ambitious and strange looking. My head spins as my stomach protests all the drinks.

Photo Cred: Kote Beridze

The man with the mustache plays techno music, while me and T. hug it out before she flies out again. I catch his eye, stealing a sly look through the mirror. He smiles and we go on to my home. The streets are empty, but the sun is slowly rising, painting the sky orange. I’ll sleep for a little and go out to the exhibition, I bargain with myself. A leaf crackles under my foot as I get out of the car. I light a cigarette and crouch down next to the cat that watched me get out of the cab.

Photo Cred: Kote Beridze

From my window, I see a small part of Tbilisi. The city is a mosaic of modern and old, where, disused Olympic pools become modern clubs and modern buildings become havens for art.

It feels like a secret place, only mine, that is slowly becoming known to the world.

I sleep through the exhibition that day.

Photo Cred: Kote Beridze

Meet Kote: Born in Moscow, raised in Georgia and receiving education in New York, I am a Georgian photographer who likes to look for adventure. I get the itch to move on if I stay in one place for too long, and the only way to temporarily scratch it is to tell stories about places I have been to or am about to head out to. Keep up with him on IG

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