“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.”
The way up and then down from Omalo was nowhere near as bad as we had feared, though mountain biking down the steep slopes that made up the road made us really wonder how we had ever gotten up in the first place. We ended up setting up our tent at the same lovely picnic spot we had visited the week before when we had been invited to eat with a family picnicking nearby. This time we decided to make our own fire and cook some potatoes, veggies, and cheap hotdogs for dinner though our idea was short lived since halfway through we were invited to join the roaring party at the picnic table of rowdy drunk church-goers.
We sat down (me on the girls side, Kevin with the guys) next to the young twenty-year old girl who spoke English and quickly became our translator. Across from us was the priest who wasted no time in asking us our religion. I found it slightly ironic that these people, completely drunk and stumbling around, were making toasts to God and to their church since I have yet to see what benefits God sees in alcohol.
Once again the Georgian wine culture posed an issue for Kevin and I because they simply can’t understand why we don’t want to take giant shots of wine all night. The girl next to me explained (and this is not the first time I have heard this) that she didn’t even want to drink but was being forced to by her parents and their friends. It’s even worst for Kevin in this respect because you aren’t considered “a man” if you can’t keep up with their drinking, though fortunately Kevin is smart enough to know that drinking is definitely not the key to life or fame. It’s even harder for us as cyclists because neither of us want to be hung over in the morning when we commence our kilometers, and though a glass or two would be fine, it’s sort of an all or nothing game here.
The group of older ladies at the end of the table were laughing and playing jokes on each other (like breaking each other’s bras by pulling on them) while the men were making various toasts (led by the priest) to everything from children, to religion, to wine. It was an interesting scene which encompassed most of what we have seen in Georgia so far – extremely friendly, happy, and hospitable people, wonderful food, and a little too much wine.