Why didn’t the chicken cross the road?

Copyright Susanna Melo, 2011

On a relaxing Saturday, we walked down from our apartment at the top of Holy Mountain in order to go to the other side of Mtkvari river, where there is a large bazaar. When we got to the bottom of the hill, we needed to cross a busy road, but on this particular road, there are no stop signs, traffic lights, overpasses or underpasses. After waiting unsuccessfully for traffic to slow, Susanna and I hustled halfway across and stood on the standard two yellow lines indicating a no passing zone. We stood there trembling as cars zoomed by. When we got to the other side, Susanna made me promise never to do that again. I promised.

On the other side we stopped to look at the art in an outdoor market. A few dozen artists display their work daily along a path by the river and near a bridge. We found one piece that we’ll soon buy. It’s a very tall, quite thin painting of the jumble of Tbilisi houses with their varied architectural styles. Then we made a crucial mistake. Since the weather was pleasant and we were taking our time, instead of crossing the “art” bridge, we decided to walk along the river and cross at the next bridge, about a half mile away; however, we discovered there was no way for pedestrians to have access to that bridge!  There were no steps from the walkway to lead up to it in order to cross to the other side. So we walked to the next bridge and then to the next bridge, but could never cross—and realized this pattern could continue for a long distance.

We were trapped. In order to go home or to have any chance to cross the river and reach the bazaar, Susanna and I had to re-cross the same dangerous road. Again we waited in vain for a gap in traffic until we could run to the double yellow lines, and from there to the sidewalk on the other side. Again Susanna made me promise “never again.” Then we hiked up an extremely steep hill holding on to skinny branches of some shrubs in order to have access to the bridge.

The rest of the “journey” was uneventful. We found the bazaar, with several hundred small vendors selling everything anyone could possibly want to buy (except soft sheets). We bought two large pots, a grater, a kilo of figs, and few other items, and on the way home we had a delicious dinner of eggplant dishes and a green bean dish at a Turkish restaurant. Total time elapsed was about 7 hours.

So why didn’t the chicken cross the road? Because it was “chicken,” and we will remain “chicken” the rest of our time in Tbilisi. I promise.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: