We love first impressions. Whenever we are just 10 minutes in a country we ask each other “and? What do you think?” A person has an impression about someone or something within 3 seconds. And this is sometimes the right one and sometimes the wrong one.

It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed. With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person’s impression of you is formed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows.

So we always write down our first impressions and at the end of our trip see whether we were wrong or right. While coming from Turkey, a country I, Milene, know very well it’s always fun to explore a place you have no impressions of yet. Driving from the known into the unknown.

The architecture of Batumi

And wow, is Georgia unknown to us. The first things that we were impressed about were the buildings in Batumi. It’s gonna look like the Las Vegas or Macao of Georgia. Strange buildings everywhere and more coming! Fun for Yuri though who loves architecture. Many people skip Batumi but it’s actually a nice city to have a stroll, relax at the beach and learn about the many cultures that it hosts. A good place to start your travels through Georgia when you come from Turkey. 

Gas pipes everywhere

Then there’s the gas pipes you see above the ground everywhere. High cars cannot enter most premises because the gas pipes prevent it. It’s part of the environment. When you drive through a cute village the gas pipes highlight the road.

The crazy Georgian driving

We were less impressed by the driving of the Georgians. They are crazy!! Absolutely crazy! They come from left and right, criss cross their way to their destination. They don’t care if there is actually space or not they just go for it. Also some cars have the steering wheel on the left and some on the right. Mainly because there is no regulation about this in Georgia, at least there wasn’t. Now apparently they are preventing cars with their steering wheel at the right side of the car being imported. Then there’s the cars without a front, back or side. Many accidents happen and when you don’t have money to fix your car or buy a new one you just continue driving without a front or door for example. You don’t want to get hit by a car like this because the sharp edges will hack you into pieces.

We’ve been on the road for 3 months, drove more than 12.000kms and for the first time saw someone being hit by a car. When you should drive 60 km/h a Georgian drives at least 80 but preferably 100, if not faster. Also there are lanes on the roads but we honestly don’t know why. 3 lanes easily become 5 – creative lanes it’s called in Georgia. “When you see free space you create a lane” a bartender tells us. To be honest, driving in Istanbul is peanuts compared to driving in Tbilisi.

The kindness of people

Even though they drive like crazy the people are actually very very kind! Strangers giving us cherries, inviting us for diner, giving us a beer. People helping us to fix the van, giving us local insider tips and give us stickers for the car for free. It’s not about getting things for free it’s about not asking for anything and receiving the world! So hospitable so kind. 

Foodies in the making

On Instagram you might already have seen that we are truly foodies in the making. In Turkey we tried every possible delight and we are still not done! Need to go back again and again. But now in Georgia it’s getting even worse, or more delicious.

Ok, so thank god Ayran can also be found in Georgia cause we were definitely not done drinking that. But then… 

I thought we finally could lose some weight again. Little did we know that Georgians love to put calories in everything! They have the most delicious bread with cheese, inside and outside!!! And when a new friend took us out for a food experience our table exploded with delicious dishes. “You cannot finish but you can try everything” his motto. In the morning we were still full!

And we haven’t tried it all yet! At the bar down of our apartment in Tbilisi the bartender gave us a list of things we should eat here. So we are on a mission to eat as much as we can. But we might put a couple days of hiking in our itinerary. No cooking in the van for us, that’s for sure 🤣

These were some impressions we had. Not all in the first 10 minutes though, they mostly were; crazy drivers, strange architecture, hot temperatures, car maintenance garages everywhere and lots of Turkish influenced food. But of course there are still first impressions to make. For example; we haven’t been to the mountains yet and we still have to talk more about Russia with Georgians cause that’s a tricky subject. We might visit the border which is moved once in a while by the Russians. Meaning that Georgians living in Georgia today can suddenly live in Russia tomorrow.

Have you been to Georgia? Are our impressions familiar?

Love, Milene & Yuri