Despite the fact that there is no café in Samtredia where two girls can just sit and drink some coffee; there is the Geocell store. We three American girls made quite the impression on the entire staff there on our previous visits and while walking today, Melissa and I decided to pop in for a quick hello. (Plus our Geocell phones and internet sticks were not working). After walking in and receiving a greeting of big hugs and kisses on the cheek, we were immediately prompted to sit and asked if we wanted coffee.
So, picture it. We’re sitting by a desk in the middle of the store with two delicious cups of steaming hot coffee and a huge bowl of fresh green grapes chatting with all the Geocell employees. We chatted about Israel, skiing, the political situation in Abkhazia, teaching, marriage, you name it. Even as customers were walking in asking various questions about the internet us two girls were sitting there as if we were in a coffee shop with our Georgian friends.
Oh, but Geocell is not just a secret coffee shop. It’s also a tailor. The zipper on Melissa’s bag broke a few days ago, but no fear, Lela (Lasha’s mom) banged a scissor at it and bit something with her teeth and presto it was fixed. You can also add travel agency and car rental service to that list. The Geocell employees even helped us plan future trips around Georgia and offered to take us anywhere we want to go.
After about an hour of pure chit-chat and a quick English lesson (we taught our friends at Geocell how to say “goodbye” and “how are you”) it was practically awkward to leave. It almost felt as if we were skimping out early from a friend’s birthday party. Clearly, the Geocell employees have become our dear friends.
So pretty much we’ve found the Mecca of Samtredia: an internet store/ coffee shop/ travel agency/ tailor/car rental service / warm home that we can visit anytime between the hours of 9am-6pm Monday through Saturday.