Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have twelve boyfriends

At School No. 11 in Samtredia I am a celebrity. Just walking to school children I’ve never met say hello to me by name and high school boys fight over who gets to sit next to me on the bench during break time. I think I have about twelve boyfriends between the ages of 12 and 17 and I’m just starting to learn all their names. One of my admirers from the sixth grade even slipped me a note after class today that said “I lave mishel”. (Now tell me that’s not cute).

My favorite boyfriend is named Dato and he’s in the 7th grade. He follows me around school and makes a point to ask me how I am about ten times a day. He’s even figured out most of my schedule and has been barging into my classrooms (in the middle of class) just to say hello. (A few days ago he even introduced me to his little sister so I think we’re getting serious).

My older suitors have even gotten competitive. After brawling in the school courtyard for my attention they decided it would only be fair to have a basketball shootout to see who should be my official boyfriend. After I refused to participate, the boys seemed confused (as if that has worked in the past).

And today my sister Nini and her friend Teona took Melissa and I to the Jewish Museum and synagogue in Kulashi and two boys from my school decided to tag along. We had an interesting afternoon walking around inside a synagogue that looks as if it hasn’t been cleaned since 1990 (hello cobweb city) and found a cow eating grass growing from a tombstone in the Jewish cemetery.
Outside the synagogue in Kulashi

A copy of Pirkei Avot in Hebrew and Georgian!

Jewish Museum sign! Hebrew and a puppy! I'm in love.

After touring the Jewish part of Kulashi, we looked at a few really interesting churches and the two twelfth grade boys we were with started to plot how to get us to come to their home to drink fresh red wine. One of the boys (we’ll call him Georgian Boy #1) noticed I like animals and said, “Home I have pigs. And wine. Want you see?” Clearly, Georgian Boy #1 is pretty smooth.

But the best part is that right before getting on the marshutka to go back to Samtredia, Georgian Boy #2 showed me a photo from his camera of me reading a book in the park from a few days ago. And we’re talking close-up, he must have been five feet away when he took that. He confessed that he’s been photographing me around town. Uh, in America that’s called stalking but in Georgia it’s considered a way to get girls to drink wine at your house. Georgian Boy #2: less smooth, more creepy.

All in all I think I’ve gotten about four marriage proposals at school (one of which even sounded sincere). Ahem: “Michelle, I love you. So we get married, yes?” Next weekend I agreed to chaperon the tenth grade Russian class trip to Kakheti (about six hours west of my town) and I can only pray that I come back from the trip without a fifteen-year-old husband. But a wonderful thing about Georgia is that marriage licenses are only valid in the Republic of Georgia and null and void everywhere else. After just three weeks in Georgia, I think I know exactly why that is.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle: You are hilarious! Love reading your blog. My husband (who is Georgian, I'm American) and I read it then talk about it endlessly.
    He said a marriage proposal really means "I want to have sex with you and be your official boyfriend". So don't take it too seriously.