The whole night started out slow. My school director’s son was getting married and every teacher from my school was at the wedding party. It practically felt like I was at some fancy teachers meeting. For the first few hours (yes, plural) I pretty much just listened to all the women I work with gossip in Georgian and tell me what a “good girl” I am as they tried to plop more food on my plate.
|The table before food was served (comparative to peanuts at the bar)|
Though I did have a special seat at the table. To my right was a Nino, on my left was a Nino and in front of me was (you guessed it) another woman named Nino. While it seems as though this would get confusing, the Nino on my right spoke English so I would address her in English, the Nino on my left spent eight years in Moscow so we often chat in Russian, and the Nino in front of me grew up in a small Georgian village so she only speaks Georgian. Thus, when I was talking I used each Nino’s corresponding language. I call this- the Nino Chatting System (or NCS).
|Enjoying my Nino sandwich! (How come Georgians never smile in photos?)|
It wasn’t until the older teachers at school started to enjoy the wine that things began to get interesting. After what appeared to be just a glass of wine these ladies were dancing around the tables and singing songs in Georgian without a care in the world. Even the oldest teacher at our school, an 85-year-old woman who sports a horribly charismatic dye job, stood up and began to lead all 150 wedding guests in clapping chants. For erti tsuti (one minute) I felt like I was at a college basketball game watching someone rile up the crowd.
While the whole night was rather uneventful, there were a few key moments. For about a minute the power went out (a common occurrence in Samtredia) and so as all the lights in the restaurant went out, the battery operated disco ball lights were turned on. We’re talking a pitch black room (as in you can barely see your hands in front of your face) with a slight glimmering of green and orange lights. I was semi-waiting for someone to spill bazha (walnut sauce) all over themselves but the only casualties were a few spills of wine.
The whole six hour wedding party has temporarily filled my Georgian wedding quota. While I subconsciously enjoyed counting how many pieces of cake the school secretary ate (six pieces- and she’s thin as a rail) and was pleasantly surprised that they played the ‘chava nagilah’; I need a wedding break. A weekend where I can trade my heels for hiking boots is definitely necessary.
|My pretty co-teacher Nino|