Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Golds do Georgia

Eka, Melissa's parents and all of us Samtredia gals!

A first visit to Georgia wouldn’t be complete without some projectile vomiting off the balcony, now would it? Melissa’s parents were in Georgia for the past week and they certainly got their fair share of exposure to Georgian culture.

The first few days they were here were full of catching up, Georgian restaurants, sightseeing, a hotel that actually had real toilet paper, Oreos with peanut butter, and lots of hugs for Melissa. It was when the Gold’s actually got to Samtredia that the whole trip started to get especially interesting.

Nana, Melissa’s host mom, celebrated her fiftieth birthday on Tuesday and the Gold’s were fortunate enough to be able to participate in a huge Georgian supra. Plus, due to the fact that I serve as a pro-bono Russian translator in my free-time (seriously, I’m ready to translate the Q&A for all the Russian-speaking chicks at the Miss Universe pageant) I got an invite too!

I’ve been to my fair share of supras, but this one was unlike any I’ve ever been to. The Bokelavadze’s set up a huge dining room table in their darbazi (living room) that must have had table settings for at least thirty people. Delicious little salads, fresh breads and cakes, even an entire piglet (complete with teeth) was sprawled out on the table.

I actually really love it when Georgians hold supras inside their home as opposed of going to a restaurant. I like the whole process of watching a place transform from a cozy little home into an event hall for thirty. The Bokelavadze’s house was truly transformed; they even made space for a dance floor!

It was really sweet watching Mr. and Mrs. Gold interact with Melissa’s host family. Despite the evident language barrier, everyone seemed to really show love and appreciation for each other. It was especially touching for me to watch Mr. Gold hug Koka, Melissa’s host dad. You could really see the whole family was bonding.

After a few hours where Mr. and Mrs. Gold were allowed to do nothing but sit on the couch (they were the guests after all) and I helped cut up a full scale pig with pliers (never thought I’d be able to say that-and shalom Rabs if you’re reading) the whole family sat down to enjoy the supra meal.

The first few minutes were a bit awkward as no one knew exactly how to act around an American family but after a few glasses of wine everyone seemed to get along swimmingly. Mr. Gold especially.

Somehow Mr. Gold ending up being the right-hand man of Dato, the tamada (host leader). I don’t think there was a single toast that Mr. Gold didn’t drink to. Needless to say, he became drunk as a skunk within a matter of hours.

Granted, his interpretation of Georgian dancing was hilarious to watch (I have a video that has YouTube written all over it) and his affectionate canoodling with Dato and Koka was endearing, but lord almighty was he drunk. He asked me to translate various toasts for him that I colorfully edited to be less dramatic and more lighthearted (much to Mrs. Gold’s delight).

The pinnacle of the whole evening however was when Mr. Gold nonchalantly told me he’d very much like to throw up and asked if I could open up the back door for him. I fumbled with the key for a minute but as soon as that door opened up Mr. Gold ran over to the balcony and reintroduced all the wine and meat he’d been eating to the drive-way. (It’s a real good thing it rained during the night…) Mrs. Gold even took the liberty of putting a puke bucket by Mr. Gold’s bedside.  Mr. Gold did in fact he use the puke bucket, but he also mistakenly spilled all of its contents onto Koko’s bedroom floor. Party fowl?

The whole evening prompted a very important lesson: even if you were in a fraternity in college that does not mean you are ready to drink with the big-wigs in Georgia.


  1. wo-hooo.... totally Georgian story, especially the balcony part...

    After this Mr. Gold will be accepted into any Georgian family/supra/celebration w/o any problem - he has gone to trail by fire (by drinking I mean)...