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Loti: A Supra in a Cemetery

GEORGIA | Thursday, 1 July 2010 | Views [368]

Arriving in a new place, I initiate the customary wander through town, and chance upon the cemetery.  I have a soft spot for ambling through such overlooked establishments; cemeteries speak volumes to how societies view themselves.  Neat trimmings and elaborate gravestones that attempt to make up for life after-the-fact are noticeably absent here. Instead, should mourners appear they will be overwhelmed by a healthy semi-forest that towers above, while below a bustling undergrowth gets on with the business of life. As this happens, it still remains impossible to forget those who rest here as each simple gravestone is adorned by an engraved portrait of the deceased.

Lost in my own mild admiration, my curiosity mixing with the memories embroidered between the trees and gravestones, I amble past a table of apparent celebration. I am called over, and without deliberation I oblige. Willingly, I have been Supra-napped. Again. A Supra in a cemetery is not something i had expected, and it turns out to be a poignantly raucous affair. 

We bathe in dappled evening light, piecing together pidgin conversations with perfected nonchalance. My curiosity ramps up to code red as their spokesman-elect persists with claiming these are Georgian Mafioso. With claims of 'Big Criminal, Big Criminal' and 'Georgian Al Capone', I watch a mouthful of gold teeth and a skinful of scars make little attempt at denying the claims (nor playing along with the charade...). He remains curiously quiet on the matter, merely flashing with pride those gold teeth scattered haphazardly in his mouth-organ. It's not too hard to imagine there might just be some truth hidden under the grins.

The dapple fades to black as the toasting continues. A new gargantuan jug of wine appears shortly after my first attempt to leave. They called the taxi not for me, but for the wine. Fittingly, the last legible entry in my makeshift language book, my very own ode to First Contact, is scrawled handwriting in both Latin and Georgian alphabets transliterating the word for 'drunk'.

hugs and love from the cemetery

Joe

Tags: cemetery, supra

 

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