Dateline: Tbilisi, Georgia—20 Mar. 2017
I spent my last day here exploring parts of Tbilisi that I haven't been to. All my stuff is packed, and I'll be getting a ride to the airport at 4 a.m.
This morning I went back across the Dry Bridge to the Public Service Hall. This is the central government building that puts most things citizens might need in one place. I started out by checking on what's needed to establish permanent residency.
Since Americans get a one-year passport stamp, there's really not a need to apply. The clerk pretty much told me that the best way is to make a visa run every year to get a new stamp and then after five years worry about the paperwork. That's not really the answer the immigration books gives, but a lot can change over those five years. So for now, it's not a something I'm going to concern myself with. I'll get better answers if a permanent move comes into play later.
My next stop without leaving the building was the Bank of Georgia. I opened an interest-bearing account, but for some reason there's no option to transfer foreign money in. I guess that's because it's a Lari only account. The multi-currency accounts don't pay interest. I figured if I was going to lock up some money, I should get something for leaving it there. There's also a good chance I could open another account over the phone. So I'll just forget about this deposit, and let compound interest do its thing for a while. If I come back, I'll have a small nest egg. If not, well it's only the amount I would've spent on taxis and fancy restaurants anyways.
Then I wandered.
I made it to the top of one of the big hills, where a "funicular" train (one that goes up the side of a mountain on cogged tracks and a cable) goes up to the park on top. I didn't realize how much of a climb I was in for when I started. Once I figured it out, I was more than two-thirds there.
The only problem was that it was closed for maintenance.
So I started back down the hill. I was mostly lost at this point, but downhill was the best direction. Eventually I came out on a large street and found a neat underground bar. A cold beer later and I was ready to head back.
I basically took the long way around and got back to my neighborhood by way of the MacDonalds that got me sick. This time I kept walking.
My feet held up better than I thought they would. Only the last half mile really set them off.
Once back at the house, I found that most everyone was out. This gave me the perfect chance to get a long, hot shower. Afterwards, a short nap was in order.
The rest of the late afternoon/early evening involved me keeping my feet elevated and getting my bags packed.
Travel! I'll be on a early flight to Istanbul and then onto New York, where my long layover is. I don't know if I'll get out into New York City. I'll have around six hours, but without a way to leave my bags somewhere I doubt I'll leave the airport.
I may or may not have a chance to get another report in from the road. So to all of you that have been following along, thanks for reading. I see your likes and page views, and in a silly way they've kept me company during the trip.
Use the MVW Travel tag to see all the posts in this series.