Month: September 2014


One of the Facebook Groups I am more actively involved in goes by the name of “Autoshite!”


A question was asked in the group. “What’s the base definition of shite?

One of the site administrators, Jim Welch replied, “Shite is subjective. Was it mainstream, loved, revered, dreamt about, posters on walls? Then it’s not shite. Shite is the underdog. The laughed at, the ridiculed, the beige, the entry model that has almost disappeared. We see RS2000s, but where are all the 1100L models? Sierra XR and Cosworth models by the ton. How many manual window, grey bumper, Diamond White Sapphires remain? That sort of thing. Nobody ever dreamt of a base model. That’s because they weren’t desirable. They existed only to make the range look cheap to buy. FSO, Yugo, Moskvich. Skoda RWD, certain Maestro models, etc. One offs, kit cars, home built specials… (remember the DS van?) There’s a thing. Citroen before they got sensible. Chapron convertibles not included. Modern stuff like Bristols and the Citroen C6…. certain Morgans….. but certainly not all. The list evolves around taste. Future shite isn’t decided. People saying “is my Mk1 Focus shite?” No. But who knows what the next 12 months will bring? Be vigilant people. Spottings are what we want to see. Get them in the wild. Shite in captivity is OK, but unplanned spots work best on here. Talbot Tagoras and Ranchos.. they’re ubershite.

Living in Tbilisi. I daily see plenty of Soviet shite, also on occasions American, Japanese and even German shite but very little British shite. I’ve never seen a Talbot Tagora here nor an Austin Allegro. But I enjoy spotting the diverse range of cars that do make it to Tbilisi, frequently posting my findings in the group.

Prime Soviet Shite GAZ Chaika M14

Prime Soviet Shite GAZ Chaika M14

I used to pass this GAZ Chaika M14 every day for months it was parked in the same spot, I never saw it move, then one day it was gone 😦

Renault Vel Satis

Renault Vel Satis

French autoshite is popular with some members of the group, I don’t see a lot here butΒ I do pass this Renault Vel Satis regularly. I have never seen a Renault 25 in Tbilisi, if I should ever see one, I’ll take a photo, post it to the group and tag Prab, another of the site admins who is crazy about these cars.

Nissan Silvia

Nissan Silvia

There seems to be a small scene here revolving around Nissan Silvias (or should that be Silviae?). The streets of Tbilisi aren’t really suitable for sports cars having far too many irregularities.

Zaporozhets 968M

Zaporozhets 968M

One of my favourite Soviet cars for spotting is the Zaporozhets, a small rear engined car built in Ukraine. It is quite rare to see them on the road, unlike Ladas or Volgas, but there are numerous abandoned hulks slowly rusting away. In the second Disney “Cars” film a Zaporozhets is among the bad guys, the “lemons” along with a Zundapp, AMX Gremlin and AMX Pacer.


Abandoned Zaporozhets

I have been spotting cars ever since I can remember, the first photos I took with my first camera were cars, so the group seems ideal for me. There are over 3000 members so it would seem a lot of people are also interested in “Autoshite” or “chod”.

There is a fine line between shite and shit and sometimes there are disputes as to which is which. Chrysler PT Cruisers and Mitsouka Viewts can be filed under “shit”.


Moskvitch is shite

BMW X5 is shit

BMW X5 is shit and not just because of the parking

There is a lot of humorous automotive banter in the group, some subjects brought up have included extortionately priced “Barn Finds” (those with a white background command even higher prices apparently), OMGHGF (Oh My God Head Gasket Failure) Β a problem associated with Rovers, whether a Jaguar is just a tarted up Mondeo (X Type had many Mondeo parts), a lot of obscure facts are proferred and numerous opinions of anything automotive given.

McDonald’s English: I’m not lovin’ it!

I have mixed feelings about McDonald’s. I used to work on the grill in a McDonald’s Restaurant in Paris, flipping burgers…or actually, not flipping them, just placing them on the grill pulling down the grill cover, which would then automatically lift up after just 39 seconds and taking them off the grill quickly to place them on the awaiting “garniture” of the cheeseburgers, hamburgers, McBacons and Big Macs.

I'm lovin' it

i’m lovin’ it

Now, I am an English Teacher, I actually started teaching English 20 years ago to get away from a succession of McJobs, which weren’t developping my intellect in any way. I find McDonald’s is interfering with the language with phrases like “i’m lovin’ it” which is not good English. I tell my students love is a state verb, which isn’t usually seen in the continuous form loving.Β Other state verbs includeΒ Β like, agree, hate, believe, understand, know and want.Β It should be “I love it” or “I hate it”, “I like it” or “I don’t like it” not “i’m lovin’ it”. Also using a lower case i, rather than a capital I for the personal pronoun is still a mistake, even in this era of textspeak.

It is not just with their slogan that McDonald’s are taking liberties with the English language. In their adverts for wraps they are described as “more tasty” (this is possible but tastier is more common) and “more fresh“, surely with a single syllable adjective like fresh we add -erΒ for the comparativeΒ to make fresh, fresher.



This may be a local error in translation: “The order is being prepareing exclusively for you….”

" being prepareing..."

“…is being prepareing…”

Dear Ronald could you please stop clowning around with the English Language?

Ana’s First Day at School

Do you remember your first day at school?

I remember little about mine, 44 years ago apart from finding a Dinky Captain Scarlet Vehicle to play with.

Dinky Maximum Security Vehicle from the Captain Scarlet TV Series

Dinky Maximum Security Vehicle (#105) from the Captain Scarlet TV Series

Today my grand daughter Ana, aged 6, started school.

Ana ready for school

Ana ready for school

Khato, my wife, took Ana to school. The first day was actually just two hours, from 9am to 11 am. Ana met her teacher, Β Marina, who is in her mid-fifties and her classmates. In her class there are 16 to 20 children, mostly Georgians but a few Armenians,too. She sits next to a boy called Alexi.

She came home with a small computer and lots of books, and seemed quite happy and talkative about her first day.

Ana's computer, tomorrow they will put some programs on it.

Ana’s computer, tomorrow they will put some programs on it.

Ana's school books

Ana’s school books

Ana has books for Georgian, Mathematics, English, Music and Art.

Georgian language book

Georgian language book: αƒ“αƒ”αƒ“αƒαƒ”αƒœαƒ : αƒžαƒ˜αƒ αƒ•αƒ”αƒšαƒ˜ αƒ™αƒšαƒαƒ‘αƒ˜

Maybe Ana can help me learn Georgian (and I can help her to learn English).

The first lesson from Ana’s retellingΒ was about behaviour, how to enter the room quietly, sit down quietly and exit quietly, a difficult lesson for any kids but especially Georgian kids.