Tbilisi

Interspecies Water Fountain

Outside our block in Varketili (Tbilisi) is a water fountain.

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On a hot summer’s day it is a magnet for thirsty children.

interspecies fountain 2

But it is not just children drawn to the cool water.

horse

Horses get thirsty too, and not just mammals but also our avian friends, the little sparrows like to take a sip now and then.

sparrow

I’ve seen dogs drinking here, too. But have yet to get a photo.

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Nazi Bling

I rarely voice my anger in public. I was walking past a stall near Varketili Metro (Tbilisi, Georgia) and I noticed among the “fashion jewelry” a wrist band with a swastika symbol. I know the swastika predates Nazi Germany, being an ancient Hindu symbol, but to my mind I see it as the emblem of Nazi Germany. Anyone who would wear such a symbol is to my mind seeking to provoke a reaction (like when some British punks used Swastika armbands in 1976 and 1977) or they are sympathetic to the ideology of the Nazis and their leader Adolf Hitler.

The sales assistant told me off for taking a picture, I reacted by saying angrily “What the fuck is that?” (pointing at the swastika). This is very uncharacteristic, I often feel anger but rarely voice it. The sales assistant just glared at me. I walked off. I’m not a brave person and tend to avoid conflict where possible.

I posted the picture on Facebook and had various comments, now I’m posting here.

nazi-fashion-jewellery

Swastika Fashion Jewelry

It is ironic that the neighbouring bracelet has the word “FREEDOM”….

Since posting I have seen more examples of “Nazi Bling” around Tbilisi.

nazi-bling

a strange swastika inspired creation in a shop called “Underground” in the subway by Freedom Square

Chance shot

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დავით აღმაშენებელი

This was a photo I took of the equestrian statue of David the Builder. The cloud above looks like smoke coming from his hand. It was a lucky capture, I was on the minibus from Didi Dighomi to Didube. The statue is on the corner of D. Agmashenebeli Alley, the minibus slows a little to turn the corner, but there is no time to compose the photo as we drive past, just a quick click of the shutter and hope for the best. The windows of the minibus are closed and grimy, closed to allow the air conditioning to function but this gives a murky quality to any photo taken through them.

David the Builder  (დავით აღმაშენებელი)(1073 – 24 January 1125) is considered to be the most successful king of Georgia and the creator of the Georgian Golden age.

Untitled ‪#14

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There is a fountain I pass most days in Liberty Square (Tavisuplebis Moedani), taking my granddaughter to school. I have been playing around with different angles of view. If I get down low, I can have St George and his horse on top of the fountain. Here the hydraulic arm of a fire truck looks to be impeding the flow of the water…which is in fact responding to high gusty winds…

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Tbilisi in the news: the Zoo floods and some animals escape

Tbilisi has been in the news today (14 June). Last night there was heavy rain, the river Vere burst its banks and flooded the zoo. Many animals were drowned and some escaped, some people have been killed too. We have been watching the news, one of the most viewed pictures is of a hippo in Heroes’ Square.

hippo

Hippo that escaped from flooded zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia. Image: Tinatin Kiguradze/Associated Press

We have been advised to stay in our homes while wild animals are still at large. The news has been picked up by all the major news agencies, reporting different numbers of casualties, but often using the same images picked up from Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is full of information, but it is difficult to know its verity. There is a hashtag

News of Tbilisi floods on RT

News of Tbilisi floods on aljazeera

It has been an odd day sitting at home watching the news, going a little stir crazy. The last time I watched an unfolding news story was the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, but that was many miles away in Paris, this is here in Tbilisi. Two bear cubs, I heard had been captured near the metro station I use every day. All I have seen of the story are the helicopters periodically flying overhead looking for escapees.

helicopter flying overhead

helicopter flying overhead

There had been talk of moving the zoo from the centre of the city to beside the Tbilisi Sea, a big reservoir, but it never materialised, maybe after this tragedy, they will do something.

The zoo before the flood was a rather sorry sight with poor facilities for the animals. Here is a photo, I took of the bear pit three years ago.

Bear pit, Tbilisi Zoo

Bear pit, Tbilisi Zoo

I am not a fan of zoos, keeping animals for our entertainment. A safari park is slightly better and may help preserve species hunted to the brink of extinction in the wild. I haven’t heard any news about the monkeys, this little fella didn’t seem too happy behind bars…

doing time

doing time