Sometimes the The Road Taken is not a literal road.
This week’s challenge is Narrow, here I have the narrowing perspective of a descent on a Metro escalator.
The current challenge asks: “So what’s your muse — what subject do you turn to frequently, more inspired each time?” Strangely my inspiration comes from my daily journeys, commuting on the metro, descending the escalators of various metro stations. I like the symmetry, the sense of motion and the slightly naughty idea of taking photos in forbidden places. (In Tbilisi taking photos on the metro is forbidden).
I find I have entered lots of photos of descending the metro escalators into these weekly photo challenges.
A cropped version of this is the background for my blog title.
Once again I find inspiration for the challenge on the metro.
The theme of the challenge is:Blur
Once again I am inspired by the escalator descending to the metro platforms.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.”
Like most ex-Soviet Metros, the stations are very deep and vividly decorated.
I don’t like working 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. I have done so in the past, for example, when I worked as a Data Processing Trainee for Kapiti Limited. Then, I just longed for the weekends, which were always too short, I quit after six months. Now I work on six days, Monday to Saturday, but the hours I work each day varies.
I am an English teacher, teaching English as a foreign language, I teach a mix of students in school and privately, children and adults. I have around 30 lessons on my timetable but don’t teach that many. Although I prefer teaching adult students, as they have more life experience, which I find more interesting, they are often unable to make the lessons, children’s lessons are more reliable.
The day usually begins with Khato, my wonderful wife, getting up early (6.30 or 6.45) for prayers and preparing breakfast. I get up about an hour later as does Ana, our grand daughter. Khato puts on cartoons for Ana…Korean cartoons in Russian…I don’t know what they are about, some strange creatures who can fly, but they have a very earwormy jingle. I will put on the computer to check Facebook and WordPress.
Breakfast is usually porridge (good for keeping my cholesterol down) and bread with some spread (jam or peanut butter). After ablutions and packing my “school” bag, I will walk to school (where I teach on Monday and Wednesday) or to the metro to go to my first lesson.
The school is just ten minutes walk, but my private students in other parts of the city are usually an hour to an hour and a half away (by walking, metro and buses). The metro station is 15 minutes walk. I don’t mind walking, I try to walk at least an hour a day, walking in the day helps me sleep at night, think creatively and I also have the opportunity to take photos en route. I almost always have my camera attached to my belt. It is a compact not a DSLR but it is quite sophisticated (Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ40). I take photos of a range of subjects: cars, skies, street life, anything which interests me…
The metro is often crowded but I use the time to read. Since taking the metro regularly my reading has increased from two to six books a month, I do most of my reading on the metro, sometimes it can be a danger, if I have a really good book, I might miss my stop.
Buses are even more crowded and reading is more difficult (also after dark the lighting isn’t good enough). My lessons take me to different parts of Tbilisi, and I usually allow an hour between each lesson for travelling.
I may come home for lunch, heating up soup from the previous day, Khato makes a delicious vegetable borscht. At home I will drink tea regularly (the coffee for breakfast may be my only coffee in the day, too much coffee and I don’t sleep well).
A lot of my free time is taken up with Facebook, downloading, uploading and editing photos and preparing these blog posts. I also collect diecast cars and make detours on my trips around the city to markets (especially Drybridge Market and Vagzlis Basroba), toy shops and supermarkets, searching for new models. This month I have acquired 18 models already (today is 20th December).
With all the travelling and lessons in the evening my day can finish quite late. On Monday and Friday, I get home around 10.30pm. I will eat, relax and go to bed around midnight. Sunday is kept free from work. I may go to church at 4pm. On the first Wednesday of each month I meet with fellow bibliophiles at Cafe Gallery for Tbilisi English Book Swap, an opportunity to meet and swap books in English.
On Tuesdays, I have a large gap in the middle of the day and I will take Ana to the library, so we can both stock up on books.
That folks is my daily routine, my life in a nutshell.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Converge.”
The metro is part of my daily routine, many converging lines, whether descending the escalators or walking along the platforms.
I used this image for an earlier challenge descent it would seem to fit both challenges perfectly.
Tbilisi was the fourth city of the Soviet Union to get a metro system (after Moscow, Leningrad/St Petersburg and Kiev).
I don’t intend for my blog to become political. Not that politics isn’t important, it is just I have friends of many different persuasions and politics along with sex, religion, salary, sexual orientation and death is taboo, as I frequently tell my students. Even the weather is straying into taboo waters if the crazies of UKIP are to be believed (apparently, flooding is caused by tolerance of gays, who would have known?).
What spurred this post was an incident I observed on the metro on Sunday.
A man with a beard observes an advert about surrogacy. In Gerogia women can be paid several thousand lari if they agree to be surrogate mothers. In neighboring Russia liberal legislation makes Russia attractive for “reproductive tourists” looking for techniques not available in their countries. However, in his address on 6th January, the Georgian Patriarch, Ilia II, (head of the Georgian Orthodox Church) spoke out against surrogacy and also IVF treatments, causing much concern in Georgia with those for and against the issue. “How can a family, where a child born by a surrogate mother is raised, be happy? This little (child) is doomed to be deprived of love and is doomed to loneliness from the very beginning,” the Patriarch stated.
The bearded man then rips the advertisement, the carriage is full people watch but no one reacts, positively or negatively.
On May 17th 2013 an anti-homophobic rally was held in Tbilisi. The gay rights activists holding the rally were met by thousands of protestors led by a couple of priests opposing homosexuality, who were allowed to break through a police cordon and violently pursued them, beating and throwing stones at them.
The following weekend a group of liberal minded Georgians attended an anti-theocracy rally, worried Georgia might go in the direction of Iran or the talibanized Afghanistan.
The offensive poster offering women up to $13 200 if they want to be surrogate mothers, a tempting sum for many Georgians.