Olga fought for half an hour to purchase our train tickets at the lit windows along the back of the Baku train station. There was some order to the chaos which I did not understand at all, so I just stood back and watched in awe as Olga bullied and pushed her way to the front of the window. This was customary, not rude, but it was shocking to me as I’ve never seen Olga push her way in front of a field mouse.
Nonetheless, we were soon on the overnight train to Tbilisi, Georgia. Anyone I mentioned Georgia to mentioned the food, which I took as a very good sign. One of the first things we did upon arrival was eat. We were quickly schooled in the staples of Georgian cuisine: tomato and cucumber salad w/ walnut sauce, khinkali (like large meaty soup dumplings) and khachapuri (cheesey bread). The khinkali was delicious, but people were putting away 5 or 6 pieces, and they kept encouraging us to keep up! And I enjoyed the khachapuri, but the cheese is pretty intense, and I think I’m set for a lifetime. After that meal, I don’t think I felt hungry again in Georgia (and my stomach was quite confused). However, Georgians are notoriously hospitable, and we were treated (forced?) to many more Georgian meals. The tables at every meal were also covered in bottles of wine, mineral water, and tarragon lemonade. I’m still recovering with water and oatmeal.