Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seqsi Gindaa? Ar minda!!! When men stop being polite in Georgia and start being Jizzy!


Disclaimer: This post is not a classification of all Georgian men but an account of some of the experiences I have had with them while living in this country. If you are Georgian I am sorry if you are offended but I can only draw from my experiences!

Seqsi Gindaa? I am sure my English readers are quite confused but this question simply translates as 'Would you like sex or do you want sex?" Ar minda means "I don't want." During training week we underwent a series of classes called Intercultural Class where we had a Georgian teacher teach us the cultural differences that we maybe faced with while living in Georgia. My cultural instructor in fact was a Georgian man and did not fail to warn us of the troubles we may face as foreign women in this country. However he failed to tell us how audacious and overt they would be in their endeavours to 'bed' a foreign woman. In any even rarer case by Georgian standards a black woman.

A few weeks ago during my first weekend after I was moved to Tbilisi, my friends and I ventured out to Shardeni Street in old Tbilisi for a night of dancing and fun. Of course as usual we were met with some rather overly excited Georgian men, which has come to be accepted as the norm for us. While standing conversing with Claudia a very young Georgian man (he was about 20 but looked 30) was trying to impress us with his rudimentary knowledge of English; and of course we decided to play along with the little role-play besides we are here to improve English. Well as the conversation began to veer upon the ridiculous, Claudia and I decided to walk away, then in some sort of desperate bout or perhaps it was a touch of tourette's syndrome he blurted out "Do you want sex." Now I am a modern western woman yes and of course I am no Mary, however, a gentleman would never dare be so crass in front of a lady in public, nor would a woman who deems herself a lady allow such nonsense to continue. I was utterly floored at the moment or perhaps it was the vodka, but in any event after staring at him like he suddenly turned into a giant spider slipping on the roller blades attached to his eight legs, Claudia and I just walked off and ignored his calling out to us.

That was the first time it happened. I'm not sure why things like sexual harassment by Georgian men shock me anymore but I suppose it is because they lack finesse. I am not saying that in my country or any other country in the world these sort of things don't happen, but usually men in the west try to be more subtle. Not the taxi driver two weekends ago. After a night out on the town with my friends, another teacher and a (a male) shared a cab home to Gldani. His stop was before mine so he got out and the driver and I continued on alone. As soon as he was out of the cab it began. This entire conversation I am about to recount took place in Georgian (yes I am getting better at speaking and understanding) here is what happened:

Georgian Cab Driver: Come to the front seat. (proceeds to continually tap the seat to make his point clear.)

Me: No, thank you I am fine here.

Georgian Cab Driver: Is he your lover?

Me: No, he is my friend.

Georgian Cab Driver: Do you want a lover?

Me: No I do not. Keep going straight please.

Georgian Cab Driver: Where are you from?

Me: The Bahamas

Georgian Cab Driver: What is your name?

Me: Nicole

Georgian Cab Driver: I am _________ (Didn't care to listen but I am sure it was Zhura , Giorgi or some other recycled name)

Me: Nice to meet you. (Trying to stay calm as possible so this man doesn't drive off past Gldani)

Georgian Cab Driver: Nicole, seqsi gindaa? (Do you want sex)

Me: No!!! I do not want sex!!!! (I repeatedly said in a stern bitchy voice ar minda!!!)

Georgian Cab Driver: Why????????

Me: No!!!!!!!!!! I do not want!!!!!!!!! Please turn right at this corner.

Georgian Cab Driver: Nicole, why, seqsi gindaa? (Do you want sex? Now he pleaded somewhat)

Me: AR MINDA! Here 10 lari ( I give him the money even though we decided on 7 I just wanted out of the car.)

Georgian Cab Driver: Nicole, seqsi?? (looking out of the window as I begin to walk into my building)

Me: ARA!!! (NO!! Without another word a bolted up the stairs into my building pulled out by 5 tetri and got in the elevator)

That experienced left me jolted. As soon as I got upstairs I sent a text to George the very friend I had just parted with. I knew if it came down to it I would be able to fight my way out of it, but I would have also been stranded in the middle of nowhere in the outskirts of Tbilisi. I thought after this experience nothing else would surprise me but I was wrong.

A week later the same thing happened when I walked home from Neil Zupancic's apartment. We live 5 minutes away and since our friend Camille had just moved to Gldani he walked her home and I decided to just walk alone. Another cab driver pulled up and asked me to get in the car. I refused and told him it was too expensive and I would take a marshutka. He said and again this entire conversation is in Georgian, I don't want your money. So I was pissed at this point because of what had happened the previous week, I shouted at him again in georgian "what do you want?" Home boy rubbed his fingers together sideways, I about almost lost it. Cursing them out in English never works because I have had to do before while protecting my friend Danielle from a drunk Georgian man. So I shouted at him that I didn't want it and told him to go away. He drove off and circled back around and continued to try to coerce me into his car. Finally the marshutka came and he drove off.

Now at this point my ego is insulted. Why on God's green earth do these men expect me or any other self-respecting foreign woman to drop their clothes and just automatically have sex with them? My friend Claudia has had men blatantly ask her how much it would cost or just straight up offer her money for sex. Once while Neil walked us home a guy followed us and he had to shield us from him. Another incident during Tbilisoba, our friend Raughley basically translated from Russian that 3 men were interested in Claudia, Danielle and I and after telling them repeatedly we did not have cell phones so they couldn't get our numbers (a lie of course) they offered to buy us cell phones.

In this apparent sexually repressed society it seems that the presence of so many foreign woman have made Georgian men particularly crazy, audacious, molesty (new version of molestation), and straight up delusional! The aggressive nature of the men I have encountered so far freaks me out because I know sooner or later I am going to stop being polite and start busting some ass!

These are the days of my life!

6 comments:

  1. You go girl, just knock them out! Unfortunately they'll probably love it and discuss it with their friends for the rest of their lives.

    My Georgian husband says the men act this way because:
    *It is a sexually repressed society
    *The only sex available to these guys is from Russian and Ukranian tourists who don't mind at all.
    *Their idea of Western sexual behavior comes from the movies.

    Combine all three and you can see why you are suffering from this 'perfect storm".

    My heart goes out to you.
    My husband says just deck them. If they touch you, you have every right to slap them. It's not considered to be assault or battery there. I'm not an advocate of violence but honestly, some of these clods could use a slap upside the head. Maybe it would knock some sense into them.

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  2. PS My husband also says cabdrivers are well-known for being hopeless perverts.

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  3. Oh my God!.. such a shame of us... :((((((( you don't even imagine why they think so! We have such conservative and fanatic society! sorry for all these guys.. :(((

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  4. You are a real martyr, Nicole. You endure offenses here because you have a great mission, the mission to civilize the local savages.

    Your text is full of examples of orientalistic discourse. I humbly suggest you read post-colonial literature, may be helpful for you to reflect on your text and your imagined role here.

    Wish you all the best,
    Georgian taxi driver

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