Friday, May 15, 2015

Georgian wine

Small qvevris on the backgroung and buried qvevris in the ground
I did a few day trip to famous Georgian wine producing region Kakheti. There I went to a tour of one wine making company. Tour introduced me to Georgian wine making traditions which are 8000 years old and belongs to UNESCO intangible heritage list. Traditionally wine grapes were squashed with feet but now a days it is less used method. squashed grapes are stored in a qvevri which is used for fermentation. Qvevri is a large clay vessel buried below ground level. Traditionally in Europe wooden barrels are used for fermentation of wine. Qvevri wine is a natural product where additional ingredients are not added.

Tour included also tasting wines. You can notice Georgian white wine has stronger color than European white wines because entire grape with skins, bones etc is included in the fermentation and not removed. Before clay cups or horns were used for drinking wine but now wine glasses are used.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wine tasting in grocery store

Wine tasting booth
I ran into promoters offering wine tasting possibility in a big grocery store. All brands had their own representatives so there was 10 different person offering you wine tasting samples to help you make buying decision. Also in other sections there were promoters offering samples of bread, cheese sweets etc. Never before I have seen possibility to try such wide range of tastes in a grocery store.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mini buses

Yellow mini buses waiting
There are many mini buses available in Georgia for transportation inside the city like in Turkey. Mini bus is called marshutka in Georgia. Usually everywhere you pay when you take a ride by public transportation. In Georgia you pay for the ride when you arrive to your desired destination. You do not have to be on a bus stop to get a ride with mini bus. You can be just anywhere by the road and wave the mini bus to stop. Similarly you can request it to stop in desired place.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Feeling like a child

When go abroad you might feel mentally a bit retarded as you cannot understand the local language. Basically you are on a level of under 5 year old kid if you cannot speak or read the local language when you need to communicate with a foreign language. When traveling and visiting places as a tourist you are often only in a tourist friendly places where you can survive with your mother tongue or in English. Usually you can also speak with a common language to your fellow travelers. Therefore you might not get the feeling of feeling like a retard. Especially in Georgia I have had the feeling of retarded more strongly than before because I do not understand the Georgian alphabets and therefore I am not able to read anything. Knowing the local language is essential to immerse the local culture.  I have started to learn Georgian alphabets and trying to speak something.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finnish brand in Georgia

Finnish logo in Georgian
In Georgia I spotted one Finnish brand called Myllyn Paras which produces for example flour for baking. Interesting thing was that I spotted their products in a pharmacy. In Finland I have not seen their products being sold in a pharmacy. In Finland you find their products in grocery stores. You can see their name written in Georgian and Finnish. In Georgian it says literally "Milin parasi".

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Umaglesi Liga Match

Boris Paichadze Stadium

Police watching over the crowd
Today I went to match a football match of Georgian league. The match was between Dinamo Tbilisi and Torpedo Kutaisi. The entrance was free and about 500 supporters of Dinamo had already arrived and decorated their area with flags. Few hundred supporters of Torpedo arrived to the stadium after few minutes of the starting whistle. There was a line of police men rounding the whole stadium and extra attention was given naturally to the areas of the fanatic supporters. During the match both of the supporters were throwing loud bombs towards to the pitch and also torches were light.

The match itself was entertaining. The final result was 3-2 for Dinamo Tbilisi. When ever Dinamo scored many people in the crowd shouted insults towards supporters of Torpedo and showed middle fingers. There was an interesting incident on the pitch when few players of Torpedo wanted a penalty from a dubious hand ball. The play was not stopped but two players of Torpedo ran to the referee and grabbed him from hands and shoulders. Clearly braking the rule of referees untouchability. Referee wrestled himself out and just let the game run. He did not even give warning to the players for protesting. I think that in many other leagues referee could have given a red card for the players for grabbing referees arm and protesting such way.

After match I did not see any aggressive behavior.  The attendance of the match was several thousand which is quite little for s stadium which has capacity of  54 549 people. I have been told that rugby has become more popular than football in Georgia. Hopefully I will have a chance to see a rugby match here. You can read previous football match reports from Turkey and Spain.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Is Georgia Safe?

Traffic in Tbilisi
I read an article of the top 10 safest countries in the world 2015. Georgia is on the place of 6th safest country in the world 2015. According to the article Georgia is safe because you can walk alone safely in the capital during the night time and crime rates are low. But I have witnessed the crazy driving in Georgia and therefore I do not consider it that safe. I decided to find some statistics about traffic accidents in Georgia and Finland.

The most recent statistics I found from both countries are from 2013. We can compare these countries well because the population of the both countries is around 5 millions. The number of road traffic accidents in Georgia is double compared to Finland. The number of fatal accidents in Georgia is also twice as big as in Finland. Though Finnish population has higher tendency to drive under intoxication. One reason could be that in Finland the taxi cues are very long in the weekend so getting a taxi is more difficult compared to Georgia. High number of road traffic accidents definitely decreases the safety of Georgia.

Finland Georgia
Total number of road traffic accidents 2741 5510
of which caused by intoxication 411 228
Persons injured 3677 8045
Persons killed 190 514

Table of road accidents in Finland and Georgia 2013


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Social security system in Finland

Finnish social security system guarantees you better income than full time job in Poland. In Finland Unemployed person gets 1100 EUR/month in gross according to Savon Sanomat 14.4.2015. The 1100 EUR/month is formed of 600 EUR unemployment support and then support to cover rental costs which can be 500 EUR/month in the capital area. It is hard to imagine Finnish speaking person to be motivated to move to Poland for work if he/she gets paid better in Finland unemployed than having full time job in Poland. Though by working in Poland Finnish speaker has good chance to earn better than average. So one could have better income compared the neighbors  Earlier I wrote a post of salary differences between Poland and Finland and how appreciated Finnish language skills are in Poland.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spanish Jail Comic Strip

Timo in Spain
Now I publish another strip and here you can read the story behind it. I have been working on comics which I have been gathering together. I have still more strips in store to be published in the future. Here previously published strip.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

2 years in Poland

Graffiti in Centrum
Two years ago I wrote about my decision to move to Poland. I was enthusiastic to learn Polish in the beginning but my language learning motivation decreased little by little. Therefore I never learned fluent Polish but at least I can speak a little. I decided not to extend my contract and therefore I am going to Finland for one month. I do not know yet what I will do or where I will go after the holiday in Finland. At the moment I am considering and looking for different options. Lets see what the future will be.