One Death occurs every 18 hours on Georgian roads.
That’s quite high.
The only road from Kutaisi
To Tbilisi via Imereti
Undulates, regurgitates river- bed red pregnant- belly pots.
Pungent ancient soil morphs at
Mountain forest- verge-side into three-footed fug shrouded black cauldrons boiling corn.
Multiple wooden cross- squandered lives sit amidst
Rusting car carcasses.
Caught in the eddies of death-trap memories
I catch lamenting,
Keening grand- mothers, whose crashing hearts ache and connect with
We pass, from the illusionary comfort of our air-conditioned coach
I cross myself,
Just to make sure,
As is the custom.
The percentage of death from car accidents of both Georgians and Foreigners is high, with one person injured every hour in a traffic-related accident, while one death occurs every 18 hours according to a study released by the Safe Driving Association, a Georgian non-governmental organisation. The World Health Organisation puts the number of fatalities at 16.8 per 100,000 people each year.
We were heading back to Tbilisi and the closer we got the sicker I felt. The granite grey boulder in my stomach was grinding against itself. I think, unlike the illusion of safety I had created, deep inside myself to use as protection whilst exploring the Western side of Georgia, I could no longer ignore the fact that he must know I was in the country. We were heading into Tbilisi that evening to the Rezo Gabriadze marionette Theatre, a quirky, wholly eccentric and eclectic puppetry piece in a theatre under a quirky, wholly eccentric clock tower. Getting there meant walking through cobbled Old Town streets, under the shadow of Sameba Cathedral and facing, squarely, memories of happier, love soaked arm-entwined times.