Friday, 14 November 2014

Fate Chance or Destiny


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

New collisions.


We pass, from the illusionary comfort of our air-conditioned coach

Three accidents.


All fatal.


I cross myself,

Just to make sure,

Three times.


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.

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