The Magic Of A Housing Estate in Georgia

Destination: Georgia

For a few years, I travelled to Crimea with the University of Warsaw’s archaeological department but when Russia annexed the peninsula, our expedition had to change the excavation site to explore.

Large housing blocks are moulded into creatures with personality.
Large housing blocks are moulded into creatures with personality.

It was great to hear that we’re going to go to Georgia as there’s been rumours going about it for a couple of years and I really wanted to experience this Caucasian country at the crossroad of Europe and Asia.

I love the great Unknown before every trip.
I love the great Unknown before every trip.

Home away from home

Our archaeological base in Gonio is very close to where we excavate and the shortest route takes us through a housing estate.

Entering the dragon's lair :)
Entering the dragon’s lair 🙂

Being raised in Poland where communist-era housing estates surround every city, I really appreciate the atmosphere that this type of architecture evokes. However, while in Poland it’s dominated by greyness and austerity, in Georgia, I had a chance to experience something completely different.

The magic of the housing estate in Gonio

I had enough time to stare at the Gonio estate everyday and I really came to appreciate the sense of freedom that it evoked. Freedom in arrangement of the apartments, freedom to do whatever you feel like at home and outside.

"Here are you pillars and you do the rest as you please."
“Here are you pillars and you do the rest as you please.”

This seemed contradictory to what I knew about the estates in general. Aren’t you supposed to be miserable when you live in a large housing estate? Isn’t your life limited by the concrete walls in which you are entrapped? Isn’t it a cage?

The intricate simplicity of life

Everything that I observed around proved otherwise… Children playing in the street – a sight that I rarely see in the Western Europe nowadays. Laundry hanging from every window without any shame. People going out of their homes and socialising in the evenings outside their blocks. Cows grazing in the grassy squares between the buildings and cowpats in the streets. Tiny shops and bakeries hidden in the basements of the buildings. People smiling to you just because.

Using abacus is quite common.
An abacus is quite common. Watching Badri use it was pure magic!
Eva kept me fed & plump with her doughy delicacies.
Eva kept me fed & plump with her doughy delicacies.
The sweetest thing: children playing in the street.
The sweetest thing: children playing in the street.
Any break is welcome - especially a lunch break!
Any break is welcome – especially a lunch break!
My favourite model. Is that OK to be scared of a cow? :D
My favourite model. Is that OK to be scared of a cow?

Being surrounded by this magic it was easy to become one with the surroundings. Even if for a moment.

A small goodbye treat: wizzzzzzz and he's gone.
Wizzzzzzz and she’s gone.

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