Final destination - Borjomi Blog post and photo reportage from Borjomi by Margot Lescaut, JAMnews

I spend my winter holidays in Borjomi. I cannot understand why this utterly depressing town attracts me so much. Even the dogs feels here sad and lonely here. The A whole pack will pass by with their heads down, as if you are invisible.

Over there, I see an old woman, sitting like a fluffy sparrow under the silver-dressed fir tree, selling her comfiture of rustling rose petals. I buy it and yes, I get high with enjoyment.

“Oh, here you are!” she whispers in such an ephemeral voice that I cannot keep myself from buying. The brooch on her black coat looks as if it helps her to say that she was once a ’lady‘ as well. I want to hug her. When I become a fluffy sparrow, I shall wear a brooch on my coat which will remind me that I was once a lady too.

There is a girl at the park entrance. She sells tickets there.

"Two Lari for a ticket," you hear it like a glacier crash and you are not willing to ask any other questions, like for what? What ticket? A ticket for leaving your footsteps in the snow?

A woman will speak out instead of you:

"Thieves! The price is ok in summer, but now, when everything is closed, this is insane - why do I pay? is it private property or what?“I have three children. I rented a flat near the park and I pay eight Lari every day just to pass 50 meters to and fro!"

Before you reach the park, Hotel Crown Plaza stands towering, zeusing and domineering on the right side of the road, creating a terrifying contrast beyond the edge and over.On the opposite side, all along the street, you will see people selling colourful carpets, cone comfitures, cone powder, wood ware and handmade jewellery. Colour reigns. All of this is supposed to improve your mood, but it can't.

There is a beautiful alley at the end of the park, mostly impressing you at night, with snowy trees, long benches and street lights. There is a building at the end of the alley with priceless graffiti on the facade, saying:

- Do you like mushrooms?

- yes, I do.

- Here I have, under my nails.

Cats rule in street art, cats they are everywhere. I think the artist loves the cats and this is the way he shows his love.

I adore even the most abandoned and forgotten places of this town. The entire Borjomi Gorge reminds me of a beautiful flower, which is to blossom soon, but suddenly, one of the creepy local dogs will reach her, pee on it and cause it to wither; so it repeats the next year and then the same every year after that.

The snowy town looks like the paintings of Elene Akhvlediani, with images frozen on canvas and the sounds of some slow heart beats beyond.

People walk like zombies, unwillingly following their everyday routine. It seems that Borjomi Park also stops breathing in winter and only visitors are happy with taking selfies and laughing around shut down carousels, cafes and the cable car.

There is one beautiful house in the centre of Borjomi which looks exactly like Kevin's house in the movie "Home Alone". The only difference is that it looks like some fresh greens were shoved into the mouth of a dead piglet, lying roasted on a New Year's table.

The town is the a "'cemetery" ' of old houses, whether they are abandoned or not.

Beautiful, glassy houses, shaped in different colours and forms, like Lego, are spread over the mountain, creating natural stairs which tightly holding each other, not even leaving an inch in between.

The yards prove that people do not live here, but just exist.Things are scattered around the yard -, bowls, brooms, firewood, old furniture, full of old, unnecessary things, all swimming in chaos. I am standing there and thinking, how beauty gets lost.

One house caught my eye, with its green glassy facade and red curtains. When I visited again, the glassy facade was faced up with two new plastic windows. You cannot judge them. The glassy facade cannot keep the house warm. As for the yard, it lost its beauty and authenticity. You cannot speak about authenticity with a hungry man.

The first photo shows the balcony when it was still glassed-in. In the second one, it is already a bricked-up affair

See this door? Time has turned its turquoise colour into stone. I have a feeling that the postman used to bring triangular postcards here, but one day, he brought a square one and the door was locked forever.

The saddest thing in the town is the tailor's shop. I walked by the shop on the same day and hour in different years. There was no difference, as if time was frozen. Imagine how the hour hand of some old clock gets stuck with the minute hand, keeping it motionless - that is how time looks here.

Everything is the same, starting from the New Year decorations on the window including the sweater and hairstyle of the tailor woman. It was the last place where I saw a still-working rotary dial telephone.

Who will dare to think that there is one year or even one hour difference between these two photos?

A white bridge crosses the river, which has been nicknamed the bridge of beauty. The bridge is illuminated at nights. The bridge reminds me of the first stone laid down for constructing the first European city and then it was abandoned. I love to cross the bridge to and fro; it fills me with hope that someday the buildings of this town will be restored.

The Borjomi Railway Station is another sad creature in the town. Old carriages and the traveling time from and to Tbilisi jumps over any logical point of view. The Train needs five and a half hours to cover a distance which takes two hours by car.

Fortunately, the Kukushka throws me back to my childhood. I love to travel back and forth, sitting near the window and enjoying the snowy landscapes on the way. As soon as I leave the carriage, I have a feeling that I have just been wrapped up in a blanket, comfortably in front of a fireplace.

It is still warm in this town, because it has a soul, a soul that comes upward from the chimneys of the houses, a soul that spreads around as snowflakes and New Year crafts and, of course, you are filled up with the happiness of people celebrating the New Year.
Created By
JAMnews Tbilisi

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