Maschina – a series of breakdowns

The Marshrutka (mini-bus) which we take from Tbilisi to Batumi suddenly slows down after one hour. The bus driver stops for no apparent reason and makes a call on his mobile. Driving VERY slowly for another hour, we finally come to a stop in a village. The short stop extends into a two hour wait during which the bus is repaired at a former petrol station.

On the way back from Batumi to Tbilisi our train calls at a station and does not move for at least one hour. I step off the train and have a look around. On the platform an old man addresses me in Russian. My Russian vocabulary comprises about 10 words which I picked up learning Czech 20 years ago, so I can’t really make out what he is trying to tell me.

The man however guides me out of the train station into a bar across the street, treating me to cheese and a big glass of Schnaps and it is only 9 o’clock in the morning! Only old men sit in the bar drinking at this time of the day. When I signal him that I can’t finish my glass of Schnaps, he poors half of it into his glass and downs it straight away. He then walks me back to the train station, where I take this picture of him..

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