Hey everyone! I’m stateside, now, and already missing Georgia like crazy. It’s odd to think that I can’t just hop in a marshrutka and go to Tbilisi for the low, low price of 6 lari anymore. It’s weird to think that I’m not going to go to school (once it starts up in a couple of weeks) and be bombarded with cries of “HelloAmyMas’Howareyou?”, said all in one breath, while a horde of kids runs by at a hundred miles an hour.
It’s weird to be warm inside all the time. It’s strange to not be called some version of Emma or Emiko every day. It’s odd to be living in the land of ice, snow, and flat, flat land. Going to Target and the grocery store are still overwhelming for me. (Reverse culture shock Experience #1: The first time I set foot in a grocery store, a few days after returning to the States, I got to the cereal aisle and just sort of… stopped. There were, like, thousands of boxes of cereal there.) Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s nice to be back. I just will always be a little bit homesick for Saqartvelo.
I did, however, get a pleasant surprise upon deciding to move to Iowa City. (It’s the home of the University of Iowa, which, in addition to having the best M.F.A. in creative writing in the world, has an M.F.A. program in literary translation. And that is what I’m applying to, after I get residency.) I was looking at photos of rental properties online, and happened on one that had a Georgian flag hanging on the living room wall. Obviously, I contacted them. Turns out that there are ten Georgian families living in this area, aaaand that I now have a Georgian landlord. He and his family have been just as hospitable and welcoming as any Georgians I’ve met in the past year. (They even invited me to their New Years’ celebration, without ever having met me!)
So, here I am, jobless (though I have prospects!), but happy. I’ve been working on some translations, a ton of writing (…like everyone else in this town, haha), and generally getting settled. Life is great. If you’re in the Iowa City area, look me up! Also, I’ll be returning to my other blog, Barbaric Yawpings, which I promise is going to be all sorts of awesome and wonderful and stuff.