And this means that I am to endure a lot of unwanted attention in streets, bars, marshrutkas, buses, markets… One summer day, a forty-something and half-toothless Kakhetian named Giorgi gave me a ride for two kilometers outside of Sighnagi.
Of course, the third question, after he got to know my name and nationality, was if I am married. This sentence served as a green light for him, and he openly asked me if I would like to have, hmm, a special friend, a second husband, plainly offering his potential services. So far, several taxi drivers have tried to take me to a khinkali place instead of my home, at the same time boasting about their sexual adventures with Ukrainians and Russians.
Out of 2,089 respondents across the country, 56 percent said that it is not acceptable for a woman to live separately from her parents at any age; 72 percent were against a woman cohabiting with a man without marriage; 80 percent thought that women should never have sex before their wedding; and 92 percent thought that women should get married at the age 18-25.
I haven’t been permanently living with my parents for almost a decade now.
My answer was a clear no, but up to this day I keep thinking, would he dare to offer something like this to a Georgian woman with a Georgian ? I cannot buy vegetables from street vendors without being asked for a phone number by men of any age, or without older women playing matchmakers and praising their male relatives.
I cannot have a friendly chit-chat with a taxi driver without him hitting on me.
This was one of the first sentences I heard when a Georgian man picked me up at Tbilisi airport in 2010.
Sadly, my experience in this country never lived up to this statement.