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Black Sea Blog #6 – Pete Brooks

1st February 2015 by Morven Macbeth

Andrew arrives today bringing some vital bits of kit including a new graphics card for the non functioning PC and, with a bit of luck, he may also bring Marmite.

On tour you get to try a lot of different breakfasts. Full English is obviously the best and I’m quite a fan of the smoked/pickled fish you get in a lot of Eastern European countries. Our hotel breakfast here is great if you like spam and/or hard boiled eggs, but, if you don’t, your options are limited. Having said that, things took a turn for the better when Will worked out how to use the toaster, hence the request to Andrew for Marmite. And Olya at the theatre continues to serve the cast and crew a delicious lunch each day.

Last night the pace of rehearsals picked up a bit and I think we are close to being able to run the show and to it being operated by the tech crew here. Once that happens we’ll have a bit of time outside of the rehearsals to explore Batumi and perhaps even further afield. We’ve started to talk to our translator Tamar about what we should try to see. As well as Batumi which is an attractive city and well worth exploring, we’d like to drive up into the mountains to visit one of the nearby villages. When Simon and I were here a year ago we drove from Tbilisi to Batumi and quickly realised that outside of these two major cities Georgia is a very different country. I am particularly interested in buying some home made Chacha, a local spirit which is essentially the same as Grappa or Pisco; a spirit distilled from the lees of wine production. You can, if you try, get used to drinking it, but I will use at least some of it instead of Grappa, for pouring over peaches baked with mascarpone. While on the subject of alcohol it’s worth mentioning that the wine here is excellent and Georgia is famous for it throughout the former Soviet Union. It was also, perhaps surprisingly, famous for tea production, although now the plantations have been replanted with tangerines, but Georgia is almost the only country I can think of where the local tea bags don’t make me long for PG tips.

Pete

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