Tbilisi In The Key Of Love: A Photo Essay by Dina Oganova and Zaza Bourassa

 

Note: Dina and I both agreed that we needed to speak about Tbilisi as a person instead of an object. We just love Tbilisi too much.

Tbilisi is in the key of love. Tbilisi Loves You even if it does not connect you to any wi-fi. It is where Gio can’t get out of bed without Yana, and Sandro does not leave without saying goodbye. It plays How Deep Is Your Love in every café. It liberally reminds you that if you invest your affections, then all its love is yours. Tbilisi is in the key of love and it is your second summer.

The beauty of Tbilisi’s love does not locate itself in postcards. The impossibility of Tbilisi’s charm is that it is equally the charisma of summer as it is the security of winter. The dreamlike quality that the judas tree leafs brush against your feet in the narrow streets of Mtatsminda. The certainty that every night will come to a conclusion with a new friend. The Balearic summer mornings with awakenings of “Matsoni, matsoni!” The gentle reminder from the pockmarked buildings of Sololaki that though you’ve aged, your shortcomings just add to your allure. Perversely, Didube in a post-modern fashion. Tbilisi’s love is always one part European and another part Zaza.

The love that Tbilisi confesses does not weigh heavily on your heart. It manoeuvres subtly into your heart. It wraps its arms around your neck, as you sit on the edge of your bed, while whispering into your ear. It is the last touch of a finger trailing down your back before both of you realize tomorrow’s work is only three hours away. Its soft breathing eases you into a gentle sleep. It wakes you on Sunday afternoons with kisses. It is your fall jacket and your first day of spring. It is the opposing opinion you want to hear. Tbilisi exists as just a small reminder that everything that is perfect about you is already there. You just need to be more you and you just need to allow Tbilisi to be Tbilisi.

For whatever Tbilisi’s love is, all the wealth of Instagram images, poorly worded love letters, and songs by Revaz Laghidze won’t do justice to this clumsy kisser but gentle hand holder’s feelings. You just need to take your chance on yourself and put aside those bachelor kisses. But like marshrutka rides and every successive chacha shot, love is a story of chance. However, summer is here and Tbilisi is looking to steal your kiss.

– Dina and Zaza