On July 12th, Ana and her husband picked us up and took us to the new apartment in Saburtalo. When we arrived at the apartment, we were delighted to discover that a large, brand new air-conditioner had been installed. The couple had also bought a dining table with four chairs, a dresser to match the bed, a small table for in front of the couch, and a matching tv. stand for the tv, they had brought us from the other apartment. A couple of days later, we took the minibus out to Carrefour, in Tbilisi Mall, where we picked up all the household necessities, such as an iron and ironing board, a drying rack for clothes, a coffee maker, a large frying pan, cooking utensils, plates, glasses, and silverware.
On July 15th, Ana came out to the apartment to record our information for the residency application process. While she was there, she also called the Magticom company, and they were able to come out that day to install cable tv and internet.
One of the first things that we were required to do in applying for residency, was to set up a limited liability corporation. We spent the next few days, in mid-July, going around with Ana, to the different offices, to sign the paperwork, and get it notarized, to complete the process. While we were at the municipality building, on the final day of completing our tasks, We were informed that the law for residency applications had changed, as of July 1st. Each of us was now required to have a personal bank account, with a balance of $2,500. We were also required to open a business showing $12,000 in receipts, per year. Since this change would have complicated the filing of our US taxes, we decided to forgo getting residency at this time. We left the limited liability corporation in place, in case we decide to do something down the road.
The rest of July was spent working out at our new Snap Fitness center and trying out some new restaurants in our neighborhood. One night, while we were having dinner at the Fork restaurant, we met Victor and some of his colleagues, from the US Ministry of Defense, who are on assignment here in Tbilisi. Victor invited us to get together with him and his wife, when she arrives, sometime this month. We are also very grateful to Victor, for introducing us to the Bolt app, for ordering a taxi on the phone. Now, when we want to take a taxi, we bring up the app, which shows our position by GPS, and we indicate where we want to go, using the map. It eliminates having to communicate verbally (which can be challenging in a foreign country), and also saves us money. It’s available all over Georgia, and in many other countries as well.
August proved to be a very hot month in Tbilisi. We spent one cooler day at the Botanical Gardens, but the rest of the month was spent in the air-conditioned stores, shopping for essential pieces of furniture for the apartment. We bought a cottage style coffee table, a wardrobe for hanging our clothes, and an extra cabinet for the bathroom. We also found two beautiful rose trees, grown in Italy, with sunset-colored blossoms, that we bought from the Green store, for our balcony. Buying good dishes right away wasn’t really necessary, but when I saw this fine porcelain set, with what looked like flowers painted with watercolors, in shades of mauve and plum, from a store called Villeroy & Boch, I just had to buy them.
At the end of August, we found a government auction site online and went down to their office, in downtown Tbilisi, to register, so that we could bid on some property. There were houses, apartments, and land, available for us to bid on. We bid on a piece of land, that has a building on it, for $1,500, and won. The property is located in a town called Nadaburi, near the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. I’ll be telling you more about it, in an upcoming post, after our visit to the property, on September 9th.
On September 3rd, we hired a taxi, at the Isani metro station, for about $20.00, to take us to the Royal Palace Hotel, in a town called, Lagodekhi, located right at the entrance to the Lagodekhi Nature Reserve. We spent a fun-filled three days there, hiking, horseback riding, and getting to know people from all over the world. It was such a tranquil, picturesque place, and we were so well taken care of by the staff at the Royal Palace Hotel, that by the end of the three days, I didn’t want to leave.
So, did we find our Shambhala in this magnificent country called Georgia? You bet we did, because not only does this country have a stunningly diverse landscape, from the Caucasus mountain regions to the Black Sea, it is inhabited by the kindest, most welcoming people, who take great pride in their heritage. Though we didn’t get our residency permits, we are still allowed to remain in the country for one year, and after we leave for one day, we can come right back in. It also has such a low cost of living, providing us the opportunity to live well here and still have plenty of money to travel. I’m happy to be making this country our home.