I was asked to translate one of my texts into English, so here it is. I also expanded original text a bit. Maybe I will get to broader audiency with this :) (Sorry for my grammar, I know it is far from perfect).
Well, here I am, living in the apartment house in the center of Tbilisi. This is not the tourist center with all the tourists and boutique cafes, but more like actual center: here we have lots of local people day and night, permanent traffic jams, all possible fast food varieties... In many ways this place is very convenient: all the offices of the companies and institutions are somewhere nearby, downtown is at 5 minutes’ drive, we have a tube station 100 meters from my house and actually lots of my Georgian friends are also living nearby... There are many houses in this area and they are trying to squeeze even more inside. So I guess it sells OK. This is not the most upscale neighborhood but prices for rent are still very high, so we live together with my colleague from work to share the costs.
My apartment block is not white or grey, it‘s more like chess board, but without any regularity. This is because facade was never finished during the construction. Now if somebody buys a flat in the block, they paint the facade and we have a new white spot. All nearby area remains concrete gray. I like our common staircase, because every floor level looks different. I guess this is because each was made by the owners living on that particular floor. You can easily recognize who lives in there. Some owners are wealthier so they installed a door just near the stairs and have an additional area for themselves, middle class invested in cheap tiles and paint for the walls and those on budget simply laid some cardboard sheets on the concrete screed. Only „temporarily“, of course. I guess it helps to reduce amount of dust coming inside the apartment.
Many people wish to live in this area so the buildings are placed quite close to each other. This has some big advantages: some girls (sometimes pretty and with not so much clothes on) are waving to us every morning from the windows of nearby block. We are waving back to them. We and the girls are separated by the yard. The yard is filled with some strange buildings, constructed without any order from the materials they could get. I’ve never been to Brazil, but I think it looks somewhat similar to the favelas. Those people living inside these houses never see any sun, because high apartment blocks surround the yard from all sides. It looks like developers of the area bought land for apartment blocks only. They’ve chosen not to think about parking areas or children playground zone. Because of that we have a constant small scale war on the small parking lot near our block. There are maximum 20 places there and maybe 100 cars. It gets worse everyday as more people move in. Favela people try to protect their area by installing chains and locks and newcomers just have to leave their cars somewhere. It is quite common to find your car blocked by somebody in the morning. Also you can get a scratch on your car easily, which is no worry situation really.
Ground level of our apartment block was meant for some commercial areas. But we haven’t got any yet, so it’s occupied by several homeless fellows. During the winter time they sometimes burned open fire there. It was quite scary as you could actually feel the smoke inside your bedroom (we live on 5th floor). Police was coming several times to visit those guys and talk to them. But you cannot change the weather. There were many chilly nights last winter so those people tried to warm themselves again and again. It is understandable I guess.
The flats are heated by the individual boilers (central heating network is not in operation anymore). And most of the flats have local air conditioners as well. All of them are installed on the facade blocks by the owners without any order. Add all the clothes dryers on the chessboard walls and you can imagine the look of the facades. It’s like patchwork blanket really. It looks quite original.
But it seems like it’s quite normal here.