Tbilisi is a wonderful city that I really adore it. And this is because I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to spend a year in Dublin – a city of a thousand troubles. Although, “the troubles’ ended with the Good Friday agreement, but those domestic ones never disappeared. I believe that the city, despite the Celtic Tiger period, did not manage to change its nature. The Dublin’s nature is a blue-collar, Orwell’s working class neighborhood with some post-modernist’s dashes here and there. Moreover, the Irish economic miracle only revealed the darker colors. The city would never get rid of its provinciality and of the status of the former empire’s outskirt. Although, Tbilisi was also once an outskirt of another empire, its portrait is completely different. Here you can feel a glory, not a decay.

First of all, Tbilisi, and Georgia in general, while being a part of Russia or the Soviet Union, did not experience prolonged periods of stagnation that would have lasted for decades. On the contrary, except of some harsh years that were of the entire state scale, it used to the constant economic and cultural development. Dublin at the same time was used to the stagnation, with the sole exception of a few literature miracles; it did not develop, neither economically, nor culturally. At the same time Tbilisi, and Georgia in general, is able to boast, although not so globally famous stars (but I believe it is due to the fact that the local authors were writing in Georgian, while English was the main language for the Irish ones), but their talent is undisputable.

Finally, what did amaze me in Tbilisi was the architecture. While in Dublin, a person mainly notices how plain and poor the local architecture is (I am talking about the one before the Celtic Tiger period). The buildings could not boast with the stylistic variation: it is mainly either classicism or gothic. The workers districts look life straight from the 1984 novel. Tbilisi, on the contrary shows off with its classic, modern, Russian empire, and the classic Georgian (eastern) style. Its architecture is astonishingly rich.

Tbilisi and Dublin are too very different cities, and of course, I am not pushing for the universal idea that Tbilisi is more beautiful and culturally diverse. This is the question of taste, and as we know – it varies. However, I am glad that Tbilisi fits mine, because I start to feel that it is a mutual affection.



Tbilisi and myself

Dublin’s main street (again)


Dublin’s main street