Dearest Tbilisi,

Dearest Tbilisi, I write with love to you. I’ve known you for a little less than three years and you’ve been very protective of your secrets but I’ve come to love you in ways I never knew possible. Well, to begin with I was unaware of your existence so when your name popped up in a casual conversation I wasn’t interested in meeting you… but I did in the end and it took me about a year to pronounce your name right, but the following day after I met you, you made it loud and clear that “Tbilisi loves [you].” In search of your seducing wifi name, I walked around with my phone held out to call my parents and tell them that this city loves me, but I’m not ready to be loved yet. You won, though.. and I fell in love with a city I met by strange coincidence. When the clouds covered my view of you, a congested city on barren winter-stricken land, I was thankful for I did not want to see you. It was definitely not love at first sight. But you welcomed a girl with warm open arms, and I hate hugs so I turned around.
Dearest Tbilisi, you built a home in a foreign city and housed me there. You introduced me to people as if you knew exactly who I needed in my life. You gave me a family that I had never known before. I love you most of all for the people you’ve brought into my life.
You fill days with surprises, every sunrise a new beginning and every sunset a new beginning too. I’ve seen beautiful beginnings in Tbilisi, some that begin with me, and most that begin with the rest of the world. You colour your skies like a coulouring book in the hands of an abstract artist. You colour your streets the same way too- with people and shop fronts, buildings and hospitals that make it hard to decide where in the world you came from.
With love that’s shaped like rounded alphabets, words that sound like tongue-twisters, street lights shaped like overturned umbrellas, your sole mission has been to entertain me. And entertained, I am.
So… Dearest Tbilisi, I love you.. from the cheese kinkali to the limon lemonade. From station square to Samasi Aragveli in a crowded metro too. All the way across the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf and all the countries in between. I love you, for reminding me day in and day out that Tbilsi, is “the city that loves you”.

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