PanARMENIAN.Net - Currently Georgia has almost no production; it totally depends on import, and this can hardly foster the development of the country. Well, the Turkish flags flying over company buildings, mostly construction firms, got fewer in number, but this simply aims to “observe the proprieties”. In fact, nothing has changed.
However good-looking Batumi’s downtown may seem, it falls short of the tourism center president Saakashvili keeps talking about.
First, Adjarian beaches comprise mostly pebbles, and the sea could be cleaner, too. Still, the showers nullifying the amenities of a seaside vacation are a major plague for the travel business. Only in Adjara, Georgia’s longing for the lost Abkhazia becomes apparent: Abkhazia has sand beaches, dry weather, clean sea and rich sights, while Batumi’s only attraction is its Botanical Garden, widely advertised far beyond its real merits. By the way, the arboretum in Stepanavan is much more interesting in terms of tree species, as compared to Batumi’s Chinese and Japanese pines.
In general, Batumi is quite pleasing. However, vacation in any other proper resort would cost you the same sum. Prices in Adjara are indeed lower than in Armenia, yet overcharged, too. A bed in a private house would cost you $60, no food included. And there are many middlemen impudently seeking commission charges for arranging accommodation. In addition, beach beds are quite costly. Tasteless food is another amazing factor. Supermarkets provide only Ukrainian and Turkish goods, sometimes Belarusian as well. Local fruit and vegetables are watery and unpalatable due to damp weather.
Of course, everyone perceives things in their own way, but the week-long incessant rain triggered some nasty thoughts which even famous Adjarian khachapouris were unable to disperse.
Anyway, a vacation here can be good, provided there is sun and clean sea. However, this will require certain patience and inquiries from the local population about the meaning of various signboards. The signs, indeed, are in Georgian language only, with very few exceptions for the English.
When you ask the locals why the notes are in Georgian only, the immediate answer - why don’t you learn Georgian? - discourages one from any further attempts to communicate. This is quite weird, particularly in view of the huge number of Russian tourists arriving in Batumi from CIS states.
Also, it is apparent that huge funds have been and are being invested in the city. Besides, Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili invited U.S. billionaire Donald Trump to take part in the presidential campaign 2013. This, of course, does not hide the almost universal unemployment, shabby houses veiled under nice facades and the wish to cheat the tourists by all means. No offence meant, but the Georgians are not capable of constructing and working in general. They are not used to it; they’re better at drinking wine and singing songs. As to the reforms Saakashvili advertises, they are just missing. The landlord of the house we rented complained of his life, saying: “Our president is a good one, just the people surrounding him are bad.” Indeed, we countered, Stalin was also good; his milieu was a bad choice. The house owner stopped talking at once and never touched politics again.