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Published: December 26th 2009
I've had more Free Lunches than you've had Hot Dinners
And secondly a interesting reality, not present in the UK. Here in the Caucasus and also in the Middle East generosity and hospitality is a huge step above that in the UK.
A few examples...
You ask someone where you can get a phone card and they lend you their mobile.
You ask someone where the bus stop is and they walk you there, wait for the right bus and put you it, making sure the bus driver knows exactly where you are going.
You ask for the nearest hotel and guess what they invite you to their home, give you copious amounts of tea, food and vodka, give you a bed and breakfast in the morning. And refuse outright that you give them a penny. This happened recently in the little village of Pirjulu, where it turns out the guy is an astronomer working on solar flares, he shows me around the observatory and region. His generosity held out even though his brother had been killed in Iraq(he now supports his sister-in-law and neice and nephews) and his son (25yo) has cancer and so can no longer work.
A Mass Grave was found in Quba
His wife sells raspberries on the side of the road. - What a legend.
You hitch hike and you'll undoubtedly be given lunch and other road side treats, and in a number of instances a bed for that night.
I went for tea today, to relax after a tiring session at the Embassies and the owner of the tea shop was at the next table. He gave me my tea for free and after much picto-conversation he brings out lunch, even after I profusely told him it wasn't neccessary.
I think I wish I was a little more generous like these people I meet.
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