Brian, when he bothers to come into his office, shares his office space with a loose collection of oddballs all pursuing their own projects. It’s a cheery space and so I often work from that office too, even though it’s not (strictly speaking) where I’m supposed to be working.

Last week one of the guys discovered Photoshop. All sorts of mayhem ensued – the President of Georgia’s head being superimposed on various things, you know, the usual. He also decided to make Brian Employee of the Month. Even though, obviously, everybody there works for themselves.  Here’s what he came up with:

2013-04-03 15.44.24

Yes, yes, all very cute. When Brian bothered coming into the office, he had a quick chuckle, and nobody thought more of it.

Except the cleaning lady.

The Georgian cleaning lady.

Who comes at night, when everybody’s gone, and does not speak English.

But she saw the photo and knew at once what it meant.  Brian was dead.

She called Brian’s assistant the next morning, wailing at the injustice, the shock.  “He was so young!” she cried.  Poor Tamar could not keep from crying herself, in hysterics, when she heard who the prank was really on.

Now Brian calls himself Lazarus. At least he knows the cleaning lady’ll miss him. 


Georgian men are big-time starers. In fact the primary occupation of a healthy portion of the male population of the city is to stand outside in clusters, wear black, smoke cigarettes, grunt, spit, and from beneath hooded eyes, stare without any thought of subtlety or shame at every passing girl.

It could be worse, certainly — they don’t do anything but stare.  But it’s tiring. So I felt entirely justified, when I got a very gratifying glimpse of the back of one of the starers as he and his buddies moved on ahead, in taking my little piece of revenge.

It’s important to learn English, kids…

2013-04-01 19.01.24