Sexi Gindat?

The title of this post means “do you want sex?”, and it’s what I thought I heard a woman say, quite loudly, as I was walking to my friends’ flat in Saburtalo the other day.

Startled, I looked around, and saw a woman in a taxi cab, with the door open, who looked like she might be on the phone. “Oh”, I thought, relieved, “clearly I must have misheard her.” She yelled something into the phone, and to my untrained ear it sounded like she’d said “sexi gindat?” I decided to ignore the unfolding drama – in my experience, once someone in Georgia starts yelling, there’s hours of yelling still ahead. Normal conversations become yelled conversations because I think there’s some kind of cultural norm against de-escalating increased conversational volume.

I made my way around a car that had been parked on the sidewalk – because where else would you park cars? – paying careful attention to the snow and ice underfoot – because why would you shovel a walkway for pedestrians? – and when I came around the other side of the car I tried to ignore the shouting woman.

Despite my best intentions, I apprehended the following bit of monologue: “Hello!!! Sexi gindat? Do you want sex???”

Now, I could say to myself “she didn’t just say what I think she did, did she?” but once she started in in two languages I had to admit that I had indeed heard her correctly. There’s just a really compelling level of redundancy in the two-language approach. I glanced over my shoulder. She was looking at me. So was her friend, and so was their cab driver. And do you know what the first thought to enter my mind was?

It was, “these people are trying to lure me with sex so they can rob me.”

And do you know what my second thought was?

It was, “and take my kidneys.”

I only had about 15 lari in my pocket, but I really need my kidneys – I use them almost as much as my liver – so I turned around and tried not to be too obvious about picking up the pace. From the sound of it, I’m fairly certain that they smelled my fear, and my fear smelled hilarious.

As it became clear that the people did not intend to follow me down the street, the flight response gave way and a little bit of curiosity crept in. I thought that I should have at least stopped to assess the situation – to find out if she was a prostitute, or an escaped nymphomaniac, or the bait in an elaborate scheme to steal my laris or kidneys – just so that I wouldn’t leave my readers with this giant question mark. I’m sorry to say that cowardice got the better of me and I don’t have an answer for you.

I’m going to go with “prostitute”, since it’s the most plausible (despite being like the last thing that occurred to me) and also since my search results stats tell me that literally hundreds of people have visited this site looking for prostitutes in Tbilisi. For those (presumably) guys, here’s your payoff: if you want a prostitute in Tbilisi, you might find one if you wander down Kazbegi avenue at around 9:30 on a Saturday night. Or you might get your kidneys stolen. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But of course the upshot of this experience is that now when all of my female friends talk about hearing “sexi ginda?” yelled at them from the inside of a taxi cab, I can join in with my own story! I feel like this is a part of the Georgian experience that I’ve just been missing for so long.

Jokes aside – even if you’re a dude, being propositioned for sex by a stranger, at night, from a car, is pretty intimidating. There’s something about a person breaking the normal social contract against propositioning strangers that lets in a whole bundle of other anxieties, like the dark underbelly of the city is opening up to swallow you. I wouldn’t say that it’s scary, but it definitely makes you feel less safe.

I made it to my friend’s flat in Saburtalo safe and sound, both kidneys still intact. We went to Canudos afterwards, though, so I’m sorry to say that my 15 lari didn’t survive the night.

******************************************

This video is, I imagine, the fever dream I would have had if I’d woken up in a Georgian hospital with no kidneys:


(Video: Lika Zeender, Sexi Ginda)

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This entry was posted in Adventures in Adventures in Georgia, Sex and Gender and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Sexi Gindat?

  1. Anonymous says:

    The fact, that she said it in English too, makes me think that she knew who you were…

    • panoptical says:

      Well, I hardly look Georgian, or dress like Georgians, and also presumably a Georgian would have responded in some way to the first query.

  2. Mariam says:

    “…..and take my kidneys.”

    Hahahahaha I nearly choked on my coffee when I read that! What is it with Eastern Europe and the myth of stolen kidneys? I have never heard of a foreigner in Georgia having his/her kidneys or any other organs stolen. Even during the 90’s, when things were at their worst, the most that ever happened to foreigners were that they were kidnapped and/or robbed. That’s not the most pleasant experience, but still….

    Also, some taxi drivers have “arrangements” with prostitutes where he drives her around so she can pick up clients, and then she pays him with either money or sex. That’s also why women who are alone at night are assumed to be prostitutes by some taxi drivers. Again, not all of them do this, and this “arrangement” is not as frequent as it was in the 90’s or so, but it still happens. I’m surprised no one’s told you this before.

  3. Hilary says:

    “There’s something about a person breaking the normal social contract against propositioning strangers that lets in a whole bundle of other anxieties, like the dark underbelly of the city is opening up to swallow you. I wouldn’t say that it’s scary, but it definitely makes you feel less safe.”

    Very well put. This was one compelling blog entry and absolutely a gender-neutral experience that can happen in any country, I imagine. Considering that women experience “a person breaking the normal social contract” more often than men– It’s like having a stun-gun zap you. That woman in the cab, whoever she was, didn’t need to grab you to smack you upside the head.

  4. pasumonok says:

    my hubby in budapest (not tbilisi, budapest!) was approached by some woman asking him things he couldn’t understand (his hungarian was limited mostly to food items and prices). finally, she switched to english and said something like: “do u want 2 do business with me?
    hubby: “huh?”
    the woman: “for money?”
    hubby: “huh?”
    the woman:” i mean sex”
    hubby: “no, thank you” (at least this is what he told me).
    i find this so similar to ur situation.
    of cors she was prostitute. that happens all the time. how do u think they pick up their clients?

  5. giorgi_7@posta.ge says:

    Man, you were on Kazbegi Avenue (former Pavlovi) which is the one of the prostitution hubs in Tbilisi at night and still surprised you were approached for paid sex? Relax, nobody was after your kidneys- they girl was merely interested in your 30 Lari..

  6. Hahahaha…
    We demand more details :-))))

  7. Castlereagh says:

    Ah, man. Clean living makes for uninteresting writing. An opportunity presents itself for an interesting experience and you don’t even answer the woman. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to… err… pick up some laundry on Kazbegi Avenue.

  8. Pingback: Pull Yourself Together, Bitcho – We Don’t Want Your Kidneys, And We Sure As Hell Don’t Want Your Appendix! | Georgia On My Mind

  9. choppa481 says:

    And I read this today, and just so happen to get my first click on my blog from a prostitution search on Google. I feel like I’m part of the crowd now.

  10. katie says:

    thoroughly entertaining read! bless you and your kidneys:)))))

  11. blintu says:

    you made the right decision πŸ™‚

    …But I think prostitutes on Kazbegi avenue are worst in Tbilisi

  12. When I moved to Tbilisi, I rented an apartment on Kazbegi and no one happened to tell me it was hooker central. It wasn’t until I was solicited for the first time that I realized what all those middle-aged women were doing in lucite stilettos at 7 in the evening. To make matters worse, I don’t speak Georgian, so I responded to the man in cheerful Russian, which seemed to make him more excited. Face palm.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Be aware stones in kidneys, not prostitutes with intention to cut them out πŸ˜‰ almost choked with Easter cake while reading this…

  14. Anonymous says:

    No, just please… Tbilisi is so safe and there is no reason to feel afraid. That person was most likely a prostitute.

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