Tbilisi, Georgia Report of what it's like to live there - 09/11/22

Personal Experiences from Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia 09/11/22

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. Honduras.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Los Angeles, CA. Traveled from Washington DC during the summer of 2020. Due to this, it was a chartered flight from Amsterdam to Tbilisi. It took about 18 hours. Now, there are many flights from Europe.

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3. What years did you live here?

2020-2022.

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4. How long have you lived here?

Two years.

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5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

School.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Lived in an embassy apartment. It was fine. Newer, in most expensive neighborhood in Tbilisi. Due to the purpose of being there, it was better than the diplomatic village.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Most things are available on the economy. Some things you see one week may not be there the next week, but eventually it will return. Tons of street markets with fruits, vegetables, and meats.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Able to by box brownies and chocolate chips at commissary. Or ship to yourself.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Used Bolt, Glovo, and Wolt for food delivery. So many Georgian restaurants to choose from, a few Mexican, lots of burgers.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

No.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Used USA2GEORGIA to receive packages from US, usually much faster than post mail. To send to the US, had to go through post. Once received a letter from US to address in Tbilisi, it look over five months.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Help is fairly inexpensive. Housekeeper, nanny, driver, errand runner, gardener are typical.

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3. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yes, credit cards are accepted in Tbilisi. Outside of the city, cash is a must.

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4. What English-language religious services are available locally?

A few churches I think.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Need some local language. Good tutors are around $14/hour.

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6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes. Sidewalks are terrible. Many places don’t have ramps or elevators.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Car with high clearance and all wheel drive.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes. Sounds like many posts are installing before people arrive.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

Services are available, but lots of friendly street dogs.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Work mainly at the embassy.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

No, except for normal following, etc., safer than the US.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medical care is fine, though some places are better than others.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Moderate to bad. Especially in summer and winter due to wood burning stoves and no regulations on vehicles.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Morale is low due to work environment.

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2. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Previously there was violence against LGBTQ+ during pride week.

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3. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Yes. Rugs, pottery, artwork, and baskets.

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