Friday, April 22, 2011

Construction and growth

I haven't always thought of construction as growth, or even progress; but in this developing country, I am finding them to be basically synonymous.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that the roads here are horrible and that construction is happening everywhere. After spending much of today exploring this city, those two observations still hold true.

I have no idea what this structure is going to be..... but it's cool.

Batumi is an odd city, but I really like it. (Maybe that's why I like it!) The architects of the new buildings that are going up appear to be in competition to create the strangest-looking structure. It reminds me, on a small scale of Las Vegas. There is a lot of glass, a lot of neon-tube lighting, a lot of mod-styling, and an unimpressed air to all the new buildings. They don't seem to care whether or not you like them. They like themselves. They are cool cats.

The cool-cat era explains Batumi perfectly. It is un-presumpuous and in-your-face at the same time. It is going to wear its leather jacket and hang out and smoke its cigarette just because it wants to. Besides, there's nothing better to do. Wait, am I describing the attitude of the city or its inhabitants?

Georgian cool cats hanging out by the Black Sea

The progress that Batumi is undergoing is massive. It is no exaggeration to say that there is at least one major construction project every two blocks -- on average. Such large-scale growth has to be viewed as progress. Would Donald Trump invest in anything less than certain progress? (That is to be read "tongue-in-cheek" with an element of truth...) While there is still so much that needs to change in this city to bring it up to the tourism standards that are common throughout the rest of Europe and the U.S., progress is being made. Changes are occurring. And it is encouraging to watch -- maybe a little annoying to live around the inconvenience of the progress progressing underfoot and overhead..... but the city can't shut down while it grows. So the growing pains are felt by the native Batumi-folks and the guests alike.

Onward and upward.

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