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National Geographic Traveler : Georgians- The World’s Worst Pedestrians


The world traveler  Paul Salopek, a traveler reporter of the National Geographic, writes about his  travelling experience in capital of Georogia Tbilisi.

Reporter says, he has traveled to many different places, such as lava fields, sun-hammered deserts and scaled peaks in blinding snow but he admits that – “Georgians are the most inept pedestrians in the world”. Besides this traveler expresses his sympathies for Georgian people.


Georgians are wonderful people. Warm. Hospitable. Funny. Cultured. Life-loving. If Earth were ever to dispatch an emissary to another planet in the Milky Way, a planet inhabited by intelligent life forms, I would vote that our species’ envoy be a Georgian. A Georgian would charm the aliens. A Georgian would make the two-headed little green men laugh with us, dance with us, drink Kakhetian wine with us, love us. Unless—of course—our Georgian ambassador ventured to take the extraterrestrials for a stroll in his earthbound capital, Tbilisi. Then Homo sapiens would go extinct. We would be exterminated. Our enraged cosmic guests would vaporize us.

After this journalist describes, a rush hour and calls it chaos.

At rush hour, when commuters pour from the subways and clog the narrow sidewalks, people insist on walking four or five abreast, forming impassable human chains. Other walkers meander, rudderlessly, while texting or daydreaming or perhaps while actually still asleep. Men smoke in maddening gaggles, carelessly blocking strategic bottlenecks. There is no concept of “lanes” of sidewalk traffic. No one budges a micron to accommodate old ladies or the lame or even Orthodox high clergy. It is chaos. It is anarchy. Georgians walk the way atoms vibrate in a vacuum—randomly, without volition, in a manner that physicists describe as Brownian Movement: a form of walking nihilism.



This tidy equation is most likely very ancient. Doubtless, it is embedded in our two-legged DNA. Clearly, Georgians lack the gene.


Paul Salopek, ends with typical scene in Tbilisi.

A typical scene in Tbilisi, Georgia:

A young man falls abruptly to one knee on a bustling sidewalk. He holds up a lipstick-red rose to his beloved, to a young woman strolling beside him. Only Georgians can pull this off with commitment, with grace. It is why Russia invades so often: panache envy. Russians see Georgians as the Tahitians of the old Soviet empire.

“Will you marry me?” the young man asks.

The young woman smiles. She bends down fetchingly. She cups her ear. She cannot hear. “What?” she says.

The man inhales a mighty lungful of air. He bellows: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

“WHAT?” the woman hollers back.

At least this is what I think they say. My Georgian is not so good. I cannot make out their words, anyway: It is a sidewalk on Rustaveli Avenue, howling with rocketing traffic, and one of loudest streets in the world. About these deafened and oblivious lovers stalls a mass of frustrated foot commuters. The sidewalk is instantly blocked. First ten, then thirty, then fifty rushing pedestrians pile up, clumping blindly into each other, struggling to get past, a colossal and growing clot in a cracked and love-struck artery.


The week I arrived in Tbilisi, the noted Georgian paleoanthropologist David Lordkipanidze, the discoverer of the famous Dmanisi Man, shook my hand. His rare hominid finds date back 1.8 million years. They are the oldest human fossils outside Africa.

“Thank you,” Lordkipanidze said, “for proving that Dmanisi Man could walk here from Africa.”

I didn’t know what to say. I have no idea how humans got to the Caucasus. But on the evidence, it wasn’t by walking

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