As you may know, my husband and I sent a few things in a shipping container back home for his family at the end of last year. The container slowly made its way across the world, across oceans and seas, with a special stop in Italy-and we tracked it online eagerly. It was supposed to arrive February 2nd to the appropriate port on the Black Sea. Then the tracking website changed the date to February 14th and then back to February 8th.
More than a week ago it arrived in Istanbul and has been stuck there. Am thinking the Sochi Olympics may be holding things up. That could be a wild theory but I like it and am sticking to it. Sochi is very close to Georgia. Back when relations were better, one could take a ferry across the Black Sea for a visit. I wanted to do this while I was there but getting a Russian visa is a bit of a pain. I am willing to go through that pain for a nice long visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg one day (husband’s uncle lives in St. Petersburg-and he still calls it Leningrad!) but not for pre-Olympics Sochi for the few days I had available at the time. Russia has always been a place I have wanted to visit and I hope I will be able to do so one day.
Anyway, seeing the Olympics take place in Sochi is very interesting for me. Having enjoyed being in a host city while the Olympics take place, I can attest to how fun and fabulous it all is. I find the drama about things not being ready or being ready in a strange way hilarious. The media and public seem a bit too critical and seem delighted at any perceived failures or delays. I find former Soviet areas that create new modern developments are still not like North America in many ways. From the Sochi photos I can definitely say, Sochi reminds me a lot of Batumi, Georgia. This city is just a hop, skip, and a jump across the Black Sea where I used to live. Millions of dollars were pumped into this city as well in an attempt to make it the Las Vegas of the Black Sea. Despite the big money invested and the international hotels, there still seems to be something off. It is odd as other countries and regions I have been in seem to be able to make it happen. What it is, exactly, I cannot put my finger on it. Regardless, Batumi, Georgia, is a great place to visit. There are many beautiful things to see and plenty to do (even if some of many things are not accessible, things do not work, or the restaurants don’t serve anything on their menus etc). No locals will bat an eye and nor should you. You have to go with the flow.
Now, back to my container! I understand there are delays and a lot of unpredictability with shipping but we know for sure the container is sitting in Istanbul. Updates are impossible to obtain and it is a bit frustrating as we are all eager for our goods and gifts to arrive safely to family members. I guess we will have to see! A good lesson, however, for future shipping is to think a few seasons ahead when sending items. Soon all the fabulous winter coats we sent will be going straight into storage rather than worn out and about. Of course, when we did our shopping we were hoping everything would arrive early January. Ah well…you live, you learn!