Malpensa, gate B30
Flat old-fashioned shoes, dark clothes, blonde dyed hair and a sweet, unknown and timeless language. And nearby, black faux leather wallets, plastic bags with Easter eggs, gifts for grandchildren whose toothless giggles peek out from the smartphones, passing from hand to hand. My trip to Georgia begins at Malpensa gate B30: here, among couples and young groups ready for an Easter break in the country of the Golden Fleece, the Caucasian grandmothers patiently wait to board the plane that will bring them back to their families. Back to their children, the “white orphans” left far away, to come and look after our old parents.
“Dor”. A women-only story
In Romanian there is an untranslatable word, “dor”, expressing the yearning for what has been left behind – this is a women-only story. Everything done to pursue a better future: the far-away children, who grow up alone, the husbands, still without a job, the sleepless nights tyrannized by peevish and forgetful grannies, the sacrifices to save as much as possible and to send money home. After ten years, there will be many beautiful houses in the suburbs, but some will be empty: the children have become young strangers, while the pink warriors, ready to organize everyone’s life, have been defeated by “Sindrome Italia”, a new word speaking about panic crisis, anxiety and stress after coming back home. But for now, no trace of this: only smiles, relaxed small talk and strong arms that carry bags on the purple Wizzair plane.
Kidnappers or Juventus fans?
I am so tired and fall into a kind of coma during the flight, landing around 1 am in Kutaisi, where I change money, buy a Georgian sim and look for the Wizzair transfer. There’s a kidnapping scene, with a battered minivan and people confabulating in front of us, but the fun comes later: the driver is an enthusiastic Juventus fan, with an inexplicable and violent hate towards Ajax, and is totally unable to find our hotels and guest-houses (we are 6 Italians). No great opportunities for help from passers-by on the empty streets, except for an elderly totally drunk, who gives us probably not very reliable indications. The driver tries to get us off at 2 am “more or less in the area”. We insist. We wander a bit more, then thanks to my Georgian sim and Google Maps we find my guest-house.
There is only one anonymous door with the number 41, the street seems the right one: let’s try, good-bye, I get off. The door opens, on the stairs I can see David’s silhouette coming down and calling me by name. I am at home.