First impression of Tbilisi after five days of experience:
• Reiterating what everyone says: Georgians are very nice and helpful. On the bus leaving the airport, a guy in uniform paid for my 0.5GEL ride, since I only had a 2GEL coin and no one could give me change.
• The escalators at the metro are scary fast.
• Walking alone as a female foreigner doesn’t attract attention.
• Tap water is delicious!
• Tbilisi can get crowded with people and traffic, but it’s not chaotic at all compared to many other places I have been. Rarely did I get brushed or pushed by people in the street or the subway. Drivers yield to pedestrians, so I can cross the road without any problem. There are many underground passages, making it walkable.
• Vendors like taxi drivers, tour representatives aren’t pushy or sticky at all. When they approach you, and you can say no with a smile. They’d smile back and wish you a nice day.
• Likewise, don’t except customer services… When I was in the bazaar, no one greeted me a welcome or asked me what I was looking for. Most of the time they were just minding their own business or talking to neighbor sellers.
• After Hong Kong, Tbilisi is the next city where I see more foreign packaged food (Russian, Turkish etc.) than local ones.