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GEORGIAN CREATIVES GUIDE TO BATUMI

During Ad Black Sea Festival, you will find yourself before a major dilemma – how does one find time to sleep?!
კატა ტომი და თევზი

From dawn until sundown you get to attend stimulating workshops, towards the evening you have to rush towards the beach to experience the sunset, and somewhere in-between you’re going to want to stop for an Adjaruli Khachapuri. It doesn’t stop there: after sunset, the city’s nightlife enhanced by the networking events provided by the festival springs to life giving you a chance to dance the night away and meet your fellow colleagues. Then you’re probably going to want to go wander around the city or the boardwalk in the early morning while the city is at its quietest, and you probably won’t reject an offer to swim into the sea during the sunrise either. Shortly after, it’s seminar time again. There’s only one solution - #skipsleep.

The Black Sea has amazing characteristic: bouncing around in its waves is sure to bring about quite an appetite; which once again, might only be satiated with a heavy dose of Adjarian cuisine.

აჭარული ხაჭაპური

As soon as you arrive in the city, you will be sure to notice that the awnings of most cafes and bars portray an elongated, mouth-watering, cheese-filled, egg-topped, boat-shaped pastry – this is Adjarian Khachapuri. At first, the process of eating it might seem somewhat intimidating, but don’t be taken back, the process is easy – use your fork and knife to mix the cheese and egg into one another, pick one of the “ears” to cut or tear off without letting the cheese spill out of the “boat”, dip the ear into the cheese and egg middle, and bite into the most delicious adventure you’ve ever taken.

Your “Adjaruli khachapuri” experience is sure to be quite filling, so you’re likely to want to go for a stroll down the boulevard.

ბილიკი და ველოსიპედისტი

However, walking down the boulevard can be somewhat of an extreme sport. There are designated lanes for bikers, but bikers nevertheless ride around beyond the lanes wherever they want, and pedestrians are no better in terms of respecting the bike lanes. Therefore, don’t worry about whether you’re on the right side of the boardwalk or whether you’re walking somewhere you’re not supposed to be – just keep walking and enjoy yourself!

Nikusha Antadze, Creative Director - Holmes & Watson

If you’ve gotten your fair share of walking around the city, beach and boardwalk, Batumi offers an incredibly diverse and dense botanical garden.

For those who flocked to Batumi to dive into the advertising festival, take a moment to glance at the world from beyond the camera and try to have some fun with the theory of evolution.

გამწვანებული გორაკი

If you are going to dive into the sea of ads, try to see the world beyond the blue screen one last time before you are fully drowned. And try to jest with the evolution theory - what if your Grandma had been your Grandpa? For this kind of questions, Batumi’s botanical garden is the best place in the known galaxy. 119 years ago a small garden was born on “Mtsvane Kontskhi”, which today consists of 9 phytogeographical units. All in all, 2037 various taxonomic species are inhabited here. Remember, as Sulkhan-Saba says, ancient Georgian word “kontskhi” - “this is a sour place, on top of the cliffs, tough to reach but hard to miss.” Sometimes, it’s worth prethinking about infinite probabilities of the universe my friend. Just sometimes.

P.S During the jaunt, If your Ariadne still leads you to the edge of the peak - take the leap! Only if, you believe you can think up a way out till you hit the ground.

Basa Metreveli, Head Of The Digital Product Team - Redberry

Although you won’t have to spend too much time thinking about survival because there is only one way to survive in Batumi… it has a short and airy name: Cha-cha.

Cha-cha, save me!

Every single time I hear this sentence, merciless shivers start rolling up my spine like a reverse avalanche, activating all emotional cavities in my brain to milk dancing neurons with hot tears which flood over my dilated pupils. My body asks for forgiveness, as my soul yearns for eternal joy. Deep in my heart I know I shouldn’t be spoiling my tormented liver with another shot of liquid fire, but I also realize that my life is going to end in one way or another, so what’s the point of saying “no”? With sweet anguish and bitter despair I raise another glass of the highest grade Lucifer’s sweat, and surrender to blissful oblivion.

თევზი და წყლის ბუშტუკები

Chacha is your greatest foe or your greatest ally. Maybe both. There is no other word in Georgian language that can mean so much pain and so much pleasure at the same time. Crushed intestines of billion grapes, fermented to perfection are the usual reason for 55+ degrees of alcoholic heat this potent homebrew has to offer. While this beverage is a beast with many names - grappa, raki, vine vodka, ouzo, etc. - chacha is definitely the most adequate one, just one “cha” away from bursting into a flaming dance.

While Georgians have been making wine for 8000 years, we have no scientific evidence when chacha first came to be. Based on pretty much nothing but my drunk fever dreams, I firmly believe, chacha has always been here, ever since the Big Bang, saving the world from destructive dangers of being sober and productive. The ultimate energy drink and the most reliable party starter can also serve as an effective painkiller, shoe shine, acne cure, and shark repellent in cases of extreme emergency. In my professional career chacha has inspired a couple of brilliant ideas and hundreds of brilliantly missed deadlines. Chacha has nothing to hide - it is what it is - true Georgian spirit.

To properly prepare for unforgettable chacha adventures, I’d recommend learning this Georgian folk anthem by heart - Chacha, save me! If you need some more personal guidance in the magical world of chacha, find the energetic, bearded guy in the pink robe (me!), grab him (me!) by the collar and whisper tenderly in his (my!) ear:

“Let’s drink chacha!”

And I promise, we’ll drink, we’ll be sorry, and we’ll be reborn.

Giorgi Avaliani,Creative director - "Leavingstone"; Co-Founder - "Chacha Bodishi"

Upon rebirth you can now say you are familiar with Batumi… and that’s when you arrive at the most important moment… the moment when you must stand before the city and present yourself to it.

The real Batumi is old, but it has a young heart. It’s tall, but you can easily put your arm around it. It’s skinny, but you can easily squeeze its cheeks. It’s mature, but it will be your wingman in the silliest of behavior. Its joyful and merry, but if you look deep into its wrinkled eyes, a certain sorrow lurks.

ხიდი და ზღვა

And when you meet real Batumi, you will no longer greet it with a ritual turned public tradition, but create your traditions. For example, spinning an Adjaruli Khachapuri around your head, swallowing a small seashell, or something similar. And no matter how silly your tradition might seem, remember, that is entirely yours and even though you might be the only person on the planet who follows the tradition, it is unique as it ripened in your soul. Why not?

Mariam Bajelidze, Big Shark - Socialsharks

Many things are depended on traditions, say some people and afterwards chuckle darkly in their hearts. Or, you will blatantly chuckle darkly. AD BLACK SEA is a one of a kind tradition, which, different from other atavistic customs, holds certain space in your brain’s hard drive and isn’t going anywhere until you remove it. You will probably never hit that delete button. Therefore, god’s path is unknown, yet the path that leads to the festival is well known and familiar. Here, we all know what we’re capable of once we throw away our leashes in trash. Fine, if not trash, at least let’s keep it in our wardrobes for some time and afterwards let’s leap into that yearned cognitive and entertaining vortex, where, in the mornings you can hear Leoš Janáček compositions playing in the background and during the night - Fluorescent Adolescent.

ცხენი და თევზი

In this vortex, where the whole industry is trying to defeat each other, or more accurately - celebrating the victory of besting the other. In this vortex, while looking around you are unable to find that pink robe, it means you are way too drunk and it’s time to get away from the pool. If this is your first year attending the festival and getting to know the industry, don’t slack or restrict yourself with thoughts that tomorrow everyone will remember what you did. Trust me, What happens at AD BLACK SEA, in reality doesn’t happen at AD BLACK SEA at all.

The frivolity of existence, that’s all there is to it.

Lasha Shrute Milorava, Senior Copywrighter - DDB BetterFly