catching up is hard to do

I realized that I have a few cartoons that never made it to this blog for one reason or another. I will try to put them up one by one next few days and give some info along with each of them. This one does not need much commenting, but I would like to explain what drove me to do it.

Education situation in Georgia is somewhat fragile and confusing. I personally believe that when a country needs to have a decent access to books in order for education reforms to be counted as successful. Unfortunately, books are not very good for money laundering and they are not very profitable either.

At the point I drew this (December 2007), there were three main sources that a person could direct his attention to in order to find a book he desires/needs. There were (and still are) just a few new bookstores. While they are pretty from outside and pleasant inside, they have issues with the selection they provide. Propsero's tends to stock New York Times top three (could be two), odd selection of science dictionaries from the 20th century and cheap, but great out-of-copyright novels. Parnasus (and the like) tend to have current Georgian literature (unfortunately printed using crappy paper) and Taschen. One would think that with all the Taschen books out there, Georgians would get the sense of proper architecture...
There are also Old, Soviet-time bookstores that could not afford paying rent just by selling books and turned into a stores that sell all kind of goods, as well as books. Last one, and still more or less the best source is street vendors. They are the best, as they happen to be the only ones that have wider selection of books. Their selection is not limited to current Georgian literature, and includes older, out of print books, as well as books in Russian.

Last fall was a breaking point. In the midst of grand scheme of things happened to be the Soviet-time bookstores and street vendors. Street vendors do not fit into the new vision of Tbilisi streets life. Same goes for the Soviet-time bookstores.

Results could have been pretty grave if not for the November events. I am not praising opposition, and neither condemn/praise the government. Street vendors happened to be the disenfranchised group that had only one desire, to continue their business. Fortunately, the government saw that using police to kick them out of the street would not help matters and let them be.

Soviet-period bookstores were not so lucky. One by one they were replaced by more profitable businesses, to name a few: Collezione (Italian? fashion store), Dolce & Gabana, BasisBank (one of too many banks), Bank of Georgia, Sony (that has not taken place yet, but rumor has it that the Justice ministry is offering Sony former Saunje bookstore to compensate for property they took away from them).

Now, unless you tell me that books are not part of the education, how does the government consider that their education reforms are good?

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