Just Arrived in Tblisi, Georgia

Well yesterday I did.

Yesterday I have arrived in Georgia (The Republic of…) and I must say I am impressed. Considering that 15 years ago much of Tblisi was in ruins from a long and painful civil war, and the economy was a mess, the place is now humming. Where ever you look there are work crews restoring old buildings, and cranes building new modern buildings. The prices for a nice apartment are very reasonable (perhaps because the currency has collapsed over the last six months or so?).

But I think it is also because this is mostly a free market economy and where there is a demand there will be a supply. Still a lot of screwed up things about the place. Not just because of a nasty civil war lasting about 10 years, but because of Soviet Socialism that lasted almost 80 years. But all the same very impressive.

Also, the city is very clean. I don’t know if it was always so clean, or it is a response to a crack down by the government on littering, etc., but whatever it is it is working.

Most importantly Georgia is full of opportunity. The economy is perhaps one of the freest in the world, but alas the Georgians are not fully prepared to deal with it, or provide for all the needs. That means opportunity for those who are. I suspect as Georgians become more accustomed to economic freedom they will become more sophisticated in regards to the mechanics. But for now it feels like a gigantic toy shop for entrepreneurs.

All in all, very nice so far.

About fafc

The goal of the “Find a Free Country Project” is to research, explore and find a safe and secure free country outside the USA, that is not too large, has a relatively open immigration policy, has a friendly business climate, has a non-intrusive government committed to freedom, and then move to it.
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25 Responses to Just Arrived in Tblisi, Georgia

  1. Croatian Capitalist says:

    How much of Georgia do you plan to visit on this trip?

    • fafc says:

      As much as I can, but frankly I have been very busy taking care of business. Starting a very exciting new business here, and I am so pumped.

  2. Croatian Capitalist says:

    It’s nice to see that things are finally starting to look up for you.

    Do you plan to run the business from Israel, or do you plan to eventually permanently move to Georgia?

    • fafc says:

      Not sure, but there is so much opportunity here in Georgia vs Israel, I suspect I will end up here.

      • Croatian Capitalist says:

        Between the two, I would choose Georgia, not just because it is the more capitalist country, but also because it is unlikely to be involved in any major military conflict anytime soon, while Israel will probably always be on war-footing, and lastly because “liberalism” is unlikely to ever catch on in Georgia (especially since the EU seems to be going into ruin).

  3. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Have you inquired about what the process is for gaining permanent residency in Georgia?

    • fafc says:

      Yes. You can get a permanent resident visa in under a month, and they have a special program for expedited citizenship that can be less than six months. I wish I had known about it before. Few people do. Probably best to keep it that way.

  4. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Yes, especially if the Georgian economy really takes off.

  5. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Since you have lived in Georgia for quite some time now, I have a question for you, as a person who likes to drive cars, there is one thing that annoys me (but which almost never gets mentioned when people discuss moving to the post-communist countries) in Croatia (and in other countries that I have visited that were/are under communist rule), namely the fact that most roads in residential areas in the big cities are (too) narrow (since the communists who made those projects worked under the assumption that not that many of the common people would drive cars, and that those who did would drive little “cars” such as the Yugo (the communist criminal Tito and his ilk drove around in Mercedes-Benz cars of course, and since the roads were cleared for them, the narrowness of the roads wasn’t really an issue for the communist political elite) so why would they build wide(r) roads?), which causes all sorts of issues (traffic congestion, parking trouble, etc.), so I would like to know whether that is the case in Tbilisi/Georgia or not?

    • fafc says:

      I don’t think that is the problem in Tbilisi, but the traffic problem is real and very annoying. The problem is not so much poorly designed roads, but just too many cars in a small city that cannot accommodate them. Tbilisi was a city of about 400,000 twenty years ago. Now it is about 1+ million. Many people can now afford cars, so buying a car is a sign of prosperity even if it is wholly inappropriate and impractical for where you live. I do not have a car and I don’t intend to get one. I can get anywhere in town either on foot, by bus, or by taxi faster and cheaper than I could drive (including time and trouble finding a parking space which is very difficult). Public transportation is virtually free, and the taxis are very inexpensive. I really don’t understand why anyone would want to drive in Tbilisi considering the impracticality of it. Now if you had a farm outside of town, or you were involved in a business that required constant travel and delivery of goods throughout the da I could understand. But getting from one point to another inside of Tbilisi by car is frankly a bother. So if you need to have a car to drive 100 meters to pick up a bottle of water then Tbilisi may not be the place for you!

  6. Croatian Capitalist says:

    OK, thanks.

    I walk to any place that is within a radius of a couple of miles from where I live, but more serious shopping and business-related things are 10 or more kilometers from my place of residence, so I have to have a car (especially since public transportation here is crowded most of the time, so I seriously dislike using it).

    • fafc says:

      First of all Tbilisi is a very compact town. 5 kilometers will generally get you anywhere, although I acknowledge that can be a bit difficult when you are dealing with hills. The metro system is quite good. The buses are outdated but work. The taxis cost about $2 USD to get anywhere and some even haggle them down from that. I frankly don’t understand how the taxi drivers make any money after they pay for the gas and the maintenance on the car.

  7. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Yes, that is strange, especially since Georgia is not an oil-rich country.

    • fafc says:

      Most of the taxis and service vehicles are converted to Natural Gas which is very cheap. Also, gasoline/petrol is not that expensive since the government doesn’t throw any additional surcharges on. Just the 18% VAT.

      • Croatian Capitalist says:

        In Croatia when you buy fuel for your car, 60% of the price you pay goes to the government, isn’t socialism wonderful…?

  8. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Anyway, speaking of Croatia and socialism, I recently heard an interesting theory on why for example countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Estonia freed themselves from communism and became successful countries, while in Croatia the communist party just split into two parties and continued with the socialist idiocy, namely that since the Russians imposed socialism on them, the people who ran those countries were also imposed/appointed from/by Moscow, so the common people viewed both the system and the people running them as alien and didn’t really participate in it, so when the Russian occupation of their countries ended, so did communism, while since in Croatia it wasn’t imposed by foreigners (at least not directly…), the communists managed to get a majority of people to participate in the system in one way or the other, thus communism/socialism became entrenched, so when communism came crashing down in the rest of Eastern Europe, there were too few people here who weren’t involved (either personally of by the way of family) with the system in some way for the system to be brought down, so the system and the people running it stayed largely the same.

    • fafc says:

      That makes a lot of sense.

      • Croatian Capitalist says:

        It does, I have no better explanation for why all of those countries have made at least some progress in regards to mentality and economics, while the ex-Yugoslav Republics are for the most part stuck in the loser socialist mentality of that failed country called Yugoslavia.

  9. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Well, things here have improved economically, but they improved automatically, since during Yugoslav times Croatia and Slovenia had to subsidize the rest of Yugoslavia, so once the deadweight was removed, the standard of living went up by itself.

    As for the country’s future, if the poll’s are to be believed, Croatia’s youth are more economically liberal (in the classical sense) and socially conservative than their parent’s generation, so assuming that is true, things should eventually improve, but I think that a prerequisite for that happening is for the country to declare bankruptcy and start with a clean slate, because there is so much dead wood in the public sector and so many idiotic/unnecessary regulations that the country can’t really move forward until that is fixed.

    As for my location, I am moving soon to one of the properly run places in Croatia (yes, there are such places in Croatia on the local level!), and it is constantly improving, so on the local level I have no worries, it’s the national government which is the issue.

    • fafc says:

      Well lots of good news!

      • Croatian Capitalist says:

        Yes, I believe Croatia is pretty unique in this case, I can’t think of another Western/White country (even though I assume the situation is similar in Poland, Slovakia and a few other countries) off the top of my head where the youth are mostly more socially conservative and economically liberal than their parents (and even grandparents!), plus we seem to have the added benefit of the youth who leave mostly being “liberals” (in the modern American sense of the word), at least that’s my impression after reading Croatian forums regarding the diaspora and newspapers interviews with emigrants.

  10. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Anyway, a thought that has crossed my mind in regards to choosing where to live specifically when emigrating (or even when choosing where else to move to in the same country you are already in), namely to research in which areas the politicians and the elite in general live and then move to the general vicinity of that area/those areas, because think about it, are the politicians going to bus in the riff-raff (whether domestic or international) to the general vicinity of the areas where they live in and their children go to school in? No, they are not! Are they going to allow a toxic waste dump or something similar to be built in the general vicinity of there area where they live in? No, they are not! Are they going to allow street crime to become problematic in those areas? No, they are not!

    As far as I can see, my theory holds water, at least in Croatia, here in Zagreb the politicians and the elite in general live in the northernmost part of the city, while the fake refugees are being brought into the southern part of the city, the badly organized waste dump is also in the southernmost part of city, while the northernmost part of the city is “green” and full of clean air, even though street crime, break-ins, etc. aren’t really a serious issue here, the northernmost part of the city is again generally the safest area of the city to live in, so it’s obvious where the it would be smartest area to move to here, since it’s unlikely to face any serious issues in the future (actually, the already very low crime rate there is currently falling even further and money is being invested into building more modern residential buildings and infrastructure in general), and I assume that every reasonably developed country has such an area (at least in the capital city if nowhere else).

    • fafc says:

      As they say in real estate investing, there are three things you need to focus on: Location, Location, Location.

      • Croatian Capitalist says:

        And they are generally right (even though in some cases the “place to be location” is based on totally nonsensical reasons, for example here in Zagreb most people are for some reason obsessed with living in the “center (downtown)”, so you have at best OK apartments in run-down neighborhoods in downtown selling for prices that you would expect in Beverly Hills…), although I am not advocating literally moving right next door to them (amongst other reasons because it would generally be very expensive, but also because of the chance of the odd event of the people actually rising up against the politicians happening), just in the general vicinity of those areas.

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