Batumi is a seaside city in a subtropical zone on the Black Sea coast with a population of 122 000. The city is close to the Turkish border. Batumi is the last stop of the Transcaucasian rail-road and the Baku oil pipeline.
      Vasca
a Georgian businessman!

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Text and photo
Eistein Guldseth, 2006
   
    And then we went to a party...  
 
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        VASCA IS A BUSINESSMAN.
He has always been that. Now he employs 220 people renovating and constructing water piping for Tbilisi. Life is full of surprises, and especially for Vasca's company as they are digging into the Tbilisi streets at a depth of 6-7 meters. Electrical cables and old pipes spices up the day with a never ending row of incidents. Vasca is a genuine Georgian macho man times two.
He drives
 
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like every turn of the road is a small war, and for us participating in this battle we are always surprised when we finally survive. At the age of 35 he has probably lived 75 Norwegian years. His cell phones rings all the time, and it is difficult to keep a conversation going for more than 2 minutes. That is if you don't discuss politics: Then he might turn it off for half an hour and tell you all about how Georgian should cooperate with Russia. He lives together with Tamari, who has a doctorate in theology and literature, and works at the Tbilisi university. Together they have two children.

You can both hunt and fish with a Kalashnikov
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In his flat in Tbilisi Vasca has all his trof├Ęs in photo albums and on the walls. His favorite gun is the kalashnikov. With that one you can hit anything. Many times. Good for hunting! He shows me pictures from his hunting trips. He prefers to hunt wild hogs in the mountain areas of Chechenya. On one picture he and three friends poses with 4 blood dripping wild hogs hanging from a stick. Another pictures shows a burned out russian helicopter. The most macabre picture is of two dead Chechens lying beside the road. It was not us, Vasca replies quickly, and smiles. They just lay there. He looks at me: You want to come hunting next time? Yes? Then he goes on about fishing:

Cat fish is nothing similar to anything alse you have seen, therefore you need special equipment: Lada Niva, dynamite and kalashnikovs". First we hang out bags with bread containing hooks in a wire from the car into the river. Then after some hours the fish start arriving, and if you are lucky you can start up the Niva and pull the fish out of the water. The other method is more common for people in a hurry: You take two guys with kalashnikows on each side of the river, and then throw in a bag of dynamite. When the dynamite explodes any fish will float up, and you can shoot it. Then pull it out of the water with the Niva.

Vasca believes in efficiency, and immediately wants to know about salmon fishing in Norway. I think maybe there are slightly more regulations in Norway regarding fishing, I quickly add to avoid a disaster. After explaining Vasca the rigid bureaucratic system and the rituals of salmon fishing he decides that it's nothing for him. He wants to fish, not to "be in the office", as he puts it.

Why so few pictures of Vasca?

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The man moves all the time. I even tried to get him to sit still and pose for the camera, but no. Out of focus. I think he is a man you have to experience. He is in a way four-dimentional. His reputation as a very generous and kind man adds to this.

Vasca died in a car-accident in November 2011

 
   
 

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As a kid
he used to steal corn from the cornfields after school. He sold it, and for the money he bought black and white paint. Vasca had a plan: As soon as he had enough paint, he snook out one night and captured three cows from a farmers herd. Behind a shack he painted them all with black and white stripes. His plan was to lead the cows out from the herd as zebras so nobody would notice that he actually stole cows. But the cows died of the toxic paint, and Vasca's father punished him severely. Then some years later he started a super marked. That was ok for a while, but soon ha had to pay the mafia money for "protection" in order to keep the shop running. Then he sold the shop to another man with his own "protection".

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