Monday, September 19, 2011

Primo Visits

This weekend, my travel buddy, Mat Small, trekked out to Denver for a visit. He's one of many who have made connections at DIA but never emerged from the terminal. At long last, he explored Denver with my help and an old friendship was re-strengthened.

Mat is my Primo, Portugese for "cousin." Years ago, as we traveled through Brazil together, we kept being mistaken for spouses or siblings - neither of which described our platonic relationship. We settled for cousins and forever being Primo & Prima to one another.

Aside from seeing Denver, Mat was on a mission: To convince me to join him next May on a 12- day journey to the country of Georgia, a small nation bordering Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Black Sea. He showed videos. He drew maps. He bragged about their wines and their status as the world's first Christian nation. He even cajoled my friend, Inna - who originally hails from Kazakhstan - to back him up. No luck there.

Still, I'm intrigued. Mostly due to the fact that Mat is a relentless researcher on exotic locals that bring the most bang for the buck. I tease him about his obsessions with world currencies but as his travel partner, it certainly pays off. In fact, Mat usually researches absolutely everything and I just show up. My part of the deal involves photographing the hell out of the entire experience. All in all, a fair exchange.

So come May, who knows? I may be slurping Georgian wine....

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