My name is Ana Gabriadze and I was born in Tbilisi, on April 3, 1968.
I used to live in the Old Town of Tbilisi until I was seven. A long narrow street where I lived used to be called "vodovoznaya", as they carried water for sale through that street. We had a rectangle room with large windows through which you could see brownish-red wall of bricks with occasional grey stones. Holes left by missing stones were filled with moss that spread over to the brick wall. The house belonged to an Armenian merchant before the Revolution, until it was taken away from him and divided into several apartments where many different people moved in.
The central part of the house was the so-called Italian yard - a stage of the house. A Kurd janitor and a loader named Abas lived in the basement. Rumor had it that he used to lift a grand piano with his bare hands. I though that his wife Zoze was the most beautiful woman in the world. Abaz had taken her away from her first husband and made her his wife. He treated her like a queen. Zoze was a woman with dark skin-tone and extremely refined hands like those of a sculpture. She used to wear many bracelets and necklaces; you could see gold balls shining near her ears. She used to wear traditional clothes made of silk and velvet, and many colorful dresses... she looked like a bird of paradise (or a firebird).