The girl was 10 years old in her fifth grade at school. She usually had 5 or 6 classes a day. The fifth grade is the year when classes are conducted by different subject teachers and students start to feel like adults. On that day, one of the last classes that she had was biology. It seemed that the girl and some of her classmates did not like the teacher, and were not prepared for the class. At that time, it was quite a prominent phenomenon among the older students that they would escape from classes and usually they would have some fun. The girl knew about this from her older cousin and was fond of the funny/cool stories that she had been telling about her escapes. As a fifth grader, the girl felt that there was no point to wait for more years, but it was already time that she could also escape from school with her classmates and have fun. So, she initiated this idea and the majority of her classmates also got excited about this. The next issue was to decide where to go. Two of her classmates were living in the old town district that was called “Under the Fortress” as it was located at the historic (13th century) Gori Fortress. Although the fortress was located in the center of the city, none of the classmates have been there before except those two, because this place was abandoned at that time and notoriously known that “it was full of drug users”. The classmate that lived in the fortress area suggested that they could guide the class to hike to the fortress. Although it sounded somewhat scary to the girl, she got very excited about this idea and thought this would be a perfect first escape experience that she could tell about and be proud of. In addition to this, the girl and her classmates were sure that no one would think that they were at the Fortress and teachers or parents could not find them. Thus, the scary fortress seemed also to be a safe place to hide.
Even though some of the classmates hesitated, the whole class escaped from school, because of the peer pressure from classmates and the belief that came even from the teachers that classmates should support each other in everything, even doing “wrong” things, and they should not snitch on each other to teachers or parents. Although everyone escaped, not all of them dared to go to the fortress, some of them just went home. A group of about 15 5th graders ran out of the school from the backyard. After crossing the main street from the school she felt safer, liberated and somewhat guilty as well. She was thinking about the possible anger that could occur from her teachers and parents, but the excitement over weighted expected unpleasant consequences. It was in the afternoon that the girl and her classmates approached the fortress that was about 15 minutes walking distance from school and started to hike on the ruins of the old stairs. It was windy at the top of the fortress. The girl found this place very impressive as the whole city could be seen from there and also felt some historical sentiments as the fortress had prisons, where slaves were imprisoned after wars, arrow slits on the old walls of the fortress and a small old church in the depth of the fortress. And what was most shocking, she and her classmate actually saw a group of guys who were actually using drugs. The girl had assumptions from her parents and the community that drug users were scary people and they could harm her. But, at that moment she was so intrigued that she could not help herself to not observe how they were actually injecting the drug in their arms. The guys also did not seem as scary as she was warned, and she remembers that they even smiled at her. The girl and her classmates left the fortress after about an hour. She felt very fulfilled, excited and proud of her experience.