ramblings


So my big journey started yesterday. I was planing for so long to visit Holland that I wasn’t fully realizing that this is actually happening. My dear friend Marlene invited me many times during last few years but of course because we had that visa obstacle it wasn’t that easy going on your own. (not that I’m complaining cause I was travel a lot but that was mostly in group and Holland was never place I’d visit in a group where I would have to follow certain schedule). So now when that obstacle has been removed I thought quite casually “Why not?”. I checked the term with Marlene and purchased the plane tickets but even then it looked like a dream. Then day before yesterday I started to panic because I had to leave the house in three hours and I didn’t even started to pack my things (that should make a picture how realistic this trip looked to me).

I did get seats next to the window (which I asked) but it was above the wing which messed my plans to use my new camera (that I bought for this trip) It’s Canon PowerShot G11 (I’m so happy about it that I had to mention again). I was a little bit worry about the Schiphol airport which is one of the airport with the highest flight frequency. I supposed to get the bus station, buy the right ticket and then catch the right bus with English speaking driver, explain to him where I’m suppose to go so that he can tell me on which station I should wait another bus. During the flight I was reading about Schiphol and was quite calmed down because guide I have, said that’s one of the most users friendly airports and indeed it is. It was extremely easy to find the right direction and right place to pick up the baggage. The custom clerk didn’t make me problems; asked me questions I expected and stamped my passport (thank you Murphy for not applying your law then!!!). I was on the verge to make silly joke when he asked me the purpose of my visit. I thought to say “Birthday party” [30th April is a Queensday which is the birthday of Dutch Queen’s mother (which was also the queen)]. But then I’ll be here on Rowena’s (Marlene’s daughter’s) B-Day as well which would be my way out with the clerk.

And then at the Schiphool it was such a huge surprise when I suddenly saw a “MILAN ZZZ” sign!!! (for those who don’t know my nick name on BookCrossing (place where I met Marlene) site is zzz). It was Rowena who hold it and then I saw Marlene’s father (!!!) and Marlene! That was not the plan whatsoever so I was really surprised! And then we started to talk as if we know each other zillion years (which is not far from truth) without any unpleasant “oh-say-something-quickly-to-break-this-silence” moment. We all really clicked perfectly. By the way Marlene’s mother suggested the “Who the fuck is Milan?” sign (alluding on the song with Alice of course) but they didn’t do that. Of course I would just pass beside them without even changing my facial expression 🙂 (later she said that’s exactly what she would do as well).

We really couldn´t stop to talk and in spite the fact that I didn´t sleep for more than 24 hours I wasn´t feeling tired. In the afternoon I went in walk through Heemstede and it´s such a lovely town indeed. From the air Holland looks exactly like a Farmiville (those who play it on Facebook (which I don’t and don’t send me invitations!) will know what I’m saying). Everything is so ordered in perfect geometry; on the edges are modern windmills and fields of all sorts of things. The town is lovely; the houses are utterly gorgeous the cobbled streets with street lights; amazingly beautiful gardens and the most strange huge windows without curtains or blinds. Of course Dutch aren’t peeking cause they are completely accustomed on that; however I’m not so I had to admit I was looking inside interested about inner decoration. Then I was wondering “Do they ever walk naked through their house?” Not that I was hoping to catch some nudity but I thought in your house you can be relaxed and free to do whatever you want; However in this case it would be as if they are displaying themselves on the streets. The windows are huge almost from the floor to the ceiling and often you can see entire house till the end on the other side.
Everything leaves impression of the rally rich country. I visited lots of places and in most of them I thought “Oh this could be nice to do in Serbia” however I don’t see Serbia anywhere near to this. Sadly. (will post some pics about neighborhood later).

Today (2nd day) was absolutely lovely with no clouds. I went to Marlene’s parents on the coffee and to meet them of course. They are fantastic! I love their humour and it really relaxed me totally (well, not that was too nervous but you never know). Oh and just like in Serbia, in Holland people are kissing three times! We talked about everything, we catched the topic on which Marlene and I had a huge fight last year (which is past Dutch foreign policy), politics of course, history of the Netherlands and Serbia, question of identity in Holland and Serbia and how there is a huge difference in those two approaches. It was such a great conversation. Oh and Don (Marlene’s father) lended me his bike cause I expressed a wish to do everything Dutch when in Holland 🙂

So in spite that only few kilometres from where I am Van Gogh is waiting me (which is something I’m really dreaming about) I was strong and decided to restrain myself from spending such a lovely day in the museum (I’m sure I’ll eventually catch some rain here) so I decided to go and bike through Holland’s countryside and enjoy the nature. So I took a maps Marlene’s father gave me; put my camera, few sandwiches, water and some long sleeves shirt in my backpack and hit the road.

Holland is cyclist paradise! There are cyclist roads beside the main, car ones, signs for cyclists with marked routes, everyone (car drivers) respects them. It’s just amazing. However thank god there were no cops cause I made few big mistakes: I know I was suppose to ride a bike on the right side of the cyclist road but few times I forgot that cyclist road can be on the left side of the road for cars. So I was turning right from the cyclist road following the direction only to realize that the cyclist road is on my left side  next to the road for cars where I was driving. I did earn few sirens from the car.

Oh and I did manage to fall. Idiot, I’m so into taking pictures so I suddenly saw something I had to picture and completely forgot I’m on the bike so I stretched my leg to stop myself but the speed was too high (I wasn’t realizing that either) which made me lost balance and I “kissed” the pavement. In the middle of the town, it was really embarrassing but I took that picture.

What I was hoping to see was a fields of tulips, something  I don’t think I can see elsewhere. In one of the guides I have, they suggested a route but I had to changed it a little bit of course. So I drove through Bennebroek, Hillegom, Lisse, Sassenheim where I turned right on my own and then I wasn’t sure where I am but when I saw the sing for Noordwijk aan Zee I realised that “aan Zee” must mean “at the sea” so I had to go and see Northern Sea. I was kind of excited cause I’ll jump in the sea again! All of a sudden I’ve found muself among sand dunes and I knew I’m almost there and then I smell it and heard the waves and there it was. endless horizon filled with blue. I left bike near the cafe bar, took of my shoes and started walking towards it. Sand was actually warm but I knew water isn’t. On the other hand I thought “If you could enter into the Arctic Ocean this will not be a problem” and it wasn’t. It was cold and lovely, quiet, except of the waves few people were walking or jogging… It’s strange that last few seas I saw were all cold and on the north of the Europe. I’m so glad I decided to turn and make my own route. 

Then I was a little bit lost in the town and couldn’t find road to Leiden so I asked two older ladies who were so polite and were explaining me direction about 5 minutes… in Dutch! I did found the road eventually but that episode was so nice. At first they didn’t know whet “Leiden” is. I repeated few times and when I showed them on the map they both in the same time said “Oh Leiden!” (I thought I pronounced exactly the same way they did!). When I reached the Leiden I was quite tired (I biked some 45 km) and decided to take train on my way back. You know you can bring your bicycle into the train … if you buy the ticket for it! Which costs the same as for you! How silly is that!?!

And now it’s 2 am, I’m finishing this first report without knowing where I’ll go tomorrow. The idea is Amsterdam but I’m a little bit afraid if the weather is lovely just like it was today I’ll not be able to resist to go in Van Gogh’s Museum. By the way, I learn how to pronounce Van Gogh corectly and I know when I come back and say his last name in Serbia no one would know about whom I’m talking about! I was so surprised. Of course it’s all “H” (Dutch language has so many and so strong “H”).

till soon *wave*

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OK so it happened. I’m pretty much puzzled what to think about this concert. You don’t have to be Madonna’s fan to know this is something you shouldn’t miss. Beside I liked her in my youth very much actually. I remember her concerts at the beginning of 1990-es  (“Blond Ambition World Tour” and “The Girlie Show World Tour”) and thinking if I’ll ever see something like this … oh well I didn’t.

I was hoping to go on her concert last year when she was in Montenegro because no one believed she’ll come back in the region. Well she did but it seems that vast majority of people from Serbia who were at the concert in Montenegro decided to stay home last night. Namely there were only 40000 people which is of course far less than what was expected. On the other hand, reviews from that last year’s concert weren’t bright whatsoever. Anyway I didn’t manage to be in Montenegro and when I heard she’s coming in Belgrade I knew it’s now or never (luckily my brother thought the same and gave me this for birthday). As I said that’s something you just don’t miss no mater if you’re not her fan. There are only few artists who are living legends who fits in this category (sadly Michael Jackson is not anymore one of them so I’ll definitively not see him live). I’ve already seen “Rolling Stones” and now after Madonna I really don’t know who could be added in this group? Who is such an institution on the global scale?

Concert itself was true spectacle. Light, laser, computer, dancers, 8 huge mobile LED screens … all effects were absolutely perfect. Of course she is inhumanly fit considering her age. She danced like 10-20 years ago… But then, she wasn’t the same Madonna as she was 10-20 years ago. Her music has evolved and I’m not sure if I like direction she took. She is (and will probably remain) the biggest pop icon ever but the music she’s making now is hardly pop; or if it is it has so many techno spices that it makes special subgenre.

Concert (after exactly an hour delay. That was very surprising. I’m not even sure if she was aware that she’s late) started with “Candy Shop” and really, as much as you were pissed cause you’re standing an hour like an idiot in that moment every negative emotion just vanishes. I mean, the moment when you’re ACTUALLY looking at Madonna only few (tens of) meters from you really shocks you. It does have an impact: at first you are paralyzed like and then you just go wild.

Concert was divided in four parts: First part “Pimp” was homage to art-deco of 1920-ies. After introducing animation she appears sitting on the “M”-shaped throne. The peak of this part is “Vogue” in new design mixed with tones from “4 minutes”.

Second part “Old School” reminding us on her beginnings 1980-ies. I LOVED her “Get Into the Groove” with fantastic paints of Keith Haring (whom I like as well and whose reproduction I even have on my wall). I think this was my favourite part. You know here she was real Madonna, true pop queen.

Third “Gypsy” part was filled with Latino rhythm. There was a Ukrainian Gypsy band who played “La Isla Bonita” mixed with some traditional gypsy songs. It was interesting but I’m afraid that the change of one of her greatest hits ever was so drastic that it became different song. I’m not sure did I like that too much. Later, Gypsies had their solo performance which I’m sure was absolutely stunning in Western Europe, North America or Australia but she came in the part of the world where world’s best gypsy music is producing and I really doubt that anyone was fascinated with that part. I mean common gypsy band in some tavern in Serbian (or Romanian or Bulgarian) province would put more fire and heart in their songs. So the folks here really are used to really go wild with gypsy music so I’m afraid Ukrainians didn’t even produce a sparkle in the audience but hey we are tolerant so we waited Madonna to take microphone. But then when she took she sung “You Must Love Me” from “Evita” which was really slow and didn’t stimulate the mass.

Final part “Rave” was a mix of Far East choreography and visual effects and electronic music and it was OK. It ended with “Give It To Me” which was absolutely fascinating and the very peak of the concert. her commuication with audience was phenomenal during that song, she was giving microphone to the peoples in first raw and whole mass was dancing like crazy. Too bad that climax meant also the end.

There were few very special moments such is tribute to Michael Jackson (this video is not from last night’s show but from London but it was exactly the same so I’m putting it). Indeed, “Long live The King!”

There were no too many shocking things (after all elections in US are over) but since she’s known for her political and ecological activism there were one segment dedicated to this. Namely during video break and song “Get Stupid” which has had the theme global warming, ecological disasters, craziness of consumer society, political dictatorships… there were scenes with Hitler, Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong-il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iranian religious leaders, scenes from political rallies after presidential elections in Iran few months ago including the death of  ‘Neda’ video.
Then there was images of destruction and comes one very curious part. Namely on the big screen along with scenes of destruction and bombing appears US flag. Now, without any euphemisms we are not very fond of American foreign politics in last 15 years (we’ve been bombed, US opinion about Kosovo is completely opposite of ours, those are two issues among many other bead ones) so I was curious to see reaction of the audience but (surprisingly!) there was no any. And then image of Barack Obama appeared and the audience reacted with ovations! I so didn’t expect that and I must say I was thrilled with it. I don’t know if he’ll bring some big changes that will have some positive influence on our lives but I’m so glad to see that change has happened in our minds and that we do have faith in American peoples’ choice.

All in all this was good concert but I did have highest expectations. There were not enough big hits (there were beside the ones I mentioned) “Like a Prayer”, “Music”, “Frozen”, “Holiday”, “4 Minutes”. So the set list wasn’t the happiest one; it was more warm/cold when the crowd sunk into delirium after some hit goes something that calms atmosphere down and so on. Too many average songs spiced with cruel, cold professionalism. Communication with the audience was solid but for our standards not nearly enough (just for the record Mick Jagger talked with us IN SERBIAN!).

Now when I’ve mentioned again concert Rolling Stones had I knew they’ve made standard that (I honestly believe) no one will be able to achieve but I didn’t expect that difference between that one and last night’s, Madonna’s, the grates pop icon EVER will be so enormous!

It was a good concert indeed, it was amazing spectacle and I would regret horribly if I have missed it. But that wasn’t nearly the concerts I watched 15 years ago fantasizing to be there.

Lots of things are happening with me in last … lets say two weeks. I already wrote about our newborn. His parents have decided to be utterly merciful and have sent me MMS with Vuk but I can’t find cable at the moment to move the image on the PC (will do). Therefore there’ll be no photo again. However I can assure you that indeed he’s not ugly at all (anymore). He is one cute little baby. I was hoping I’ll see him again before I go on vacation but I’m in total mess (which is more/less my regular state) so I will not.

I can’t believe what kind of babies my sister in law and my brother are making. It is as if they are ordering them! Namely my niece was a fantastic baby; she was sleeping, eating and shitting. OK “fantastic” from the perspective of a parent; if you ask me she was boring! You couldn’t do anything with her. She even didn’t want to be hold in the lap/hands. The last thing was great indeed. I remember once she was crying in the cradle and my mom wanted to hold her but I didn’t let her “If you hold her too much she’ll cry every time you put her back in the cradle!” but she was persistent (both, mum and niece). The last (unsuccessful) try was “She’s not blue yet” lol
Anyhow this new baby is the same as his sister (he only sleeps more … and shit more).

OK I had lovely birthday and birthday party because party was in Saturday while my birthday was in Thursday. I decided to male a cake, my first one and it was fabulous! Everyone said it’s better than my mom’s (I changed recipe) which is huge success cause I don’t eat sweets (therefore I don’t make those). It’s “Greek Cake” with lots of almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, dark chocolate and powdered cookies.
And presents are great! Books of course: History of Beauty by Umberto Eco (something I wished ever since I saw it for the first time!); My Michael by Amos Oz; Anthology of Nigerian stories; The Ruby in her Navel by Barry Unsworth; Birthday Stories by Haruki Murakami; Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore; A Guide to the Serbian Mentality by Momo Kapor (beautiful book written by heart; I’ve read few essays from there); Keith Harring ‘paint’ (which shows pretty much how I’m feeling now); Photo album; Kitchen accessory; Lots of wine and MP4 Player, great equipment for the upcoming trip!

Last Monday I was listening my favourite radio station B92 while preparing stuff to go on the swimming. And they asked listeners to send them text message with an answer Why is better spend summer on the mountain than on the coast on the beach?” There were lots of answers and many were sort of cheep poetry (mentioning B92); I didn’t like them so, considering I have slight problem on the swimming pool I sent reply “Because you don’t have to spend whole vacation with your stomach pulled in. Relax!” and I went on the pool.
Few days later, on my birthday, 17th July my cell phone rang:
Hello Milan! Here is radio B92, I’m just checking are you available. You’re participating in a quiz.
– No I don’t! Is this some joke?
– No it’s not joke. Haven’t you sent us text message
blah, blah
– Yes I have
– Well we like you answer a lot and you are our Monday winner. And in the semis you’ll competing with winner of Tuesday and the winner of that duel will competing with the winner of Wednesday.
– But I didn’t know it’s a game! I just replied on your question and left the house. This must be some birthday joke; If I knew it’s a game I surely wouldn’t participate! I hate being on the radio!
– Oh come on! It’s even better you didn’t know. You’ll see the questions aren’t hard at all!
– Ok but don’t mention it’s my birthday
(maybe I’m lucky and no one will recognize my voice)

And so I participated in the quiz. It was like picking one number 1-30 until someone fail to give an answer. I was the first (considering that I’m Monday winner). (I’ll type questions here just for myself to remember them; I know you’re not familiar with any of these since it’s geography and culture of Serbia)
I picked #1
Q: What’s the name of the highest peak of Kopaonik Mountain?
A: Pančićev Vrh (CORRECT)
My opponent picked this:
Q: What’s the name of the mountain where Josif Pančić discovered new spruce specie, Omorika (Serbian Spruce, Picea Omorika)?
A: On Kopaonik mountain. (WRONG! It’s Tara Mountain, I knew that)
So I won and pass in the final against winner of Wednesday.
I picked #2
Q: Which town is nearest to Kopaonik mountain?
A: Brus (CORRECT)
My Wednesday opponent picked this
Q: Which monastery is the nearest to Kopaonik mountain?
A: Ravanica monastery (WRONG! It’s Studenica, of course I knew that)
Radio hostess:
– Milan, congratulations! You won 10 days vacation in the  Jat Apartments at Kopaonik mountain for four persons!
– You must be kidding!
– Nope! I’m not kidding! Happy Birthday!

Can you believe this? I hardly can, but then I looking in the voucher that is confirming I wasn’t dreaming and beside that few minutes ago, precisely while I was typing this post my cell phone rang. It was call from management of JAT Apartments from Kopaonik, congratulating me on the award and telling me that I’m welcome to come whenever I want till 13th September! And if you’d like to see how it looks like here is the link: JAT Apartments – Kopaonik.

I’ll probably go with my mother. I think she would enjoy in such vacation; She was reluctant but considering it’s not skiing season so she can walk it will be lovely for her. Beside that we don’t spend much time together since we are living in different town (and I don’t have problem to go with my mom. LOL). Also I hope we’ll be able to steal my niece (I have extra need to give her more especially now when new baby is here); and my best girl friend (that makes us four).

So this will be rest for previous BIG trip which starts tomorrow! And which makes me SO nervous!!! This is the map of the trip:

Strbske Pleso – Slovakia 23rd July
Krakow – Poland 24rd July
Tallinn, Estonia – 25th July
Helsinki, Finland – 26th-28th July
Tampere, Finland – 29th July
Rovaniemi, Finland – 30th July-01st Aug
Inari, Finland – 01st -02nd Aug
Kirkenes, Norway – 02nd Aug
Oulu, Finland – 3rd August
St Petersburg, Russia 04th–07th Aug
Riga, Latvia – 07th Aug
Krakow, Poland 08th Aug

It’s very tight schedule indeed but it will be a dream vacation. I still can’t believe I’ll visit St. Petersburg. It’s one of mine top 5 places on to-see list. Of course there are lots of other places (not listed above) I’m looking forward like the coast of Arctic Ocean, or Auschwitz. But special excitement is the fact that I’ll meet Finnish BookCrossing crew and among them two very dear friends of mine (they sometimes post comments here). I never thought I’ll meet them, especially not in their home land!
So I’m spending last days thinking about the trip, going in last minute shopping (hate that), thinking what to pack (temperature range will be 12C-35C (53F-95F) so you can imagine my problem) and of course reading books to prepare this trip in best possible way!
So my current favourite literature is this:

OK I’m off to pack myself …

Thursday Thirteen

I modified my last post from 24th March into TT post cause I think it should be exposed to wider blogging audience. So here it is:
1. Last night I went in bed with huge smile on my face. It was amazing watching how Serbs Ana Ivanović and Novak Djoković have took titles in Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells! Serbian fans on the stadium wore “NOLE, ANA, JELENA” t-shirts, this time no one has been punished but the banner “Kosovo is Serbia” has been confiscated, on the grounds that the banner was a political statement (I guess “Texas is USA” would be taken in the same way). Novak made a taped speech last month for a rally in Belgrade in which he spoke against Kosovo’s independence.

Ana & Novak

 

2. “The people who know my past and they understand what I’m saying — my father and my aunt, my uncle all grew up there. They were born in Kosovo and my family used to live there for 30 years. I was there many times. So it kind of touched me in that moment that this was my quest to give support by my country.” said Djoković.

3. Last week, the swimmer Milorad Čavić, who was born in California to Serbian parents, was barred from the European championships after wearing a T-shirt that said “Kosovo is Serbia,” in Cyrillic letters, at the medal ceremony after winning the 50-meter butterfly. “I’m really sad to hear about this. It’s hard because we are athletes and trying to do the best we can on the court and promote our country in the best possible way,” Ivanović said about the Čavić’s case (I wrote about that HERE).

4. And it was fantastic to see those youngsters who have managed to conquer hearts of so many people all around the world.

5. And then this morning I’m turning on my radio expecting to hear news from tennis court I was frozen by the sound of air raid emergency siren! It was horrible flash back and it took me few moments to realize that today is 9th anniversary of the NATO War of aggression against Serbia.

6. I remember that day I didn’t want to leave my flat in Belgrade naively believed that international law is supreme value and that no one will attack sovereign European country without permission of the Security Council UNO (the only institution which has mandate to bring that decision). Moreover I didn’t believe it’s possible that NATO will broke its own statute which said that alliance will go in military action only if the country, member of the alliance is jeopardized by some third (non member) country. But then I simply didn’t think that international law doesn’t exist if USA wants that.

7. So I decided to leave Belgrade to calm my parents and I remember my shock when I arrived on the main bus station which has been completely covered with people sleeping with their luggage on the floor. It was impossible to reach the counters. My god I never saw anything like this before.

8. Anyhow that evening I was visiting my friend, drinking coffee and chatting about something trivial and in one moment we stopped talking. “Was that detonation?” and soon after that we heard air raid sirens. It was unbelievable.

9. 78 days of bombing killed about 3000 civilians; destroyed infrastructure of the country; helped Milosević’s regime to achieve what he couldn’t for so long: kill free press, put in jail everyone who was publicly expressing different political opinion; put citizens in total misery.

10. Official cause for bombing was massacre in the village of Racak. After bombing UN commission of forensics and pathologists confirmed that there was no massacre. Those bodies were in unnaturally positions in the cloths that don’t match the wounds on the body. It was confirmed what Serbs officials were claim that those are terrorists dressed post mortem in the civilian clothes. Naturally that was irrelevant. Of course now we see the true purpose of NATO aggression: making Kosovo independent.

11.

12. One might think 9 years would be enough for wounds to heal but I don’t think that will ever happen. When I heard sirens this morning I couldn’t pick up myself entire morning. 9 years and yet, as if it was yesterday. No I wasn’t afraid, I wasn’t afraid during the bombing neither. I never went in shelter or something like that. I was in despair and filled with anger and in the same time incapable to do anything. And that state of mind is worse than anything you can imagine. This morning I realized that state of mind is somewhere inside me, waiting to be awaken.

13. If you were me, would you be able to forgive? (is this question makes me a bad person, or at least a bad Christian? If so, I’m wondering where is the limit of human ability to forgive?)

The Sad ClownI just came back in town after about two weeks of isolation from news. Now I’m supposed to pick up pieces of normality in my life and try to live, right? Oh but that will not be that easy. Namely political situation is just as if it was in the early nineties: economy is in mess, stock market too; inflation is jumping every day; radicalism is awake; people are so furious and angry and (the latest in the line) government fell. What a perfect place to be normal! And all that in only two weeks!

Oh, Europe is constantly saying how Serbia is its friend and how Serbia has its place in European Union. They are willing to help us on every step, of course if we chose Europe. Now after this, I’m afraid we will not chose Europe. Not that I want that, on the contrary but Europe has done everything to provoke rising of blood pressure to every common citizen in Serbia whenever they hear word “Europe”! Oh but the point is that Europe is our friend who wants to help us, right?

Well I’ll try to make the picture about European offer clearer:
Imagine a man who has found a homeless frozen girl on the street and he offers her help. He could put her in one SAFE House (Violence Shelter) where is warm and where she’ll get bed and food and where she’ll be able to stay as long as necessary. And girl of course accepts his offer willingly BUT there’s a catch: since SAFE House is only for victims of violence he must beat her and rape her and after that there’ll be no problem for her to be under protection.

Nice isn’t it? Would you accept that offer? Well that is exactly what Europe is doing to Serbia: constantly is speaking about historical friendship with Serbia and their will to help but … there’s a catch!

And how live normal life? How going to work, study, how not thinking what if phone ring in 3 am and the pissed voice said “let’s throw some bombs there! We’ll find excuse later in the morning”? That wouldn’t be the first time anyway.

I surely try to stop fighting against windmills by reading and commenting posts about Kosovo and history of this region on other blogs. The latest experience with that was Mr. Cheeseburger 9000, guy who is pro Kosovo independence (which is quite legitimate of course) and whose blog I left after I saw his comment about organized atrocities against Serbs and their homes and cultural heritage in March 2004 where he was justifying it. I did “protest” about it and he said that he didn’t mean that but even though that was just too much. Until two weeks ago when I posted my comment about some other issue in which I explained why I think his arguments are unbelievable (among other things he said that since the violation of the law has been committed we shouldn’t mentioning anymore! It’s done so there’s no point insisting on that) and replied about his insults. I’m quite aware my positions and I’m trying to stand with both feet on the ground but I just had to react when I see injustice. Of course I lost and people like Mr. Cheeseburger 9000 have won and I said that in my comment so they can celebrate and be happy toward my despair (I said that as well). I’m not ashamed cause I’m in grief.
But then I guess my comment was just too much for him (I was polite so I’m not sure what was the reason). I guess Mr. Cheeseburger 9000 saw his own reflection in my comment and what he saw wasn’t pretty and so he decided not to publish my comment! Really I couldn’t believe it. It was so immature. And then what’s the point to allow comments at all? To be honest I was surprise cause I didn’t expect that but hey, he has all right to do that. After all it’s his blog.

So as you can see there’s no point fight against windmills. They will understand the message (otherwise he would publish my comment) but even though they will continue to go in the same direction. This kind of people is something I don’t wanna have anything with.

So, normality? It will be very hard. Maybe it would be the easiest to spread the legs, close eyes and try to enjoy thinking about all warmth and food that are waiting in the SAFE House. If you can’t avoid to be raped then at least try to enjoy in sex, right? But then how to look yourself tomorrow? How to bear to see your image in the mirror? That would not be something you can censored from publishing on your blog and keep on living like nothing happened.

Thursday Thirteen

1. I really don’t have some bright idea what should I write for this TT. Since it will be the last TT this year it should be something about some important events in 2007. But I’m not sure about that because I usually blogging about them. So it will be one spontaneously written TT about … we’ll see…
2. 13 days ago (Dec 14th) it was my 1st blogging anniversary. I’ve never been fan of diaries; I never wrote one. It was considered as a girlish thing and beside that I wasn’t interested in doing that. I was writing my thoughts from time to time and also kind of short stories I’m very proud of.
3. Then I started to be “active” on the internet and have met lots of great folks with whom I share so many interests. I was thinking about my favourite books and movies and all I could remember was that sense of astonishment after reading/watching it. But then I tried to recall what was all about and I couldn’t. It was frightening. I know what is my favourite book and I could remember the synopsis vaguely which was not nearly satisfying. 4. And that was my main impulse to start writing, and then since I already writing why not make a blog? Without any pretensions to create something big and important just a place where I could put my ramblings. It was quite accidentally and I didn’t think it will be interesting for others to read.

5. But it seems it was interesting 😉 Of course posting in TT meme increased visits and I though it might be good idea to write things about Serbia, our customs, life etc precisely in TT. And when you live in Serbia you simply cannot avoid politics. Sadly it is inseparable part of our everyday life. Every peasant knows when is next meeting of Security Council in UNO because it has (again or should I say still) direct impact on our lives. 6. So I started to write about political situation here and especially about some (unknown) facts about Kosovo and Metohija, especially after I heard what people from abroad “knows” about this issue. I tried to stay objective as much a possible. I know this theme was not very popular among TTers; people simply expect to read here about funny things. They usually don’t wanna read huge text about suffering in the country they aren’t even able to locate on the map. And I respect that completely! 7. Well good thing about TT is that you can write about everything so that people are free to say “boooring” and leave the place. I just remembered that my blog was marked as potentially offensive. I think that was because of my text about film Iraq in Fragments (click the link if you wanna see why) and I would lie if I say I’m not glad because of that.

8. Then of course to not completely scare people who visit my TTs I started to write about history and customs in Serbia; about things and people we are so proud of. And it seems that was quite interesting for many … eventually I become proud on my blog so here is post about it! (that’s a joke of course LOL!). Truth is I was enjoying very much in comments you were leaving.

9. And then I received an e-mail from the Serbian Institute for Public Diplomacy in Brussels in which they said something like “Milan you’re doing awesome thing on your blog so I sent an e-mail with the link of your blog on about 100 addresses (to Serbian diaspora and foreign press agencies)” the subject of the mail was “Someone really special”. I really couldn’t believe that and to be honest I was completely frightened! It seems my blog became something not only mine and I’d have to be careful what I’m writing. No you will not see self censorship here, it’s just few drops of responsibility. I guess.

10. Oh yes, it was fabulous surprise to find comments of directors and producers of the movies I wrote about. It happened twice! Have you ever thought they are actually reading reviews of common spectators? Indeed I never thought but I saw I was horribly wrong in the best possible way!

11. But actually the biggest question about my blog, the question all my friends are asking me: “Why on earth you’re not writing in your mother tongue?” and that’s a very good question indeed. I don’t have a clue why; I guess I initially started after reading my friend’s blogs written in English and I didn’t even noticed I’m writing in foreign language. 12. To be honest I’m glad my blog is in English, otherwise I wouldn’t meet such a great people all around the world. It is sometimes hard to express myself in English indeed and I realize I’m making grammar mistakes but frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!.
That’s the price I’m willing to pay.

13. Thank you all for making this first year very enjoyable. See you next year!

1st birthday

The Best Of Serbia!

The word naj in Serbian is in combination with some adjective use to amplify that adjective (good or bad) but when it stands alone it always means the best! These days (well the whole last year) it was the best association with Serbian tennis players (the best Serbian brand for sure)!

Yesterday Belgrade Arena was full (20000 spectators) and occasion was Humanitarian spectacle “NAJJ Srbije” (the best of Serbia).

N is for Novak Djoković (world #3)
A is for Ana Ivanović (world #4)
J is for Jelena Janković (world #3)
J is for Janko Tipsarević (world #52)

These four were I think for the first time together played in a front of their own people and our hearts were full while we were watching them. Arena was sold out and all money has been divided in four parts, every player has donated her/his part to some charity: mainly for children of Kosovo and Hospitals; UNICEF; etc.

We saw our stars in little different light. Of course the result was irrelevant so I’m not going to mention it but their singing skills were equally good!
Their sense for humor is great and they’ve made that evening unforgettable.

Indeed this was tennis event so we saw our best juniors as well but also famous singers and actors have their part as well. (Maria Sharapova and Robert de Niro should be there as well but I’m not sure about that. They were both cheering Novak at the final of US Open this year and have confirmed their arrival).

Once again thank you!

 

NAJJ

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