Sunday, September 30, 2007
New Mass Grave Near Tuzla
There should be an English language link soon, and when it comes, I'll put it up.
Latest Addictive Bosnian T.V. Show
Trust me this is pretty funny. It's in Bosnian and French. Of course the French is subtitled, and the Bosnian isn't. I suspect it's filmed in Lukomir or someplace very similar. There are a lot of real people in this as opposed to actors, and the humor is very broad.
I watched the first episode my second night in Sarajevo, and then made my friend watch it with me last night. He probably didn't find it as funny as I did, but he enjoyed it too.
There were times I was literally rolling on the floor laughing my butt off.
Those of my readers who don't speak Bosnian should look at it anyway for the scenery. It isn't quite like this around Sarajevo, but it is up way in the hills where there aren't tour busses. Speaking of which, they have a lot of fun with tourists in this show. :)
The premise of the show is there is this cute French girl out para-gliding. She doesn't speak ANY Bosnian, she has no knowlege of Bosnian customs or ways and she crashes in this tiny Bosnian Muslim village in the middle of exactly no where. The ONLY word that everyone understands is 'telephone'!
And the fun begins from that point.
This is a show on F.T.V. and several bits of the first two episodes are up on YouTube.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Some actual news links
Why doesn't anyone mention the REAL reason to be dissatisfied? the Coke I got in Dublin effectively cost me $4! It was two Euro,The same amount would be anywhere from $1.50 stateside to at the low end, .99 cents.
My Dublin friend's rat-ridden shoe-box flat cost 630 Euros! You don't even want to know what someplace like I have rented in Sarajevo would go for in Dublin! It would be completely out of reach in Dublin!
Euroinflation is real, and it needs to be fixed. No one is discussing it and it should be discussed instead of inflicting it on the Balkans nations in line to join the E.U.
Two Kosovan Brother's Marriage Scam Appeal Rejected
If you have these sorts of scams going on, it's a sure sign that your immigration laws are too harsh.
I would say the same if this happened in the U.S.
That said, immigration marriage scams ruin lives, seriously they do. I think it's reprehensible to dupe a young woman that is of an age to not realize the full implications of such matters.
Some 40,000 Wild Boars in Bulgaria
That's 'boars' NOT 'bores'!
Croatia condemns Vukovar sentances
More on above story
Bosnian Serbs to defy any sackings
Bosnia's Political Rivals Agree to Unify Police Two Days Ahead of Deadline
and one of those awful Whiskey Tango Foxtrot stories (Army Lingo for W.T.F. for those of you in Rio Del):
Father Commits Suicide by Handgrenade, Wounds Daughter
Croatia breaks up a major people smuggling ring
Well, the T.V. still isn't working, I don't know why, and it's going to be Monday before I can get anything done about it. That's alright. At least the computer is usable again! :)
Just In Case.
The stove here is a Gorenje stove, it's designed for people who can't make up their minds, gas or electric, or for power failures. I would have used it if I could have laid my hands on some matches. Not being a smoker, matches just are not something I keep around, but if the power is out, you need them to light the gas burners. Anyway, off to fry some nice low quality McCain's American Style potato wedges from Samshop where b.t.w. I couldn't find,
1. black bread
All three are weird things NOT to have in a general supermarket. Well when I have to go inot to town tomorrow, I'll try to lay hands on some matches. I can get black bread on the way back hopefully. I just got stuff you don't have to cook against this sort of emergency in the future.
It's funny given all the pretty candles around here, which have been used that there are no matches in the Federation Mandated Junk Drawer*. I did look there.
As for my landlord, I think he's an observant Muslim, meaning if it happens he smokes, he wouldn't be carrying matches or cigarettes, because it's Ramzan and he's avoiding temptation.
Anyway, it was very nice of him to help me about the cell-phone.
*in the U.S. this would be the Federally Mandated Junk Drawer, but since I am in Federation BiH, it's the Federation Mandated Junk Drawer and far sparser!
M.I.B.s Balkans Style
The male announcer looks a bit like Lawrence Welk, there is a bubble machine that goes crazy from time to time, I mean really crazy! and then there's like MASS accordions, but that is where the resemblance to the late Lawrence Welk's show ENDS! :)
The music is of course Bosnian music but there are these mysterious M.I.B.s. I don't know, maybe they are going to use those things they are carrying to probe someone! Where are they from, someone must know, it all went by too fast for me!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
It's the fourth time I've photographed a rainbow, and this was thin, and delicate, hard to see in some pictures I took. It showed up best in this one.
Well, my landlord's father came to get the rest of the rent, I explained fully about the machines and limits, and thanked him for his patience.
He took my cell phone with him because one of his daughters is supposed to be good at figuring them out, the instructions are in Italian, and I don't really speak or read Italian. Supposedly if you can read Spanish, you can read Italian, that's only true to a point. I tried, I wasn't even going to plug the thing in until I totally knew.
I actually e-mailed the real owner in another country to get the message to his father,that I had the rest of the rent. since I was too tired yesterday to make a run into town to use a pay phone. Here you pay cash.
Unfortunately there is neither a post office nor other place with pay-phones nearby. That is kind of annoying, but then again, this is practically a new neighborhood.
Last night I was awakened by a huge lightening storm, sheet lightening and everything else, but it might brighten up today a little. I need to just go down the hill to Samshop and get some chocolate. For some reason I really want chocolate. I also want eggs and black bread.
I will need to wait for the landlord to show after 1, maybe 2pm to
bring my phone. He promised to pick up a pre-paid card for me too.
I don't want to do fixed line service, it's not necessary and it's a bigger added expense than just having a cell phone.
I found out from him that you can buy cards to use your phone at the post office, or even news kiosks, I don't think you really can at Samshop, he suggested it as a place. We'll see.
I kind of slept in this morning, because I was tired from waking up with all the lightening, I wasn't planning to go further than Samshop today, since I need to go into town tomorrow.
I still feel coldish, but a lot better than yesterday. It wasn't a bad cold like I got in Ireland. That was horrific and I was in a hostel the whole time. I would have gladly gone to a hotel, but there were simply NO rooms due to an All-Ireland final, between Kerry and Cork, and some rugby stuff. Anyway that meant I was going out every day, whether I felt up for it or not, and it was quite wearing really.
At least here, if I don't feel up for something I don't have to do it. I can stay in if I need to, which makes the going places far more fun.
Sarajevo is far busier than I remember it from before, way more cars, way more new cars.
Someone is making money and it's not just gangsters.
Sheep Goats and Other Four Footed Neighbors
The other day I wasn't sure if I saw rocks, or sheep, my vision is actually not all that good, so this morning, I not only saw changed positions, I saw movement, so I ran to grab my camera, to get this.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Not feeling so wonderful today....
I have CNN on, there's quite a lot about Blackwater. A comment I heard from someone in Ireland, is that the phrase 'blackwater' is a term in the sewage business, it means raw, untreated sewage that is full of nasty stuff, like human wastes. It escaped this person's understanding why any organization would pick this word as a name.
I would say that the people who started the firm didn't know that verbal connection, or they never would have named it that.
In any case, the firm has done an unfair share of damage to America's already tarnished name in Iraq, and it's a shame.
I heard on CNN that someone in the U.S. government pointed out that in fact the U.S. military has considerable ability to discipline civilian employees, and that they should use that power.
That would be a good idea.I hope it isn't too late for the suggestion to do some good.
U.S. Senate Votes to Divide Iraq
A lot also has been written about dividing Iraq somewhat on the Bosnian model. First of all, a lot of efforts are being made to unify the military here, and the police, these are vital steps in dealing with crime, and in making sure Bosnia Hercegovina has security, internal, and external, so BiH isn't really as divided as Iraq would be under some of the suggested models. Partition is the lazy man's way out.
Second, dividing Iraq would probably make all parts of the place poorer, as division did with the Indian sub-continent.
Partitioning countries is usually not the answer. Partition is usually one of the worst options.
I will admit there are times partition makes sense, but those times are few and far between.
So here's some of today's Balkans news to peruse:
Dude...where's my street?!?
Politics in Croatia
Deadly Blast Hits Kosovo
Again, no one knows the cause.
Shook under U.N. Internal Investigation
Macedonian Parliament Members Come to Blows
The Maddie McCann story got a lot of local coverage, people who don't know about North Africa don't realize that many Berber people have fair complexions and blond hair, at least in childhood, and a child who would look fairly Northern European isn't that rare in Morocco.
Anyway, it was disappointing for those who have held out hope for actually finding the poor child.
Pada kiša puno danas!
I gave my friend a belated birthday present. It is a Wembley necktie, a rather nice one too. Anyway, we hung out, eating roast chicken,you can get roast chicken from various take-out places fairly cheaply, usually fairly small chickens,but very tasty! We had pickles and sliced onions with . We had a good Hercegovinian red wine,and some rakija. We watched silly Mexican stuff on T.V. It's AMAZING how much Mexican programming there is here! There always was some, but this was a lot.
Oh a few people may remember the big Sevarina porn scandal??? Well my friend knows the guy in the film! We laughed about that a bit. Can't WAIT to share this with an internet buddy who sent me the film!
Anyway, we had a nice time, and all too soon it was time for me to leave and for him to take his car into the shop. Hehe has to go down to his brother's to help make rakija.
Tomorrow, I think I'll go and do the rounds of the museums, many of them are free.
I need to have a word with the land-lord about the self-opening bathroom window, it's not a security issue this high up, it is however a problem in terms of being warm enough. I have to stand in the tub to close the bloody thing. A lot of the small windows are hard for me to open and close since I am short.
The rain let up later in the day. I took the tram back into town and got a taxi to get back to the flat.
Well, it's now time to watch the news, and all my favorite tasteless Balkans comedy shows! :)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Smile, you're on candid camera!
Just to make a note of things, I was wearing an Indian outfit, .it's purple with sequin embroidery and I got a pashmina here that matches, and my purple flats from Macy's in the Yakima Gulag. A LOT of Bosnian people wear clothes that come from India, and a lot of the souvenier shops have things from India. Nothing against India, Indians need work too, but Bosnians should be making things to sell to the tourists, they should be making more Bosnian things, not just slipper socks and small wooden things and little shoes. And they should be proud to wear things from their country that look like they are from Bosnia. You know India didn't suffer by remaining Indian, anything BUT.
People feel sort of disappointed not to be able to buy traditional clothing from Bosnia for example. There is SOME but BOY you have to look, especially for the really good stuff. You do see some older ladies in fully traditional dress once in awhile, but seldom if ever do younger Bosnian ladies wear traditional Bosnian clothes going out, just members of folk ensembles do, and that's too bad.
I did today see in a shop some wonderful examples of traditional Bosnian jewelry, older stuff, it was lovely to look at. There were bracelets, that had turquoise, and that had filigree work, there were belt buckles for ladies belts, and there were earrings and necklaces. Everything was lovely.
It has been so far a really beautiful day.
Monday, September 24, 2007
A dish of snails
Anyway I am not going to die missing snails, but they weren't bad either.
They were salty from the butter and some spices I couldn't identify, and a bit chewy. The taste was somewhere between shrimp and oysters only the flesh of the snails themselves was less salty. There is a faintly ashy taste, and I elected to finish the red wine I had with my Fishermen's Soup, and had the waitress select a nice dry white wine. The right wine does make a difference with snails. She did an excellent job of selecting the right wine.
I had a type of custard that is like a very big flan for desert, it was decorated with a couple of mint leaves, and was delicious.
The place I had all this is Proto. I ate there both nights in Dubrovnik. The first night because I got lost, and after finally relocating the place I was staying, I decided not to stray too far in search of food, this place is like only one street over. That night I had a platter of prscut. This place being gourmet, and catering to a lot of foreigners didn't serve it with slices of onion, or green onions as people here do in real life, it was cut in the Italian manner, which makes it harder to eat. The way it should be done is in very thin small slices. Prscut is chewy in the extreme, and the thin small slices customary in Dalmatia as opposed to Italian style slices make it easier to eat.
That was an extremely good meal too.
The night was quite warm, and there were a lot of people out walking around, listening to live music until late.
The lady I rented the room from was worried the noise from the Stradum might keep me awake. I told her not to worry, it wasn't that much, especially compared to a Saturday night in Dublin!
We are there yet...we are there yet...
I took Centrotrans from Dubrovnik, starting out at 8 am and arrived in Sarajevo 2:45, and was at the flat by around 3, thanks to the taxi service here. I have contacted some of my local friends, and done touristy things like go out to the Bascarsija.
It is Ramzan, but business goes on, including the construction that is going on near the flat I have rented.
Actually the noise is less than a Dublin Saturday night.
Getting out of the Old City was an experience, mostly due to my luggage. Thank God I have the wheelie. I put things together on it, and one thing on my back. The Pile gate is the gate to use leaving, because it has no stairs, and I got a taxi because even though it was breezy, I was working like a horse and sweating in a similar fashion.
The bus ride was uneventful mostly. As usual, my last name tripped up the passport people so my passport was last to be given back as usual.They need to pick ONE way to mispronounce my name! Anyway, the drivers no longer have assistant drivers, I think that's too bad. The driver delegated two passengers to give back passports therefore.
That I don't care for so much, but that's how it is now.
A lot more foreigners are visiting BiH, lots of Germans were on the bus, and at least three Americans. There was an Ed Alexander look-alike on the bus too. Some of the exact route seems different from before.
Anyway, it was a good trip, I am glad to finally be here after planning it for all these years.
Monday, September 17, 2007
there are WAY more pix than I counted on!
Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
Sunday, September 16, 2007
So here I am in the Dublin Airport,
The Avalon hostel people have all been lovely to me and helpful. I have to say that staying there was a good experience.
I have gotten some excellent pictures of Kilmainham, including the cell where Padraig H. Pearse spent his last 24 hours, and the cell where Mrs. Plunkett stayed, which was used as a chapel by the female Republican prisoners.
Dublin has changed so much that to visit it today is almost a form of culture shock. even a lot of Dublin people find it disconcerting, maybe Dublin people most of all.
The shocking thing about the Supermac's thing is that it NEVER would have happened in 2000. the taxi driver especially liked that I asked the guy 'An bhfuil Gaelige agat?' and told him 'don't ask anyone in this country where they are from until you can answer that question!'
In half an hour I go upstairs and can check my bags. YEAH, I guess because I have two not one, I get to pay an excess baggage fee. I won't complain about that. In the U.S. you get to have 2 bags in economy class. The size of the bags seems to matter more than it does here in Europe.
Anyway slan abhaile Bog za sada, you will next hear from this zeka in Dubrovnik. Must find an ATM I will need cash for various things there, like a room and the bus to Sarajevo.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Slan Abaile B.A.C.
I'm tired out, tomorrow I leave for Dubrovnik. I'm taking a direct flight on Aer Lingus. Then either a bus up to Sarajevo or a ride with friends. It depends if this cold I have is really gone by the time I arrive. I've had a nasty time with it.
I should mention that the Amnesty International Cafe was always good, but it got even better, had a very nice lunch there for 12 Euros, the chef is a very cheerful bearded young man. the other people there are lovely as well.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Dublin busses iv
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Dregs of the Summer
I did get some things and prepare food here at the hostel, nothing complex, just stuff I could throw together without actually cooking. I found out that Polish pasteta, while tasty doesn't agree with me one bit. So that's an eatting experience I won't be repeating.
Anyway, I need to get to the Global Internet Cafe (shameless comercial plug) and download the rest of my over 100 photos from the Phoenix Park Zoo.
I can't comment on other people's blogs easily from here as I'm not using my own computer. I am reading other people's postings. Some of them have been wildly entertaining. Especially over at Glory of Carniola, and Gordy's moving adventures have been something to follow.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Survivor, chimp styl.e
Good Morning Dublin
They thanked me for reporting the breakage.
I technically had a room change today. Actually, I get the same bed and the same room tonight. Ran into defective ATM machines trying to pull a little walking around money. Today has GOT to go easier, my feet are tired from all the walking. At least I seem to be recovering from the nasty cold I've had. I've run several fevers and I'm tired.
Must send out more postcards today.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Dublin how it's changed,
just out the window of the internet station in the Avalon hostel, a couple of drunk guys seemed to have this magically increasing supply of alcholic beverages, wine, and some beer, and they were singing 'Over There' over and over again, then they began to sing 'I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen' but mercifully couldn't remember all the words, they dissolved into manly hugs and back slaps, then picked up after themselves! That is something I never saw in the States! Very civilized of them.
Guys Euroinflation is real. I can't say I like it, but whatcha gonna do really? At least a week in Ireland is cheaper than two days of Florida.
I leave for Dubrovnik on the 16th. I will be taking Aer Lingus.
I bet t he flight will be full of people on their way to Medjugorije, or perhaps people who want to take advantage of the beaches.
Either way, I got a decent deal on the ticket so that's good.
Visit my flikr page for pictures of Dublin.
Today I took pictures of all the monuments I could find in Stephens Green. I think they moved Robert Emmet from last time I was here. I'm pretty sure they moved everyone but O'Donovan Rossa.
I am going to follow up on my bad experience with the securithug in the fast food place.
Wierd news of the day would be un Balkans related today. That is that t here was a gang of neo-Nazis in Israel. I have said all along that not all of the Soviet Jews in fact were Jews at all, in any sense of the word.
I resent the fascists having adopted the Celtic cross as an identifying mark. That pisses me off.
The papers here are full of the McCann case. In the church accross the road, there's a picture of the little girl.
I'm not sure how pre-occupied real people are with this case, but I have to wonder about people who leave their kids all alone in a room while they go eat dinner, in a totally different building.
That would not be on in my family.
Friday, September 07, 2007
I was simply lathered in sweat, my blue vest, my skirt, and my blouse were soaked, and I can't wash things until at least Sunday. I honestly think most men would have broken under what I went through this morning just getting to where there was an ATM and where there'd be a taxi.
Dublin has changed a lot. The eye level landmarks are different now, and the old signs that were easy for me to read are mostly gone.
I did get some nice pictures, nice arty shots of the messed upness of my friends flat. It's like out of Angela's Ashes, or a Sean O'Casey play. I'm glad she is moving.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Well things turned thank God!
Anyway she may be able to move. I hope she can, because she doesn't deserve to live in such a place.
I'm who talked h er into looking for a different place, I just said a competant professional person like you deserves BETTER.
Escape plan not going so well...
Suffice it to say I am annoyed. I'm going to find a travel agent, it's probably smarter than messinga round online in here anymore.
This is a very good internet cafe, I like the people, they are helpful, but it's not so secure booking online on a machine other than your own. I'm hungry and still haven't taken revenge on the bastard at Supermac's.
Trust me, he's on my list.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The reason I'm not going to Supermac's any more more more
The reason I'm not going to Supermac's any more more more
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
hvala Bogu, I had a pleasant flight. I need to get a voltage converter sometime here. I am at least sure of my apartment in Sarajevo.
I know from reading Slobodna Dalmacija online that there are a lot of forest fires still in Croatia. I have to catch up on other regional news.
in fact the obit pages mention the tragic deaths of a number of young fire fighters.
Pardon me for making you all copy and past, I'm working with an unfamiliar European type keyboard. In a couple days my hands will adapt I hope.
oh just for giggles and ahem!
Richard Gere thinks Slivo put some hair on his chest. I don't think slivo is safe for vegetarians.