Saturday, May 31, 2008


Mental Health Services in BiH

In answer to one of Owen's comments, to be honest, I am not well informed on mental health services here in BiH or in Croatia. I do know that for serious cases of mental illness, there are hospitals, which probably have decent enough help but which do not have adequate anything...How it is all paid for, I don't know, I am assuming it is part of the state-run system.

I know from personal experience that often mental patients in very serious condition are cared for at home by relatives. This was true of a friend of mine here, she was caring for a mentally ill daughter at home until it became too much for her.

Given that most Bosnians suffered terribly in the war, and that the suffering of the civilian population may have been worse than that of the military people, it's amazing more incidents like the one near Tuzla don't happen more regularly.

There is a terribly high level of domestic violence too, and only the beginning of a shelter system for domestic violence victims. What I have heard from my friends here is that domestic violence was not common here before the war.

I consider domestic violence the root of all other crime and social distress. I really would like to see stiffer punishment for it, and tougher efforts to educate people as to why it is wrong.

Yesterday's paper said that Mr. Petrovic had served with both the Bosnian army, on the Bosnian side, early in the war, and a bit later, with the Croatian regular army. Organizations for veterans with post-war stress in both Croatia and BiH said he was never a member of their organization, but that doesn't mean he doesn't suffer from post-war stress.

Compounding the whole problem of post-war stress, which is a common problem here, veteran's pensions in both BiH and Croatia are very small, and the meds for people who suffer from post-war stress are not cheap. Food costs and every other cost is on the rise here. People who cannot actually earn a living are even more stressed, and frankly everyone is worried about the world economy, (especially the U.S. economy)

There is an effort here, on domestic violence, and family problems to get help to people, for example, the newspapers have the domestic violence and family advice hot-lines in the paper every day along with all other important phone numbers. Most people don't have phone books, a phone book costs for just the white pages 35KM and the whole deal is like 70KM that gets you yellow pages. If I vitally need a number, I often look it up online. Most people are listed. I am not sure if unlisted numbers exist here or not, or maybe they exist and are very expensive.

BiH has the highest cost for phone service in Europe.

The closest there is to unlisted is getting one of the pre-paid mobile phone plans.

The funerals of the people killed by Petrovic were yesterday, and part was shown on the news.
Anyway, a terrible situation, and people are justifiably upset over it. Just watching the first news of it would set of P.T.S.D. for a lot of people! They show things on the news here that are not shown on the news back in the States. Things like the absolute rivers of the victim's blood being hosed away from the road. That wasn't wonderful for MY mental health frankly! I feel worst for the kids of the victims and for Petrovic's kids for that matter. They will never be the same.


New Dino Merlin Video Spot

This is probably mind numbingly trivial, but Dino Merlin has a new video spot that I ADORE! Dino Merlin set the whole deal in Bascarsija and favorite places to go or just pass by are included. My friend's shop is visible, three of the best places to get a cevapi, a dress shop where they have a piano, and wearable art stuff is shown, etc.
There is a kinky bit involving a hodza, a friar and an Orthodox priest, rather people convincingly dressed that way! There's dancing in the streets and on a couple roofs, it's pretty cool and the song is nice. They showed it twice yesterday on BHT1 so it's probably up on YouTube by now.

Friday, May 30, 2008


A moment of silence...

A moment of silence is going to be observed all over BiH for the people killed so senselessly near Tuzla.

General Norac got 7 years for war crimes.

and the Karadzic residence was searched again.

It is going to be fairly hot today. Yesterday was very hot indeed, and older people were advised to stay indoors at the worst time of day. I was only out pretty early and back home early, stopped off to get a roast chicken at the cevapi joint on the corner, sooooo delicious! I still have a little left, that will be lunch when I get back home. I took the bones and started some soup stock . I can use it to do some soup later. I get frozen vegetables, and just heat however much stock I need and put frozen veggies in it, not a lot of work but you end up with really nice soup that way. Good soup stock is like life support! :)

The situation of fishermen lately, is one example of why I am a Euroskeptic! They should be helped! Even a monkey isn't going to work for nothing! People need fish, fish is a good healthy food source. It isn't just inefficient fishermen who are suffering, it is ALL of them. So now we return to the days of sail? That would be my advice, learn to use sails! The statement from Brussels that they should just fish less was up there with 'Let them eat cake!' !


The mass murder near Tuzla

Owen is correct that this man had a history of depression. I am not sure all the victims were relatives, part of the attack he committed was on a parked bus, that film was awful, both on BHT1, and FTV. absolute rivers of blood.

On BHT1, the crime was referred to specifically as an 'American style crime'. That makes me sad to hear, as does the assumption that Americans all have loose morals generally. Obviously, there have been more incidents of mass murder shooting sprees in the U.S. than elsewhere, so I am not surprised or offended that the crime was referred to that way, but I am saddened.

This was the biggest such crime since the end of the war. There have been other similar crimes, but again, in the entire region, it is a rare sort of crime. This despite a population heavily affected by post war stress, and the fact that weapons of all sorts are very easy to obtain.

The killer had a permit for his weapon. Each Kanton has it's own law on weapons.
Legally owning something isn't hard here.

Actually, given availability of firearms and the large number of people who are very troubled indeed, it's surprising this sort of thing isn't routine here. I am really interested in knowing why.


Second meeting

The second potential student is a decent sort, probably about my son's age NOT looking for something other than English lessons, and the reason he didn't show last time was business.

We ended up not actually meeting at the Gradska kafana, he had trouble finding parking, so that led me on a short walk accross the Princip bridge to a very attractive cafe on the other side, and I may use that place instead from now on, because the parking is better and I can anticipate many future students will need decent parking.

Plus, it's not a bad place to sit around if you need to do that.

It came as a huge relief that he is a serious student, and a nice person! So God willing, classes can start sometime next week. He has the less flexible schedule of the two, so I told him, please try to have word to me when you can come to class 2 days or so in advance, and explained why, and he understood! :) Always a plus! Plus the other guy is decent.

So it is a start ako Bog daj. I am still going to advertise, and screen other students. My goal is to have several days a week occupied by classes. I haven't had luck marketing to younger students really. So I will just focus on people in the business world. It is where the money is anyway! :) Not that I object to working with high school aged people, I am one of those rare people who really LIKES teenagers. That is when my kids were the most fun!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Another meeting....

Wish me luck, in roughly half an hour, one of the students who didn't make it actually got in touch, so we will meet, at the Gradska Kafana, instead of the other place. I started thinking, exit strategzwise, it is easier to leave that kafana, and it's location is known to ALL people in Sarajevo. I didn't even need to give the guy an address.

I will probably go a tiny bit early and get some lemonade.

I was already out. Anyway I got in touch with the first of the serious students, and asked him best class time and days, I figured I owed him that much since he was the first to make it to a meeting and act like it was something else.

I visited my Baščaršija friends a bit, S. came in. He seemed less tense. Anyway, I am going to take the meeting and then go home.


Random stuff

It was seriously hot yesterday, I walked home and on arrival was lathered in sweat. I got a kilo of beautiful domestic strawberries on the corner, and I'd already tried some ice cream mix, just to see how it did. It came out decent. I have done better with some of my own home made mixes, but this one has the advantage of not requiring any hot water. My home made mix includes coffee creamer, and cream, not milk! cream, and powdered milk. You take the coffee creamer, about half a cup, and then two cups of powdered milk. You boil four cups of water and mix in the dry stuff. then cool it, add cream, and stick the lot in the freezer to freeze. You have to take it out and break up the ice. I like to ad cream each time I do that. You get fewer big ice crystals that way. You keep doing it until it's like well ICE CREAM! You can ad vanilla flavoring, or chocolate syrup, or fruit, whatever works for you, I usually added vanilla and then the other stuff. Works better that way.
Anyway, I did some of that, and pigged out on strawberries to try and bring my temp down.
It helped. I watched t he re-run of 'Pecat' and a Klapa festival. Then I slept until news time and ate some shrimp curry soup I made. Unfortunately, I forgot totally to either get some bitter lemon soda to go with it or some beer, so I had pomagranite syrup mixed with water and that was good.
I have had to sleep a lot with whatever this bug is. It doesn't like me being awake!
I had one response to the ad yesterday, and let's just say, this guy should have been reading the 'Personals'! At least I did not have a wasted run into town about it.
It sounded like he ran out of credits in the course of asking some inappropriate questions. So I sent a crisply worded S.M.S. to the effect that if he seriously wanted to learn English, I'd meet him close to his educational establishment and we would discuss it there. If he doesn't reply to the S.M.S. sometime today or tomorrow, well I will consider him one of the endless schmucks who has wasted my time. Again, at least only phone credit in t his case.


Really upsetting news story

This morning around 6:00 am near Tuzla, six people were shot to death on the bus. Some really awful film of it was shown on F.T.V. this morning,including one of the people killed. I don't have any information on the motive.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Herking Big Strawberry

Herking Big Strawberry
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Not only was the size impressive, it tasted lovely as well.


Another beautiful sunny day in Sarajevo

I am staying closer to home because I am not feeling very well. I feel generally tired, I have run fevers on and off, but no cough. I will sweat until I am soaked, and then get cold.
I have at times really gotten the munchies. I made some whole wheat pancakes that really were good. Ate them with cucumbers, onions and a glass of kefir. The first batch were AWFUL, i put in too much baking soda, had to throw them away they were so BAD.
The second batch however were delicious, and I made more for breakfast. Whole wheat bread as I understand whole wheat bread, is kind of hard to get here. I don't do well on white flour. I never awfully liked it except in well, cakes. There it is legitimate, but as bread, nooooooooo!

Then I had some HUGE strawberries from the maloprodavnica on the corner. These strawberries were 2.50KM a kilo, which is CHEAP for strawberries. A half kilo came to like 10 HUGE strawberries. They were sort of hollow inside, but unlike huge strawberries back in the States, they had wonderful taste.
I am doing that again today, since strawberries help keep fevers down. Besides they taste lovely.

BiH is going to sign the pact with the E.U. I hope it helps. Sorry, after my time in Ireland, I have become something of a Eurosceptic, but BiH deserves the chance if that is what the people want.

I guess even though the effects on the ground I saw in Ireland were mostly negative, the only serious opposition to the E.U. in Ireland is Sinn Fein. Their opposition is predictable and totally consistent with their past views on Life the Universe and All That.

I hope E.U. membership will be of help to BiH. It might well be of help here.

I spent most of yesterday asleep, except when I got up to watch 'Bound by Honor'. I watched it on the grounds that it was set in East Lo, and I spent part of my childhood there. The place has changed, mostly for the worse. The film was very stereotyped, but in a strange way it was about family.
The translation job was interesting. I learned some new words. Still, is there REALLY a good Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian translation for 'pendejo'? Seriously? I doubt it!
They translated 'ruca' as 'cura' and a 'ruca' believe you me is NOT a 'cura'!
The film as well ran longer than either the daily news paper schedule or the T.V. Studio schedule said. Still I was glued to it, despite the many cheesy aspects, maybe because of the many cheesy aspects.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


We Are One With The Cheese!

****Big FAT Spoiler Alert****

Again I have to congratulate Serbia on really knowing how to put on a show! Unfortunately Goran Bregovic's band did not get shown on Sarajevo T.V. which is a pity since they are good, and Brega does have ties with BiH!

The bad news for Bosnia-Hercegovina was that Laka did not win. The good news is that Laka made 10th place, in part thanks to Serbia! As well a lot of Bosnians voted for Serbia's entry, I don't blame them a bit, the Serbian entry was very beautiful as music. It had an epic feel, and the singer was great! It wasn't in the least bit silly or crazy, which I liked. Don't get me wrong, I liked Laka's brand of silly and crazy, and I liked the nutty French entry.

The Latvian entry did well. I am sure all the Jolly Rogers flags went down well in Belgrade.

Azerbaijan sent in a wonderful folk ensemble which I LOVED, I frankly HATED their official entry, but the folk ensemble charmed audiences all over this region.
Azerbaijan did well with people in this region, despite the fact it was the wrong sort of weird for my tastes. I think they got votes for effort, and because they are first time entrants.

Croatia and Bosnia helped each other. I loved that Croatia had the guts to send in an old guy who dressed like a Mafija Don, he was really cute, especially the bit where he tries to do the mix table action with the Victrola, and the bit where he throws down his cane. I found it a charming entry, and was glad they did not do too awfully badly.

I'm glad Albania's entry wasn't skunked totally either, because the girl singer, while she and her band had rather tasteless costuming, were good!

Spain's act really amused me! I LOVED it, it was crazy in an almost Mexican way! Baile Chiki Chiki started off as political, and the words had to be changed because political isn't really allowed. Serbia kind of got away with political, because the singer refered to Vidovdan, 'wake me with kisses on Vidovdan' and she sort of evoked the Kosovo Maid what with her almost Medieval costuming and the guys lying fallen at her feet.

I thought Laka and Mirela gave a brilliant performance! Of course I loved it! How could I not!

Greece and Armenia both did well. I loved their singers, very cute girls, c'mon even us girls love cute girls!

Marija Serifovic did a wonderful performance of her last year's winning song, I loved the dancers. She did not wear the pink dress her friends got her. She wore a suit. I don't like the new arrangement of her song, 'Molitva' I liked it better the old way. It had a sevdah feel about it that I liked, the new arrangement is too Turbofolk and it spoils the whole thing.

Ruslana did a set before the actual contest too. Who could resist Ruslana? I guess there are people out there who could, but not me. She did a tribute to the much beloved, Tose while she was at it.

Russia of course won, I did not like their entry, but I liked how it was presented.

Turkey did not do badly, and Turkey gave some points to BiH, which was nice of them. BiH benefited from points from the Scandinavian countries.

I was sorry to see that Great Britain's entry did so badly, I liked the guy, he is a good singer, and he put on a good show. He deserved better! Besides he was a perfect Pepeljuga prica (Cindarella story for those of you in Rio Del).

I am staying in the neighborhood, because I feel tired today. I want to get some writing done . I am just in Club BIT. It is a beautiful sunny day here in Sarajevo.


Every story has two sides:

The guys from 'Dosta' who were among the organizers of the stuff on Friday, have another take on things, which was presented in yesterday's 'Oslobodenje'

According to several people in the crowd, while certain elements threw flaming articles, and bottles and pavers, after this the police waded in indiscriminately. The events of Friday took place in a heavily trafficed pedestrian shopping area, the part of Ferhadia that goes into Saraci, which in turn feeds into Bascarsija, a big tourist area and popular with Sarajevans for shopping. The Bascarsija was full of primary school kids from 7-13 years old. Friday is a popular school excursion day. Younger primary students were present with teachers showing them things like the metal working shops. The police were fully equipped riot police.

As well, adding to my upset yesterday, I noted that the sign for one of the sweet-shops directly across the street from where I usually have set up meetings was shown, meaning that my favorite meeting place was earlier, not a safe hangout either!

In fact, people were pursued well into Bascarsija which is unusual! I happened to be at the end closer to Zelini Beretki. I didn't even HEAR a thing of what under the 'San Francisco Formula' used to be called 'unpleasantries'

Monday, I will send both guys S.M.S.s offering a different meeting time and telling them that no initial meetings for information on the class are EVER going to be held on a Friday or on a weekend again, so don't even ask, and suggest late after noon times on Monday, or Tuesday. Classes might be on Fridays or even on weekends, but there are ways to avoid difficulties like unrest or bad traffic getting to my area. My area of town is very safe and if I hear of a demonstration ahead of time, I simply don't go into town, if I MUST go into town, I go earlier or way later, and the stops are such that they avoid the path of most bad situations.

That I was not stuck in the middle of it all was sheer blind luck.

Again, to repeat, the way people interviewed by Oslobodenje described things, the police may not have helped matters much.

In defense of the police, once the flares start getting thrown, things tend to get ugly.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Just some stuff on t he Obama v.s. Clinton campaign that I found to be interesting...

Sorry, just copy and paste, it is an interesting read.


If anyone in Sarajevo has a reason to riot:

It would be the WOMEN! Seriously, after yesterday, I feel like it!

but now a word from our sponsors:

why to go to Club BIT

Beautiful coffee,

O.K. I was alright, because I was in town early and pretty much stayed away from the immediate scene of the disturbance, I was totally FINE, totally un-bothered, except I noticed when I went to the usual meeting place I use, an unusually heavy police presence and Sarajevo's Finest looked a little tense. However since I do not fit the profile of a football idiot, I was not even given a second glance.

I'm not totally ugly for a woman of my years, so second glances are not yet totally rare in my life. . . but I digress. ...

The riot was way worse than I even knew, a thousand people or so were involved, flares, bottles, and pavers got thrown at the police, who quickly sent for back-up. Your less than intrepid editor was totally unaware of the fuss, having been pleasantly employed in Bascarsija with the pleasant task of trying out Banja Lucki Cevapi, (more later on that subject) and then visiting my lovely Bascarsija friends, and with the brother of my landlady, who seemed depressed. Maybe he knew the true extent of the riot? Seriously? I should ask ako Bog daj!

Then I went to my meeting place, it was by then raining a lot, and I got first a Bosnian coffee, delicious but over soooo fast even if you go slow, so my next order was a hot chocolate which was not only bigger, it was beautiful and lovely, and did I mention delicious? I sat, and 18:00 the meeting time for one student who was a firm appointment, came, and went so I sent an S.M.S. and asked if he'd been delayed. All very civilized. He said he was horribly sorry that he'd been called out of Bosnia on an urgent matter. I did not immediately reply. I was far too angry to send anything resembling a civilized, lady-like or even coldly correct reply. I frankly was seriously angry. I haven't been so angry in YEARS. Now people who know me well, know I am mostly a pretty easy-going person. Then the other person who had told me he might or might not make it, S.M.S.ed me so I asked if he were going to come or not. I needed to know as the rain was by then pretty distressing, unless you were one of Sarajevo's Finest, they must have been really grateful for the Divine Intervention! I just wanted to know if I needed to get myself a second hot chocolate and hang on, or if I could go and bitch briefly about my rotten luck in the company of my friends and then go on home. This guy told me he had a sudden out of town emergency as well. Now That two people who probably don't know each other both had sudden out of town-ness was beyond probability Very Much! So those of you who are older may know the phrases 'slow burn'? I was in a 'slow burn' status. I was seriously pissed off as mentioned earlier. I did go say hello to my friends, and t hen as it was raining, and I already have two umbrellas, one was home, slid accross the greasy paving stones to the cab stand just past Sebilj. I noted a poor little dead pigeon on the ground, which only made me feel worse. I hate seeing dead animals.

I got home, and then I sent a stiffly worded S.M.S. to the guy who missed a firm meeting and said that if he really had to be out of town, however urgent he was, he owed me a call, and he should realize, if he is learning English in order to work with Americans, he had better do a lot better. I said I didn't want to be rude, but we Americans have a saying that 'Time is money' and translated it into Bosnian. I think I made a good job of it. He replied in not such very bad English, and appologized abjectly. Later on, the news was on.

The lead story was the horrid riot, and then that 'Snijeg' won a Grand Prix at Cannes. The bad news overshadowed the good news this morning on Euronews. The fantastic accomplishment of a group of Bosnian Muslim women, in making a Grand Prix film was totally overshadowed by a bunch of stupid football punks.

I got to thinking another thing. Neither man was out of town! I have had difficulties making and getting calls out of BiH on my mobile, even within BiH. S.M.S. seems to work better than an actual call, but my luck there is sporadic at best.
I bet both those guys, mistakenly thought I was FAR braver than I am in my wildest dreams and I bet both needed a really good story lie in order not to feel totally dickless in front of me a middle aged, not very tough American woman.

I have my own very gentle interrogation method, no pain, no mean-ness, and I can tell you, it works, even without alchol. I will get it out of them, one way or the other. I KNOW what was really going on! Yes I DO and they can't hide it. I would not have blamed them for not showing. I almost sent out to ask if they felt o.k. about coming but on the news at B.'s shop, she and I heard that the police had very successfully broken up the un-announced demonstration of angry football idiots. Had I been home, I probably would have just stayed in the neighborhood.

I put a new ad in aimed at getting high school aged students. If that doesn't work, I am at a total loss for the time being.


If Anyone in Sarajevo has a

Friday, May 23, 2008


Page 11 Girl, (Not to be confused with the Page 3 Girl!)

If you search Google for 'Yakima Blogs' this is where I am, at the very BOTTOM of Page 11.

Proširena pretraga
Internet Rezultati 101 - 110 od oko 258,000 za pojam Yakima Blogs. (0.05 sekundi) Fire near Yakima collapses warehouse roof

It took more than 100 firefighters from the Yakima Valley more than four hours early today to ... Parents' Council Blog: How much activity is too much? ... - 55k - Iz konteksta - Slične stranice Yakima chinook season taking shape

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377 Blogs // Search Results, Blog Search // Page 2 // BlogCatalog

Yakima SkyBox 16s Cargo Box Price: $419.00 Sale Price: $377.10 The Yakima SkyBox 16s is ... Queeristan: Desi Queered by Queer Desis - A blog for the Sou… ... - 33k - Iz konteksta - Slične stranice

WASHINGTON V. YAKIMA INDIAN NATION, 439 U. S. 463 (1979) -- US ...

Appellee Yakima Nation, which did not make such a request, brought this action in ... Constitutional Law Blogs | Lawyer and Legal Aid & Services Directory ... - 18k - Iz konteksta - Slične stranice

Husky Men's Basketball Blog | Jamaal Williams playing in Yakima ...

8 Feb 2008 ... Thursday, however, he detoured through Yakima, becoming the newest member of the Yakama Sun Kings of the CBA. ... - 54k - Iz konteksta - Slične stranice

Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild Blog » Cuts at Yakima, Bremerton ...

The bleeding in the newspaper industry has hit here, with the Yakima Herald-Republic announcing layoffs yesterday. In Bremerton, two people are leaving with ... - 15k - Iz konteksta - Slične stranice

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Search Yakima County Real Estate for Sale provided by real estate agents and home ... Point2 Homes, Listings, Listings by Map, Agents, Neighborhoods, Blogs ... - 34k - Iz konteksta - Slične stranice

Biglines.Com | Everyone Needs a Ski Rack – Yakima makes the best!

19 Dec 2007 ... For everyone else, check out for more info ... Create a Biglines portfolio of your photos, articles and blogs ...–_Yakima_makes_the_best! - 34k - Iz konteksta - Slične stranice


As probably you can see if you read this blog, I am a person of strong ... Recent Escapee from the Yakima Gulag, Soviet of Washington, American Siberia ... - Slične stranice



Interesting stuff from the news...

pssst...BiH may have oil deposits here and there....

Also apparently in some circumstances people's phone calls are listened in on. No wonder so many people carry mobile phones!

Not that I have anything awful to hide. . .

The A.C.L.U. would have a further field day here, for reasons of security video cameras are all over the place. I was aware of that fact, it doesn't hugely bother me. At least if anyone does anythign bad to me, it will likely end up on film and the perpetrators will not have a nice time. So I am not bothered. Still I remember as an A.C.L.U. member working against the whole concept of video cams everywhere! Big Brother or something like that ? Alive and well here.

As well there was some sort of demonstration I did not know about ahead, thank God I was nowhere near the place. I guess the police dispersed it. Again, glad not to have been anywhere near.

Beautiful sunny weather, but it's changeable, there has also been a tiny tiny bit of rain.


Wallowing Further in the Cheese! Eurvision Continues On

***Big Fat Spoiler Alert!***

Now don't say I didn't warn you if you live someplace other than Europe someplace!

Since BiH did make it into one semi-final, I did not have the right to vote, but I sure wanted to vote, especially for Croatia and Albania and Macedonia! Macedonia because Balkans Hip-Hop is sooo different, and because of Toše, and because of the young Macedonian soldiers who died before they could get home. One of my friends knew them all, they were excellent young men, and even if Macedonia's entry had sucked, I would have voted numerous times for them just because!

Georgia made the cut, so did the pirates! From one of the Baltic states, the other Baltic entry, who undeservedly in my opinion, made the cut, was a guy in too tight leather pants, with a very female hair do, and he sang with that awful yawning attempting to sound sexy sleezy voice. I hate that! Sorry if that's your bag! 'Arctic blue shiny eyes' indeed! humph!

The pirates were FUN! and funny, 'Pirates are all we can be!' Seriously. They made the cut, and I was delighted for them.

Croatia's entry was wonderful, it really was typically Croatian in a very neat, old-fashioned way that I loved, I loved that the lead singer was an older man, in a white suit, who at one point made like an upset Don in the Mafija! That was unendurably cute. I liked their props, especially the Victrola, and the hanging bottles filled with red liquid as a musical instrument.

Hungary had a nice entry, and I loved Bulgaria's Dance Hall Floozy attired singer.

Czech Republic got all ghetto on us too. I didn't care for it,it was vulgar. Although I admit the girls at least were beautiful enough to be showing us too much of themselves!

Sweden made the cut, their singer had the most amazing cat eyes.
Turkey made it in with Dethmetal, and not bad Dethmetal at that. Denmark's entry made it in, I found the costuming amusing, I liked it, I love the 20's newsboy look on men, but I did not think the song was worth writing home about. Ukraine had the stripper chic thing going as well. Malta amused me, the song was about vodka, and somehow seemed very un-Maltese. The other one I liked was Cyprus, cool table dancing while guys carried the table.
Portugal's entry and success could almost be a Balkans victory as the composer of the song is a Croat who has composed for the well known Bosnian girl-group Feminem.
I sat back and ate half a kilo of beautiful cherries while watching this extravaganza. The finals are this weekend.

Oh Svaka Čast Serbija! I loved the winged centaur, the hindquarters were amazingly realistic, as well there were intervals of Serbian Gypsy Brass, and a dance number that was based on one of the best Serbian films of all time. 'Tko tamo pjeva' I loved the way the whole thing was done.

What I love about Eurovision is it is a chance to display the lighter, more positive side of nationalism. I noted most Bosnian audience members had the OLD flag! I like the old flag far better, I think it ought to be restored in order to avoid confusion with Kosovo's flag. Perhaps that is why Bosnians were carrying the old flag in Belgrade!?

It was a spectacular show, and I can hardly wait for the finals! Serbia's entry is very beautiful, and as one friend of mine from Australia remarked,it has an epic, heroic quality.

During other intervals, there were shown beautiful views of different places in Serbia, I bet a LOT of people who never would have put Serbia on their list of places to see, are now penciling in Serbia.

Which is why I want BiH to win, Bosnia Herzegovina could use the business!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Rum Kokos

Rum Kokos
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Just thought you'd enjoy seeing some of the locally available candy...I had trouble with glare taking this so what I did was turn out the lights and use the flash in the dark, and I think it worked better than natural light did1

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Be One With the Cheese!

Actually I have to give some serious credit to Serbia, the stage was brilliant! I loved it! As well the announcers, especially Ms. Janković.
I wanted to vote for BiH, I did not understand the rules, as I had forgotten to be honest, so I ended up once this was explained, voting numerous times for Israel, Booz is HOT, a great singer and a neat song, for Montenegro, because their singer was unendurably cute! Then for Greece because again unendurably cute and a good singer. I did vote for Ireland, out of friendship but frankly their act put on display a lot of what I think is wrong now in Ireland. O.K. the costumes were crazy, that is GOOD in Eurovision! But the voices were grating, and the music sucked. It also was sort of a sarcastic piece at points. Sorry, I did not like it!
The Polish singer was gorgeous, a little too Celine Dion for me, but she was easy on the eyes, wonderful blue gown. I voted for Armenia because the song was excellent, and I think a lot of Bosnians also voted for her. I voted numerous times for Slovenija, because their singer reminded me (watch out, big mud boots reaching for Majkl over at the nearly dead 'Glory of Carniola, to step on his delicate toes!) of Natalija Verboten.
My straw poll is that Israel was very much a hit here, followed by Armenia, and possibly Crna Gora (Montenegro for those of you in Rio Del)
I loved the intro the Serbs put on, with the Gypsy Brass band, and the gorgeous dancers, and again wonderful lighting. The pre programming warmed things up with wonderful views of Belgrade, and I think if I had the chance, I would certainly visit Serbia, it looks like a very beautiful country and svaka čast Belgrade!
I found Estonia strange, Finland's heavy metal group did make the cut, but I personally found them abrasive, not a heavy metal fan really. I thought Belgium had a cute entry, and of course I was delighted that Bosnia-Hercegovina made i to number 3 in the First Semifinals. The Second Semi-Finals include Serbia, the U.K. their entries both look good.
Moldova's entry simply baffled me. The singer had a marvelous voice, I will give her that, but she was quite fat, what was up with the teddy bear? Romania, I voted for once because the singers were cute, I sort of understood them, what with speaking Spanish and all, Romanian is just messed up Spanish! Anyway a very pleasant evening, I do have to re-fill my mobile credit, but it was good, clean, trivial minded fun!
I noted that MANY Bosnian audience members who had Bosnian flags had the OLD FLAG, the beautiful old flag with the six lilies! I thought that was cool too!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008



I am settling in for the cheesyness that is Eurovision! I am going to vote for Laka! Everyone Vote for Laka! Why! Because *Komrad*Katjusa* Says So! If that isn't reason enough, you should vote for him and Mirela because they are CRAZY Can you dig it!? I can dig it!


Muggy today

Today is very muggy indeed. The S.O. called last night, knowing he'd worried me, but there was nothing he could do about it. One of his relatives, a fairly young one is gravely ill. He had to go see that person, and also there was something of a family conference about the whole sad mess.

We had a nice lunch together, I got some incredible strawberries just on the corner, one of them was as big as a tomato, and some cherries, and I made a couple of small fish and some hash-browns for lunch, we each had a glass of Sarajevsko, he is allowed small amounts of beer now, but not wine or rakija. He told me I totally have to try the Sarajevsko Crno Pivo. I can't wait, I have been hearing about it awhile. Just not available in this immediate area. It probably means a trip down to Interex.
Since I probably next need to try a different newspaper for ads, I am going to be in the area soon anyway. So I'll see about getting some. Then I will let you know how it was.

Aside from the crazy people who have responded to my ads, I am well.

The latest crazy one was funny, he asked if I was interested in a less than serious student. I did not reply. I kind of mentally gave him kudos for being honest, but I didn't reply. He then called, and I didn't answer as there was no phone number and I don't trust people who have no phone number, the last one was an obscene phone call! So he called with the number visible, again I did not answer, and then he sent a message, apologizing for bothering me!

Seriously, does 'English classes' or 'instruction in the English language' mean something else here? Something I ought to know about? No seriously? Does it?

Anyway, I told the S.O. about these difficulties and said 'If it doesn't sort out soon, I may have no choice but to go back, and I don't want to, I like it here!'

He told me to hang in there, and gave some suggestions, some of which aren't practical, but some are and I'll try the ones which are practical.

I am roasting again today, it is cloudy, sometimes rainy and sometimes sunny.

I read something that really upset me, in Visoko, famous because of the Pyramid stuff, they are planning an asphalt road near the grave, a marked grave btw of one of the Kotramanic dynasty! That is wrong, because 1. The Kotramanic kings were among the best rulers the region ever saw, 2. Did someone say, possible valuable tourist site? 3. The disrespect! Won't someone think of the children!? Seriously! Such sites should be preserved out of respect and because people who are visiting the country would like to see such places.

The story was in today's Oslobodenje.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Hot again to day.

So the S.O. was supposed to call and come over today, there was no definite time set, and I do have my mobile phone, so I got sick of sitting home waiting for him to call and went out to the internet cafe, besides, I need more drain opener, the effect last night was not wonderful, only a half victory so to speak. I don't feel as tired, but it is very hot, and I had to turn a mess of dials to try to get the heat down without losing hot water, that was amusing and not a lot of fun becuse there is no manual I could use, I had to try things, wait to broil some more, or not, and so on. Very annoying but I think I got that under control. I might have stayed in but there was nothing interesting to watch.

I have a hard time with dubbed documentaries, they have all the disadvantages of the subtitled kind, plus annoying sound quality.

That was all that was available really besides stuff I already have seen.

On the way down, I saw the biggest jackdaw I ever have seen! He or she, can't tell with those birds, at least I can't, was HUGE, I have paid good money to eat smaller chickens! Seriously! It was raiding the garbage containers. Birds do that here when all else fails, especially birds like jackdaws and crows do, and the magpies. Here even pigeons do that. Anyway I tried to get closer to it, just to see how afraid of humans they are, not any other reason. It grumpily flapped off, then went right back where it was when I left. Must have been some good pickings where he was at.
At least here they do pick up the trash, if this were Naples, I would have fled a long time ago! Film of that unlovely situation was on Euronews this morning. It is why Berlusconi won! I knew it was something like that! Desperation.

In local news, Ceric says he is going to retire at the end of his mandate as Reis, everyone thought he'd be on that job forever. He wants time with his grandkids!

I can relate, at least all his people are in the same place! I can't say that for myself! Everyone I know and care about are scattered to the four directions.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Clouds and maybe some rain today...

I am indescribably exhausted today. I waited to meet with one potential student, who fell into the category of Someone Who Should Have Been Reading the Personals Ads not the Services Ads. Devil fire him!

Anyway a series of S.M.S. messages revealed his less than alrightness so I canceled the meeting and left the cafe. I went to see my friends in Bascarsija who gave me a gift from Turkey, a pair of rather cute red house slippers. They are red velvet with glued on glitter glitz, very cute, I can hardly walk in them, but they are extremely cute. They are house slippers.

I will have to take a picture of them.

Of course I said thank you, and then after a decent interval headed home. The Gastro-Eko Fest is still going on, but I am too tired to go into town for more of it. Anyway the real fun with it is at night and I don't go out nights, I like my ankles too much!

So I am just in the neighborhood at Club BIT and then I will go get trash bags, I am all out, and go rest. I started some chicken stock from a roast chicken purchased on the corner. It looks like it will be the best chicken stock I ever made.

They were working on gas lines all over downtown Sarajevo it seemed yesterday, getting home on the bus took longer than it usually does, and it was miserably hot on the bus. I try to always pick a seat near a window. Here I don't mind sitting in the back so much, because I am going from one end of a line to the other, and the larger busses have 2 not just 1 back door. I almost was eaten by a bus day before yesterday, the driver shut the door a little too soon. I escaped without injury, but said 'Hello samo da izaci!'

Usually the drivers are not in such a hurry.

Shows on T.V.

Pecat is better all the time. Ranko is turning into a very interesting character, he is running some sort of game on everyone. Poor Azra lost her baby, not the first one either, and her husband won't reveal his grief to her, but he is grieved too. It is causing tensions in their marriage. As well her husband told her to even be covered in the house because he doesn't trust Ranko, aka Jusef. I wouldn't trust Jusef EITHER! Then the policewoman who has some mysterious past dealings with Ranko goes to visit a grave.

A show I am really going to like started last night, an American series, Eureka. I loved the little Black math whiz! and Henry, probably two of the most sympathetic Black characters ever shown on American television. I also loved the pyramid shaped bubbles some girl was blowing on the street and the dog Lowjack, who steals sandwiches! He is a super smart dog! :).

I love 'Sleeper Cell' but it is simply on too late for me. I gave it a miss two weeks in a row. Simply too tired. I think I have Spring Fever. I shall go home and eat nettle soup, it's supposed to help that. As well I should try the masne korijen on my ankle.


A note of correction....

I could be pardoned for thinking large numbers of people blowing cheap plastic whistles were a demonstration, there have been a fair number of demonstrations here over various issues, politically apathetic Bosnians are NOT! But it wasn't it was a massive group of recent high school graduates dancing a quadrille, there were groups of students who did this in various towns in BiH! They were on the news, and it looks like they had a lot of fun. This was meant to demonstrate for peace.


Ladies from Prijedor ii

Ladies from Prijedor ii
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
The Mayor of Sarajevo gets a treat! The ladies from Prijedor had the best sweets and even some chicken.


Wonderful Bosnian sweets!

Wonderful Bosnian sweets!
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
I forgot to mention this bit, I had to wait to get this shot, because the mayor of Sarajevo and some other dignitaries were there. and got first dibs! :) As mentioned before, delicious!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Another beautiful sunny day in Sarajevo!

So today I have to meet with another student. I thought I would leave fairly early to take advantage of the internet club, and drop in and see how mx friends were doing with the goods from Turkey, they brought in Mass Quantities and were pretty busy arranging them all, so I took a quick peek and said I'd be back when they are less busy. The S.O. called, he got in late yesterday but had some unexpected company and could not call me, so he called me at like7Č30 in the morning. That was fine, at least I know he's alive, but I told him 'I thought I was going to have to wear black! Please don't do that to me again!' I had SMSed his nephew and said I was worried and he didn't answer, but then he could have been out of town for the weekend. Even people who in the States probably would live in trailers have vikendnice. That is because at one time real-estate was pretty cheap here. Not any more! :)

The Gasto-Eko Fest continues on, I briefly said 'Hi' to the nice ladies from Prijedor, and then got some rose oil for 3KM and some lavender oil same price, half the price for in the States! And some sage, I use it in cooking, now I can put together my famous spaghetti spices! They aren't just for spaghetti!

It is unendurably hot in here! I am sweating buckets! It was hot on the bus down too! I am going to finish up here and go someplace they serve boza and have some! It's cheaper than getting a beer, and very refreshing on a hot day!

I have to meet with a potential student today, he wanted to meet last night. I had already gotten home, or might have gone with it, but I'd been home two hours, was watching a favorite show and had no desire to go back out again.

I should see the S.O. Monday with any luck, he is wiped out from the trip.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Gastro-Eko Fest, Sarajevo, and another demonstration

Alright, I normally am not in town without knowing whether or not there is to be a protest. This one I did not hear about or read about. So I was leaving to go to Gastro-Eko Fest a second time, these nice ladies from Prijedor have a K.U.D. they support with handicrafts, so I bough a small table cloth, and they invited me back for snackage. I went back, and there were a lot of people trying for snackage, which was FREE! And not cheap stuff to make either! and I might add, DELICIOUS! The ladies also gave food to some disabled veterans sitting on a bench, and a guy I am fairly sure was Roma, they were such smiling and nice ladies. So I enjoyed their lovely food,enjoyed chatting with them, and have a small table cloth for the coffee table, and from another stand got a pillow case, because the pillowcases in the flat other than the big green ones are too small. This one has a lot of hand work on it. The type of hand work people put on things like pillow cases looks a lot like handwork familiar from when I lived in Mexico, very bright, very simple stitches, cotton floss. It will be nice for those times I need to wash the duvet and pillow cases, because the weather is getting warm enough that things can't just be dried on the radiators like in Winter, and therefore it could be over night before something I was is dried. Especially any form of bedding.

So the Gastro Eko Fest had music, but nothing live during the day. I would have to come back at night, and I don't see well enough for that.
Going back I heard like lots of whistleing, and realized the 'Informal Group of Citizens' must be by the Katedral, and I made a detour to get back to Trg Oslobođenje-Alije Izetbegović, the protest walk had started by the time I got there. I made some other purchases, from official Fest folks and a couple casual traders who are out regularly. A couple village guys had a root I never heard of called 'Masne Korijen'. I have never heard of it! It's a local remedy for arthritis. It has no smell, you can rub it fresh on your skin, if you want to save some ahead, and you really should, it doesn't keep well, you can put it in either rakija or olive oil. The guys told me either works very well, I chose some in rakija because I figured it was less likely to say, get moldy. There are not so many preservatives in use here as in America, and I find that stuff kept in rakija lasts longer.
Visually the root resembles horseradish. I do not have a Latin name for it, I am going to have to find out more, because it feels like it works!

I needed to take a day off from even dealing with potential students after yesterday. That guy can't have been Bosnian! People here usually are Not Fooled by the fact I am not an absolutely typical American. He was. He sent a friend over but did not come over himself. I did a little bit of wandering about before taking a taxi home. I did not like the situation really, and frankly I don't need stupid people as students. Most Bosnians are Not stupid! The general run of people are pretty cultured, even people from small towns and villages, and this was a rare exception.

Even the guy I had to school a little because he thought services OTHER than English lessons were on offer was classier! Ended up having a long SMS exchange for him, because just for the Hell of it, I asked him why he wasn't looking at the 'Personals' instead of bothering me. He told me,that those women are only in it for the money and thez want a LOT of money! and I gave him advice on good books and told him, 'Be smart, if you aren't getting divorced don't cheat on your wife! Women always figure it out and it can get very ugly when we do!' I have to say women who charge highly for Other Services deserve the high fees, they are risking their health and their lives! Men should not bitch about it if they end up paying a la carte prices! Amazingly the conversation by S.M.S. was very civilized!
I have more respect for that guy than for the one who did not show up himself and sent his buddy to sus me out. I even have more respect for the guy from Zenica who at least showed up and didn't give me any b.s. when I explained the class plan and it wasn't for him. He was very gentlemanly about his ulterior motives and when he realized it was going nowhere,nicely went away.
He's planning to go to America, and I am sure he will be a big hit with the ladies in Kansas!

some pictures of the K.U.D from Prijedor

And he makes his move!


Bee at work

Bee at work
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
I got out early to go to the Gastro-Eco Fest, I am going back for lunch, there is supposed to be food. Anyway on the way out, I heard a LOT of bees hard at work, and stopped to take their picture. See you all again later!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Mahmoud Darwish in Sarajevo

Mahmud Darviš Wins Bosnian Stečak!

I don't read Arabic, my exposure to the works of Mahmoud Darwish was during the course of my mis-spent youth. I got home yesterday from the neighborhood internet club, and saw that and was dancing around the living room all excited, plotting how to go meet Mahmoud Darwish and tell him how much I like his writing!

That was not to be! :). What happened instead was just as I was photographing the article about him, my landlady called and said she was sorry she didn't tell me the nice guys who put in the new cup-board had a couple more things to do. She sounded distressed at having disturbed me which she had! I was having a small party for one! But that was o.k. The guys came in, finished the job, and began packing up their implements of construction in the ultra-huge tool box. One of the guys looks just a little like Gino from Kultur Shock only no dreadlocks! He's the one I gave my ad to. They proceded to deliver in rapid fire Bosnian a series of directions, and do's and don't's for the cup-board, and I had to throw my hands up and explain 'I do speak and understand Bosnian, but please slow down so I can understand you!' They did, basically don't open and shut the cup-board a lot, don't get it wet until the next day, there was caulk and it had to dry off. I thanked them and said that I understood everything!
They said 'Doviđenje!', well the one that is planning on doing English did anyway! And off they went, but that wasn't all, the landlady wanted to come in and inspect the work, and I told her I really love the cup-board and I was sure any future tenants will agree! First off, it allows me to put any really dangerous items well out of reach, it isn't likely to be visited by a lot of spiders. I like spiders, I am a one woman spider rescue committee, but if they get in a cup-board it can be a problem. Nothing in my personal beliefs is against preventing them from going someplace, just squishing or poisoning them when it's not neccessary.
The guys were glad that two very different and picky ladies thought they had done a good job, and the landlady was glad I like the cup-board! It frees up valuable real estate on the counter!

So after they left, I watched the news, and Mahmoud Darwish was in Baščaršija, with a few people in the higher levels of the Sarajevo Poetry Mafija, and he was near one of my regular haunts too! I almost cried! :)
Then I read in the paper he would be interviewed after the soccer game. So I put on the soccer game to avoid missing him. The soccer game wasn't bad value for money either, fans setting off flares and stuff, highly entertaining!
Glad I wasn't any place near the place! :)

Mahmoud Darwish was in Bosnia at least a couple prior times. He spoke in Arabic, and there was simultaneous interpretation in Bosnian. I haven't dealt with so much of that in awhile, not since watching the U.N. non-stop during various Middle East krize!

Speaking of that, they ran on FTV, 'A Woman Called Golda'. I went ahead and watched, it was also a very good film. Not for really young kids, there's some harrowing archival footage of concentration camp survivors. There is one face that is never leaving my mind! So Not For Everyone!

Like here there, there's more than one side to the story. Which was something Darwish was at pains to point out during his interview.

Then I did some follow up SMS's to prior inquiries. That went o.k. The one who was sick is all better, catching up at work, and will call me next week. I can look forward to the first class getting off the ground soon then ako Bog daj! Please keep praying for me if that is what you do! I think it is helping me at least not get too scared! :) I really want to make a go of this, and I need to if I am to stay in this lovely city!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Emergency Water Supply

Emergency Water Supply
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag


Spring is really here...

Well, Spring really IS here. Sad news from the Yakima Gulag, a wonderful old zeka passed on,she was 103 years old and a wonderful person.
I found that out from a zek I chat with online if he is online LATE for the Gulag.

So no calls in response to the latest ad, BUT, the landlady came over and said the new cup-board was arriving that evening. So I went into a vacuuming frenzy, and put on something a bit more presentable. I mean I was just in my old denim skirt with the bleach stains, an old shirt and a scarf. So anyway the guys came just as the Eurovision show had started. They moved the other cup-board, I was glad to know it was staying as it has hooks for hanging up coats, and I'd already moved like the emergency water supply and so forth so the cup-board would be lighter. The guys then had fun putting together the MASSIVE huge new cup-board. I like it, because I can put things in it instead of on t he counters! :) It's very plain, white, and as I said, huge.
Anyway, they decided to sweep away some cob-webs and I was sent to get the vacuum. In the course of it, I remarked to my landlady that Native Americans avoid killing spiders because the spider showed humans how to weave, and that is why people have clothes! She made some remark about Spiderman, and I said 'No Spider Woman, male spiders don't weave webs!'
Anyway one of the guys translated that last bit perfectly from English to Bosnian! And I said 'He understood everything! No FAIR he didn't take MY English class!'
Anyway, that led to my giving the other guy a copy of my ad circled. Thank God I hadn't thrown out all my old newspapers yet, I was saving them because of a series on the Sarajevo Hagaddah I was planning to send to my father. He can't read the articles but I can do a rough and ready translation and there are wonderful pictures.

This led me to the conclusion that I should go and not only put another ad, I probably ought to have some simple business cards made up. It would save me bother, to carry them about, I could post them on notice boards here and there, and I'd have them to give to people who could be students.

it might work out to being more economical in the short run even than newspaper ads. So tomorrow I will do that. Today I can't there is a protest in town, this time against the outrageous fact that representatives to the damned annoying excuse of a parliament are giving themselves HUGE pension increases. They really don't deserve such increases when the majority of the people here can BARELY make it! If I were a citizen here I would so totally be out there, but since I am not, I need to stay away from situations like that! :)

I'm not a conventional reporter, and given that reporters get beat up, I'm not going to do that. Female reporters get beat up too!
I hate getting beat up, had quite damned well enough of that at school thank you!

So the S.O. must have walked into more storm damage than he anticipated. He hasn't called. Cell phone covarage in his immediate area is notoriously BAD. I don't like that the house phone is out too. He told me ahead. Anyway, I have had Other Ideas how to reach him, and he may get back soon. Things often take longer than he thinks they will. I will chew him out later! :).

If the guy who helped put up the cup-board does in fact call, I will have two students ako Bog daj.

There is some music playing in here that almost sounds Russian. Probably old stuff.
Which reminds me of Edo Maajke's latest album cover, it has a typical Parizan guy, but everything is all Star Spangled, it's a weird kultur dzam! :) I like Edo Maajke a lot, he has a wonderful sense of humor and is a really good rapper.


Old and New Together

Old and New Together
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
This was in yesterday's Oslobodenje, thought you'd like to see it. I was delighted to discover a setting I didn't know about before on my digital, I end up with better pictures from surfaces like the news paper! It's in the white balance and it's called 'Daylight'. I never do anything silly like actually READ the manual! A lot of things I learn, I learn by accident. Then I wonder what I was doing not trying them sooner.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Small movie review and other stuff.

I stayed up late and watched my favorite series, 'the Magnificent 7' which is pretty popular here. People here like Westerns and they make frequent appearances on T.V. In fact the fact I am a West Coast American has proved to be something of a social advantage here, just because I am sort of up on all that there Cowboys and Indians type stuff.

After that on the same channel, OBN they showed 'The House of the Spirits'. That is a really good film and full of timely stuff whether you are Latin American or from the Balkans!

I won't put in a spoiler, but I loved how the plot twists worked. Do see it if you haven't done so already! It was magnificently filmed and had why people want to take revenge, as well as why revenge might not be such a good idea even if it sounds like fun at the time!

As well the subtitle translator did a wonderful job.

I am now proficient enough to catch mistakes in subtitle translation, there weren't any!

Yesterday as well, I watched the broadcast of the funeral for the people killed in Bratunac. The F.T.V. crew interviewed the father of the youngest victim, a girl who was only 18 months old when she was killed. He was a big rough looking blond guy,he almost looked Russian.

You could tell he was a man used to hard work, and tough, too. His whole family were killed, and he sat speaking with the reporter, one hand on the flag draped coffin, which had a red rose on it. He was doing his level best to control his emotions. I felt so bad for him. I still do.

There was an absolutely huge number of coffins, and a huge number of people. They don't always broadcast these funerals. The part that constituted a religious service lasted maybe half an hour if that.

They also showed on the news proper, part of the funeral of the poor girl who died in the gas explosion. Her sister is still in bad shape.

And I heard too from a friend of mine that one of my friends back in Yakima was found dead in her garden. She was 103, and a very good woman. I remember her 10oth birthday party! It was quite a do!

I am going to sit and do some writing and then go home. It is lovely out, and I needed to get out for a bit.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Some sad news...

One of the girls who was badly injured in the explosion downtown last week died, I did not know until I got home, and actually read the paper. Often I don't get my paper until I am on the way home. If I go out early, I don't get the first news so I did not know.

She was only 21 years old, and her sister is still last I heard in the hospital. People from a company that did work on the gas line have been arrested.

Back in the States it is Mother's Day, my very dear daughter sent me greetings through one of those 'people- keeping -in -touch -sites- we -all -joined- in -order- to- keep -in -touch, -and -then -everyone -is -too -busy -to -log- in -sites'. Especially my son is too busy to keep in touch, but my daughter is a brilliant organizer, she dragged everyone in but my father, who doesn't like to play with computers.
He has someone who does that for him! :).

It is a beautiful day out. At least one of my landlords is about, doing the grass. I tend to leave when that is going on, on the grounds that the noise of a lawnmower is an annoying noise to me. Sorry, I just can't get with the 20th century on that one! But all the rain meant that the grass has really grown, and they want the place to look nice. There are beautiful tulips all sorts of colors in bloom now. Down below, one lady trimmed the hedge, I could hear the shears way up where I am at. I am fortunate, I have all the advantages of ground floor but I am up a ways also. My flat really is nice!

I have not heard from the S.O. since he went to his vikendnica, to supervise fixing up the storm damage. In the past, mobile calls there have worked just fine. I tend to prefer the mobile phone for such calls, but maybe the same storm or a previous one knocked out the transmitter or something. Anyway he should not be there much longer.

A day or two at most. Club B.I.T. is full of American students today. Their presence may explain why I can't get a bit from my notice board ads! They are girls, and sound like they are from the San Fernando Valley! Good! They will have had an unforgettable experience of a wonderful city!

I haven't heard from ANYONE today in response to my ad. Same goes for yesterday, and the day before. One potential student had the Balkans Death Flu, and frankly I don't want him near me in case I got some variant horrible mutant rebound flu. So I will text a couple of students, and see who is up for an initial meeting in town in the next few days.
The whole process is getting on my nerves. I never thought I'd be back in telemarketing! xaxa!

The Serbian elections were close. Way closer than I liked. I was hoping Tadic could win decisively. The best thing for the region is if everyone can gt on with European integration, be able to travel, and see how it is other places.

I love Sarajevo, I love the city and the people, but no matter how beautiful any place is, if you can't leave once in awhile, it becomes like a prison. Same thing applies to Serbia. I have not been to Serbia, but I have seen enough film of the place on T.V. to be sure I'd probably like it too.

I am increasingly against tight borders. I consider them a sign of tyranny, and insecurity. The Earth is the Lord's, it is our Mother and fighting meanly over bits of it goes increasingly against the grain.

That is kind of how Native Americans looked at the Earth. They also did not mind a few tribal differences, they looked at them this way, 'all roads are good!'
Sure they had wars, they had differences, but in general, they kept it down to a dull roar.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Sunny day in Sarajevo

Well, it is nice out, yesterday I stayed home, it wasn't nice out, and frankly I didn't feel like going anyplace. I was kind of spoiling for a migraine. I have a light one today. I don't know what set it off, but changeable weather tends to set it off, so that is what I am blaming! :) I was just tired. I attempted to watch 'Gluvi Barut'. The film is good in places, but it portrays a fairly brutal and unfortunate series of events. It actually covers a group of Serbian Partizans, v.s. a group of Cetniks. Things started off tense, and proceeded to get messily ugly. The music is by Goran Bregovic, so it's good. Lots of nice horses and sheep. Interesting people, very good costuming*, majestic landscapes, but do not let little children see it, it is pretty violent.

*I kind of wondered about the women in this film. This story was set in a Bosnian Serb village, but an awful lot of the women seemed to be wearing face veils....I don't know if they were captive women, or what?

I noted stecci in the village graveyard. So the village can't have ALWAYS been Serb! :).

I watched last night, part of 'One Night With The King'. This is about Queen Esther, who saved the Jews in Persia, the holiday Purim celebrates this. Again, some violence, wonderfully anachronistic costumes.

Queen Vashti had the best dress! It was a Bollywood looking Rajasthani wedding dress, magnificent, probably worth at least $1500 in U.S. funds! Maybe more considering the condition of the dollar at this point. it wasn't bad, just that I am about fed up with anachronistic historical dramas. It is not that hard to do the research and have things right. it isn't even that expensive most of the time to have things right. The actors were fairly good, again lots of nice horses, lots of cool buildings, which were probably above the technological level of the period in question.

I kind of got tired of the fuzzy picture on the channel with 'One Night With the King' and returned to FTV and watched half of 'Pecat'. That series really is good. Ranko is turning into a very interesting character.

I feel bad for Sanja, the daughter of Marija. Her parents, Mirza and Marija keep sending her to her room. She is probably around 20, and that is NEVER a Good Thing!

I gave up sending my kids to their rooms well before that age! That doesn't mean I never yelled at them, sometimes I would be frustrated with them and about HAVE to yell at them, but one place didn't really have rooms, so we all had places we sat and sulked, or I would go out, or they would go out, into the big yard. It depended on weather, and whether it was day or night. I didn't really do curfews either. I would ask them to tell me where they would be, who would be with them, and told them, I'd pay for a cab home if things were not what they should be.

I did tell them, if they wanted a drink or even to smoke at home, it was allowed, I'd buy the stuff for them, but they were not to do either of those things among their friends, because they would get into trouble that way. I did say, 'do leave anyplace if you notice any drugs or alchol in use, it tends to get people into totally unacceptable trouble. Call a cab, I will pay for it.' They didn't go to a lot of those sorts of parties, I never had to pay a cab.

So I had a few late nights, no kids came home drunk, stoned or knocked up, and no one got into horrible trouble.
Sometimes I think that the lure of forbidden fruit is too much for young people. the best way to deal with these issues is to be totally blunt and practical about them. To point out that their friends who give in to that stuff now have lives which SUCK! To point out the financial aspects. Kids do notice that money isn't all that easy to get.

Of to another tangent, I noticed in yesterday's 'Oslobodenje' an ad from KBR in English, a fairly high register American English, for employment in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Anyone here who's English is good enough to read that ad can probably get a safer job!

The interviews are at the Holiday Inn, and you have to register online to get an appointment. Again, anyone with computer skills up to getting registered, probably can get something safer.

Of course the ad doesn't appeal to whoever wants a safe job, and I noticed the fine print pointed out that this was a risky job, in dangerous territory and that you could get hurt.

Just thought it was interesting. Often when job ads are in English, there is a corresponding ad right next to it in Bosnian. This was not the case with this ad.


roast chicken with somun 10KM

roast chicken with somun 10KM
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
File under FoodPorn!

Friday, May 09, 2008


Brief Movie Review:

So last night, I watched an Iranian/French film. It was my second time to watch any film that had Iranian people involved and was interesting.

The film is called 'Kandehar', probably the original title in English would be 'Journey to Kandehar'. I am going with my EXTREMELY limited acquaintance with Farsi here, so don't count on it over at ImDb.

The film concerns a girl, older, who goes illegally into Iran to try and help her sister. There is at times a Bunuel quality to the film, the way people get around in psychedelically painted 3 wheeled cars is of interest. Horses and carts actually are FAR more reliable, if this film is any indication.

There are some wonderful characters, and it has great landscapes.

Interstingly, it doesn't go overboard slamming the Taliban, but the Taliban certainly do not come off as your friends either.

Do see it if you get the chance!



The original Laka video, with the chicken! Thanks Youtube!


Mirror Work through a kaleidescope

Mirror Work through a kaleidescope
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
I really do have fun with the kaleidescope sometimes. this was fun, I meant to do kind of a short video, but hit the wrong buttons.


an order of guacamole and chips

an order of guacamole and chips
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
So this was the Very Good Avacado acquired in the Markale. It was not hard to make good guacaomole out of this, and the locally available corn chips only added to the deliciousness! :)


The Mighty War Pen

The Mighty War Pen
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag


Blue Light Special

Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
A little fun with a sequined scarf I thought was from India, but actually it is from Bosnia.


Victory over fascism day!

To any of my readers who might be old enough to have helped stamp out fascism, THANKS, GRACIAS, HVALA! I find the corprathugs quite enough to deal with, I really appreciate not having to deal with honest to God fascists!

Yesterday on the way home there were some cute Bosnian girls selling SUBNOAR T-shirts and Tito T-shirts. Tito remains popular here, in fact I am starting to suspect people like him a bit more now than when he was actually around and workin' on t he railway!

O.K. the student who did not show last time did this time. He is a charming fellow, but can't be considered as a serious student. The reasons I can't consider him as a serious student, are 1. He lives in Zenica, and failed to notify me, on a VERY rainy day that he would not make it, until like the last minute, so I could not cancel out on t he other guy, I had to sit and wait, it was o.k. the cafe has indoor seating which rapidly became available as the rain fell, and a really nice wait staff. But still that is a sign of 'not seriousness' in my book. In some ways I am very much an American, and messing with my time is not liked. I did not give him a bad time about it, he made up for it, by as I said, being a nice person, and actually paying for my time. His English is not dreadful, and I told him so. A person who doesn't mind a charming accent, is going to enjoy talking with him. I bet anything he will be a HUGE hit with the ladies in Kansas!
As well, he goes to his weekend place, someplace near Neum regularly. That is normal in the region. People tend to have weekend places here, regardless of not having terribly wonderful incomes.
I suspected he thought I was a bit more available, so I made a point of several times working the S.O. into the conversation. That was for reasons of personal security. I also did not give him t he address. If he wants me to work with him, it will probably be in a public place, like the cafe. He mostly wanted to converse for practice reasons. Could have been worse. My time was not 100% wasted.
Still people who think seriously, they are going to improve their English with hit or miss lessons are doing themselves No Favors!

If you read any Sarajevo newspaper, and I have read most of what is available for the local press, you will see that the better jobs often want people who speak good English. These days, because a lot of the English speakers are American, you would think t hat there would be people breaking their necks to get a good native speaker to help them!
The other t hing is that courses in English in a more formal setting are EXPENSIVE! I doubt a quick course is going to be a lot of use to some learners, because it would go by too fast. You would think a slower pace, at a lower cost, not paid up front, would be of interest to people.
I have ONE student I think is serious, and no way of setting up classes until I get at least one or two more.
Last night, I got home and felt pretty annoyed about the whole thing frankly. I started having paranoid fantasies that some other people who teach English were sending me people to mess with me this way.....
That is probably silly of me, but I also wonder why it is that one week people who were advertising 10KM suddenly and abruptly began advertising 5KM? I never put a price in my own ad. But when people called and enquired, of course I had to say some price, so I at first said 10KM. It makes me wonder what the Hell was going on with that.
Teaching a language is an intense business. Even conversational is a LOT of work. At the end of my time as a tutor at YVCC, I was earning a bit over $9.00 an hour. That was whether in fact anyone showed up or not, I was a very good tutor, and believe me, people showed up and they asked ESPECIALLY for me! I tutored, Spanish, English, and Medical Terminology for the most part. I was qualified to tutor a few other subjects. This was part of my student aid package. It was a proper JOB! I had requirements to meet to even be able to do this!

Who knows, maybe this round of ads will result in a couple more. Then I can set a proper class day and get going. I would like for this to be sooner rather than later.
Incidentally, ads placed in places for students have not panned out. I won't bother again. Even at free to put one up, it isn't worth the shoe leather and getting past in some cases, security types.

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