(4) Mon Jul 03 2006 19:42 PST Why are you going THERE?:
While it might be good for me to be getting used to only having sporadic internet, I hope I get better at making posts in the short time I *do* have, if for no other reason than for the sake of those who might be worried about me. Though my family members & close friends behaved reasonabley enough (I think they are used to me & may have been expecting this trip for a time) I am getting used to friends & acquaintances' negative reaction when I tell them where I'm going. "WHY?" "Oh my GOD, be careful!" Although, they do seem placated when I tell them it's actually quite safe to travel in the Balkans, so long as one doesn't go to Kosovo, the only region that is relatively dangerous. (Secret: I am actually planning on going to Kosovo.) A surprising number of people, when I say I am going to Serbia to learn the language, ask which language is it, exactly, that I am going to learn. I've started to tell people, "Europe," first, then Serbia & vicinity when & if they ask for more specifics. This usually produces a better reaction. Maybe people have difficulty remembering that the Balkans actually are part of Europe.
(1) Tue Jul 04 2006 18:31 PST poke:
I finally figured out that one of the emails sent by the Serbian workshop includes a list of student's names and nationalities. There are 40 althogether, and 4 Americans including myself, but they all have Serbian last names. One guy from New Zealand, and the rest are from places like France, Czech Republic, and Romania. I guess I'll know tons of people from all over Europe now, but I'll really have to learn Serbian if I want to talk to any of them. I wonder if there will be many beginers like me.
I sent an email (in English) to a Belgrade hotel asking for a reservation & if they could pick me up at the airport since my flight doesn't get in till 11:40 & the guide books warn against the airport taxis, but this was their response:
WE CONFIRME YOUR RESERVATION.
MENAGER: NELU MADJINCA
Thu Jul 06 2006 18:01 PST:
I am reading Rebecca West's Black Lamb & Grey Falcon (thanks to Alyson). It is really a great book, and well written. I love reading it because I feel like it's filling in a whole (just one of many) in my knowledge of Yugoslav history. I really wish I'd started reading it earlier, or that I could do nothing but read it for the next week to finish it before I go, or that I was feeling braver about the possiblity of taking a huge, hevay book with me so I could read it while I am there. Oh well.
(1) Mon Jul 10 2006 11:47 PST:
I have often driven from LA to Bakersfield on the 5, and as I pass through the mountains, tried to imagine if that is anything like what Serbia looks like. Everytime I think about my trip I get really excited for about 2 seconds, and then very stressed out about how I will ever get everything done. Before Wednesday.
(1) Thu Jul 13 2006 11:23 PST Last boarding call:
Leaving soon from Uncle Leonard's house. There is hope that Tonks will settle in nicely here, & Denise is the hero of the hour.
(7) Fri Jul 14 2006 04:48 PST Hello from Frankfurt:
Sitting in an internet cafe because I was smart enough to not print out the address of my Belgrade hotel. I am doing pretty well despite the lack of sleep, my sytem is all messed up from sleeping 2 hours Tuesday, 11 hours Wednesday, and it´s Thursday & I slept prob about to hours on the plane. I learned itäs always important to read the fine print because the Luftansa flight I was bragging about actually turned out to be operated by united. Bleah. I was seated in the back of the plane next to the little girls that the stewardesses had to keep on eye on and they had to play patty cake the whole time, double bleah. But I made friends with my seat mates--on one side a nice russian lady (I showed her my letter and she asked if I was going to Kiev) who made sure I woke up in time for breakfast (why did I onlz fall asleep at the END of the fllight?) and on the other side a guy who works for Levi and his wife. We chatted a good deal of the way about comon interests--travelling and history of gender and public health. V fun. They were headed to Brussels and thinking of relocating there. I had to wait in a super long queue to get my boarding pass for Belgrade ebcause for some reason they didnät give any of the connecting flighters their boarding passes in SFO. Triple bleah. But now I am all set. Once outside I stood looking like a dumb lost American tourist in from of the ticket machine until I was befriend by a nice Indian banker who helped me buy my tickets, escorted me to Frankfurt, and took me to lunch in a yummy rainbow cafe thai place. Now I am off to go look at some pretty art if I can find it. Sorry for the typos, this keyboard is weird.
(2) Mon Jul 17 2006 05:54 PST Short update from Valjevo:
It looks like I will not have as easz access to the internet as I had hoped, so please don,t be worried if i disappear from online for dazs at a time. There are lots of eye candy european boys for me to look at here which is nice. I like Serbia a lot and my host family is the best. i am certainly not going to go hungry and will porbably gain about ten pounds by the time i leave valjevo. i need to run back to my home now because i am starving and need a nap. i wish i had time to write about more of my adventures.
Fri Jul 21 2006 08:17 PST There is no internet in Serbia:
I have finally had enough gumption to come to the internet here at school to say that I am not really planning on making use of it anymore. It is far too much of a pain and not really worth it since it is so slow and avaiable only four hours a day. It's disappointing because I hoped to be able to update more often about my adventures but I will have to revert to more quaint means of communication. So please don't be worried if I seemingly drop from the face of the earth. I am having a great time here in valjevo and will tell all about it when I get home. Ciao.
Tue Jul 25 2006 07:21 PST:
Rachel called me this morning. Her phone card lasted about a minute and a half, half of which she spent asking why I wasn't up at 6 AM. She says she is having a great time, it feels like it's been a month, and she misses my voice and loves me, so I'm passing that on to everyone else.
Also, I got this email from her a few days ago:
i made friends with a swiss guy who is taking a van to albania via montengro and macedonia. i'm going to go with him, plus some other cool people, a danish guy and a new zealnder. lots of nice people.
Have fun, Rach! - Susie
Wed Jul 26 2006 06:01 PST Valjevo part iii:
Suddenly everything is in French. Thanks to Susie for updating what I was planning on writing here, now that I have a few seconds while we wait for the rest of our group to go to the pool. Serbian is a hard language to learn buit mostly Iam having fun. I know it is probably not quite as hot in valjevo as it iis in Bkaersfield, but do think of me, without airconditioning. Ciao.
© 2002-2010 Rachel Richardson.