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[Comments] (3) Also, I lost my kiĊĦobran: All of a sudden I feel oddly disconnected from events in the States. There's all the political happenings, which I seem to find out about only through reading blogs and facebook statuses, despite several resolutions to check cnn daily. Then today my classmate asked why we were working on Monday when it's a holiday (his friend who works at the embassy isn't working) and our teacher was like, duh, why should we have an American holiday off? And I was like, oh, wow, Labor Day. Also, WHERE DID THE SUMMER GO?

I had a dream about packing (hurriedly) last night. I guess I am getting ready to leave Serbia. Hey, at least there was no German army involved!

Anyway, today was such a Friday. Yesterday I went out with a classmate and his host brother who is also a friend of mine, plus so random people to a happening venue where they have cover bands playing the best of Serbian rock music. I love it. A great time was had by all but the force-feeding of several large slices of Serbian pizza at 3 am was not so much fun. Class was as early as ever so I was reallly tired, and also today happened to be one of our professor's defense for her master's thesis, and we split up our classes by going to support her. Imagine listening to a hour discussion of Serbian national poetry on 4 hours sleep (na srpskom naravno). However. My classmates and I plus our professors have a really good rapport going, and we spent the rest of the afternoon joking about things that are probably not very funny in the retelling. (bad turbofolk, and sweaters knitted with the inscription 'srpska zvezda.' told you.) I was so tired I was almost hyper, but it's better to be joking than sitting quietly or something. After taking turns playing our favorite serbian music on youtube, and reading out essays about our favorite trips (which lead to an interesting discussion about sex changes and pedophilia in Thailand. yah I know) our professora asked, "What to do?" We wanted to igraju. (play/ dance) My suggestion of Bingo for practicing numbers didn't catch on, but we did have a short kolo (Serbian national dance) demonstration before settling down to read an text in cyrillic. You win some, you lose some.

The other day I went for a long hike in the fortress and I think the exercise was good for getting rid of a lot of my angst. It was interesting to see the fortress, I haven't been back through the yonder parts since EXIT, and not in daylight ever. It looks so different, it's hardly recognizable. There were houses! People live there! What do they do during the festival? Surely the don't STAY there? I can't imagine anyone trying to live a normal life in the middle of um, southern Europe's biggest music festival. Also, it's huge. I thought for sure I was beyond the span of the fest, but when I got to where I couldn't go any further, I realized I was looking down into the dance arena. On a side note, I am now officially Very Worried that EXIT and the release of Half Blood Prince (movie) will be at the same time next July.

In the morning we watched an interesting documentary about Roma in Belgrade. The movie itself was well done, using a certain type of car used by the Roma to create their multi-tasking vehicles as a hanger for all sorts of issues. It's so hard to talk about the Roma because it seems like it's just too many problems and too few solutions. I think they are better off here in Serbia than elsewhere, though. At least they seem to be less behind petty crime and eeking out a living selling things at the pijaca etc. One guy in the movie said something that got my thinking. He said there was no recycling service in Serbia so they do it instead. So why not start one (long overdue anyway) and hire the Roma to do what they are doing now, only give them actual equipment and decent pay so they can provide for their families? Eh but I don't know what I'm talking about. Anyway it's interesting to see stuff like this, and a outdoor photo exhibit that was on the city center a while ago. Then contrast it with a woman we saw while walking back from our field trip, holding a baby with a 3 year old following her, naked from the waist down and covered in dirt (or something else?). It's hard not to judge: how can you let your child walk around like that?


© 2002-2010 Rachel Richardson.