The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

August 10, 2008

Letter From Serbia 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 7:12 pm

Hidee Ho Everybody,

Welcome to the next thrilling installment of life In Serbia!

This episode has it all:

Thrills! (as i heroically journey on crowded, sweaty diesel pumping buses every morning to serbian language school)

Adventure! (took a lovely vacation to a small village in southern serbia and climbed a mountain to an ancient fort used by roman, serbian, turkish, and moor armies.)

Peril! (as on said vacation, i spent the second half of it with some kind of either brutal food poisoning or really, really harsh stomach bug, laying in bed with vicious cramps, begging for death. Additional note, 4 of us came down with it, but none of the four of us ate either the same food, or even dined at the same restaurant… so perhaps it was some kind of Agatha Christie plot. Maja, incidentally, came down with it too, which was rather scary, her being pregnant and all, but all is fine now.)

Romance! (I really love both my new apartment and the weekend house, not to mention my wonderful little preggles and the unborn heir to my dynasty)

Sex! (uhm…. you ARE aware that maja is pregnant, right? Ipso facto….)

Heartache! (oh, Ben & Jerry’s, how i miss you so very much… and mexican delivery place, i miss YOU most of all.)

Wow, what a show! Plus, most of the letter will be picture oriented.

Before i begin, however, i just want to quickly point out that the new Mocha Lab album Anamnesis, (which some of you knew as Songs Of Lost Faith) is now out on itunes, amazon mp3 download, napster, emusic and all other online distributors. (it is only available for download. I did not bother making physical CDs. My sales are almost entirely digital at this point, so at this point it’s just redundant to shell out the money for physical copies.)

Why don’t you help support independant musicians, make up for all those albums you ripped off of torrents and never helped the artists pay for, and part with a TINY, MEASLY $10!!!

You know that in the next week you’re going to blow $10 on something totally arbitrary. Well, THIS could be your arbitrary expenditure! I would also mention, that in the actual artist’s opinion, it’s one of the best albums i’ve ever made.

You might actually really like it!!!! If, heaven forbid, this actually turns out to be the case, you could EVEN recommend it!

So, 10 little bucks! (For those few of you who are truly too wretchedly poor to shell out $10, i have in the past felt your pain, and you are excused. In fact, if you throw something online for $10, I’ll buy it this time around and you can hit me up the next project.)

here are some handy links:

Itunes:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=273307972&s=143444

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Anamnesis/dp/B0013TY9WC/ref=sr_f3_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1219421989&sr=103-1

So, let’s begin the question and answer segment, shall we?

Hi, Paul.

Hi!

So, hows’ the language going?

Uh, i was kind of hoping you wouldn’t ask that. I should really step up the amount of studying i do, because i still suck.

What do you mean?

Well, i’ve graduated from total retard to basic retard.

Basic retard.

Yes. (i would like at this point to offer apologies to my mentally challenged brothers and sisters, and assure you that, in fact, pretty much every mentally challenged serbian in a 50 mile radius can without question speak better serbian than me, But if it’s any consolation, i’m somewhat better than i was when i arrived. but still not very good. Basic retard, really.)

Well good luck with that.

Thanks.

Does it bother you to have a rather neurotic and slightly unhinged conversation with yourself in front of an entire e-mail audience?

Uh…. nope.

Okay then. So, how’s Maja and the little one?

Doing great! I got to go with her to her second sonogram and i saw it! It’s exceptionally active (so the woman says) and was bigger and it was awesome and made me all mushy and gushy. I’ve been talking to her stomach since we first arrived here and continue doing so.

The nausea passed for the most part. There’s still some occasional episodes, but nothing like the intensity of a month ago. the fatigue also for the most part passed. In general she’s doing much, much better. There are some interesting NEW phenomenon, but for details you’ll either have to look up pregnancy week 13-15, or wait and experience the never ending wonders of pregnancy yourself!

(for all other unfortunate males who will never know the joys and magic first hand, don’t worry fellows, there will be plenty for you to do!)

One side efffect i CAN mention is that Maja’s sense of smell is INSANELY heightened. Smells are incredibly powerful and for the most part too much. Scented candles, which she had previously loved, now drive her crazy. We have a new bed that smells just a faint hint of wood (although i don’t smell it at all unless i stick my nose inbetween the mattress and the wooden frame below it) and it drives maja crazy.

………….
I have to interject a quick note here. I wrote the bulk of this e-mail several days ago and have been waiting to finish loading and putting all the images on here, which i’m only now finishing.

So as of several days ago, things WERE very good, and i was rather happy, and the only peril was a case of food poisoning. Now of course, Maja is in the hospital, where she’s been for several days and will be for several more, and pretty much the main part of my day is going to visit her.

Fortunately, neither her nor the baby’s life is in danger. She does however have some complications with the pregnancy which the doctors can’t do much about, since they can’t operate on a pregnant woman. (there is a large fibroid, and it is LARGE at this point, which is now causing problems when it shifts and presses on internal… stuff. Like her bladder and inner bits. She is being observed and tested and what not, but what will happen probably is that she’ll have good days and bad days, and during the bad days will just have to be bedridden. She is feeling fine now, but has to sit in a very boring hospital for days on end.

Friday was a very bad and scary day, howEVER, everything has turned out fine, and like i said, neither she nor the baby is in any danger.
……………

And she is totally showing. I have pictures for y’all!

You do?

Yup.

Well we’d all (please choose your preference): love/ mildly be interested/ couldn’t give a crap to see them!

Okay, i thought i’d start by showing y’all where my spiffy apartment.

This is the view from my terrace: (while we are on the river boardwalk, we face away from the actual river)

Terrace

Terrace

And the terrace seating area:

This is the walk from my place to maja’s parents, along the river boardwalk area:



their building:

and here we are!

Here are shots of the weekend house, where we spend almost every weekend, and sometimes even longer periods of time:

This is the house proper:

AND, here’s the family:

Maja’s majka:

Majas Mom

Maja's Mom

Maja’s otac:

majas dad

maja's dad

Maja and her brat: (brat is actually the word for brother, and is pronounced braht, not with that bugs bunny kind of “A” sound)

majas brother

maja's brother

And of course, some familiar faces:


Very nice.

Thanks.

What about Belgrade itself?

Ah, i’m so glad you asked! here is some pics i took while walking to my school in the morning. I pass the main downtown walking street.

I go out to lunch with my classmates more or less regularly.They are a Swedish woman, a Swiss woman, a Frenchman,who i’m becoming rather decent friends with, and recently, hold you breath, aNOTHer american! Yes, there is in fact another american here in serbia. We are the 2 representatives of our mighty western culture here to pass out some hot steaming freedom pie!

Beograd, on my way to skola (pronounced “shkolah”)

And here we arrive at my skola: (it says institute for foreign languages)

And there we are.

So, you mentioned a trip to the mountains.

Yup. These photos are of the serbian village where we stayed. This gets across the village aesthetics in serbia:

And here’s from that hike to the fort at the top of the mountain i mentioned:

And lastly, i’d really like to send these photos of this church we went to nearby (Jana, you should recognize it). It’s from the 10th century, and it is really, really old. It’s small, a saint is entombed in the room next to the main room you’ll see here (i didn’t feel comfortable taking a picture of the saint’s sarcophogus).

As you may or may not know, orthodox church walls are covered in paintings, COVERED in them. Every inch. And which images go where is very specifically ordered. They continue to do this today. The churches are covered in colorful pictures, of Jesus of course, the apostles, saints and pics of events from the gospels. This church still has the orginal images from 900 something AD, although as you can see, they’re a bit washed out.

The side of the church even has a cannonball hole from where a turkish cannonball hit. The cannonball did NOT pierce the church, it merely bounced off the wall ( a building next door was demolished, though) and interestingly enough, the dent is EXACTLY where the saint’s sarcophogus is.

So here goes, i loved the look of this place:

And while we’re at it, here the holy water stream next to the church. (In serbia, holy water is located in monasteries, but is an actual running stream, not stagnant, bottled water. I’ve sampled myriads of holy water for a number of monasteries. There’s a church built on a site where Mother Mary healed a young girl, and THAT place had the best tasting water, holy or otherwise, i think i’ve had.

All of these places/churches are monasteries. Monasteries in serbia are plentiful, but small. A typical monastery only has about 5-7 monks and small church and plot of land, they’re not the big lavish monasteries typical of catholicism (who has specfic orders of monks. Orhtodoxy has no types of orders. You’re a monk. You live in a small monastery. You focus on denying your passions, cleansing yourself, and repeating the Jesus Prayer in order to gain inner union with the holy spirit.

So there you go.

If i wanted to i could keep writing, but it’s taken me solid WEEK of working on this to get it out, so i’m going to send it and be done with that. If i keep putzing, i could be on this forever, and my days are a bit more complex until Maja comes home. ( and the nights are a bit lonelier…)

Before i go, one more quick plug, though! Don’t forget, Mocha Lab: Anamnesis! Great album! Available here:

Itunes:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=273307972&s=143444

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Anamnesis/dp/B0013TY9WC/ref=sr_f3_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1219421989&sr=103-1

as well as any other major online mp3 store.

Until next time, my love to you all, and i’m really sorry i don’t write to some of you more, but WE STILL DONT HAVE ******* INTERNET!!! And there is NO word at ALL as to when this could happen. (i hear stories that involve 6 months and even a year. Seriously. It’s not happening any time soon.)

So love to you all,

-Paul.

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1 Comment »

  1. I concur!
    I’ve already loved you latest album, recommended it to Tom, subscribed to you blog and even found the correct web link to it on iTunes:

    http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=273307972&s=143444

    Vidimo se uskoro, druže!

    T.

    Comment by Tibo — August 22, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | Reply


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