We’ve had much-needed rain for the last 2 days so we’ve been staying in, attempting puzzles, watching movies and, grudgingly, I’ve let the girls play marathon sessions of Minecraft and Hayday on their iPads. Really, there’s not much else to do in Bor when you’re a foreigner on a rainy day. We walked downtown today, a walk we haven’t taken before. I think I must have said “careful” and “watch out” at least a hundred times. Deep holes in the concrete lay waiting to swallow us up, or at least a limb, at regular intervals. I’ve taken pictures and will post a video once it’s done. For today, here are some more tidbits for you as of late:
-About 3 weeks ago, Laura and Bekah got locked into a bathroom stall at the Crystal Hotel in Belgrade. Nice hotel, nice washrooms, but a bit of a buggered lock on one of the stalls. Laura started screaming her head off and Bekah, the smart big sister, just turned the lock another round and – voila! – they were out. They didn’t really get locked in, but Laura felt like they were trapped and has since freaked out over doors being closed. (We’re trying to help her with this.) I apologize to everyone in Serbia who has since seen me half-naked, on a toilet, when Laura got scared and decided to open the door while mommy was mid-stream. Yes. This now happens. A lot. Today, we had lunch at our favorite pizza place in Bor, Jet Pizza, and Laura had to go to the washroom. Bekah watches the table while I take little L to the potty when we have a minor disagreement about which door should be closed (the outer one). I get it closed and wait while she goes to the bathroom in the room beside me and, in her haste to get in and get out, I notice she doesn’t wipe her nether regions. Of course, I point this out. She, of course, grabs toilet paper and bends over WITH HER HEAD OVER THE TOILET, butt out to the door, and HER HAIR GOES IN THE TOILET. Yes. You’ve seen some of the lovely images of the toilets we’ve been privileged to visit here and I can tell you that this one was just as good as any, except that it didn’t have a seat and was probably from a prison somewhere. The bowl was naturally streaked, if you get what I mean. (EEEEK!!!) As much as I love my little munchkin, I wouldn’t let her hair get anywhere near me until we got home and I swiftly got her into the tub. The life of a parent.
-Something we almost immediately pointed out when we arrived just over a month ago were the community boards with pictures of people on them. These boards can be seen from almost anywhere and display pictures of the recently deceased. Community obituaries beside stores, near parks, along sidewalks, parking lots. In the paper, you might find 2 or 3 of the exact same pictures, side by side, with different write ups. Chris asked one of his coworkers about this and was told that the obituaries in the paper will have a death notice, funeral notice, and a 30-day memorial notice. (I think I have that right.) Very interesting.
-In talking with locals, I believe that we, the new Canadians in town, say please and thank you too much. Apparently, you are not supposed to say “thank-you” to a pharmacist because they will construe it negatively. This is something they are supposed to do, they are supposed to help, and so it is impolite to thank them. I’m busy thanking my way through Serbia, wanting to be polite, and we might be coming across as just the opposite. Can’t help it, though. The Canadian in me wants to say “thank you, sorry, thank you, so sorry, eh?”