Me again. School has been busy and my dissertation started on Monday so I’ve been slightly occupied. Like usual, I’m going to give you the goods in bits and pieces because that’s how I roll. Here goes:
- Serbians write the #1 like a #7. I figured I’d point this out in case any of you are in the area and are wondering why something seems like it’s 7x more expensive than it should be.
- Most stores ask for exact change when paying for an item and cashiers may not-so-subtly roll their eyes at you if you don’t have it.
- I need to show the post office my passport every time I pay a utility bill.
- It’s stray animal season in Serbia. Tiny stray pups and kittens are everywhere.
- My cell phone does not work in my house. Seems to be some sort of massive dead zone. Internet, too, can be sporadic at times. This has presented some challenges for school, but I’m managing well enough.
- Since the end of February, I’ve travelled to the Stara Planina ski resort in south western Serbia, Rome, Sarajevo, London, Montenegro, Croatia, Ireland and, this weekend, more of western Serbia and then Bulgaria. In June, it will be either a week in either Dubai or Greece, followed with nearly a month back in Canada. We’re also aiming for Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine, Poland and Portugal when we’re able.
- The history here is deep. During a drive near Bor, Chris spotted some white sticks stuck in the mud along the side of the highway. (It had been a bit of a rainy season and the rain had washed out part of the hillside along the road.) He passed the area three times before he stopped to investigate and was surprised to find what appeared to be clusters of bones. He called the local police because he suspected they might be human. His suspicion was confirmed by the police, telling Chris that there were multiple bodies in the dirt and they were going to investigate further. Of course, they could have been from any time period, and from any of the many conflicts Serbia (and the former Yugoslavia) had been involved in. The International Commission for Missing Persons has expressed interest in the case because they have thousands of missing people they are hoping to find and identify. Not sure if we’ll hear any more on this, but it’s an incredible curiosity.
- For those of you who love to learn, you should check out Masterclass.com. I have an annual membership and it’s super cool. You can learn from the pros with lessons in cooking, writing, film making, music and much, much more. The nerd I am, I signed up for 10 courses, having already done 2. Really, if you don’t want to do homework, you don’t have to. There is no test or anything, just a bunch of really interesting lessons by the greats including Helen Mirren, Malcolm Gladwell, James Patterson, David Mamet, Judy Blume, Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck, Steve Martin, Aaron Sorkin and more. This is the kind of thing I like to watch. I highly recommend this site! (There’s even a handy little MasterClass app.)
- We also walked in a 5KM event for charity. The energy of the crowd was amazing and we had a ton of fun. We also cried a bit for the environment when thousands of balloons were released into the air to signal the start of the race.
- Lastly, we’re going to a Serbian wedding this weekend and we don’t know what to expect but we’re really excited for it.
Until next time, thanks for reading my ramblings and remember that you are all welcome here!