Thursday, February 26, 2009

A change of place/pace

So i have arrived in Belegrad, which means i should probably change the name of my blog at this point sinc ei am no longer in croatia but serbia. I am staying in a nice tiny flat right outside the city. My room is pretty neat and is lofted in the apartment...The mother here has a daughter, 17, who is doing an exchange program in the US. She is in highschool in Des Moins for the year and is loving it, which is why my host mom here wanted to host an american. She is very welcoming, but i think it will take getting used to here, even though it is only for two weeks. The city is much bigger and very different than zagreb. I hear it is more exiciting on a lot of levels but as seen more wear and tear. It sort of becomes clear very quickly that zagreb is a richer city as far as money goes. However, belegrade has amazing streets, hills, shops, and a very bustling atmosphere. We'll see what I think after a few days. Our classes here are being held at a university which is one of the first private university in belegrade. The building is very new inside and pretty hip.
So not too much to say now, except it was quite the exciting morning trying to catch our bus here... more to come later.
Miss you all!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The last twenty four hours have been a bit crazy! First of all there is a major film festival happening in Zagreb right now (zagrebdox). We tried to go to the opening film monday night but only made it time to realize the tickets were sold out, however, it wasnćt a complete waste of time, since as we were discussing or options in walked the president of croatia. Virgil pointed him out and we dashed ahead trying to snap a picture, but alas he was too fast and slipped into the theatre in which we had failed to get tickets for. At least we decided to buy tickets for one of th emovies showing tonight, which was an excellent choice. Before the movie however we wanted to get dinner... which mostly resulted in a comdey of erros and extermly ull bellies. We thought it would be a good idea to try the only mexican restruant in zagreb. After arriving and grabbing a table we took a long time to order without realizing how close to our movie we were cuttin git. So eventually our fodo came and we decided we needed to scarf it down in no time, whcih resulted in a few dropped forks and amricnas probably appearing very piggish. after we finished we paid and literally had to run to the tram stop, jump on, get carded by a tram lady, who sarahjane practically knocks over when the tram came to sudden stop, and run into the theatre just in time to grab the last 5 seats in a row. So i think one, we have ruined the mexican resturants preceptions of american students permantly, two gotten sick from eating tons of food and running, and three worked off some of the food from laughing at our own mistakes (which includes at some point getting off on the wrong tramstop)

In the realm of the classroom things are moving along. I have already been here a month and am started to think seriously about what i want to do my independet study project on, which we have to decided relativly soon. In addition we had a lecture from one of the youngest memebers of parliment, when she was elected she was only 21 years old, that would be like me becoming a congresswomen next year. kind of hard to imagine. Today we had a lecture from a feminist and LGBT activist which was also pretty good and really interesting.

Its weird to think how comfortable i have become with the city. I feel like i know pretty well and feel like in some ways it has become a home. We leave Zagreb on thursday and it is weird to think after that i will be traveling a lot more.

I hope everything is good at home...

Sunday, February 22, 2009


February 21, 2009
What a wonderful day!

I think I have had one my best days here yet. This morning started off with a bang, meaning we ate scrambled eggs for breakfast which was the first time since I have been here…usually breakfast is bread and cheese and yogurt, which is good, but not scrambled eggs. Anyway, today I went to Samobor with my family. Samobor is a town 30 mins away that has a carnival. (I posted some pictures on facebook of a man with a banana not oo long ago, he was promoting the carnival…) We spent the morning creating our costumes, I was a black cat, Dora a ghost, and Irena a hula girl. The dad came with us too and he bought he best costume at Samobor (look for pictures later) At the carnival we ate great food, danced to live music and drank mulled white whine. I hung out with my family all afternoon and met up with some friends in early evening at the part of the carnival that had carnival rides. After a bit of wondering around we hear approaching drums. A giant parade snaked through the cobblestone streets. There were “turks” and a lot of people dressed as bananas and a sign that said “the republic of bananas” and a group of pirates in a marching band… and many more. It was pretty much the most exciting thing ever. They all proceeded to the stage, the earlier that day had held talent shows and cover bands. On the stage all sorts of shenanigans took place, however we couldn’t understand thing that was happening, except for the rather sexual parts. I guess everyone is making fun of everything and then on the last night of the carnival, which is Tuesday they burn the prince of the carnival, which is a puppet. I need to do a bit more research. Anyway, everyone dresses up and makes fun of everything, and there is dancing, and this specialty cream cake you can only buy there, so basically it was everything great in one place.
Yesterday after class I went to a contemporary art museum that had a lot of good video art, as well as a few terrible pieces that seemed rather unethical. Afterwords we decided to have coffee and stumbled upon an amazing café, whose sign read “save the animals, pickle a squirrel” We knew immediately it was promising. When we walked in the bar tender made a joke and we didn’t know what he said so we had to speak English, at which point he revealed he lived in NYC for 10 years. We grabbed a rustric table and order some kava s mlijeko (coffee with milk). The coffee shop was decorated with this and that, including a stuffed animal proudly wearing scuba gear right about the “stage” area. The best part of all was when our bill came! (What an oxymoron) But the bill comes in a book, which is just cute. Anyway, it was cozy and nice and just a good find.
The rest of the weekend is very busy. I have a paper to write, family lunch, reading an an interview to do. Sigh! And next Thursday I am off to belegrade…
I hope all is going smoothly in the states!

PS, we found a drip coffee maker at our classroom and made drip coffee on Friday! ☺

I posted pictures on my facebook account, because it is easier... sowwy