Thursday, December 31, 2009

The lotus


The lotus is a symbol of many things, but the essence is that it symbolizes beauty that can rise out of ugliness. These flowers were growing in a ditch filled with filthy water next to a gas station where our driver refueled.

"Bibi" now on vacation in India wishes you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Radovan in Auroville

Here is Radovan in a New Age community established in the 60's just outside of Pondicherry. Wikipedia will explain more, since I don't have time to add a hyperlink now! The large golden 'golf ball' is a meditation center, but you need special permission to enter, so Radovan, my friends, and I just contemplated it from afar...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A heavy load

This brickloader begged me to take his photo, so..... I see so many people here doing hard labor without much protection. Some just wear flip-flops while hauling bricks or moving large slabs of granite with crowbars. Watch your tootsies.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Acrobatics on the beach

The beach in Chennai, as on other beaches I've seen here, is a place for all kinds of activities from selling candies, offering horseback rides, selling trinkets and food, and of course for performers like this little girl.

The Bay of Bengal for the most part is really choppy, so few people go swimming where the water is so rough, so activities are welcome diversions.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Green, green

Couldn't resist this little vegetable seller, all in green like most of her veggies! India is a feast for the eyes and the palate!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Henna tattoo

This young woman is having a 'mehendi,' which is a temporary design painted on one's hands, arms, or feet either for a special ceremony or wedding. It's done with henna, so of course it's only temporary beauty, but beauty it is.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from India


Wishing you readers who celebrate Christmas the very best of holidays. This photo was taken at the Christian church Saint Thomas Mount where the saint was allegedly martyred.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Take my picture, please!

India is a photographer's paradise in more ways than one. Not only could you burn up memory cards taking photos of buildings, fruit, streets, and all kinds of attractions, but people actually love to have their photos taken, especially kids. These youngsters who were traveling in a motorized rickshaw begged me to take their photo, but were whizzed away before I could show it to them!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bricklayer's helpers

They certainly don't look like they'd be doing a job like helping a bricklayer, but these two ladies were doing just that. Most people I've come across in my two days here LOVE to have their photo taken, and delight in seeing it right away on my camera. The only bad part is that they often pose, whereas I'd prefer a more candid shot. But hey, I'm not complaining.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pomegranate seeds

Aren't these beautiful? There are pomegranates on Belgrade markets occasionally, but I never think of buying them. Here in Chennai where I am at the moment, our friend's housekeeper made us a yummy spicy lunch on our first day here, and these sweet seeds were perfect as a dessert.

Today we walked through our friend's local neighborhood, and I am soooo enchanted with India...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Radovan on the Road again--India...

Radovan is on the road again, and 'Bibi" is well enough (she hopes...) to accompany him. Radovan has become camera shy and won't feature in all of Bibi's posts, but he'll be with her as she travels through Tamil Nadu and to one other mystery destination Radovan won't allow to be disclosed just yet....stay tuned.

I am going to try to post pretty much live. I've never missed a post, but it may be a bit hard now with sporadic Internet connection...

This post is for Bob of Saint Louis Daily Photo, who traveled to India and Tibet a while back. Tibet's where I'd really like to go (next time, or in another life...), but I am really happy anyway to be going to India. My friend and I will be visiting a Tibetan settlement, and that's about as close as I'll get...hope to find another Buddha for my collection.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dangerous....Look out below!

Peeked out a friend's window....fortunately below these ice swords there's just a courtyard where few people walk...I hope they walk away from the building...


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saint Nikola's Day--2009

It's that time of year again. Today is our family's patron saint day, Saint Nikola, who watches over fishermen, sailors, and travelers. I fall into the latter category, since I am off in a short while to a destination to be revealed to you on Monday, so check back!

An extra plus this year is that after 20 years, Serbs will again be able to travel visa-free through European Countries starting today! Thank you, Saint Nikola....

On the table above, you can see one of my three pots of beans I made for guests. Behind the pot stand jars of pickles, olives, ajvar , and tins of tuna, all fat-free fare. No meat in the beans either, and we've ordered baked fish.


Read more about this holiday on last year's post.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snowy lanterns

I don't know what these are. I remember something similar we called 'lanterns' when I was a kid, but those grew on bushes. These go from green to yellow and then to brown...only to be covered by white.

Anyone know what they are?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great-great grandfather's painting

Am still pretty much housebound, so I decided to copy Chuck in Seattle a bit by photographing a painting, my favorite one from my childhood. This painting, which hung in my grandmother's dining room and now hangs in mine, was painted by my great-great grandfather, Benjamin I. Lingle, around 1860. I have quite a few more of his, but this is my favorite.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ABC Wednesday "V" is for "vespertine"

Yes, here I go again trying to find a word that fits ABC Wednesday, but this one isn't so bad. "Vespertine" means "related to the evening" and this is exactly when I took this photo, last evening. We've had about a foot of snow, and it's still falling lightly.

Have fun and join ABC WEDNESDAY.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Out to lunch?

Slowly getting better, but this is a shot from a couple of weeks ago...now this sidewalk would be covered with snow, since it fell last night.

Anyway, looks like the accordionist stepped out for a bit. Trusting fellow, leaving his instrument behind.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Silver garlic

Staying indoors and mainly in bed prompts me to do a lot of reading. I've reread The Secret Life of Bees and am almost finished with The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. Between those, I have reread cover-to-cover the Masters of Contemporary Photography series, featuring such photographers as Annie Liebovitz (see the link) and my personal favorite, Duane Michals. Stimulating stuff for my feverish brain, which along with my camera, produced the above silver garlic for you. It was that or oranges or lemons, which I squeeze daily!

Tomorrow something else from my apartment, or else a photo taken before my germs moved in.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cold, damp, and dark

Here I am stuck inside again. This time it's some sort of viral infection, not THE flu, so the doc says, but I feel awful. Resorting to outdoor shots from within....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weekend Reflections...

This polar bear is so far from the North Pole that he has begun to take on the shades of the leaves in his pool...is he dreaming of a White Christmas?

This post is for James' Weekend Reflections, so pop on over and see who else has posted reflections.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Seeing double

Okay, how many of you over-a-certain-agers started humming the Wrigley's Doublemint Gum ditty, 'Double your pleasure, double your fun...."? I remember an older version than the one right here, but it's still good.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ABC Wednesday "U" is for "Unsafe?" =="Untrue!"


Belgrade is not unsafe!! Although I've staged a hold-up here with two pairs of salt and pepper shakers and a tiny toy gun, Belgrade is a surprisingly safe city, both for its inhabitants and visitors. In all my time here, I have never been aggressed in any way, aside of course from being sworn at by drivers who feel they own the entire road.

It would be untrue if I told you there was no crime at all, but on a daily basis, most Belgradians and foreigners feel the city streets are safe. If you click here, you can read several opinions supporting this claim.

Why don't you join ABC WEDNESDAY?


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chimp Sami's Monument

Sami the Chimp, who passed away in 1992, is a Belgrade legend. Sami escaped from the zoo twice, and like many chimps, he didn't feel he was a chimp, but rather a human.
He made his first escape in 1988. Radio stations updated live on attempts to capture him, while hundreds of citizens rallied to support Sami in his fight for freedom. You can read more about him here at Belgraded.

In this photo you can see that Sami still manages to entertain visitors to the zoo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Odd man out

Another street artist today, perhaps one more to your liking. He's categorizing his photos, and seems to have more Belgrade scenes than nudes... I didn't stick around long enough to see which painting went first.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Spray-paint art

I've seen these artists in several cities in Europe and in the US. While what they create isn't to my liking, I've got to admire their skill.

I also admire their not wearing any kind of protection on their clothes nor masks to protection them from fumes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

SKYWATCH--A Gargoyle in Belgrade

This post is for Kim of Seattle Daily Photo, who back in April of 2008 posted a gargoyle for me that you can see right here. Well, I scoured Belgrade looking for a Balkan gargoyle, but had little luck until I stepped out on my terrace the other morning, and lo and behold, there he was....

It's actually an ex-pat gargoyle, purchased at Gargoyles Statuary in the U. District. I'd forgotten that he had been hanging out on my porch railing....

All kinds of fun for Skywatch Friday. Join by clicking here!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Cassowary

Last Sunday I went to the Belgrade Zoo, hoping to get a peek at the new white tiger, but he (I think it is a 'he') decided he didn't want a peek at me or anyone else, and had retreated into his den.

This is one of several cassowaries that live in the zoo. It is indeed a strange -looking bird. Cassowaries are large flightless birds native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, and northeastern Australia. The Southern Cassowary is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu. Theories about the purpose of the strange 'casque' on their beaks include sexual attraction, a tool for battering through brush, and to enhance their deep communication calls.

"Cassowaries are very shy," says Wikipedia, "but when disturbed, they are capable of inflicting serious injuries to dogs and children."

And to curious adults, I do not know. This one was safely behind thick glass.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ABC WEDNESDAY "T" is for "Too much of a good thing"

Like any other photoblogger, I am never without my camera, but sometimes I think I overdo it. I was in bed the other night, scrolling back through some photos still in my camera. My son came in to say good night, and decided he'd try his hand (literally) at some hand shadows.

Naturally, since I was in bed with my camera, I had to respond.... Too much of a good thing?

Don't just sit there! Join ABC WEDNESDAY!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

THEME DAY--WAITING...for Godot?

Here we are nearly at the end of the year. These two chaps, whom I photographed eleven months ago are still around, waiting under a tree in front of the newspaper Politika's building, just down the street from their usual location. Like this, they remind me of Vladimir and Estragon in Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

On second thought, maybe they aren't really waiting. Here's what one reader commented under my last year's photo:

"These guys "live" just up the road from me and despite their ragged appearance they seem to have food, booze and plenty of company. I suspect they are members of the voluntary street people, the type who run away from hostels and government accommodation because they prefer the streets. In London it is because the hostels are so often violent and otherwise dangerous places. One of these guys has the most incredible gravelly voice, it really is a marvel to hear. Every now and again I see that they get a new mattress, I suspect they are donated by neighbours.. .."



Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Druid Photographer

Yesterday I showed you a photo of a camera man with a state-of-the art tripod. Today I am presenting you with a 'druid' photographer, or so I have named the chap I 'shot' yesterday in Kalemegdan park. I have no idea why he was dressed like this. If you enlarge the photo, you'll see he has a little video camera perched on top of his 'tripod,' which is really an old-fashioned plant stand. I took this photo from a distance, and the 'druid' had a lady with him, who dashed behind him when she saw me. I watched for a while....he started the camera, then walked in front of it down the path, accompanied by the lady, also cloaked in black. Then he ran back, started it again, and they moved toward the camera. The lady glanced nervously at me from time to time, though I had holstered my camera.

And why the lab coat underneath? I would have asked, except I didn't think she'd like it...

Any guesses?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reciprocity

A week ago, an article appeared in a local newspaper, the theme being about me, a long-term expat in Belgrade. One of the consequences of that article (aside from being stopped by lots of people at my local green market and receiving many phone calls!) was a phone call from a TV station reporter who wanted to feature me today (7:30 p.m. local time, 'Pink' TV!) on the same topic.

We met on Friday in a park not far from where I work, and did the usual bla, bla. At one point, the cameraman wanted me to 'pretend' I was taking some photos (I always have my camera with me, and they knew I have this blog), so I obliged him...and also got him for today's post.

Fair's fair!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A bouquet you do not want to get.


Not a happy photo today. I took this one from my car, while deadlocked in a line of cars to cross a bridge I go over every day. Some sort of student protest caused a major jam.
It's the custom here to put flowers and even sometimes a little plaque or small monument where someone was killed on the highway. Unfortunately, you see these quite often.
Serbia has a high rate of car accidents relative to the overall European average, and anyone who has driven here will tell you that's for sure true. Authorities cite poor road conditions, lack of signals, poor vehicle maintenance, speeding, and drunk driving. Roads are often poorly maintained, especially in rural areas. During winter months, fog can obscure visibility while driving. The use of seat belts is mandatory, but not many use them, and the kids I see standing up in the rear between the two front seats make me shudder. A driver with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.05% is considered intoxicated.

Friday, November 27, 2009

SKYWATCH FRIDAY--Moon over urban landscape

Fiddling with a fish-eye attachment (not sure I want to splurge on a real lens) yielded this Skywatch Friday shot from a friend's balcony during the last full moon. There are no stars visible here; all washed out by the lights on the ground. It's at times like this when I recall the NATO bombing blackouts....lots of stars visible then!

Why don't you join SKYWATCH FRIDAY?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

No turkey for me today, since I am working and can't possibly celebrate in style, so I am doing Thanksgiving this Saturday! But I am thankful today for many things: my wonderful children, friends I've known for many years, new friends I've made through blogging and in recent years, my so-far good health, and for my husband, now gone, but who remains with me every day.

I'm also thankful right now that the little dog, Jackson, that I took in off the street has found a home. A colleague of mine adopted him, and in this photo you see him playing in his new home with her dog, Borko. The two are perfectly suited; it's a perpetual game to see who runs out of energy first. By the way, that's a happy show of teeth on Jackson's part.

Are you counting your blessings today?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ABC Wednesday--"S" is for "Sonorous Saturday"

It's that time of year again....the season of 'slavas,' which are Orthodox Serbs' saints' days. I've explained last year. Some of the local Roma or gypsy population here wander through neighborhoods trying to earn some money by playing music. One definition of 'sonorous' is
"full and loud, deep, heavy sounds," and these two guys played true to form last Saturday afternoon, the day of the Saint Archangel slava. Like others in my building, I clipped some money with a clothespin and tossed it down to them. You can see that the drummer spotted me and my camera...!

Post your entry for ABC WEDNESDAY!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Feeling lucky?

The girl on the ball behind the car is saying, "I'm telling you, if you don't play, you won't win." That's true. I'm not a gambler, but I do keep saying, "Ah, when I win the lottery..."

I think I should choose a set of numbers and always play them... I'll let you know what happens.

Do you play Lotto or any 'big money' games?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Potato Seller

This is a dedication to my favorite artist, Vincent van Gogh, who painted The Potato Eaters. This is The Potato Seller, sitting and smoking on sacks of spuds (how's that for alliteration?) You'll see he has a sack of onions thrown in for good measure.

This fellow is a regular seller beside an open market near where I live. You can also see that automobiles park all over the sidewalks, if they can get away with it. That is not the fellow's car you see behind him.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Roast lamb

I try not to think of little white wooly creatures when I devour, on a rare occasion, I must admit, roast lamb. My son took me out to dinner about a week ago at a new ethno restaurant called Pahuljica or "Snowflake." Ethno restaurants, serving home-cooked, 'like Grandma used to make' dishes, are the in thing now among Belgraders and tourists flock to them. This roast lamb was served over potatoes that had been roasted below the entire lamb, absorbing its juices. Added were a red roast pepper below, and a fresh green one on top. Sorry the photo is a little blurry....my hands wanted to hold the knife and fork, not the camera.....


If you read Serbian, check out the restaurant at this link. If you don't, have a look at the photos right here, but you won't see any food....I'll go back...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Have you hugged a turtle today?

Forget those warm, fuzzy teddy bears--turtles are the ones to hug, or so it seems from this photo. I took this photo with my zoom while enjoying an afternoon of reasonably and unseasonably warm weather at an outdoor cafe. I was too lazy to get up and see what was written on the turtle's shell when he ambled off in the other direction...out of zoom range.


Friday, November 20, 2009

SKYWATCH FRIDAY--GRAY SKY

Not a pretty sky in comparison with what most Skywatchers show, but although I changed this photo to black and white, it didn't look too much different in the color version. It was a chilly, gray morning...

To see other skies, probably in color, have a look at SKYWATCH

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Drawing on the window....

The other day I had the opportunity to chaperone two kindergarten classes from our school on a trip to the Ethnographic Museum. The 25 or so kids were much better behaved than some of the older classes I'd helped before...and so, so interested in everything in the museum and out.

This little girl, the daughter of a colleague of mine, was happily puffing on the window and drawing little pictures....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ABC WEDNESDAY-R is for Reputation

It's not an obvious R here, but 'na dobrom glasu' means 'a good reputation,' and is also a play on words for this billboard advertising Fitosept, a throat lozenge. 'Dobrom glasu' can also mean 'a good voice,' which is what you will allegedly get back if you suck on Fitosept.

P.S. I don't think you have to balance the lozenge like that.... ;)

Join ABC WEDNESDAY!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

'Opanci'

I photographed these opanci (OH-pahn-tsee) that I showed you once before here at the Ethnographic Museum downtown. Please click on that link, for there are some wonderful photographs of the exhibits inside. A museum not to miss should you come to Belgrade.
downtown.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vasa Čarapić

Vasa Čarapić (VA-sah CHAR-ah-peech) was a famous general born in 1770 on Avala mountain, which overlooks Belgrade. He died in 1806 in the struggle for the liberation of Belgrade from the Turks. His last name comes from the word čarapa, which means 'sock,' and the story goes that one of his ancestors accidentally killed a Turk's dog, and in compensation, the Turk demanded a large sum of money. The money was collected and sent to him not in a sack, but in a sock.

I like how his cape is echoed by the roll-down blinds on the windows of the building behind him.

Does your last name mean anything?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Moving van


This car is a moving van wannabe, with the sofa balancing precariously on its roof, and a washing machine stuffed into the trunk. Watch out for those speed bumps!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

All the news that's fit to print

"All the news that's fit to print" is the motto of the New York Times. Not sure if the text on this bra and panties was taken from the NYT, and I wonder if anyone will take the time to read it.


Friday, November 13, 2009

SKYWATCH FRIDAY--Pink streaks!

Days are getting shorter and shorter... Recently from inside a restaurant I snapped this photo of the trails two airplanes had left on the violet sky.

Join SKYWATCH FRIDAY.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things go better with Coca-cola!

...or should that be "Cars go better with Coke?" I had to pull over at a distance from this parked car last weekend to take this photo. The gas and motor oil on the roof reminded me so much of how gasoline was sold during the sanctions imposed on then Yugoslavia, and the subsequent bombing of Serbia. Gasoline was more than scarce, and was smuggled in from neighboring countries. It was possible to buy it as you see it here, by the Coke bottle, but more often such bottles were advertisements that more of the brew was available in larger quantities. Gasoline 'merchants' even provided home delivery, and people kept large canisters on their porches. This made me very uneasy, since Serbs smoke big time, and often flick cigarette butts off their balconies...

This lady (yep, a lady's sitting in there) probably has a steady clientele. By the way, I hadn't realized gasoline is pretty much colorless, and it's the additives that give it color. Don't know what the red one is.

TEXTING AT HOTEL MOSKVA

 It was 11 a.m.  This man had just finished a glass of white wine and an espresso, and now took to his phone.  And I to my camera. (I did NO...