Sunday, January 31, 2010

What a crack-up!

I did crack up when I cracked the shells on these eggs. Got more than I bargained for...the 'yolk' was on me. (Oh, that was baaaaad...)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Petar Njegos

Petar II Petrović-Njegoš (NYEH-gush)was a Serbian Orthodox Prince-Bishop and a ruler. However, he is most famous for his poetry. Both my kids had to learn by heart extensive passages from his works in grade school (no, they can't recall much....), but Njegos is still considered to be the best poet in the Serbian language.

The mural behind him has been there for a long time; I'm trying to remember the name of the artist...

Friday, January 29, 2010

SKYWATCH and REFLECTIONS!

It's been below freezing for a while now, and I don't venture out too far...but Bibi dragged me to the quay beside the Sava River where I almost froze like this puddle in which are reflected the cold, gray sky and a tree trunk.

It was one fast walk....

This post is a double-header==a REFLECTIONS WEEKEND one and a SKYWATCH one!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"April showers bring May flowers"...

...or so goes the saying! But hey, it's not even April yet and these flowers look more like the fully-blossomed summer variety. This rainspout next to a butcher shop on a local market was really pimped up with the kind of flowers that bloom all year long, in any weather... :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ABC WEDNESDAY--'B' is for "Bust a heel?"

Okay, I know that's not good English, but I needed a 'B,' because I wanted to post this photo. There sure aren't many of these specialty stores around, though there are still lots of shoe repair shops in Belgrade.

See anything you could use?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My house

Before you go off thinking I'm a horrendous gardener, this is not really my house. I wish it were though, since I've admired this place for about 25 years, and all that time it's been empty. Like many such homes here, its owners may have been people who fled the country after WWII when the political tide turned. Many never returned, had no children to inherit, or else those children were/are not interested in coming back. So, homes like this go uninhabited and are not able to be legally sold, since inheritance issues haven't been settled.

I'd take good care of it....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Serbia's Got Talent: "And the winners are..."

Meet Sandra, Darko, and Danijel Piler, young musicians who last December won first prize of 100,000 euros and an automobile on Serbia's "I've Got Talent." In February they're scheduled to leave for London where they'll be making an album, in the hopes of pursuing an international career. These kids have been playing on Belgrade's Knez Mihailova for several years, trying to supplement their family's income with the money passers-by give them.

If you'd like to see their performance, here's the Youtube link. (Sorry for the mess-up with the link; thanks for pointing it out. I think I fixed it now....)


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Door

I'd like this guy on my door. He'd be fun to come home to. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In the bus

Another sneaked shot in the bus. A man lost in his thoughts while the bus inches along.

Friday, January 22, 2010

SKYWATCH--Downtown is WHICH way?

In an attempt to make visiting our fair city easier for tourists, signs like these have been appearing all over town. Most of the time they're pretty accurate, but I'm wondering if the sign people weren't playing a practical joke here...

Note too what's written in English in the red part of the lower sign!

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hey! Where's the TV?

Last Sunday I took a walk in the park and look what I found! I must admit it did seem a bit surreal to see this bright red armchair just sitting there. I didn't consider hauling it home, but it wasn't in such a bad condition, and was even dry. (No, I didn't sit and rest a while.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ABC Wednesday--'A' is for 'Almost alike'

These windows reminded me of those 'Can you find ten differences?' drawings you sometimes see in newspapers.
Join ABC WEDNESDAY for a lot of fun.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wheat berry with whipped cream....

My apologies to the reader whose email I have most likely accidentally deleted. He or she asked me for a photo of a ground chestnut with whipped cream sweet. I never eat that, so I am hoping that he/she will be happy with today's photo. It is wheat berry with whipped cream, accompanied by a cappuccino. I've shown you wheat berry (in Serbian 'Žito,' pronounced 'ZHEE-to) sprouted before, and once before that. Žito is a healthy treat, with only a little sugar (okay, there's the whipped cream...), nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground walnuts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Winter foods

This is a typical scene on a Belgrade market in the winter. Here you see garlic and parsnips in front of some homemade products. From left to right there are pickled hot peppers, tomato sauce, horseradish in various sizes, and figs and ajvar, a spread made of ground roasted red peppers, garlic, and eggplant. The garlic is marked 20 dinars (about 30 cents) a kilo (roughly two pounds.) NOTE: Oops. A goof on my part--the garlic is 20 dinars a piece, not a kilo. I didn't read the fine print.... Still not a bad price!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oilcloth


Oilcloth is heavy cotton or linen cloth with a linseed oil coating to make it waterproof. Oilcloth has long been a favorite of mine for kitchen tables. I was very pleased when I first moved here in the 70's that it was easy to find on any market, and it still is. There's always quite a variety of patterns and colors to choose from.

Which one do you like?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Purple chessmen

I've shown you chessplayers once or twice before like on the street, but these gentlemen in Kalemegdan Park are true enthusiasts. Check out the little cushion under the man in beige pants' derriere (Serbs have a mortal fear of catching cold), and it appears that the man with the bandaged hand is particularly concerned about the safety of his bag that he has draped over his arm.

And dig those purple chess pieces....

Friday, January 15, 2010

River deep and rowboat high

Apologies to Phil Spector for paraphrasing his 1966 hit by Ike and Tina Turner, but that's just what came to mind when I saw how high the Sava River was yesterday. All that snow we'd had melted and so, here's the result.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The yappy dog in the window

While walking on the street below with my four-legged companion, this little guy (or gal, not sure) barked its head off. It was fairly early on a Sunday morning, so I'm sure his/her barking wasn't appreciated...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ABC Wednesday "Z" is for "zima"

"Zima" (ZEE-ma) means "winter," and it's not over yet! I came across these beautifully embroidered gloves last Sunday in Kalemegdan Park where there are lots of souvenir sellers. It was then a bit warmer and sunny, but as they say here when it's sunny and sort of warm in the winter, "The sun has teeth."

I like the darker gloves with the purple flowers. Which pair would you choose?

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And now, by special request....

In December I received an email request from a father in California, whose daughter is currently living and working in Belgrade. He and his wife wanted a few photos of Kapetan Mišina (KAH-pay-tahn MEE-shee-na) street where she lives, so California Parents, this is for you!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Ugly art

I am not sure I should have entitled this post like I did, since undoubtedly this artwork is to someone's taste...but not to mine. Here you can choose your sign of the zodiac, and even a clock in the shape of Serbia, and of course there's that blazing orange canvas behind the artist....

See anything you like?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pastel pink

Just peeking down a passageway...saw these pastel pink squares and rectangles.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

More bells....

Since my posting yesterday, I have bells in my mind, so it's a good time to post a photo of these little clay bells you can buy on Belgrade's pedestrian street, Knez Mihailova. They make good souvenirs!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I hear wedding bells...

My son and his girlfriend of several years got engaged on New Year's Eve on the Champs-Elysees in Paris! I'm so happy for them, and though they haven't set a date yet, I can hear wedding bells...or at least gypsy brass band music. Check out the postingfrom my daughter's wedding last September. My son was jumping for joy then, so now it's my daughter's turn to jump! :)

P.S. Notice that engagement and wedding rings are worn on the right hand here.

Ooops! See Alexa's comment and mine....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Merry Christmas Part 2

Srećan Božić (SREH-chan-BOW-zheech) or Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate Serbian Orthodox Christmas, which is today. I took this photo at the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade a short while ago. It shows a typical village Christmas table with the oak branch, nuts, prunes, candle, and the straw and corn, which is usually scattered under the table. There's also a flask of Serbian plum brandy! The round cake is not actually a cake, but rather a bread called a česnica (CHESS-neet-sa), which you can read more about right here. Basically, there's a coin inside that will bring good health and happiness to the finder. Bite carefully.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

ABC Wednesday--Y is for Year-round hardships, or Traces of India in Belgrade

I'm back, safe and sound, and it's a bit cooler here than in India and Qatar..
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that Belgrade has quite a large Gypsy or 'Roma' population. Most sources agree that Gypsies originated in India and migrated to Europe and beyond. The Roma population here in Belgrade lives primarily on the outskirts of the city and prefers not to integrate into society. You can see from the above photo that they lead a rough life year-round, scavenging for firewood and recycling paper and scrap iron, for example.


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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dhow boat in Doha

The first evening I was in Doha, my friends took me down to the corniche to view the city center from across the bay. It's worth enlarging the photo (click on it) to admire the detail in the ultra-modern buildings. On this side of the bay from where I took this photo are docked a number of dhow boats like the one on the right, some of which are still used for fishing, while others take tourists for short rides across the bay. This we did. It was windy, and of course it's even windier on the water, making the air quite cold.

Back to Belgrade tomorrow.... It's been a fantastic trip, and as Marco Polo wrote, "I've not even told you half of what I've seen."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ebrahim and Radovan


Today I went into the dunes outside of Doha with seven other tourists! Above you can see Radovan posing with our guide, Ebrahim, who took us on a hair-raising roller coaster thrill ride up and down super steep dunes in his Land Cruiser. As it turned out, I had the front seat right beside his, which enhanced my experience...and intensified my fear. Ebrahim went down zigzagging, straightforward, and backwards! I am not the roller coaster type, and for the first three dunes I shut my eyes. Then I realized I wasn't going to be able to enjoy anything with my eyes shut and figured he probably didn't want to die or wreck his car either, so I relaxed and went with the flow.

We stopped for a camel ride, a view of several lakes, and were treated to a Bedouin camp meal beside the Persian Gulf. The water was warm, crystal-clear, and an inviting shade of pale green.

I forgot my sun screen and got a bit burned on my face...I hear it is snowing in Belgrade....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Doha, Venice, Paris

Greetings from Qatar! Contrary to what it might seem in the photo, I am not in Paris or Venice. This photo was taken in the Villagio Mall in Doha, which is designed like an Italian city, perhaps even Venice, since there is a canal running through part of it and you can take a gondola ride! These two gentlemen are enjoying a coffee at Paul, a French bakery serving all kinds of breads and other foods. My friends and I had a cream of mushroom soup in a bread bowl.

The trompe l'oeil 'houses' painted on the walls above the shops are enhanced by a blue sky with clouds. My friends tell me that locals and expats spend hours here, especially in the summer, when it is so hot. Right now, it's quite pleasant, windy, and I slept with socks on...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Radovan on the Road Part 2--Doha!

Radovan was so taken by India's warm weather that he just had to have more before heading back to cold Belgrade and Serbia. In this photo you can see him posing in Serbian snow with a stray camel from the Belgrade Zoo.

Sooo....now Radovan is off for three days to Doha, Qatar, where he and Bibi will be staying with friends of hers who used to teach in Belgrade. Bibi and Radovan will be taking a "Day in the Dunes," which will be undoubtedly warmer than the Days in the Drifts they spent in Belgrade....

Friday, January 1, 2010

Theme day --Change--Roadside fauna

Today's theme is Change. I'm still in India, and though in some rural areas here it's common to see an elephant in the wild, I hardly ever see any in Belgrade (!), so this is a change for me. This fellow was photographed in the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in the Karnataka Province that we passed through.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

SKYWATCH AND REFLECTION--St. Mark's Cathedral in the Television Building

 This post is a double-header, since I am using this photo for  SKYWATCH  and for James'  WEEKEND REFLECTIONS. Here we see the reflectio...