Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same)" could perhaps be applied to Belgrade's new "Bus Plus" system, but we'll see.

Most people I've talked to think so. If you're a regular bus user, you have to get a special card with your photo on it, pay a monthly amount, then scan it inside the bus. You can enter from any door.

For people like me, who use the bus once in a blue moon, you can buy a rechargeable card that you scan in the bus, or else buy a ticket from the driver (you used to be able to buy a ticket at a newsstand), then punch it in the little yellow machine you see above. I think the 'entering by the front door and buying a ticket' part is going to slow things down...

And ticket controllers will still be around to check both your pass and individual ticket.

Let's see if this system is an improvement in itself, or if it will need some changes.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Off the wall and on the coat.

Do you do needlepoint? If you do, I bet all your creations are framed and hanging on your wall. Or perhaps they're pillows?

Why not do like this lady, who seems to have one of her creations on her coat. I'm assuming she did t his herself, since I've never seen a needlepoint on clothing before.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Bridges--The Bridge Between

If you saw last Sunday's post, you 'll know that for a short while I'll be posting bridges from an exhibit currently taking place on Belgrade's pedestrian street, Knez Mihailova.

If I am not mistaken (and yes, it's been known to happen), this must be the bridge built by the Germans after they destroyed King Alexander 1st's bridge, built in 1934 and destroyed in 1941. The post card reads "Zemun", which at the time extended along the Sava River to include the Old Fairgrounds, which was turned into a concentration camp. This bridge was undoubtedly used to allegedly transport Jews to a new site on the other side of Belgrade, but if you check this link, you'll see what really happened as they crossed this bridge and part of the city.

King Alexander's Bridge was rebuilt after the war and later replaced by the present-day Branko's Bridge.

See other bridges at Louis La Vache's SUNDAY BRIDGES.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekend Reflection--the attack swan

Swans may be pretty, but I don't like to get close, since they can be very territorial and aggressive. This is an archived photo of two summers ago when I visited a town in Bosnia. Was walking Bibi on a leash and this swan spotted us from waaaaay on the other side of the lake and paddled over, honking warnings. I picked up Bibi and away we went. Swan emerged from the lake, batting its wings menacingly, still honking.

I think swans were table fare in the Middle Ages....

See other reflections at James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

Friday, January 27, 2012

SKYWATCH--church steeple

An enhanced view of the main church's steeple that I've shown you many times before.

See other skies at SKYWATCH.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ABC Wednesday -- "B" is for "Begone, bird!"

I've already shown you this statue called The Struggle once before, and now it seems that not only is our hero having trouble getting rid of a snake, but a defiant bird as well.

See other B's on ABC WEDNESDAY.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love

Wasn't sure what to call this post. I was touched by the way this nicely-dressed man and lady were crossing the street. She seemed so concerned that the light would change mid-street, and he was gallantly and confidently escorting her to the other side.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fashion statements

Two different women from two different walks of life, each making her own fashion statement.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Bridges--I'm happy.

Fate has smiled on me. I am always looking for a bridge for Louis La Vache's SUNDAY BRIDGES, and am often at a loss. Yesterday however, I came across an exhibit of Belgrade's Bridges on Knez Mihailova street, and in the upcoming weeks, if I don't get a photo of a 'real' bridge, you'll be treated to the history of some of Belgrade's bridges, such as these on the poster above.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

WEEKEND REFLECTION--"Kap Kejks"

These brightly-colored cupcakes have appeared in a local bakery chain's windows for a couple of weeks now. You can see the sign written in the Cyrillic alphabet that advertises them as "kap kejks", which is the phonetic transcription of 'cupcakes.'

The Serbian dinar is now worth, as of the writing, around 80 dinars to one American dollar. Still a better price than some upscale cupcakes in the US that go for around $5.00.

Which one would you pick?

See more reflections at James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

Friday, January 20, 2012

SKYWATCH--"rooftops"

Fog, pale sky, rooftops, chimneys, lots of antennas (antennae!), but no satellite dishes visible. Everybody's on cable, I guess.

See other skies at SKYWATCH.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Run from the Devil?

I accompanied a friend to a doctor's visit the other week and saw this sign while we were waiting. It was pretty easy to figure out that the top running figure was running away from fire, but the lower one, what was he trying to escape from? The Devil? A bull? Run like the devil from a bull?

Since there's little chance of running into a bull in a hospital corridor (I'll not mention the Devil), I asked a passing nurse.

"That's a bomb," she replied. "The bomb shelter is to the right."

Oh.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

ABC Wednesday--"A" is for "(Bon) Appétit"

Every now and then there are shots you want to take that make your adrenalin (another A!) rush to press the shutter. When I saw this workman across a busy street enjoying his pljeskavica (Serbian hamburger), I muttered an oath under my breath that I didn't have my usual zoom lens on my camera. I snapped away anyway with my 50mm and cropped.

Just look at those hands, which speak for him. Bon Appétit to him.

See other A's on ABC WEDNESDAY.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Walking their cat.

While enjoying a glass of very good wine with a friend the other night, I caught this couple across the street while they were walking their cat....on a leash. Kitty seemed very used to this. Not a bad idea. I always feel sorry for city apartment cats, who rarely, if ever, go out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Rapunzel building....

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair," cried the prince in the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale.
Rapunzel did let down her long golden braid and up climbed the prince.

Had she been in this building and not a tower, he could have surprised her by climbing up this vine. Or maybe he'd have just taken the elevator inside.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Bridges: The Overtoun Dog Suicide Bridge

I thought I had heard it all, but here's something I discovered in my again-desperate search for a bridge to post on Louis La Vache's SUNDAY BRIDGES.

I found this at this site.

"Located near the village of Milton in the burgh of Dumbarton, Scotland, exists a bridge that for some reason or another, has been attracting suicidal dogs since the early 60s. At a rate of around one a month, dogs have been regularly leaping from the bridge; an estimated 600 have been reported jumping.

Even more strange are the circumstances behind these incidents of kamikaze canines. Not only have they been plummeting to their deaths from the bridge, but many have witnessed the dogs actually climbing the parapet wall before making the jump. Even stranger are the reports of dogs surviving their brush with death, only to return to the bridge for a second attempt..."

The two happy canines in my photo are gallivanting along a wall in Kalemegdan Park, far from Milton, Scotland, and not about to leap anywhere.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekend Reflection: Sit a while...

It may be a cold sit on this park bench, but sometimes it's good to listen to the Buddhist advice: "Don't just do something; sit there."

Today is Serbian New Year. Perhaps the time to make a resolution to slow down and just sit?

See other reflections at James' Weekend Reflection.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Radoje Domanović --a short life, but long-remembered


Radoje Domanović (RAH-do-yeh Do-MAHN-o-veetch) (1873 - 1908) was a Serbian writer and teacher, most famous for his satirical short stories. He died of tuberculosis. This illness, along with the affection he inspired in all who knew him, surrounded his work with a romantic, sentimental aura.

During his short literary career he developed the great powers of the satirical novel, although some of his stories are distorted by pessimism. Below are two examples:

The Suffering, an allegory in which he castigated the ruthlessness of the authority and submissiveness of its subjects.

The Leader, a story about incompetent leadership: people who chose a person they'd never seen before to lead them to a better place. After suffering through a long trip, they realize that their leader is blind.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

ABC WEDNESDAY--"Z" is for "(almost)Zeppole"

These yummy long, puffy, sprinkled-with-sugar-if-you-like, doughnuts that this kerchiefed seller is about to pick up may be cousins of the Italian Zeppole, which are round and filled.

This Serbian version is called mekike (MEH-kee-keh) and if you click right here, you'll find a recipe for them, in Serbian only; couldn't find one in English.

The other lady is about to serve some tulumbe (too-LOOM-beh), which are very sweet/ You can find an English recipe for them by clicking here.


See other Z's at ABC WEDNESDAY.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Klara and Dita

You meet so many nice people when you have a dog, or maybe even if you don't. In my case, Bibi wanted desperately to play with little Dita (DEE-ta), but she was way too interested in a treed squirrel. Her owner, Klara, had to literally pry her off the ground to pose for this photo....but Dita's eyes haven't left the squirrel....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Taking a break after the holidays

Now that Belgrade has enforced its no-smoking law, it's hard to find a place to take a legal puff. Parks are still okay to do so, and this couple, or at least half of the couple, is enjoying a nicotine moment.

Long hair on guys is still in apparently, as the dark-haired man here proves.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

SUNDAY BRIDGES--the Old Tram Bridge at night

Here we are looking down at Belgrade's train station. In the background you can see the Old Tram Bridge (Savski Most), which is really green, as you can see in this previous post of mine.

See other bridges at Louis La Vache's SUNDAY BRIDGES.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

WEEKEND REFLECTION--Merry Christmas Part II

"Hristos se rodi!" to all of you Serbian Orthodox readers, since today is your Christmas. I've cheated a little here, since Santa Claus does not come to you today, but already has on New Year's Day....or maybe he'll come again on Serbian New Year's, which falls on January 13th...oh, so many holidays.

No wonder this Santa is still wandering around.

See other reflections at James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

MONDAY MURALS--high school

 I have noticed that many high schools around town have amazingly eye-catching murals. Here's another! See other murals on  MONDAY MURALS.