Monday, March 31, 2014

The Russian florist

Met this charming Russian lady in Kalemegdan Park the other day. I saw her from a distance, photographing these blossoms with her DSLR.  At one point, she put it away and got out her tablet and moved very close to take more photos. I went up to her and asked if she was pleased with the tablet's resolution (most people seem to be).  She just looked at me for a moment, and I thought I'd said something wrong. Then she said, "Ya russkaya," whereupon I replied "Ya amerikanerin", and we both laughed and proceeded to have a bilingual conversation as we walked along. There are enough similarities between Serbian and Russian, so this wasn't hard.  She told me she was visiting her daughter in town, and that she herself was a florist in her town (forgot where....)  And I did understand that she WAS happy with the tablet's resolution!

Daily Haiku
Walking and laughing
Each in so-called "foreign tongue"
Let us share so much

Sunday, March 30, 2014

SUNDAY BRIDGES--election time....

Recently there were parliamentary elections in Belgrade.  Just before, I caught this young man who was doing some sort of advertisement for one of the parties running.  He doesn't look too happy, and lots aren't now with the results.

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

Daily Haiku
Pensive, lost in thought
Contemplating his future
For better or worse 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

WEEKEND REFLECTIONS--looking into and back from a window

I almost deleted this photo in camera, which is something I know I shouldn't do, and I am glad I didn't.  It was taken with the 1000mm zoom on my little Nikon P510 in late evening from across the street. I was standing in front of  Hotel Moskva and you can see the reflection of the hotel behind me in the window I photographed.  Looks like lights (from a neon sign nearby) were just flowing from the window.

Here's to accidentally-good photos!

See other reflections on James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

Daily Haiku
 Cascading neon
Flows as from a waterfall
Through my camera's eye

Friday, March 28, 2014

SKYWATCH--gnarly branches

Not the best Skywatch photo, but I'd left today open for a baby daughter-in-law was to have her baby today, but they rescheduled her C-section more toward the real due date, and the baby will make its appearance on.....April 1st, no joke.

In the meantime, here are some gnarly branches that, if you are a long-time reader of my blog, you might recall seeing the likes of way back here.

See other skies on SKYWATCH.

Daily Haiku
Limbs twisted with age
Angrily try to straighten 
And be young again   

Thursday, March 27, 2014

La dame en bleu, Deuxieme Partie

I hope you all remember this Dame en Bleu I showed you a couple of months ago.  This isn't the same lady, but she sure is blue and looks good, I think.


P.S.    (I've decided to replace my profile photo with one of me; finally coming out of the closet with the real me and not my dog!)

Daily Haiku
Blue, blue, love is blue
Or so go the song's lyrics
Love been blue for you?  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ABC WEDNESDAY--"K" is for "Keeping in step, style, keeping young"

Take your pick from the title suggestions.  This elderly couple was making their way slowly but surely (and actually they're not in step!) down a side street.

I loved the bright blue argyle socks, and the patent leather isn't bad either!

By the way, have you ever checked out Advanced Style?

Check out other K's on Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC WEDNESDAY.
Daily Haiku
 One used to say nuts
When young I did crazy things
Now I'm eccentric


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The other day, March 20th, as you can see on the girl's shirt, I was walking in Tasmajdan Park and was given one of these pink roses for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

This post goes out to all men (yes, you can) and women who have been touched by breast cancer or know someone who has.

Daily Haiku
Turning a blind eye
Won't make problems disappear
They fester and grow


Monday, March 24, 2014

Can be married

When I saw this Serbian Orthodox priest walking arm-in-arm with this young woman (not too obvious from this photo), I had to remind myself that Eastern Orthodox priests may be married, if they are married before they're ordained.

I liked the juxtaposition of the heart on the blood donation truck behind them...

Daily Haiku
Love with all your heart
Deeply and passionately
That is life's meaning 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

SUNDAY BRIDGES--floating hostel

Belgrade has several of these floating hostels. I think I wouldn't mind staying here, if I were a traveler.  Actually, I could probably stay here anyway.

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

Daily Haiku
To travel is to float
Along rivers or through towns
All throughout our lives  

Saturday, March 22, 2014


"L’homme n’est qu’un roseau, le plus faible de la nature ; mais c’est un roseau pensant," said Blaise Pascal.  (Man is but a reed, the weakest of nature's creations, but he is a reed that thinks)  By this Pascal meant that man can transcend his weaknesses.

Be that as it may, these reeds stand tall amidst a reflection in the Sava River here in Belgrade.

See other reflections on James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

Daily Haiku
Reflections floating
Reeds rising from the cold, clear water
 Tall, straight, and proud
P.S. Just saw that today is World Water Day---here's your water.

Friday, March 21, 2014

SKYWATCH: Somewhere in Texas

No, it's not Texas or Oklahoma or anywhere in the US, but to me it looks like it.

This is another "through the window from a moving bus in low light" photo taken on my way back from Krakow a short while ago, like the post I'd shown you here.

See other skies on  SKYWATCH.
Daily Haiku
 Across the morning sky
Dark lines connecting places
I will never see


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Signs of spring

Spring seems to be just around the corner, as shown by the flowers and the spring colors worn by the two folks in the bottom photo.

Daily Haiku
Winter slams its door
Awakening spring flowers
And a new wardrobe 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ABC WEDNESDAY "J" is for "Jellybelly"

Belgrade has quite a number of street dogs, many of whom scrounge on a daily basis to stay alive.

Others, like the big boy in this photo, are lucky enough to have someone (in his case, probably several people) to feed him.

Not sure what his name is, but he hangs out in Kalemegdan Park near the souvenir stands.  I call him Jellybelly.

Daily Haiku
No longer in need
Stomach full and contented
He waits for a pat

See other J's on Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC WEDNESDAY.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lieutenant Gruber's Little Tank

There's a military museum in Kalemegdan Park, and though I've walked past the tanks on display many times, it struck me that this one is (or closely resembles) Lieutenant Gruber's 'little tank', from the very popular British series Allo, Allo!", which ran from 1982 to 1992.

Here's Lieutenant Gruber in action:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Not so round and chubby

This is the Roman Well in Kalemegdan Park that I showed you before, with a lock inscribed with Buby and Beby's names, whoever they may be. Sorry to say that the lock has been removed, the door repainted, and the inside corridors fixed up for tourists. First sprucing up in seven years.

 I have also found out that contrary to its nickname of Roman Well, it was actually built between 1717 and 1731 by the Austrians who ruled Belgrade at that time.  The confusion came when the Serbian rebels, who took back Kalemegdan fortress from the Ottomans in the 19th century, believed mistakenly that all constructions dated back to Roman times.

To top things off, it's not really a well at all, but rather a cistern.  The water within does not come from an underground spring, but is simply stored there.

It looks fat and chubby here, but that's thanks to my fisheye lens.

Daily Haiku
 Not everything is
What it appears to be
Seek the truth within

Sunday, March 16, 2014


No, it's not 'finally' because I took a photo of part of the bridge that I've shown you many times before, but 'finally' because I finally found a spot to show all six of the New Belgrade high-rises (sort of; they were built in the mid-sixties) known as The Six Corporals, because many of the first families to live there were military ones.

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

Daily Haiku
What was new is old
Today's new is fast aging
I feel like that, too  

Saturday, March 15, 2014


 In 2009 I showed you one end of this building, and now you see one side.I thought it was a good contrast of old and new.

Daily Haiku
Are reflections of ourselves
Forget not the past
See other reflections on James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

Friday, March 14, 2014

SKYWATCH -- Somewhere in Vojvodina

It was a 14-hour bus ride back to Belgrade from Krakow.  Impossible to sleep well; just doze. The very early morning light yielded this photo from somewhere in Vojvodina, a large, flat autonomous province of Serbia.

See other skies on SKYWATCH.

Daily Haiku
Fog gently blankets
The sleeping winter fields
Before the sunrise  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Do you like smilies?

Someone here does....and this is all made out of chewing gum.  Bet the person who steps in it won't be smiling.  (It had, by the time I found it, solidified.)

Daily Haiku
Sudden inspiration strikes
And the result is...?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ABC WEDNESDAY "I" is for "innovative"

On a short trip to Krakow, Poland, I caught this fellow walking along on Grodzka Street downtown.  Not sure what these are called, but I imagine they take some getting used to.

See other I's on Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC WEDNESDAY.
Daily Haiku
With a smooth, strong gait
He strode by purposefully
Talking on his phone

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A little (pre) spring music

The bust of Stefan Mokranjac,(1856-1914) known as "father of Serbian music" and the "most important figure of Serbian musical romanticism".

Daily Haiku
Some say music is
A language all understand
Even savage beasts

Saturday, March 8, 2014


A literal reflection in the window of this bar whose name is "Kafana SFRJ", which stands for the Social Federal Republic of Yugoslavia," which has split into several countries from Yugoslavia's former republics.(A kafana is like a restaurant, usually with home-cooked food, nothing fancy.)

It's also a figurative reflection of times past. You can see a bust of former President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito.  A feeling of Yugonostalgia is alive and well here, since reforms have only led the country into an economic crisis, and the days of gentler living are nearly gone.  (Remember, Yugoslavia was always an unaligned country not a Soviet Bloc one.)

Daily Haiku
Look in the mirror
Of times gone, not to return
For better or worse

Friday, March 7, 2014

SKYWATCH--The Walking Dead?

Using my fisheye here.  This young skeleton has chosen to cross when the light is green and within the crosswalk.  It was Sunday and this street is deserted, a rare sight during the week.

Daily Haiku
Bareness of the streets
Stripped of everyday traffic
A carcass picked clean 

See other skies on SKYWATCH.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Care to dance?


Funny how often a disappointment turns out to be something good.  The other night I was to meet friends at what I thought would be an offbeat bar/restaurant, but simply said, it turned out to be a dump....  And so we moved down the street to Mikser House, unique creative space fusing a designers’ shop, restaurant/bar,  and a space for exhibitions, talks, workshops, parties, festivals and other creative activities. Since it opened in 2012, it has become a hotspot of creative and cultural activities and has helped revive the area of Belgrade known as Savamala.

We stumbled upon a dance club, who apparently rent the space every Tuesday night.  Classic dancing, tango, waltz, etc.  We enjoyed ourselves more than we had in a long time, just watching everyone.  

Daily Haiku

Gracefully gliding
 As one across the floor
So sensually

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ABC WEDNESDAY "H" is for "Ha, ha"

I think the people who put this ad right over the bus's gear box had a sense of humor.

See other Hs on Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC WEDNESDAY.

Daily Haiku
Hot, tired faces
Stare blankly out the windows
Of the city bus 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's raining just dogs....

Actually, today it's not raining at all; gorgeous weather, blue skies, a bit brisk.

Snapped this little girl and her doggie umbrella the other weekend in Kikinda, Serbia.

Someone else probably has a cat umbrella.

Daily Haiku
Rain falls soft and fine
Awakens sleeping flowers
Spring is very near 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Last of the season

At these delicious cabbage rolls at my friend's place the other day.  Winter is drawing to an end, and so is her homemade supply of sour cabbage.  These cabbage rolls are called sarma here, and are filled usually with a mixture of seasoned ground meat and rice.  That's sour cream, a hot pepper, and horseradish that you see on the plate, too.

Daily Haiku
Smells from the kitchen
Anticipation of food
Make my mouth water 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

SUNDAY BRIDGES--golden and cold

The Sava River, spanned by Branko's Bridge in the photo, take on a golden hue in this night shot.  It was a chilly evening, too, even on the shore, and I didn't envy the boaters.

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

 Daily Haiku
Lonesome rowboat floats
On a ribbon glowing gold
Down into darkness

Saturday, March 1, 2014

THEME DAY--People in the street

Theme day again!  We're into the third month of 2014....

Snapped this photo of a motley group of people across the street from me waiting for the light to change.

(With my camera, I always have something to do while waiting for the light to change...)

See other people around the world right here.
Daily Haiku
Tall, short, fat, skinny
People come in all sizes
No two are alike

(okay, identical twins are...)


 There are many impromptu street sellers in this underground passage downtown. Here's one of them. The lady in the pink in the mirror wa...