expat blogger

living in Serbia

Friday, July 9, 2010

Whale in OC

July 9, 2010
Yesterday a 25 foot whale washed up between 2nd and 3rd St in Ocean City Maryland. This is just one of many dead and live whales we have seen in just a few months.

The first was March 15, a 27 foot, 10 ton Humpback whale washed up on 4th St. It was determined that a boat had hit it causing it's death. This whale was loaded onto a truck bed and analyzed at the Ocean City airport by marine biologists.

The second, on March 22 was just 2 weeks later in Fenwick Island, DE. Only about a 10 minute drive up the beach, a Fin whale became another beached fatality. That one was much larger, estimated to be 50 tons and 61 ft. So large, in fact, that it was just buried on the beach.

On May 14, 2010 a rare beaked whale said to look like a Dolphin on steroids washed up on the beaches of north Ocean City, it was alive, but was euthanized because it was sick. It had beached itself and after it was freed it swam up a canal and got stuck under a dock. This whale was such a rare creature that the Smithsonian researchers rushed to come check it out.

More recently, there have been less depressing whale sightings, was said to be feeding just of the beach close to 44th St. It swam along the coast and then headed back out to sea. This is not normal, but at least it is alive and well.

The National Aquarium says the mid-Atlantic coast is a popular destination for migrating marine mammals. But recently, the animals are coming much closer to land.

I think something is fishy here, and not just the smell of these decaying whales. I think there must be something that is killing these whales, not just boats, but maybe our polution, or the overfishing that leave these animals with nothing left to eat. No matter what it is, it is Sad! I have been living here for most of the last 20 years, and never before have I seen or heard of a whale in Ocean City, This year there have been five documented since March. That is 5 in 5 months! Shocking!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I am going on a trip, and I am going to take: I

Last time I left for Serbia I was so unprepared and unaware of the mistakes I was making. This time, I hope that I will be a little more savy. These are some of the mistakes I made and what I plan to do to avoid them!

On my last trip, I had my Mom, Dad, and sister take my husband and I to the airport. My mother was so nervous that that she didn't shut up the entire time. Not that she is ever quiet, but it was even worse than usual. My sister was awesome. And Dad was just dad. I was so happy to have them there, but it was so stressful. Next time I will have to have just one person take us to drop us off and make it quick, painless, and no hesitation... like ripping off a bandaid!

Next, I must make sure I have got a copy of all the paper work for the trip. Last time, in all the commotion, I could not find the itenerary I had printed out. And when we went to the Passport readers... apparantly my passport is a bit difficult to read. so we had a hard time getting our travel info. :(

Adding to the stress of leaving for six months and my mothers nervous conversation our luggage was way too heavy. We had to take a ton of stuff out and give it to my family. We would have had to pay $300 extra to take it all.

After that, they asked for my Visa since our tickets were for more than a 3 month stay in Serbia. I told them we had trips planned outside of the country. That was of no consequence. The only thing that may have helped was our marriage certificate. With all that crap I did remember to put in our luggage that made it too heavy. I had forgotten to bring that. I will be sure to take all 3 of our marriage licenses, the original, the US Hague treaty stamped one and the Serbian one. No question about it we are married!

I will also see if we can have tickets and receipts for a trip we plan to take outside of Serbia.

For next time I will remember to ask my mom if we can use one of her farm friends large scales to avoid issues with the luggage.

Our next issue was with security. Milan got picked for a "random" search and trust me, it was thurough. They went through everything! I am sure it was because he was so frustrated from all that we had been through, that he had a look of a terrorist on his face. He hates to smile anyway, but at this point he was probably looking down right angry. I saw the security officer looking our way repeatedly, and when we got to the front of the line. He asked Milan to step aside, went through everything, practically sexed him with the metal detector,and frisked him. It was nerve wracking, even though I knew there was nothing to fear.
Next time we need to make sure we are both in better spirits to thwart Milan's mean face!

That is all I can think of for now. I am tired and need a break, I am sure there will be more to add to this blog so, To be continued!

I am going on a trip, and I am going to take: II

Srecan Rodgendan America! Today is the birthday of the USA. I was thinking back to the labor pains of making this nation. It was born of many nations and then freed from it's mother or more accurately mothers. There were many attachments to other countries and now we are on our own. No one knew how it would turn out. But as Tim Gunn would say, "we made it work".

Now we are a thriving country full of diversity. I want to be like that in Serbia, I want to be a thriving person who has benefited from my experiences, thriving in my new home!

I realize the irony that is held in the celebration of my country's birthday, and using it as a parallel story of me moving back to the "old country" to start a new life. Strangely though, it is appropriate. There are so many pains involved in starting a new life.

A positive outlook on the situation is what I need most to make my life in Serbia work. Like most expats, last time I was struck with depression that shuts life down as you know it. I was unable to think straight. I stayed in trying to find things on TV in English to watch and gained weight. It wasn't pretty. An even uglier aspect of this depression is an inward look at everything. I became so self interested. I am not proud of that, but I am looking forward to making a huge change in the way I look at things next time. It is not all about me.

This depression and it's side effects deter all the learning that I could have been doing. I missed opportunities as a result of staying in, and didn't make friends that I could now have.

I am going on a trip to Serbia and I am going to take a positive outlook on life!