expat blogger

living in Serbia

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rainy Birthday

For the past 3 days or so it has been rainy, I am really enjoying it. We have had a lot of sun, for a glorious Indian summer. But now we really need the rain. It has been really nice to listen to it pattering on the roof, and feeling the heat of the days dwindle down. Now the temperature is just right for sitting on the porch with a friends and a nice glass of wine. 
Yesterday, Tuesday, was my birthday. It was wonderful and relaxing. I love birthdays. Not for the presents, but for the chance just to get together with friends and enjoy the company. For lunch, I had sushi with my lovely friend Kim and her 2 beautiful daughters. Late in the afternoon, I came home for a delightful nap, and then spent the entire evening with my brother and sister-in-law and my wonderful husband.

Facebook delivered tons of birthday wishes from friends all over the world, how great it is to be able to keep in touch from such distances! I feel loved.

On Monday the day before, I started working at 5:30 AM and finished after 9 PM at my second job. I had about 45 min break between jobs. It was exhausting, but I know that I am blessed to have a job let alone two. In Serbia, many who are well educated, and eager to work are unable to find anything.

I also know that soon, I will be wishing I could work. Right now I am filling my kindle with books and planning for my days ahead in Srbija. I have lists of ideas to keep me busy. Movies to watch, ideas for gatherings, and story ideas for possible children's books.

Already I have had to adjust our flight back, British air is not flying to Belgrade after Nov. And now a few little pieces have come undone. but nothing worth exhausting myself over.

Only a few more weeks left, so many loose ends to tie up. Many bits and pieces of things flying around in my head. Hopefully it all turns out well. and then of to the land of Burek and Musaka.
Looking forward to seeing my friends and family there, and meeting new cyber buddies.
Hoping you all are having a good day,
T

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September at Assateague Island

Went to AI yesterday with a friend. Hurricane Igor was off our coasts so the waves were massive.
Got a few pics of a new light colored horse I have never seen before,

and... I got pics of a really new baby. SO small!
I am so excited to have gone. I have been so busy this summer with work, that most of the time when I am not working, I just want to sit and relax. And I need to! My ankle keeps swelling from the long days. I am sure I have injured it somehow, or it has begun to protest the long hours. It wishes to remind me after long doubles that I need to sit.

Ironically, after sitting for an hour or two, I feel like I am being too lazy and and I should be working. LOL Then, I start to enjoy the quiet and regret the fact that I must get back to work in a few hours or the next day.


Today is the start of Sunfest in Ocean City. The boardwalk was packed. It should be a very busy weekend! I have 6 weekends left before I leave for Serbia. I must cherish the English, food, friends, and even work while I can.  Must make a few more trips to Assateague as well!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My thoughts onThe Amish and the Gypsies.




The Amish
While I was back in Pennsylvania, I saw many horse and buggies traversing the town. I think once I caught a glimpse something a bit naughty. The horse drawn carriage was rolling down main street. no doors on either side. This is a bit shocking as these peoples are the most conservative group of Christians. None the less they are human.

The Amish are a self-imposed segregated society . Amish groups have kept themselves and their families separate since coming to America for religious freedom 200 hundred years ago from Germany, France, and Switzerland.. They are known for their superior work ethic, raising a barn in one day!, great food, their own language, and a serious resistance to modernity. The youth of this group are pushing the limits of this anti electic, anti motor vehicle ideas. I have seen some tricked out wagons with lots of lights appearing to be competing with cars you might see on "The Fast and the Furious".

Normally they do not: go to school past 8th grade.
join the army
pay taxes




Gypsies

In Serbia and much of Europe, only gypsies have horse and carriages. They are set apart from the rest of the population in a completely different way. The original country of most Gypsies in Europe is India.
The name Gypsies comes from their mistaken land of origin. They were thought to have come from Egypt.
This people group is set divided by their skin color and prejudice. They are thought to be lazy sheisters, who are not to be trusted and they are widely discriminated against. They find life harder than most.
I am not proud to say that I have watched from my balcony as a Gypsy mother scrounged through a dumpster while her children played beside her. This is the life they lead.
Most do not finish school, which further limits their capabilities. It makes me sad when I see how much people hate them.

Unlike the Amish, they adopt the culture, language, religion. They have no aversion to technology though they are not always capable of purchasing it.

For the record. Gypsies are not as lazy as they are made out to be. Like others who live in Serbia, some are able to leave their chosen homes to work abroad. They bring back the money made and make a better life, build homes, and invest in their families.

To say that most Europeans dislike Gypsies is to be modest. They are usually detested.
Often they are hired for summer labor. In many cases they are like our migrant workers.

As an American, I cannot see them through the same eyes. Honestly, I have no desire to look at them in the same light. We had some hard working Gypsies come help us in our sour cherry fields in Serbia. On a twisted parallel it seems... As a child, on our farm in PA, we had our Amish neighbors come join our family picking our singular massive cherry tree that towered over our front yard. there would be at least 5 large ladders leaning against various branches.

I would much prefer to think of the Gypsies as neighbors in my other country.
That is all. I welcome your comments. Please send me your experience and opinions. But be nice!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Assateague Island








On my days off, or in my free time I love to go to Assateague Island. I am totally enjoying just being away from the hustle and bustle. I love watching the wild ponies, seeing all the birds, and random other animals are around. video

I think I will go again tomorrow. I wish my husband didn't work nights and was able to get up and go with me more often. going there is a a vacation for the soul. Soon, I plan to take a little kayack trip on the bayside of the island. It is such a fresh perspective. Being on the water is refreshing, and quite a bit of exercise. Love it.

There are so many beautiful water birds and cika deer.
I have seen dolphin swimming along the coast and a little shark that a cute little old man caught. Randomly, I have come across sand sculptures as I stroll along the beach and many shells and crab remnants. There is always something new!

This island has been my gym this spring. I have escaped to walk it's trails, beaches and roads for exercise and relaxation.

When I return to Serbia this winter I know I will look back on these days and wish I were on the island again with the wild ponies.

Srecan Rodgendan America! I wrote this back on the birthday of the USA 2010. 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!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trip home to see the fam.





I made a pilgrimage back to PA to visit my family. The trip was glorious. Beautiful weather, no traffic, and I love the scenery. During a quick pit stop at a local Micky D's I acquired a stowaway on my side-view mirror. A little stink bug hitched a ride.

Being home with the family was great. Took many pics to remember the trip by.
got a bit sick on Tues.. so I stayed in PA longer than planned, and got to see my nephew, Tommy's first Football game of the season!! They won 36-7. Great game Tommy.