Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gorgeous Countryside, Talking to Serbians, and My Newfound Love of Opera

Hello dear readers! It has certainly been a busy week since last I posted. First, updates on the bad news in my life:
  • The Atlanta Thrashers are for real leaving the South and are moving up to the freezing god-forsaken tundra that is Winnipeg. This is disheartening, to say the least. I am kind of at a loss for what to do with my hockey fan-ness, since the only other team I could really root for geographically is the 'canes, and they're boring.
  • I need to look for a new job, because while I was in Europe, Clemson gave my old one to someone else
  • Random strangers are still failing to walk up to me, recognize my awesomeness, and reward it by handing me large sums of money
So, that's that.  Now we should take a peek at what I've been doing this week!

On Thursday, we toured the Serbian countryside, visiting two monasteries, a cave, and the best restaurant that we've been to so far.  Eating with a stream flowing underneath your table's pavilion is a delightful experience, made better by quince rakija, lots of wine, and bread brought immediately from the oven to your table.  There is pictorial evidence of all this floating around, should you like to see it.  What else?  I touched the tomb of Prince Lazar, made friends with a lizard, finally bought a new chain to replace the one I lost in October, and had a wonderful day.  

On Friday we had meetings, and it was Very Hot, and that is what happened.  Dinner was very good that night, five of us were taken by the Professor to a place we never could have found on our own, and there were kittens.  To elaborate, we did not eat the kittens.  We played with them after dinner and Sarah discovered that cats eat potatoes.

On Saturday we met students who study America and then talked to them at length.  This was the beginning of a day that involved a lot of that.  Later on in the evening, and by evening I mean past two AM the same night, I also ended up having quite good and long conversation with a Serbian computer science student outside of some bars down by the river, and meeting a bunch of Serbian women who were back visiting from New York and Chicago.  We met them at Loki (this is an all-night sort-of burger (WAY BETTER than burgers) place which exists mostly for drunk people to eat and is like Manna), and they were full of sass.  

Also Saturday night:  I dress in very sharp clothes (including bow tie) and go to the Opera.  It was the Marriage of Figaro, and Figaro and the Countess were absolutely wonderful, and made the show.  I think that, were Opera in the States to be cheap enough, I could really get into this.  We'll see how that goes later on in life.  Because, let's face it, everyone loves getting dressed up to see people sing loudly in Italian about cuckoldry.  I could get used to that.  However, front & second row seats to the Serbian National Opera were 800 dinar - that's between 12 and 13 dollars.  I seriously doubt that stateside prices are comparable... When number three up yonder changes in my favor though, it's Opera time.  That's where it's at. 

So that's your update.  Today I woke up after very little sleep and went to the Catholic church with Jessie to experience that, and it was good, and then we went to the market and bought strawberries and wonderful bread at a bakery on the way home.  And then I took a nap.  Voila!  The tale is at an end.

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