Foreigner Follies~ Halloween edition

I had a wonderful Halloween this year. I was lucky enough to be invited to help with the local high school celebration. I met with the teacher and kids prior to the party to plan the activities and decor.

After a short day in the village and munchkin interruptions getting ready, I was an hour late to help decorate. I am nothing but impressively punctual. (This should probably be my first folly, but I will let it slide.)

Pumpkins carved and glowing  lit up the cafe. Black cat and skull silhouettes danced to the Halloween beats. People began to file into the party slowly while I had a chance to meet with some of the teachers.

The music was loud like that of a night club. It made conversation was a bit dodgy at times. But we all managed and I met some new peeps. ūüôā

The other foreigner in town was invited as well and we were glad to be reunited. Spelling her name phonetically, Shu Sin Yen, was the bell of the ball. The young high school students (boys) were all about her.

One was very aggressive at asking her to dance, and she obliged the first time. But she is quite shy and was not keen on a repeat. This poor fellow, oozing with¬†beer induced¬† ¬†determination, ¬†wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Enter folly numero UNO!

I can see my friend is not wanting to be rude, but really doesn’t want to dance. She is too shy to tell this guy to bugger off¬†leave her alone and she is also a teacher in town, so she must be polite.

I am just a foreigner who speaks the tongue of the parties origin, so I say to this guy in his native tongue, “Ajde mash bre!”. ¬†Immediately, I got high fives from the other fellows. They were pleased and I started to question my words.

It was the wrong choice. I thought I was telling him just to leave. I have heard my father-in-law  among others and others saying it to hounding animals who keep begging for food and in other similar situations.

About a half an hour later, in a conversation with the doting bartender, I found out I have literally told him to “ef off!” This is not proper behavior for an adult school guest in my culture. (Somehow, I don’t think it is as damning in this culture, but I could be wrong.)

Games were played through the night and when they started bobbing for apples, I wanted my friend Shu to see this typical fall game. On my urging we walked over to watch.  Like with most of the activities, she had never seen it before. We gazed on at the first round of bobbing as two fellas went against the clock and each other to grab apples with their teeth in a bin of water.

Follie Number TWO.  

One guy was up for the next round and no one was going against him. They kept trying to pull some one in and no one would go. So they came to me. I didn’t really want to stick my head in and get soaked, but I also didn’t want to be a bad guest. Plus this was a game from my childhood so why shouldn’t I play. (Oh soo Many Reasons!)

I stand before the tub of bobbing apples and wait for the “GO!” I go all in and realize I am tall enough to practice scuba breathing but little else. I manage to get one apple, and after that, I feel as if I am just trying to drown myself. My height and bust size and stomach keep me from my goal of giving a competitive show… or so I thought.

When the minute is finally up, I feel the upper half of is totally soaked.I don my gnome hat and I look down at myself. The black bodice that I chose purposely to cover up my ample bosom has shimmied down. The shiny WHITE blouse is soaking wet and the leopard and lace print bra I am wearing is blaring through as if there is no shirt at all.

I may have just introduced and won the first wet T-shirt contest in Serbia at a high school event. CLASSY!

Fortunately, I haven’t enough sense to get all embarrassed and leave. I go to the bathroom. I fix the smeared ¬†mascara and dab myself with paper towel.

For the next bit to make sense to Westerners…. FYI In Serbia, the sink and mirror area are often a shared space for men and women.

As I wipe myself off, the bartender comes in and asks if I am O.K. as he heads into a stall. I say I am fine. Just embarrassed. He says something like, “Don’t be, It was great!” with the kind of boyish grin that makes it all the more embarrassing.

I did have some lovely chats post game that made up for all the shameful incidents. I can’t call the entire night a bust, pardon the pun. But part of it was. ūüėČ

Looking back on the evening I realize, I am certainly making a name for myself in this town, just not sure what it is.

I did find a blip from the Halloween festivities. If you want to see the great decorations and some of the great costumes click HERE!

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

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Built Like a Ken Doll

Black Friday shopping was just what the Doctor ordered just a week after my arrival. Sure the lines stretched around the store, but if at the end of the line you have a pair of Nike kicks for $30 and this kind of comedic relief, it is worth it!

So, being the “Ham” that I am, I had to get up close and personal with the guy.

While he is not my “type”,had a nice firm bum,, but the front was lacking the proper “accessories” plus¬†his arm was on the floor, AND he had no head. Lots left to be desired in a man. LOL But I have been away from the hubby now for two weeks and I am getting lonely. ūüėČ

Am I enjoying my time at home, YES! yes I am! ūüėČ Along with this great timeless pic, I got me a pair of footy full body PJ’s! I am wearing them right now. I know what you are thinking. This girl is an absolute vixen. What? no? but they are they are animal print. JK! Ha ha ha. I must say they are keeping me warm while I am away from the hubby. Hats off to Multifarious Meandering for the idea!

Dobar Dan Y’all

and To my sweet Muz…. Miss you Honey! xoxo

 

Photography Friday~ Thessalonika

my first (not really) jumping pic

Thanks to my awesome travel buddy who thought of the idea!

She looks really graceful!

No time to day for writing much so here are some fun pics of the city.

The White Tower

Random folks family time in Aristotle Square

yummy Easter bread and other scrumptious baked treats.

The sign on the red canopy below says, “pop corn”.

One guy holding at least three lamb carcasses. Ya don’t see that everyday… well, I don’t.

One more pic for the road. Happy Weekend.

A beautiful Easter display with lots of eggs colored red. The most common color for eggs in this part of the world.

Hope to be writing again in a day or two. Busy time of year here.
Dobar Dan!

Foreigner follies Sunday~ Greece

This is a flashback to another only slightly embarrassing moment in my cross cultural life.

The hubby and I took a bus trip to Greece back in 2010. Crossing the border on a bus seems less harrowing. No international paper work for the car needs to be taken car of a month in advance with all the fees involved, not to mention getting international insurance, etc, etc. Not having to drive, and pay an arm and a leg for gas and a hotel made this trip priceless.

The White Tower in Thesalonika

 

At each border, the patrol officers came onto the bus and collect the passports and took them back to stamp them. This was a Serbian bus tour, my American passport was a bit of a shock to the border patrol guards, after gathering the burgundy Serbian passports, at the last seat collecting my navy blue American one. I can tell you, I got a few surprised looks.

Thesaloniki was the main city we visited as well as touring the mountainous region covered in oranges, lemons, and olive trees. What an awesome getaway!

Birth place of Aristotle, Stagira Greece

After a long bus ride up a mountain with serpentine curves and the look of the pacific Northwest, we arrived at our next destination. At the birthplace of Aristotle, there was a big gate to the ” fresh air museum”. It¬† was suppose to be closed, but they weren’t trying hard to keep people out, and it was next to impossible to steel anything. The objects were much to large and made of cement.

Everyone began to make their way in. They climbed, scaled, and hopped the fence. But, when I saw how small the fence was, I decided to get a running start and vault over it just placing my hands on top and throwing my legs over. An easy enough task for a person who had been a gymnast in her previous life.

What I didn’t know was the gate was broken and it just fell over bruising the inside of my right thigh. I should say the entire inside of my right leg. It was a monstrous bruise. The sweet darling of a husband wanted to take a picture it was so magnificent. How romantic. What a great memorial of our trip to Greece that could have been if I had let him. ūüėČ

I don’t know how my fellow bus mates kept a straight face. I wouldn’t have been able to keep from laughing. I am sure it was like watching a comedy. Even funnier because it was a middle aged foreign lady. But they only seemed concerned. I would say it was well hidden mirth! The Tom-boy in me lives, and so does the accident prone nerd!

Aristotle and I

As the gate and I fell clumsily together and just after, I felt like I was in a bad travel comedy movie about the ridiculous American… National Lampoons vacation to Greece.

Happy Sunday Y’all

Dobar Dan!

 

Munchkin Monday- Learning curve

Shopping at Metro is almost like shopping at Walmart… With out most of the products I know and love. ūüôā Millie was trying out her friend’s birthday gift. A teddy bear chair.

This week has been a busy one for the¬†synapses¬†in lil munchkin’s brain. She has learned ¬†lots of new things. Blowing kisses is a fun new thing. Probably most fun for the parents. She is also learning to love on her toys and kiss them as well. Sweet!

She is dancing a whole lot now. When mommy is working on her fitness, Millie joins in doing squats and tries to do kicks. She only really manages to lift her leg off the ground. Still, it is super cute.

Putting toys in new places like the bathtub is a new one. She is even lifting the toilet seat to put them inside. Yep, that’s one I would have liked to skip. Daddy, found that hidden treasure. Lucky him.

Just now as I am writing, another first. She climbed up on daddy’s chair. Then stood up ¬†with her hand on the back of the chair. Look out world. Nothing is safe!

She will be driving soon. Wait, what is the driving age in Serbia?

Photography Friday Celebrates Serbia’s March 8

Hello Friends, Happy 8th of March! It is International Woman’s day. This is an old Communist holiday celebrating women. Men everywhere are lined up to buy flowers and other random gifts for their moms, daughters, wives, etc.

On my way out today to take pics for my photography Friday post, I past a flower shop. In hindsight, I should have taken a picture of all the people waiting outside for the flower arrangements. I was shocked at the number of adults and children outside standing and sitting where they could. Maybe next year.

I will take something to the mother-in-law tomorrow. She loves this holiday.

On to the pictures! I walked to the other side of the yellow bridge today. That is like the other side of the tracks in some towns. Lots of gypsy people live there. I met one gypsy lady today and she spoke English!  This was her gate.

Image

After I snapped a pic of her  beautiful gate, she came out and a little boy followed but lagged behind. She was super friendly and just wanted to know why I was taking a photo of her home. I wish I had taken time to talk to her more. Another time.

This is the house next to hers, what contrast.

I was trying to beat the setting sun and the dark clouds that were threatening rain.

As I climbed the hill I got a nice glimpse of the looming clouds that hovered over the valley. The morning and most of the afternoon had been gorgeous. In the 60’s. I barely needed a jacket! And you can see from a few pics that laundry was hanging in lots of yards.

Some Baba ¬†had her naughty black stocking on the line here. ūüėČ

Check out this creative clothes line! Whatever works.

Along the same line of thinking, there are some unorthodox shelters here for storing wood. I thought the first one here was rather a lovely idea.

It’s not like a gazebo would be used very often in the winter. What an ingenious seasonal use!

This one is quite inventive as well.

Lots of dogs were out to great walkers today. This old yellow lab was my favorite.

On the way home it started raining. I manged to snap just a few more pics worth posting. This lonely window in an empty old house was worth the time, and I liked the way it looked when I gave it the sepia treatment.

I headed down another road to make my way home. The hilly terrain here has inspired creative architecture.

By this time it was really raining, and I hurried on my way way. But I noticed the prettiest red gate and had to get one last photograph.

Hope you enjoyed the pics
Dobar Dan

and P.S. Thank you all for cheering me up yesterday!

Weekend Fun Dr. Suess-ovic

Here in Serbia, I get lots of ideas for Blogs. I have had this one for a while now. But I had to get some more pics.

I do get that if Dr. Suess was Seribfied, the name Suess would have to be spelled with only one “S” at the end. The only Double lettered word I know of in the Serbian tongue is Zoo. That is only because it is a Latin based word.

For those of you who are unaware of Dr. Suess, he is only the greatest children’s book writer in the English world. If you saw the movie, “Horton hears a Who”, then you have had a glimpse of his work. I believe he is the equivalent of the Jovan Jovanovic.

My favorite Dr. Suess book is, Green Eggs and Ham. It’s a classic!

I have blogged before about the ever prevalent old Fiats here in Serbia. They are called Feetcha, but spelled completely different from that. Spelling phonetically is good enough for this little post. ūüėČ

Without further ado, Let me present to you the alternative to One Fish, Two Fish, Red fish Blue fish.

The Serbian Dr. Suess title remake

One Feetcha

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Two Feetchas

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Red Feetcha

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Little White and Blue Feetcha


Above are all old, Below new.

I love Both Dr. Suess and the classic Fiats. But these new sporty 500 fiats look like so much fun! they have been marketed as super sexy toys in the commercials.  Here are my two favorite U.S. Commercials for these newer versions.

The 500 Abarth with the Sexy Italian woman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-fH73qIvsQ

The 500 “Imigrants” ¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKUrYf1z9Bg

Dobar Dan Y’all!

Happy Birthday Munchkin

this was just the tip of the iceberg!

This is a continuation of the Blog Yesterday that began the epic story of the Birthday party.

No babies drank any alcohol in the making of this photo

There was a ton of food to be had. The men wasted no time beginning to partake. The girls took their time but eventually caved. Thank God, because I wanted to eat and didn’t want to look like the pig I am. No time for that anyway. Little Munchkin duties call way to often for ¬†a real binge to take place.

I can’t get over how cute these little piglet breads are!

I finally made a Ginger Bread Train for the Munchkin to enjoy looking at. She hasn’t got enough teeth yet to munch on the candy. Thank you, Nicole for sending it! It was a hit. Not something you see here in Serbia! Great gift!

The Ginger Bread Train

Just as I was about to snap the picture, the Munchkin reached for the train. She’s a quick one!

The traditional Birthday song was sang with a lit candle. I don’t know it yet, but give me time. Here is a link to the song on youtube.

The party moved from the kitchen to the living room and then to our bedroom. I missed the photo-op, but at one point a bunch of kids were jumping on our bed. I would call the party a success since the kids felt so at home.

The Big Cousin fishing of the bed with a jump rope and Munchkin looking for the fish.

I think everyone had a great time. I am super glad it is over, now I can sit back and relax a bit. Though today is the actual BDay, so I will light the candle again on top of a cupcake and sing Happy Birthday in English this time. And skype with family at home. ūüôā

Tomorrow the festivities will be concluded with the last birthday hurrah. We will go to the village for a small family celebration. There is still that roasted piglet Papa wanted to bring to the party that needs to be eaten. I am not a fan, but it will be a good opportunity to get some fun cultural pics! The Munchkin’s first roasted pig will be about the same size as her! LOL

I can’t believe one year ago today I was in the hospital “enjoying” the effects of an epidural as I pushed the Munchkin out. If you are interested in that story you can click on the link below. The U.S. experience is far different from the Serbian one. And for those of you who think you cannot feel the contractions during an epidural, I could. I just didn’t have pain. No brainer there! Thank you Epidural! Hello Munchkin. ūüôā There are no gory pics. and I think it is a rather tame account if you are wondering.

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2012/03/millies-labor-and-birth.html

If you are curious what it is like to stay in a Hospital in the U.S. you can check out my blog post about that here:

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2012/03/american-hospital-stay.html

Thanks for stopping by.

Dobar Dan

The Munchkin turns One!

Last night, We had a wonderful group of close friends come to celebrate the first year of the munchkin’s life.

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candle

All three the January, February, and March 2012 babies got to play together. ¬† They are all walking now, and have less than 10 teeth between them. ūüėČ

Jan, Feb, March girls

Jan, Feb, March girls

 

We still have some more celebrating yet, but this was the big shebang! It is a tradition here to celebrate the First birthday before the actual date. But we chose Saturday, because most people don’t work, not for the sake of tradition.

There are lots of traditions here for the first birthday, mostly revolving around a child being Christened in the church. They baptize the child, and cut locks of hair from the child. Then when you return home from the church there are still more of they traditions to follow. The Kum (pronouned KOOM) or Best man from the wedding has to cut another lock of hair and maybe give a speech.

All the traditions are very nice. But this was stressful enough for me. I am glad we did not have to do all the regularly scheduled Serbian traditions on this day as well.

Trying to plan a birthday party when only one person in the house speaks both languages and the other two women try to understand each other it is a bit more hectic. Throw in some PMS and different cultural ideas and it can turn ugly. It didn’t though. It only got a little harried when The muz (husband) heard his father planned to bring a roasted suckling pig. (That was ¬†a jolt of Culture shock!) This was the day before the party and after all the food prep and planning had been done.

The only little piggies at the party. Yummy bread Piglets. With Pepper seeds for eyes and Rye for the nostrils.

The only little piggies at the party. Yummy bread piglets. With pepper seeds for eyes and Rye for the nostrils.

I will admit I was a bit miffed that mama was making my little one’s first cake. I had planned for the cup cakes I was making to be her cake. But that was lost on the mama and I was too tired of trying to explain. In the end it turned out better that way. The recipe I tried for the frosting was horrid. It was better to use her cake.

I did get lucky with the cup cakes frosting. At the last-minute there was some pudding left over that make a nice topping for the cup cakes.

International baking is much more difficult than one would imagine. The flour around the world is NOT the same. It tastes different so do some of the other ingredients. Making the finish product taste different from it does in your home country.

Our flour comes from our families fields. After the harvest, they take it to a mill where it is ground. It is not processed and bleached like the flour you buy at the store. You can imagine how that can change things.

The Munchkin is awake now. Must go carry on with the day. More about the party tomorrow.

Dobar Dan

 

Goldilocks and the three bears meets super mom 365-50

Faster than a Speeding baby

More powerful than a stinky diaper.

Able to jump over a bunch of toys in a single bound.

It’s Super Mom!

I try to be creative with my pics and I have been thinking about nursery rhymes and kids stories for inspiration. This is my first attempt. I will do better next time. ūüėČ Getting outside in the spring will make a huge difference! Bring on the green grass! It snowed a little today so I guess it will be a little while yet. ūüė¶ (big frown)

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Goldilocks and the 3 bears

Goldilocks and the 3 bears

Dobro Veńće

Good Evening