Photography Friday~ Zubetinac

More Fairy Tale village pics!

Fresh fruit from the village.

Last week I spent 4 days in the beautiful village of Zubetinac. I have posted about It before, but the pics were taken in late winter/early spring. It is like another world with the colors of summer giving it a make over.

Baba was watching her munchkins in the garden

It was a great get away for the little one and I. Not terribly relaxing… We were guests of my Serbian besty and her two little ones (pictured above). Most of the time we were minding the three dwarfs. Our only reprieve was when they slept.

I was glad to get away with my pal. Girl time is priceless. Like water for my friend parched soul. I only regret there are no pics of the two of us.

These two flowers will take our place.

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Whatever Wednesday~ Easter Feast pics

Easter in the village is so much less formal than I have known Easter to be. Mind you, there are formalities. Just different ones.

Family Sets up the “picnic” under the pavilion, Neighbors wander in. There weren’t as many people as I thought. It must be an invite only kind of thing?  I don’t know.

There is tons of food, wine, and beer waiting to be consumed. The table is lined with the closest family and friends and the ceremonial bread is broken.

Brothers

Wine is poured into the four crevices cut into the cake like bread. Probably to symbolize the four places Jesus was pierced with nails.  Now it is like a communion bread and wine all in one. Pieces of the bread are passed around to everyone. Incense is burned, candles are lit and food is eaten. Not all in that order. 🙂

Lighting the incense, saying a prayer. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Everyone is lined up to light their candles by the Ancient cross.

The candles they will light are a soft wax. If you hold them in your hand too long they wilt like a flower and face down. Easily remedied by straightening them out.  and letting them cool a bit.

I had to get a pic of this lady with the kerchief tied behind her head. If that outfit doesn’t scream fortune teller. I don’t know what does. But this is just her choice of clothes for the day.

 

The cross is  the closest thing to a church in the village. There is a church a village or two over, and then the one in town. There are lots of these crosses all over. One might be hiking through the forest and find an old abandoned cross like this from another lifetime in Serbia. The  writing on the cross is in old Cyrillic. I can’t read it.

People eat. Children get restless. Beer, cigarettes, and conversation flank the table. Children find ways of amusing themselves.

washing their hands over and over, playing in the water.

 

Taking walks

 

Learning and playing the egg tapping game for the first time.

Happy Easter from our family to yours.

 

 

Easter Monday~ Orthodox Lunch and Colored Eggs

After the family dilemma yesterday, we did finally go for lunch and enjoyed the company of family and the fellow villagers.

Uncle Milosh with the pic that was roasted on a spit the day before Easter.

No time now to post pics of the Easter feast, but will do later this week. For now just a little post on the eggtivities. :0)

Coloring eggs is done here on Good Friday, better known as Big Friday in this part of the world. It is much the same, accept that as it is with almost everything else it takes a lot more time and effort.

Easter egg dye and other paraphernalia.

Back home we start off with white eggs food coloring and vinegar.  Dipping the eggs and coloring them takes a few seconds and you can make one egg a few colors with some careful dipping.

another vender at the market selling Easter decor.

Here they start with Brown eggs ditto on the rest. The dying time is 10 minutes to an hour! Since it is so time intensive, eggs are only one color.!? But darker because the Eggs are brown to begin with. Designs can be created with leaves, or bags. I love that part of the creativity. I certainly appreciate the work put into them!

I can just imaging how shocked my Serbian sister in the U.S. was when we dyed eggs together. The colors were the pastels I am accustomed to. She asked if we could make the colors darker. Now I know why. That is what she was used to seeing. And the difference in color is kind of a let down when you are far from home and want to do something traditional. Definitive Culture Shock! Funny how it pops up at the weirdest moments.

There are no Egg hunts here, but there are serious competitions for egg tapping. The youtube video below shows what I mean. less than a minute in is all you need to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVFWhoDIk30

I have only played this with the husband so far, My egg was the winner. He told me after, pointier eggs are best!

Decorations may be done with the new decals we find in the west, but old fashioned  decorations are my favorite here. This pic is from Wikipedia from the Czech republic… but they use this technique all over Eastern Europe.

Learning new traditions is the really good part of being an expat.

Dobar Dan y’all

 

Orthodox Easter~Complications and Culture shock

It is just after 8 Am, the church bells have been continuously ringing for several minutes. A joyful noise on this Orthodox Easter Morning. I am having coffee on the terrace with the help of a curtain hung on the clothes line to dull the sun from blinding me as I enjoy the out of doors.

Bells are still ringing, doves and pigeons are cooing, roosters crow now and again, and a dog barks in the distance. The only sound that doesn’t belong in this cacophony is the occasional bronchial coughing of some poor sod who has smoked to long and is breaking up the beauty of the morning with his hacking up of a lung.

Today we are supposed to go to the village for an Easter celebration. I am not sure if that is gonna happen. Mama and Papa have agreed to be the beneficiaries of the Easter feast. Let me explain:

Every year in our village, one family does all the cooking for the villagers. There is an ancient cross in the center of the village and everyone meets there under the pavillion.

Mama and Papa agreed to do this or it was their turn? Even though they just moved there.? Or Mama just wants to show off all her cooking as she is really good at it and wants to let everyone in on the not so secret secret. I think she gets her kicks showing off her cooking skills. I know I love eating her food too!

I don’t know. Lots is lost in translation to me, and I don’t want to always ask for all the details. It is annoying for the people who must constantly translate.

No matter what the situation. It was assumed that with all the work the hubby is doing on the farm that he would just add more on the workload by helping set up the food and all that. If we had been asked, I think that would be O.K. but as per usual in the family one or two people take on the task and expect others to work off half their arse to do what the other person agreed to do. I used to do my part but now as the munchkin demands much of my time, all I seem to accomplish is setting the table or washing the dishes if I am lucky. (Yes, I mean Lucky!. It is a break from the norm.)

For me, it seems ridiculous that one family have so much on their shoulders. But apparently the idea of a potluck dinner is lost on this country.

Either way, We are not going early to help, or we would already be there. Normally, I would say you must help your family, and it is Easter and all that, but I am fed up with all the hoopla at the moment and I would rather just focus on what today is about. As you can read, I am not doing a good job of that!

Guilt world normally be hovering over me. But, as they have another grown adult child who they expect nothing of while my husband and I do all the necessary chores, I have sent guilt packing!

Another possibly interesting element to the story…. When we first arrived, mama told me “We” should plan to have a Serbian Wedding and Christening for Millie on Easter. So then all the family will be there anyway. I was supposed to cajole Milan in to wanting to do this. Bwahaha!

I do not want ANOTHER wedding. We already had two. One Early to save $1000 buck with citizenship paper work that was going up in price by a certain date. The other later to have a real wedding and the family present.

The thought of having one here is too much. The stress of it would be overwhelming, especially with a baby to care for. Then there would also be the Christening.

Now, I am wondering if they took all this on in hopes perhaps that wedding and Christening may happen. Or more likely they just wanted to celebrate having the family present for the first time for an Easter celebration, since their son has been gone for the better part of 10 years.

Half an hour later, the church bells are still ringing intermittently. A nice reprieve from the craziness in my head as I write this. This is surely an attack of culture shock.

Easter at home is about going to Church. Listening to the account of Christs tribulation, death and the joy of resurrection.  Celebrating with a family meal.

Of course capitalism of the U.S.  plays a part. Everyone has a new dress, and store-bought baskets of goodies with colored eggs set out in the morning to surprise the children. It is like mini Christmas in spring.

Only the Dove is cooing now and my rant has ended. Baby is fussing and my day really begins. It will certainly be an interesting Easter. I will keep you posted. 😉

Christ is Risen. Halelujah!

10 hours later: we did go to the village, pics to follow tomorrow. It was a wonderful Easter. Now the munchkin naps while I type once again.

Dobar Dan

Photography Friday~ Svetozarevic House

A few years back, last time I was in Serbia, I made this video for some friends. This is their house. And just like it says in the video, it is the most relaxing place. We went for a day, and it was like I had a week vacation.

The pictures were all taken in March. Just imagine how even more magical this place would be if their were leaves and grass of in emerald and lush verdant green to add to the natural beauty.

If you are looking for a relaxing vacation, Contact the Zubetinac Village house

Email: svetozarevic@medianis.net

or through this site: www.gorskikonak.com

Dobar Dan

Whatever Wednesday~ mailboxes and gates

This morning the snow has come down for hours. The mountain got about a foot and we have about half that. Kind of shocking for the 27th of March.

There was to be a Vasher today. That is sort of a Pijats on a Grand scale and a carnival. But the weather has prevented it. There will be five more vashers this year. and I look forward to sharing them with you.

I have posted pictures before of a few gates. Though, doors and window pictures seem to be my prevailing favorite thing to photograph. As I began to wander down main street, I began to  pay more attention to the gates. Now, I have become more infatuated with them. I realized they are a combination of door and window. A perfect marriage of the two.

I really love this RED mail box! I want one ❤

I am pretty sure this is my favorite.

The average gate below has charm. but not so much beauty.

I love the contrast here. This grand gate belongs to the beautifully painted home and building behind. Just next door there is a barn in the back yard. This is on the main street of town. For real!

Another favorite~

Starts with and “M” and probably ends in a “vic” I bet! 😉 The majority of last names here in Serbia end in V-I-C. It’s like “Mc” in Scotland or “O” in Ireland the begin the names. 

And from my last trip to Greece, 2 years ago… One last mailbox and gate.

These were all phone pics. Grainy, but still worth posting.

Dobar Dan

Photography Friday~ She Thinks my Tractor’s Sexy

I played this song for my adorable mother-in-law, and she danced to the music. After it was over she called the song Sexy Tractor with  her thick Russian sounding accent. Tell me that’s not funny.

Check out our Sexy Yugoslavian Tractor!

My Sexy country boy and his country Papa heading out to fertilize the wheat and barley.

Trips to Vina will be more and more common as the weather improves. This week, I had a visit with the neighbors and later went back to take some pictures. I love the big barn with Corn hanging near the top. Dried gourds and old miners lanterns also decorate the upper levels of the barns sides.

Good ole boys down on the farm. Wonderful neighbors!

I still can’t get over how friendly some people are. Here in our village, I am always greeted with warmth. I love my village. Even the chickens and the geese come out to say “hello”.

The cows stay inside here in Serbia. I asked why and I was told because of the cold. It seems there is an excessive fear of the cold in this country. I feel kind of bad for the cows never getting to play in the grass. Even in the summer here they are kept inside. I think it is because the pastures are so far from the houses.

Village homes are clustered together in Serbia, The farm land is spread out all around the villages. It seams like a strange set up for someone from the States who is used to wide open spaces surrounding one farm house. Neighbors a mile or more away.

My farm-house in rural Pennsylvania was surrounded by the neighbor’s corn fields as far as the eye could see. When the corn was tall we couldn’t see the nearest house that was more than a quarter-mile away.

California Cheese commercials will give you an idea of what it is like for cows in the U.S. To be honest, I think they may have a better life. But I would have to do more research on that. Though, I doubt I will.

Dobar Dan Y’all

Munchkin Monday

A walk in a Fairy Tale Village

Last week we went for a walk in Vasilj, a little village not far from town. The initial reason to meet an expat like myself lives there. That didn’t happen, but the village was so quaint that I was thrilled we had come.

The Munchkin was thrilled to make the acquaints of some house cats and two adorable miniature Doberman Pinschers that played in an ancient school playground.

The old school playground and building looked mostly neglected.

SONY DSC

The Schoolhouse gate

School house windows with paper snowflake cut outs

We were accompanied on the village trip by a friend of the Muz who’s father was from the village. It was lovely to have him as a tour guide.

SONY DSCNot only did he love on Millie, but he picked us some early spring flowers. The lovely white Visi Baba or Snow Drops as they are called in the English speaking world. I have seen those same flowers on each of the visits here in Serbia, but this time I discovered they are hiding the most beautiful upside down green heart that rests in the shade of the white petals.

The village was filled with gorgeous old homes. Sadly, it was an overcast day, so the pictures aren’t as glowing as they could be. Next time I will go on a sunny day when there are leaves on the trees. That day is not long off. Already, blues skies are more prevalent than they have been in months!! Yippee!

One last pic to make this a Munckin Monday post.

The little one enjoying a well deserved drink after a long day.

Photography Friday

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A small trip to the village this week for a final birthday dinner gave me the chance to take some new village new photos. The stairs up to the barn loft. Kindling piled under make a lovely bouquet of wood. … Continue reading

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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