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weblog Serbia Dec 06

Belgrade - Netherlands: distance 1682 kilometers via Budapest instead of 1645 via Zagreb. We left at 11.00 and arrived at 02.30 in the morning. With small children in less than 16 hours! Today we bought them small presents because they behaved perfectly during this trip.

Never tell us that you cannot travel long distances with small kids! (posted by Jitze,27/12/06)
Merry Christmas to all of you. We will start our Christmas celebration with a nice breakfast. There is a 40% chance for snow. We will see if it will also be a white Christmas. If so I will add a picture. (posted by Jitze,25/12/06) very early ;)
Today I made some changes at the Serbian food section, recipies are put in different sections and I added several new recipies. We also created a shortcut to the recipies, click on the Serbian Food Recipies button at the right side of the main page and you will find the latest recipies. (posted by Christina,23/12/06)
15 bullets,
no experience,
this is the result....

16 holes in the paper;))
(posted by Christina,22/12/06)
Although we will not be in Belgrade for New Year, I found some information for the people who are staying for Christmas and new Year. Several events are organized in the Centre of Belgrade. Theatre, classical music performances, pop/rock concerts, an ice skating rink at Nikole Pasica Square, etcetera. So enjoy Belgrade during your Christmas Holiday. (posted by Christina, 22/12/06)
I added topics in our forum. We are waiting for more registred usersl. If you just want to write about nothing special we invite you to use the social talk part of the zofona forum. We hope this forum will be useful if it will collect information about Serbia this way. You just cannot find everything on the internet, that's why we are trying to develop this active Serbia forum. (posted by Jitze, 22/12/06)
And it started to snow today. According to the weather forecast we will have a white X-mas!

At this moment it is still snowing, so far we got around 10 centimeters of snow. The above picture is the most efficient one I could make to give you an impression how things look around our house. (posted by Jitze, 19/12/06, 18.20)
X-mas holiday, and we are waiting for some snow. The weather forecast for Belgrade predicts snow (3 different websites) but so far it is only raining. In the meantime we are working hard to finish the new look which you already discovered by now.

One nice feature, every day of the month the picture in the top banner will change, isn't that nice!! (posted by Jitze, 18/12/06)

And this is the funny short movie version (really funny):
Huh, where am I? Just take another vodka :)
(posted by Jitze, 13/12/06)

This is the funny picture version:

(posted by Jitze, 13/12/06)
Every day people send me strange email, this is the funny quote version:

recently read that love is entirely a matter of chemistry. That must be why my wife treats me like toxic waste.

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.

After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin; they just can't face each other, but still they stay together.

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. (Socrates)

Woman inspires us to great things, and prevents us from achieving them.

The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, "What does a woman want? (Sigmund Freud)

I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me.

"Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays."

"I don't worry about terrorism. I was married for two years."

"There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage."

"I've had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me, and the second one didn't."

Two secrets to keep your marriage brimming

1. Whenever you're wrong, admit it,
2. Whenever you're right, shut up.

The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once...

You know what I did before I married? Anything I wanted to.

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.

A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.

Marriage is the only war where one sleeps with the enemy.

A man inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: "Wife wanted". Next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine."

First Guy (proudly): "My wife's an angel!"
Second Guy: "You're lucky, mine's still alive." (posted by Jitze, 13/12/06)
Today I had my first haircut in Serbia and I'm really excited by the result. After 7 years of Kazakh- and Korean haircuts, always coming home with too short and straight hair (I have natural curls), it is a relieve to know that I can have a decent haircut in Belgrade. I went to a salon opposite of the market in Senjak, Koste Glavinica 3a, and was cut by a male hairdresser. He is associated with the Toni&Guy hairdressing company and uses Revlon Professional products. The man cut Yde and Vibeke too and after his haircut Yde mentioned that this man cuts faster than the girls in Korea where he had to sit still for at least 20 minutes. (posted by Christina, 12/12/06)
The last entry for tonight, X-mas. I found some lightbulbs we used in South Korea to put colorful lanterns in our garden during the celebration of Buddha's birthday. The lanterns are gone now but we have the lightbulbs and enough trees waiting to be decorated. In the Netherlands it is almost a new national sport to decorate your garden with lights in December. In Serbia I did not see special decoration so far. In our neighbourhood we are for sure the first to decorate the garden with lights.

And we have even more lights stored in our basement! By the end of December our garden will be visible from space. And maybe we are trendsetters in Serbia, who knows everyone will decorate their garden or balcony in ten years. (posted by Jitze, 10/12/06)
All the Dutch people know 'Sinterklaas' and how important he is for children. For our English readers, read this wikipedia Sinterklaas explanation. Yde and Vibeke were waiting for Sinterklaas for three weeks. He arrived in the Netherlands but would he find our home in Belgrade? One week ago we heard good news, he would come to Belgrade. All the small Dutch children gathered at the house of the Dutch Ambassador and indeed, last Saturday Sinterklaas had time to stop by on his way back to Spain. Together with one black Peter and a bag full of presents he sure made all the children happy.

But for Yde and Vibeke there was another big surprise. Sinterklaas left and we went back home. To our surprise the old guy even managed to visit our house. The chimney was easy for black Peter, he probably climbed through the chimney (lucky there was no fire!) to deliver another huge bag full of presents.

And Sinterklaas did not forget about daddy and mammy. Even we got some nice things. And I will remember the present Sinterklaas gave me, instead of all the toys I got when I was young I received an axe, wow! (posted by Jitze, 10/12/06)
Belgrade also has an expat info site. It is a commercial page but with plenty of information. Hospitals in Belgrade, cultural events, telephone numbers of shops. If you live in Belgrade it is worth bookmarking this site. (posted by Jitze, 10/12/06)
Again a week with internet problems, viva SBB. Now I even had to pay a guy to come back on Saturday to add an additional cable. We now have a white cable directly from our roof to our modem. It looks like shit but it works for the time being. Furthermore I changed subscription to some hyperspeed connection. Just deduct failures, slow response and other reasons and I think I will have an average connection speed. (posted by Jitze, 10/12/06)
Added: Additional pictures of the city of Novi Sad and the Petrovaradin Fortress. Follow the red links. (posted by Jitze, 03/12/06)
Added: Additional pictures of the city of Nis. Follow this link. (posted by Jitze, 02/12/06)
Aha, B92 news now covers that protest demonstration with an article. One quote:

'This act puts him on level plane with Ghandi, who fought for independence. On a level plane with Mandela, who fought against the apartheid. Vojislav Seselj is world's pioneer anti-globalist', one of the speakers said said.

Quite a statement I would say. .(posted by Jitze, 02/12/06)
If you want to know the Belgrade weather forecast, try the link. The active-x control installation is harmless (tested by me) and after this you have a nice website with easy navigation for checking the weather forecast. And it is regional, they show a very clear map with all mayor cities in the Balkan region. If you want to travel to Sarajevo, Skopje, Split or any other city in the area you can find the prediction. The Belgrade prediction looks quite accurate, at this moment I have 3.1 celsius and 86% humidity, they predicted more or less the same. Also check the day tabs in the upper right corner for a quick overview of the coming days in this region.(posted by Jitze, 02/12/06)
Today there was a protest demonstration going on in Belgrade. The Serbian radical party organised this rally. They wanted to show their support towards the leader of this party, Seselj, and they protested against the international war tribunal in The Hague. On their own website you can find Seselj his picture and a banner on the left side which looks the same like the posters they spread throughout Belgrade.

The turbulent political past of Serbia during the Milosevic times saw demonstrations during his downfall as a president. But these people protested in favour of a leader who is charged with war crimes. I guess the best thing to do in Serbia if you are just living here is not to discuss politics with your Serbian friends. Before you know you tumble into a wasp nest of very strong opinions.

I made some pictures to give you an impression of the support this protest demonstration got. (posted by Jitze, 02/12/06)
Today I had to buy presents for our upcoming Saint Nicholas feast. I went to Kozmo, a beautiful toy shop on Knez Mihailova 14-16 (in the basement). Unfortunately they do not have a website, so I can only give the address. After buying lots of presents I strolled along some other shops and my eye caught the sign of UNICEF. I'm always interested in their Christmas cards so I went into the gallery where I saw the sign. 60 years ago Unicef came to Serbia and a photography exhibition shows the history of Unicef. Until december 10 several activities are organized to celebrate Unicef's 60th anniversary. There are film screenings, presentations, discussions and of course a children's corner. Spending to much time in the city made me hurry home because I had to pick up Yde from school and go to a birthday party.
(posted by Christina, 01/12/06)
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