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Our arrival

We arrived in Bangkok on July 26 and we already have plenty of stories and pictures for you. Unfortunately the change of website layout takes more time then expected. We cannot publish new stuff before fixing this. So check our website every now and then, with a little bit of luck it might change soon. (posted by Jitze, 05/09/10)

Our departure

Today the movers are here to pack our stuff. It is amazing how fast time goes if you have a good time. Four years living in Serbia was a great experience. The children had a good time at school, Christina enjoyed her job at the British school and I had an interesting. We traveled a lot throughout the region.

Now it's time to move on. Only 10 more days left in Serbia. We will fly to the Netherlands on June 26. And after only one Month we will go to Bangkok were we are supposed to arrive on July 26.

I don't know why we did not use the weblog that much. Maybe because we lived in Europe. It's close to home and it feels like home. Therefore there wasn't much inspiration to write. It will change in Thailand. The look of the website will change a little bit and we will publish stories just like we did when we arrived in Korea and Serbia. Check it out somewhere in August or September. For now, goodbye. (posted by Jitze, 15/06/10)
We are going to Bangkok, Thailand!!!! First choice for us, we are all very happy with this news. So this summer the website will change and be devoted to Thailand. Certainly enough to post once we are in Thailand. We will keep you informed. (posted by Jitze, 18/03/10)
Testing twitter in website

Hmm, I don't see anything so it doesn't work yet. I need to prepare the website for the next four years. Coen, who normally helps me, isn't available so I have to figure it out myself. Anyhow, we are still waiting for more news about our next destination but it will should be something from the shortlist.. (posted by Jitze, 01/03/10)
This week and next week are special weeks. If I receive a call it will be about our next destination. To be more precise, if I get a call my employer will offer me something which I did not put on my shortlist. So it's simple, no call means that it's likely that we will go to one of the destinations we asked for.

The first week is ending right now without any call.... will it be the first time that we get something from the list?? Keep checking the weblog for more information. (posted by Jitze, 19/02/10)
Happy new year to all of you. Exciting times ahead. Within two months we will know more about our next destination. Will it be the Netherlands or abroad again. If so, which country will it be.

And maybe more interesting. Depending on our destination we will probably be more active with the website. Serbia is a very nice country to live. The only thing is, after we posted plenty of information and pictures about cities, country and region we did not have much to tell you. Daily live is easy and without big and shocking cultural differences. In Korea we found more inspiration to write because of those differences.

Therefore, if we will move far away there will be plenty of stories. If we stay close to home probably only in the beginning.

As soon as we know more we will post it on our website. (posted by Jitze, 15/01/10)
Should we call our website Bagdhad, Iraq newsflash? No but it could be. For two weeks already I am working in Baghdad. My employer asked me to work in Iraq for one month. Christina agreed, so now I am discovering Baghdad. Not much to discover because of security reasons but it's interesting. And at least one more advantage, it's still pleasantly warm here. Around 26 degrees celcius! Christina told me that the first snow of the season arrived in Belgrade with freezing temperatures. I can still walk outside in my shorts here.

If you want to read more about my impressions of Bagdhad, just surf to zofona's twitter page. Follow me and you get regular updates. (posted by Jitze, 04/11/09)
Back in Serbia. Christina and the kids took the plane on Friday. I drove back home in a new record time. 1690 kilometers in 14 hours and 45 minutes ;) (posted by Jitze, 23/08/09)
We are in the Netherlands, give us a call if you have our number. (posted by Jitze, 12/08/09)
I just got a funny link, fighting without doing anything with funny figures. It's really weird entertainment on the internet every now and then. Check out my slamming Peter LOL LOL (posted by Jitze, 28/07/09)
Yesterday afternoon around 4 p.m. the sky became incredible dark in Belgrade. At our office the automatic lights on the outside of the building turned on like it was night. It wasn't a regular thunderstorm but clouds so dark you seldom see. Today I got some pictures of the clouds and the trouble it caused in the streets.

clouds over Belgrade

amazing cloud shapes

trams flooded

more water in the streets

almost a Belgrade tornado

Not a regular storm but spectacular to see. (posted by Jitze, 09/07/09)
I don't believe in TWITTER. Every now and then I read about twitter. Even some Dutch politicians use twitter to look trendy. Michael Jackson almost crushed twitter after he died because everyone wanted to twitter about... about what? Well, this Michael Jackson twitter thing trickered me into creating a twitter account. Just to see if I am really missing something important.

First of all, I can't seem to find any twitter friends. There are two possible reasons.

1) I don't have friends (with a computer?)
2) My friends don't use twitter.

So it proofs one thing, twitter is not that big :)
Therefore Twitter sucks unless I get twitter contacts. Proof me wrong, go to twitter.com and create an account. Add me (search for zofona). I want to see if it's nothing more than just another hype. (posted by Jitze, 30/06/09)
Today we escaped the bad weather. Not by driving because it's bad everywhere in central and Eastern Europe. We just went to a very nice in/outdoor swimming pool. To be more precise, Aquacity in Poprad, according to their brochure we were relaxing and bubbling in warm water of geothermal mineral rich origine? Check out their website, it's a so called green ressort. They reduced carbon emissions by around 27 tonnes per year compared to similar facilities using fossil fuels.

That's a thing I thought was worth mentioning. More important, it's a great place with very nice pools. More info on this Aquacity website.

Tomorrow we want to visit the Dobsinska Ice Cave. We have seen this cave more than 15 years ago. Now we want to show Yde and Vibeke this very special cave which is not only a national nature monument. It even belongs to the world heritage caves. (posted by Jitze, 30/06/09)
I brought my laptop with me so a short Holiday update.

Slovakia is very nice but the weather wasn't that good this first week. We celebrated Vibeke's birthday, we bought cake every day if possible. At this moment we are in a small village close to Poprad, somewhere in the high tatras in Slovakia.

Tomorrow, if the weather is good, we will go to one of the many aquaparks they build here in the last couple of years. Pictures and more will be put on the website after returning. This is just a very short update. (posted by Jitze, 28/06/09)
Tomorrow it will be Vibeke's Fifth birthday! And it will also be the start of our Holiday. Vibeke didn't mind that we travel tomorrow, as long as we get her some nice presents.

If you want to reach us, our skype account will be zofona_travel, just add this account. Maybe we have internet connection at our first pension. They should have it but we have to wait and see. (posted by Jitze, 19/06/09)
Christina is sick and it lasts for a week now. Her sinuses are blocked and she has a bacterial infection in her frontal sinus. Normally it should last only a couple of days but the recovery takes quite some time. On the positive side, we have a really good doctor who also put the tubes in Yde's ears. Just for people living here I post this link, it's a Serbian website but it might come in handy if you have any problems with throat, nose or ears when living in Belgrade. Dr. Zutic, click here (posted by Jitze, 12/06/09)
One of the problems of countries in the Balkan region is to attract tourism again. Before the wars there were tourists, a favorite destination was the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia. There were many tourists from the Balkan region travelling to the coast, there were also plenty of people coming from other parts of Europe. It was just a relatively cheap destination with lots of sun and sea.

After the wars in the nineties it took a long time to attract new tourists. There were infrastructural problems, the biggest problem however was to gain trust and to compete with other cheap destinations.

Croatia has a long coastline and is still trying very hard to attract tourists by advertising a lot, even on CNN! Montenegro has a very nice coast line and many foreign investors constructed hotels. They are now waiting for miracles to happen. So what do other former Yugoslavian countries do to attract tourists?

Bosnia Hercegovina, Macedonia and Serbia all have an underdeveloped tourism sector. National tourism agencies and local touroperators, website owners, hotel owners are trying to show that these countries have nice things to offer. And it's true. If you like nature, culture and history there is plenty to discover and at least it's an original Holiday destination. If you tell at a party that you went to Thailand everybody will yawn and tell they already went there 3 times. For Serbia I am sure the chance that they have been there is less likely.

So I invite everyone who has a website which promotes tourism to share it with us. Commercial, non commercial, hotels, country info, whatever, just submit the link. Our website gets (believe it or not) at least 500 unique!! visitors per day. If every day one of them would decide to go to Serbia for a Holiday it would already be worth trying.

Have a link? Click here: submit a comment
(posted by Jitze, 07/06/09)
I just checked on my paypal account, no donations :)

We could start selling stuff on ebay. But what would you like to buy which I can get in Serbia. I have no good ideas. In Korea I wanted to sell music instruments. When we were still living there I never got a request, they only came after we moved to Serbia! Now I cannot deliver them anymore. And I don't know if there are real Serbian music instruments, more important, if they excist who would buy them?

Hmm, I just found a thing called a 'Serbian Gusle'. It's an instrument with one or two strings and mostly made of maple wood. I will find these things if people want to buy it :) (posted by Jitze, 06/06/09)
Some guys I know created a website about bicycling and they even have some kind of competition. The giro ended but the tour De France will be the happening of the year. If you can read Dutch or if you just want to win the official signed green T-shirt of Oscar Freire of last year's tour De France you have to join the competition. Have fun. (posted by Jitze, 03/06/09)
There is one music festival in Serbia which is already well known by an international audience. It's the EXIT festival in Novi Sad. The line up is interesting with groups like Madness, Moby, Korn, Arctic Monkeys and many others.

And if you read this because you are planning to go to the EXIT festival, just take some extra days to see more. Belgrade night's are also famous according to what people tell me. I wouldn't know, I am too old ;) (posted by Jitze, 03/06/09)
In May 2009 I visited Budva, Montenegro. A one day visit and only 40 minutes by plain and less than 1 hour driving from Podgorica Click here for some Budva pictures and information. (posted by Jitze, 01/06/09)

In May 2009 I visited Kotor, Montenegro. A one day visit and only 40 minutes by plain and less than 1 1/2 hours driving from Podgorica Click here for some Kotor pictures and information. (posted by Jitze, 01/06/09)

And the uploading of pictures is working again. Check out some of our AC/DC pictures we made during the concert. I will add more if I get them. If you went to the concert and have nice pictures for us, you can always mail them. I will publish it. (posted by Jitze, 01/06/2009)
More than 1 year after he wrote the story I uploaded it (sorry Dirk). It's his travel story written in May 2008. It is published in Dutch. (posted by Jitze, 01/06/2009)
Hmmm, I know what I am missing on this computer. My good old ftp uploading tool. I had it on my previous computer which I changed for the new one in August last year. We did not bother uploading pictures for a long time. Time enough tomorrow to do these things. Christina has to go to work, the children have to go to school. I am the only one with a day off. Because of the Serbian Orthodox church and the different calender a day like whitsun (pentecost) isn't celebrated at the same moment. (posted by Jitze, 31/05/2009)
26 May 2009, a great day because of a great AC/DC concert in Belgrade. It was just amazing! The kids stayed at home and we went with a group of friends to the Partizan stadium (walking distance).

We wanted to see it all so we arrived early. Slowly the stadium got full and at around 9 p.m. it started.

Look at these great youtube movies, filmed at almost the same location were we were standing. If you look very good you might see us jumping.

And the last song of the night, of course it was 'for those about to rock', firework included.

If you have the opportunity to visit one of the concerts we can only advise you to do it. The world greatest rockband still rocks stadiums like no other band does.

And yes, we are doing fine. Everything is going very well. Vibeke and Yde are having fun at school and we still enjoy our stay in Serbia. It's just that we are busy with our work and other stuff. Weblogging also looks like work and you can't work all the time :) (posted by Jitze, 28/05/2009)
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We are back from The Netherlands after a nice winter holiday. Yde and Vibeke have been ice skating for the very first time in their life on a lake. The Dutch always have to fight the water but now we could enjoy it even in winter. Also in Belgrade we can enjoy real winter weather, it's -10 degrees and there is snow in our garden, time to make a snowman. Later on I will try to write some more but now I have to clean up some snow at our entrance, Jitze will arrive tomorrow by car if the weather permits him to drive approx. 1700 km in two days.
(posted by Christina, 10/01/2009)
The weblog will be active again very soon. I am also planning to make a small webshop with typical Serbian products. It will be shipped world wide and payment can be made by paypal.

I am just testing my paypal account, want to donate some cents, try the button below. I am wondering if I will receive anything....

(posted by Jitze, 23/10/08)
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