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Mexican Girl Falls for Serbia…..


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I had a wonderful young lady contact me over Facebook. She was from the middle of Mexico , the exact state (Michoacan)  that I lived in for 1.5 years . She was nice enough to answer a few of my questions about her experience. I copied and pasted the responses so forgive any spelling or grammatical errors. If you would like to send her a nice little message, here is her Facebook profile.

Q) Tell me a little bit about yourself and your hometown

About me, well, theres not much to say Im a student, soon I will get Mayor in Psychology, next May actually, im 22 years old already, and I still live with my mom and my older sister, I have another younger brother, and he lives with my father and his wife. I loooove food, dance and sleep very well right now, im training crossfit, I really love it, its very complex and beautiful sport . My hometown… Morelia is a very historic place, it could take a looooooong while for me to tell smth about it, but, what can I say… mex2 mex1Morelia is the city with most populated city in Michoacán (its state), and is the most extense, with an area of 78 km² and 597,511 habitants. It used to be a very strategic place for wars (when it was founded) and right now, the most important activities are culture and economy, you know, it’s a touristic place, for example, we have one touristic event called “Mariposa monarca”, and is a reserve of nature, where you watch all butterflies migrate to Canada (I think), and of course its an opportunity to sell food and services, tratidional food, like enchiladas, corundas, uchepos, tamales, elotes, atole de grano, atole of different flavors, churipo, carnitas, buñuelos, tequila, charanda, mezcal and other funny drinks , by the way, mescal burns almost like rakija, and taste is very similar, and of course don’t forget the effect jajajaj

Q) How did you first hear about Serbia?

Serbia was a country I never heard before in my life before, I even thought it was some sort of Asian country xD (sorry people, but we only learned about Yugoslavia) I first heard about it on the internet, I won’t say more , but when i heard about it I started to investigate it. I looked up its location on the map, the music, culture, food, and started to like it.

Q) What gave you the idea to visit Serbia? 

With time, I wanted to travel, thanks to a special b-day present from my mom so I started to look for different scholarship or volunteer programs that would allow me to travel and have some experiences. I found a program called “Vive Mexico” it is an organization here in Mexico that allows kids to travel, experience new cultures and volunteer. I applied for many countries including Serbia. I was accepted into the Serbian program called ” Drustvo Istrazivaca- Vladamir Mandic- Manda.”

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Q) What did you like the most about Serbia?

this is a hard question for me, cuz, basically, I can say im in love with this country. I cant say I like everything, but…when I got there I really felt like I was at home. Serbia is very similar to Mexico starting with the people. They were very generous and kind. The food, OMG, the food was so interesting because it’s not the same food we have in Mexico but had some things that were similar like style, flavors and ways of cooking. They had spicy foods, cheeses, homemade dishes, yogurt, milk, meats and bread and so on. My favorite of them all was  sarma and burek. I could eat them both forever and never get tired of them. and even if it’s not a dish or anything special, yogurt (moja kravica) and cookies was great. Landscaping is amazing in Serbia too. Mexico has some green places, but I never knew green until I came to Serbia, PERIOD. Another thing was the water. In my country you cant take water from the tap or public places and drink it. But in Serbia you can drink it which is so practical. I loved the music, dance and drinks too! Rakija is similar to our drink, tequila. but when i tried it the first time it made me think of “Metzcal” because it burns and tastes so delicious. I almost forgot, the old buildings, they are beautiful!!  The Serbian guys are also very good looking so girls GO TO SERBIA. 😉

Q) What were your favorite cities that you visited and why?

I cant tell you like my favorite, i mean i enjoyed staying at all those cities, but, instead i rather say like an order, and the number one would be Jagodina, its a small one, and because of that I think the most calm one, and i loved that, whole city is amazingand beautiful, very nice and great people, and one of my favorite parts besides downtown, is Potok park, that place is so simple and so misterious at same time, I couldnt be at the top of it, but where i was, I could see a place where you can just close your eyes and feel how the whole city embrace you, I cant explain the exact feeling, but is a great place to be chill . Number two, is Kragujevac, and again, city is great!, bigger, but still not crowded, I also loved the park, Veliki park, and I actually got lost there, it was very funny , anyway, that place is beautiful!!, green is all over the place, and there is a place where you can sit and watch people passing by, and still is quiet and relaxing, that place brings me lots of special memories, there, I felt some strong energy of love, peace, and fullfillness, its a magic place , third Valjevo, its a great city, great ice creams at plaza, but what I really loved from that place is Gradac, I actually stayed there, and we went to rock climbing, we were inside a cave, and the craziest and most amazing experience there was at this mountains, is near a border of town, but I cant remember the name of those mountains, we went there with Russian cars, and it was very fun!! Again, greeeen all over the place, there were like 3 mountains in a roe, all together, the smallest, middle and biggest, I wish i can remember the names, but, that was amazing. And last but not least, Belgrade, that city reminded me of Mexico city, crowded and big, people all around, transports, plazas, huge malls, even I rather more peaceful places, I still find Belgrade interesting, is because its huge, and full of history, buildings, that makes it so interesting, it still isnt that crowded as Mexico city, and gosh thats great, but, that city wellcome me and said goodbye to me of an amazing experience

Q) What was the strangest thing you encountered?

I cant say strange, but I wasn’t familiar with the carpets, you know, you get in a place, and take off your shoes. We don’t do that in Mexico. The toilets were also very strange. They are a different style and I didn’t know how to work it. One time in a restaurant I had to go out and ask a waiter to show me how to flush it. 🙂 The door handles are also a different style and the electrical outlets are so different from the rectangle ones we use in Mexico.

Q) What was the biggest problem that you ran into? 

Not problem actually, the only thing I can complain is that I couldn’t stay longer xD 😛

Q) Did you learn any Serbian ? 

I did learn Serbian, actually, im still learning, with my friends I made there, they help me a lot, plus, I search for pages where I can check grammar and all basic stuffs, but now is harder cuz im not constantly hearing it, when I was there, I realized I could actually learn it 100%, but of course I had to stay there way longer, I love Serbian, and the hardest part for me, probably to remember how to change last part of words, depending on tense and depending on gender, so, its funny for me sometimes to write it xD jajajaja

Q) What advice would you give to someone that is interested in visiting Serbia?

To not be afraid of what news, media or anybody that say things, especially negative things about Serbia, just don’t listen to that and go to Serbia, live your own experience. I can say that it is very safe, of course it isn’t perfectly safe, just like any country there is some crime, but it doesn’t mean there is a terrorist on every street corner, that is ridiculous. I can assure you that it is a place where you can find peace, so i am sure you are going to love the place. Go everywhere you can while you are there, try everything you can, meet all the people that you can meet , there are many things to enjoy. You will find a very close “family” there! 🙂

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on October 11, 2014 in Through my eyes, What others think

 

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Searching for a Meal in Zemun


I had the craving for some home-cooked food today. The workers at the three little fast food stands think that I’m nuts because I am there every single night 🙂 I decided to hit up one of the boat restaurants along the quay here in Zemun.

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Today was a cruddy day here in Serbia. The city of Zemun was quiet with very few folks walking around besides a few old men fishing from the docks. This whole summer has been rainy and chilly. There are some major flooding issues down around Negotin. 😦 The people have had such a terrible year dealing with water over here. I walked down along the endless amount of boat restaurants and saw that no one was in “Sidro”.

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That was the selling feature for me. 🙂 I had been there a few times before for some beers and a quick bite to eat. Nothing freaks me out more than going into a packed place and ordering food. People tend to stare at you the minute you start in attempting to speak Serbian  . 🙂

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Nothing is better than  some alone time with my music blaring in my IPod,  some good food, and a cold beer. The song that started playing the minute that I sat down in a little corner table on the edge of the boat was “Thunder Rolls” . How ironic on a dreary, cloudy day.

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The waiter slowly sauntered over after seeing me sit there for 5 minutes. I avoided speaking English and told him that I wanted a big beer and a menu.

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There were so many  items on the menu that I had never seen before.  I didn’t know if they were some kind of fish or monkey brains. 🙂 I recognized my favorite salad, Sopska.

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Sopska salads  have some of the freshest veggies and this AMAZING cheese on top of them. What was I going to eat for the main course? I hated to ask questions to this waiter with an unsmiling face. Ummmmmmm.. I just selected the middle priced one “Bečka šnicla” in this one section because I recognized the word “snicla” but had no clue what “Bečka” meant. It reminded me of how the Serbians call the city of Vienna, Austria. It is called “Beč” over here. My selection had been made , but the waiter was no where in sight. I made some huffing noises, dropped the menu loudly, coughed a few times, and finally he sauntered over to see if I was ready to order. I ordered in Serbian and even asked him if the snicla was chicken or pork. He told  me that it was pork. That makes no difference to me as I’m a huge pork lover (sorry to my Muslim pals) 😛

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This waiter is on the typical “Serbian speed” which can be so frustrating for me. I guess it has caused me to be more of a laid back and patient guy than I ever was before. Serbia has even eliminated my need for ADHD medications that I used to take prior to living here. 🙂 The slowness and tardiness can still be very annoying for me. I’ve always been a guy that was on time or 10 minutes early for everything. That is useless over here in Serbia. The vast majority of my friends will tell me to be somewhere at 2PM so I get there at 1:50PM and they saunter in around 2:30PM without even a simple excuse or apology. 🙂 Time just doesn’t seem to have the same meaning as it does to us in the West. Well….. There is a time when Serbs seem to be extremely impatient. Behind the wheel of an automobile. I have never seen people that use their horn as much as they do over here in Serbia. It is a constant blaring of horns. Thank God that Serbia isn’t a “conceal and carry” country or there would be lots of shooting. My friend , Ivan, is a good example. He seems to always have his hand on the horn and uses it in the most ridiculous situations. You will get a ticket in the USA for “disturbing the peace” or “unlawful use of your horn” . I like that law because the sound of a car horn instantly pisses me off. 🙂

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My food finally arrived! It looked AMAZING! The veggies were glistening and the aroma of the snicla was overpowering my nostrils. I immediately recognized the  snicla . It is something like a breaded tenderloin in the USA, but this is high quality pork and 300 grams of it. 🙂 It came with some tarter sauce, a some fries and a few veggies that decorate the meal.

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It took me a good 15 minutes to shove every last bite of the salad and snicla down my throat. I even dabbed up every last drop of juice with my bread. You can’t eat a meal in Serbia without a big piece of bread. Serbs are always seeing me eat something and they say ” How can you eat it without bread?” Bread has slowly turned into a must have for me too!

I piled all my plates together and straightened up my table. A new waiter came over to collect the dishes and he remembered me from my previous visit. He was very friendly and spoke  pretty good English for a 42 year old man. He greeted me and told me that he is going to stop speaking to me in English and force me to speak Serbian. -_-  I had no time to object before he started spewing out something about how he had learned English by being forced to speak with English speaking customers in a Thai restaurant in Belgrade. 🙂 I understood a good 50% of the conversation. It is good to run into people that will force me to speak their language.  Polako, polako, polako……………………….

“Sidro” gets a big thumbs up for me. My total bill was 800 dinars which is very close to what you would spend at KFC or some other fast food joint, but here you get everything fresh!  Another day and another interesting and tasty meal here in the heart of Serbia:)

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Through my eyes

 

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Serbian Company Built Countries National Landmark


 

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One of my first pen pals was a guy from Kuwait. He sent me a few pictures of his country and I was always in awe of the “Kuwait Towers”! I swore I would see them one day.

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The Kuwait Tower, as its known, is actually three towers. They are one of the most well-known structures in the world. The main tower has two separate spheres and stands 187 meters high. The smaller, top sphere is used as a cafe, lounge and restaurant. It can hold up to 90 people and rotates every 30 minutes. The lower, larger sphere is a water tank of 4,500 cubic meters. The second tower is a water tower and stands 147 meters high.The third tower houses equipment to control the flow of electricity and illuminates the two larger towers. The towers hold 9,000 cubic metres of water altogether.

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The Kuwait Towers were designed by Danish architect, Malene Bjorn as part of a water distribution project that was being done by Swedish engineering company, VBB. VBB hired Belgrade company, Energoprojekt and Ivan Milutinovic ,to do the actual construction of the towers . Other Yugoslavian companies were hired to build many of the government buildings, air bases, and ports around Kuwait City.http://www.slideshare.net/dottuta/kuwait-towers-presentation2edited

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The Serbian company  started construction in the early 1970’s and finished around 1976. The large tower was first opened to the public in 1979.

The towers are built with three levels of concrete, making sure that they will be able to withstand natural disasters and catastrophes like floods. This is also to ensure that the towers can endure wear and tear through the years. They were slightly damaged during the war with Iraq, but have been repaired. The spheres were constructed of 41,000 enamelled steel discs that come in eight shades of blue, green and gray. They could be described as  Arabic architecture, carefully mixed with a touch of contemporary elegance. This modern style was relatively unheard of at the time these towers  were being erected.

Serbia’s relationship with Kuwait is still going strong today! They are one of many Arab nations that do not recognize an independent Kosovo. Kuwait’s Foreign Minister was in Belgrade in April. He said his country is willing to invest in Serbia’s energy, agriculture, and infrastructure. http://www.tanjug.rs/news/83980/kuwait-willing-to-invest-in-serbia.htm

Serbian lands have had a long history of raising great scientific and creative minds. This is one great example of Serbian influence on the world. Please join our new Serbia website to find more interesting bits of info on this great nation and its people. http://www.sayserbia.com/

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Through my eyes

 

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Another One Cashing in on Kosovo


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What gives??? A few days ago I was reading up on Madeline Albright and her huge investments in the telecom company in Kosovo. That really bummed me out. How could I have been so blind? A few moments after posting my blog article on it, a friend messaged me this little tidbit of info.

General Wesley Kanne was born in Chicago , Il in 1944. His father died four years later and the family moved to Arkansas because  his mother didn’t share the Jewish faith of the Kanne family. She remarried a gentleman by the  name of Viktor Clark. She had her son’s name officially changed on the birth certificate to Wesley Clark. She failed to tell Wesley of his Jewish roots to protect him from the Ku Klux Klan that had a strong following in Arkansas.

 

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Wesley Clark excelled in high school and eventually attended West Point. He served in Vietnam and was awarded many medals for his bravery. He ended up as a 4 star general and was chosen to head “Operation Allied Forces”. He had previous been military advisor in the Bosnian conflict and had a few close calls like this:

“While the team was driving along a mountain road during the first week, the road gave way, and one of the vehicles fell over a cliff carrying passengers including Holbrooke’s deputy, Robert Frasure, a deputy assistant Secretary of Defense, Joseph Kruzel, and Air Force Colonel Nelson Drew. Clark and Holbrooke attempted to crawl down the mountain, but were driven back by sniper fire. Once the fire ceased, Clark scaled down the mountain to collect the bodies of two dead Americans left by Bosnian forces that had taken the remaining wounded to a nearby hospital.”

General Clark on the left with General Mladic's hat on.... General Mladic on the right with General Clark's hat.

General Clark on the left with General Mladic’s hat on…. General Mladic on the right with General Clark’s hat.

He was also thrashed in the western media outlets for his meeting with Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic. General Clark and General Mladic were shown exchanging hats which led to outrage from both the Liberal and Conservative pundits. Some Clinton administration members privately said the incident was “like cavorting with Hermann Goring.”

General Clark led “Operation Allied Force” , the military intervention into Serbian lands. President Clinton came on tv explaining to the American people how Democracy was threatened and we must help those that are seeking freedom from oppression. -_- That is what we were told anyway!! Was it true???

June 6th, 2012…… The company that former General Wesley Clark heads, Envidity, has received the green light from the Kosovo Government to begin work on oil generation from lignite in Kosovo!  They are offering hundreds of millions of Euros in investments!!! Shouldn’t this be considered a conflict of interest??? We can start a war on some small country that has lots of resources and then privately invest in them to make millions of dollars! INSANE!!!!! You can never trust your government!! http://www.eciks.org/english/lajme.php?action=total_news&main_id=1250

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IT IS TIME THAT WE ALL REVOLT!!! OUR LEADERS CARE NOTHING ABOUT US! THEY LOVE TO BLOW SMOKE UP OUR ASSES AND ACT LIKE WE MATTER, BUT WE DON’T!!! REVOLUTION!!!! They would sell us for a $5 bill!

I have friends in the majority of countries around the world. They are all dealing with the same corruption that is dripping from the top down. Check out my video from my  friends all over the planet that are sick and tired of the status quo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOBBBo71ClA

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Through my eyes

 

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Biggest Embarrassment to Serbia and its People


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I know , I knowwwwwww… People are always telling me to STAY away from Serbian politics. I am just curious to find out where the majority of my friends sit on issues.  I stay farrrrrrrrrr away from your politics, just like to see your views.

I asked a poll question the other day looking for the best leader of Serbian lands since 1900 and for the biggest Serbian hero. The poll is still going strong. I was asked by a few people to add a poll for them to vote on the worst of the worst in recent Serbian history. I apologize for not adding all the names or neglecting some. Please be respectful in your comments to others. This is a big world with many different view points. Your people have gotten a bad wrap over the last 20 plus years. I started a neat little series on Youtube to break some stereotypes against Serbs. If you haven’t watched it, please do!! 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzePnUSVI0U

Thank for all the messages of support after the airing of my Prva Exploziv episode. It is great to have so many Serbs show their love for me. Volim vas. If you haven’t joined Say Serbia yet, please do!!! http://sayserbia.com/  We are going to be in Blic soon!!!

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Through my eyes

 

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Travel Tips for Americans Visiting Serbia


Traveling to a new part of the planet is always a very exciting thing for me. I always start getting this little BUZZ feeling way down in my gut a few weeks before I leave. I try to be as prepared as possible, but there are always things I neglect to think of.

Electrical ……

One thing in Serbia that is very different for American tourists is the electrical connection. The United States uses 110 volts while Serbia uses 220 volts. Electrical wall outlets in the USA are made for three posts to enter. You have a positive, negative and a ground. Check the pictures below….

American outlet

American outlet

While Serbian outlets are round and made for two circular plugs to enter. See the picture below..

Serbian outlet

Serbian outlet

..It is very easy to find the electrical converter here in Serbia. The majority of electrical stores offer them. I bought this one

110v to 220v adapter

110v to 220v adapter

for 200 Dinars or about $2.50 in Kragujevac.

Another big difference I noticed was that the light switch was on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom!!!!

typical Serbian bathroom outlet that is on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom

typical Serbian bathroom outlet that is on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom

I still find myself walking into the bathroom and looking for the switch! I can imagine the fun I would have had if this was a normal thing in the USA. You could shut the light off on your brother while he is in the shower. I think they do it for safety reasons. It is still annoying for me after all this time in Serbia.

Water Heaters…..

small waterheater that is in a bathroom and kitchen.

small waterheater that is in a bathroom and kitchen.

You might also notice that many of the older homes still have a little water heater in the corner of the bathroom and in the kitchen. You might have to turn on the water heater 20 or 30 minutes prior to getting into the shower, BUT be careful. The water gets so hot it will burn you! Most US homes have a large water heater that heats the water for the whole house and is always running on either gas or electric. It is usually hidden in a separate room. The Serbian way is much more cost-effective and I don’t know why it isn’t used as much in the USA.

Laundry……

The worst thing for me is the lack of dryers in Serbian homes. It is very rare to walk into an American home and not see a washer and a dryer. Serbian homes almost NEVER have a dryer. The vast majority of homes have a clothes line hanging outside and dry their clothes on it to preserve energy. This is a pain for a guy like me. I am the guy that likes to decide what to wear at the last-minute and if it is dirty…. wash it and throw in the dryer to dry and take the wrinkles out. That won’t be happening here. It is also difficult to find a laundromat. They do have a few in the larger towns but the smaller towns don’t.

Passport and Visa…..

Americans DO NOT need to do anything prior to flying to Serbia. Once you arrive at the Belgrade Tesla Airport you will receive a stamp on your passport that is good for 90 days. It is free of charge  and most of the time the custom officials will ask you nothing. A few times I have been pulled to the side and asked where I was going, who I was staying with, etc. I just said that I was a tourist and didn’t have all that info. They are friendlier than American custom police. 🙂 It is always advisable to head to the American Embassy to register your stay. You don’t need to do it, but they will take your email, phone, etc and keep you up to date on any activities that might jeopardise you safety. Their address , phone number, etc can be found on their website http://serbia.usembassy.gov/hours-of-operation.html

Serbia also requires that you go to the local police station within 24 hours of your stay. If you are staying at a hotel, they do it for you. If you are staying with a friend or get an apartment, you must take the owner of the home with you. They will issue you a white registration card. You must keep it with you at all times. Serbian police can stop anyone on the street and ask for your identification. If you don’t have it you can be in trouble. They will ask for the white card if you leave the Serbian borders. Many times they haven’t even looked at mine, but better safe than sorry.

Junk Food….

Serbia doesn’t have the large selection of chips, candy bars, soda and snack food that we have. They have lots of different chocolate products, but they lack in the other fields. Maybe  that is why you don’t see lots of fat people lumbering down the streets. LOL! I really miss Doritos!!!!

Doritos... American chips

Doritos… American chips

They have their own brand that rules the market in Serbia. It is called Chipsy..

Serbian chips

Serbian chips

You will also have a hard time finding Dr Pepper, Cherry Coke, Cherry 7-UP, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I am an addict so I have looked everywhere for them. 🙂
If you must have them, bring them from home! 🙂

Serbian Women…..

Gorgeous Serbian gals

Gorgeous Serbian gals

Before visiting Serbia it would be wise to exercise your neck. You will find yourself turning in awe at the gorgeous ladies that line the streets of Serbia. The majority are tall, very well dressed, beautiful jaw lines, long legs, very confident and sweet personalities. You will very rarely find a Serbian women that will walk out of the house without first going through an hour-long make up and primping session. hahaahah…

Think ahead!!! 🙂 You will enjoy Serbia all the same. Just a few tips to help you cope !! Serbia is the jewel of the Balkans. Long live Serbia!!!!! 

 
33 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2013 in When in Serbia

 

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Greatest Serbian Leader and Hero


Srpski_Vojnik Feb. 1912 by Stefanovic

I have traveled to almost every corner of this great country. It amazes me to find such differing views in such a small place! Serbians are very open to me about their politics and their personal beliefs. I never judge anyone and usually just sit and listen. I am interested to get an idea of where my friends and followers stand.

Please vote on these two polls. I will study and read up on the winners and provide an interesting blog post about them. The “Serbian Hero” question was left with an option to add your own!

Thank you in advance!!! Please join our new Serbian website…… SAY SERBIA….. http://sayserbia.com/. We are trying to create a place to bring together Serbians, foreigners that are interested in Serbia, and create a place to find out about EVERYTHING Serbian! Feel free to click on a category and add your input, pictures, opinions, videos, etc.

 
35 Comments

Posted by on June 6, 2013 in Through my eyes, Uncategorized

 

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