Sunday, August 24, 2008

Let The Games Begin.

No, not the Olympic games. Or Yugioh. Just usual plain card games, journal. Armed with a deck of cards from the market, me and my brother decided to beat the midsummer blues by playing every card game known to man.

Er, well, every card game known to my brother, is more like it. He's an attentive learner only when he wants to be, so his knowledge of card games is limited to when he's actually paying attention to my teaching rants.

Crazy 8's, Go Fish, War, Cheat, Slapjack, and multiple games of Solitaire graced my coffee table, and cups upon cups of drinks stacked up to the point where we had to pause in the middle of a Solitaire endurance tournment to clear off the surface and make space.

Besides, not like we had anything better to do, like clean the house, play with the cats, do some pre-schoolyear review, read some books, listen to music. Of course not... Note: We did actually do useful things later, I swear!

The fun went pretty smoothly, if I can say so myself, being the winner of nearly everything. I say nearly because I caved in to the kiddy charm and rigged the cards for him to win in War, and let him slap first by miles. He seemed pretty smug about his ' victories ' in the end. Typical little siblings.

The day continued on in an ordinary fashion, the usual here and there visits from neighbours and friendly faces. As we were dragged off to the beach, the cards sat forgotten until we'd come back. Or so we thought.

Once we sauntered back, still plastered wet and salted to the core from a nice long swim, me and my brother were shocked to find the entire table, full of cards, gone. Cleared, not a trace. Whodoneit? I advised my brother to put on his detective hat, and we snooped around for the cards.

It later turned out that the cards had been 'borrowed' by my grandparents, and the little cats had gotten their paws on them. Asleep, safe and sound on the pile. We sighed in defeat, and twiddled our thumbs in boredom.

Only half an hour later did it strike us that we had a computer, and so we turned it on, opened up Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, and Freecell, and clicked our worries away. Fun times, my friends, that technology brings up. Fun times.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back To My Home, I Dare Not Go.

After being completely disgusted with an electrolyte mixture called Orosal 65 (hasn't this country ever heard of Gatorade?) I was presented with news of my father and mother going to visit their cities of parental origin for legal document reasons.

My father travelled to Murovac (Moo-row-vuhts), in the northern area of Montenegro to visit his mother's grave and renovate it with a new headstone and concrete walls, as well as to get documents and visit other families. It's basically still a farm village, primitive but effective.

My mother then later went to Prokuplje (Proh-koop-lyeh) in Serbia, to visit some of her father's relatives, check on property, and also deal with legal documentation. I'm pretty sure it's a rural area as well, a farm village with minimal outside world contact besides groceries and basic technology (maybe two people have television).

Meanwhile, I slowly recovered over three days, and mourned my loss of beach time. Nothing would be able to make them up to me, and in my sulking I realized I would just have to give more effort into my later days, and in some way try to recreate the waves I never saw.

Oh well, at least I wasn't sick anymore. Any more Orosal or little tablets that I had to pop three a day of, and I would have gone off my rocker. As fun as that would be for artistical masterpieces, it wouldn't be very practical in day to day life. Such a bother.

I haven't travelled very far past Sutomore and Bar in Montenegro, not even to my birth city of Cetinje and it's amazing chapels and mountains. I can wait until I'm older, but my curiousity gets the better of me to what lies nearby in other cities, and my will to travel just keeps growing bigger.

Not to mention, going back home to Canada is approaching even closer, and the differences will soon start to take effect...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunshine, Lollipops, Rainbows, Stomach Flu.

So, this can only happen to someone like me. I'm pretty much sick. Again. Two viruses in a row! Can you believe my luck? If only they were lotteries, my dear journal, if only...

It turns out, I'm not the only one ill this time. In Podgorica, the main city of Montenegro, a huge outbreak turned into an easy epidemic of stomach cramps, pains, vomiting, nausea, temperatures variating quickly and burning and freezing in ridiculous mismatched timing.

I winced through hours of sleepless tossing and turning, pains and running to the bathroom, cluthing my stomach and being hunched over. Let's just say my toilet bowl and me became very good friends, while I glared at my stomach and held my breath not to allow anything else to visit.

So, the second day that my condition worsened, I hopped off to the doctor's office, dazed and terribly orientated. She shook her head and could tell within seconds what I had. What every other person in the whole waiting room had, minus a few oddities.

It made me think, was this ailing so many people that the pharmacies were nearly sold out of hundreds of boxes of pills and syrups and mixtures to ' fix ' it? So I opened up google, and typed in ' stomach flu epidemic ', trying to see if fair old Internet had any unbiased information on the disease that the local media had to hide for tourist reasons.

(That's right, I've figured it out, government. As has every other citizen.) I read a nice article about what was going on. To partially quote:

" Mysterious, dangerous and very infectious disease called by many a "stomach flu" has affected not only Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, but that country's sea coast as well. This outbreak has all the characteristics of an epidemic of norovirus-associated gastroenteritis. The authorities deny any epidemic in spite of almost a thousand of registered cases in Podgorica with the symptoms of this mysterious disease. "

Not only that, but there's been two deaths so far. Somehow, I feel luckier. A lot luckier.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pictorial Entry - Domestic Happenings

Again, the cellphone camera comes in handy around the house and nearby on walks. More pictures by yours truly and her wonderful auntie.

The more playful of the kittens decide to take a nap, only to be distracted by a strange bug.

And yet, it doesn't take long for them to get back to their usual monkey business.

Sivko (Seev-koh) poses for the camera, after being chased by various little siblings.

Monkey see, monkey do. Little Mica (Mee-tsa) copies her older brother Mico (Mee-cho, the c is supposed to have an accent, but I'm limited in this format).

The whole family gathered together, the two mothers and their four children. They never knew their fathers, poor little guys. The little black kitten, Crnko (Tsrn-ko) is hidden against a bigger cat. Can you spot him?

The view from one of our houses in Bar, from the top balcony over looking an olive grove and a mountain town.

The aforementioned house, my parents built it from scratch and a good team of workers and a well thought out architectural plan made it the quaint thing it is. A pretty orange sherbert paint job is brand new, and the house deserves it.

Our house in Sutomore, it's big, roomy, and quite modernized compared to the house in Bar. The top floor is where me and my close family vacation, and the bottom floor is my grand parent and auntie's. The blue pill shaped object on the left side is a water resevoir, and underneath it is a stone built outdoor shower. Quite nifty and useful on water-shortage days, or just hot summer afternoons!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Pictorial Entry - The Sea.

Me, my aunt, and a cellphone with a camera are a strange and wonderful combination. The pictures following are from what we took in July and early August, and are themed by the ocean. Another set of pictures after this one!
Rocky starts leads to smoother endings, nature knows how to compromise better than people.

Another hotel nearby, with a gorgeous shoreline as well.

A view almost reminiscent of back home in British Columbia...

A rare cloudy day, and the power of the waves is mesmerizing.

Even as night falls, the scenes are picture perfect.

The top balcony of the hotel also has an extremely rewarding view.
A bird's eye view of the descent from forest to ocean to mountain.

The hotel where my aunt works is beach front, and it's called INEX - Golden Coastline.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back To The Fashion Future.

Another style magazine, another wonderful token of the material world affecting our daily life. What, it's not in fashion to breathe? Then you can expect 94% of our lovely population to be asphyxiated or blacked out, possibly even further.

Don't get me wrong. Fashion is an art, faux trends however are the disease that plague the population and stop the true art from progressing. Europe tends to be ahead in the trend world, whether those are good or bad trends.

For example, this summer you were either bold or you were nobody. Bright yellow, lime green, electric blue, fuschia, and orange accented with black or zebra prints and huge statement jewellery were what everybody was lusting after. Strappy clothing, belts, gladiator sandals, huge tote bags, the looks were in your face and popping with self expression.

Wait, self expression? WRONG. If you're dressing like every single person that walks down the street, you're not expressing yourself. You're showing that you can follow a collective's ideas and illustrate how mindlessly desperate you are to fit in.

Now, I'm not saying that wearing your favourite yellow top has made you a zombie of the fashionista world, no far from it. Basically, you take tips and pointers from the idea of what's in, not deck yourself out in rainbow sunshine vomit to blend in with the crowd.

I respect how people dress, because it's their own personality they're supporting and showing off to the world. No matter how much we deny it, we humans are superficial and shallow to a point, we are attracted to, well, attractive things. A shirt that resembles a burlap sack will get three times less attention than a sleek and chic black v neck t top.

Speaking of trends, the wonderful and amazing minds of designers have given us great ideas for what's in store for the autumn/fall season. Let's just say put away the ruffles and flowers, menswear is taking a huge jump into the world of ladies' fashion.

Plaid. Need I say more? Designs and textures are a huge deal, as well as the material you dress in. Wool, tweed, houndstooth, plaid, cotton, cashmere, and the like. As for colour schemes, contrast is still in. Jewel tones (dark emerald green, wine red, navy) paired with lighter neutrals are a great choice, purple and gray paired together are a signature look, and as always, earth tones and black for those days when you just need some warmth.

Riding boots, vests, cardigans, caps, sweaters, statement coats, layers, thick heels, pointed heels, coppery metals, wooden jewellery, pearls, pops of colour here and there, a natural look for makeup, leggings, dark denim, fitted clothing, baggy sleeves, pretty scarves, slouchy bags, and innocent portayals of character. And that's just a start! Wow, I sound like a what's-hip magazine type reporter. Time to go cool off and try and ignore the realm of... fashion.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Tale of Tourism.

I've been getting better, and to celebrate, I decided to earlier today climb a huge rocky hill overlooking the Sutomore ocean coastline. I call it a hill because it seems like a dwarf mountain, and is covered in trees and red clay-like earth and thousands of plants and grasses sprouting from the most amazing places.

Armed with comfortable shoes, I treked up paths and rocks, noting everything around me like a five year old child. Not only were the rocks so different, the wildlife, the view, but the feel of the air and the atmosphere around me were also curious. The sea breeze was the most refreshing incentive by far.

I just regret not having a camera to take picture of the wonderful view. Maybe next time I visit the same area I'll photograph everything in sight. I did take a few rocks as a sample (Mrs. Veto will be overjoyed!), and they're residing in a huge tray of rocks like the ones I found on the coastline, feeling home safe and sound.

The strangest thing was probably seeing goats running around on the mountain, not bothered by people at all. In fact, some of them approached people with food and kindly blinked until offered some bread. While amusing, I set my sights back on the top of the hill, which was closer than ever!

Once I got to the top, I sat on a cut out of a cliff, calcium carbonate deposits older than I could ever imagine, and just stared out at the ocean for a while. The sea was the most rich azure blue, with different zones of colours, regions of gems each rarer than the other, that melded in perfect harmony and washed along the sand in a playful temperament. I have seen those waves act angry, lazy, calm, and optimistic, and I know that with every change of face from our friend the Moon, they like to change as well.

Whether it was the illness or the sheer natural beauty of the moment, I couldn't stop thinking in pictures, colours, childlike terms and poetry. I thought the forests in British Columbia were something to see, but the forests lining the area and ascending up the true mountains were lush and gorgeous, full of shade and seemingly unaffected by the heat of the day and the commotion of the crowds, a spectacle of so many environments in the same area.

A feeling of peace, of utter contentness with the world around me is the only way I could describe what I was seeing emotionally. Rows of houses stacked neatly atop each other, marine docks, sunbrellas dotting the coastline, stores and cars snaking through the trees and hills were what brought me back to the realization that no matter how wild something seemed, there was always some touch of civilization to claim it in the name of humanity, alter it, and corrupt it to call it our own. I left the mountain and went back home feeling somber and melancholic. I don't regret my visit one bit.