A Travellerspoint blog

Melting in India

What am I doing in India?
We arrived in London and stayed there four days. Thanks to a brainfart, I booked a hostel that had no kitchen, no internet. On the plus side, it had breakfast, an awesome pub downstairs, and great staff. That said, I spent most of my time in a pub for those four days. (I did go out and do things, though!) Not very exciting things, though, as they involved buying underwear. While in Italy people don't believe in normal phones, in London people don't believe in underwear (as in not lingerie). But I beat the system. We stayed in a hostel called 'Bestplace' in Waterloo. It's close to the Westminster Bridge, the London Eye, and eventually downtown. Had to walk across a little funky bridge every day to get there, it was a nice walk. The pub beneath our hostel is called the Steam Engine. There were regulars that went there, and you would remember them after a while. There were two older men, of which one won junder shy of 2000 pounds by betting on soccer matches. He was extremely happy, bought a round for the bar. The pub itself is like something out of Cheers. When you come, it's like 'everyone knows your name!' Except that they don't, but you feel like it.
Then came the four days of hell. Our flight to Goa was cancelled. They emailed us two hours before we left our hostel (so we didn't see them). Had to stay in a hotel that night, to come back and spend all day in the airport. To get on a plane. To spend all day/night/whatever it was in a plane. To get to Colombo. to stay in a white peoples' hotel. To get up at 2am, and go to Goa. Very tired. But Colombo. Sri Lanka! We didn't see much, evidently. We got put onto this bus with a bunch od Sri Lankans/Indians, and us, pretty much. Everyone got off at one hotel (it's paid by the airline cause the layover is long), another couple was let off at another one, and we were let off at a resort. Good thing, we got buffet dinner. Otherwise. Yes. up at 2? The guy poured us some water, but then we got paranoid and he sipped at it a bit, while I watched it like an animal about to strike. Was water bad here? No idea. Otherwise, I started getting the manly treatment of oogling and imagining you didn't exist. Iain liked how everyone was so friendly, except that half of them were very ridiculous towards me. But I didn't find that in Goa. Also saw the 'Sri Lankan Sky' at sunset, over palm trees and god knows what other shrubbery. PrettY!
In Goa we split up. I stayed in a city called Panaji for two nights. At first, I was asking around to find out how to get to a guesthouse across this little bridge. And then one guy walked me halfway there to show me. I think he was going to walk me all the way, if I didn't say I knew the rest and if he didn't have a schedule to keep. He was a bus driver! Nuts! He was leaving in like 10 minutes' time or something. So. There's that. I found guesthouses in Panaji expensive..20 bucks, 30 bucks..!! What's this about cheap accomodation?! I guess tourist season started already.
Finally, I found a place called Somia, where I got a room for 390 Rupees (just under 10 dollars). The owners were great, and the man reminded me of my dad. Except the Indian version. Some character followed me from across the street (because here, when you say 'no', it eggs them on), since his guesthouse was there. So I checked out the room (of the Indian dad, not the weirdo), liked it, and when we returned, the owner shooed away the weirdo, who I never saw again. It had a fan. Panaji is fairly small, in a way. There's a Church there, built from when the Portugese, I think, were about. Sailors would come visit it after their trips, climbing up the zig-zaggy stairs to the top of the white building. I relaxed those two days, trying to sleep some (since four days of airports and things doesn't exactly freshen you up), and get my bearings. I found that India is like a slightly dirtier, more ghetto version of some places in Serbia. Meaning, I didn't get any culture shock, oddly enough. What I did get, was the intense heat and humidity. Enough to make me cry. I was going to go towards Kerala, but being the thick-skinned moster I've become I continued North, instead.
That said, I came to Anjuna. HOW I came to Anjuna. There is a bus. When you walk around, you always hear 'madam? A nice shawl?', or 'madam, taxi?' (0f which you hear a lot, like five in a row), and then there's the buses....who also sell you destinations. If you say you're going to Anjuna, THEIR bus IS going to Anjuna! I asked some kid, and he pointed far away somewhere. And then the guy from the bus behund him said his bus is going there, even though the kid was yelling out an entirely different destination. So. The bus I got on, last minute, was going to Anjuna, then halfway through two guys told me it wasn't going to Anjuna, and then I arrived in Anjuna. So here I am. I'd like to think it's slightly less
hot. But it's the AC. There's a market here that's talked about, but it's on Wednesdays. I intend to see some beach in the meanwhile. Anjuna is much smaller, and has many more foreigners around it. It's dustier as well, a sort of orange mist that hangs over everything, old and new. Like my backpack. It has been colonized.
Tomorrow I go to a train station. How, I'm not sure, but I'll ask around. They should have a bus stop somewhere. Otherwise, the people are incredibly nice. There are those (mostly men) that are iffy towards white me's, and those that are overly friendly to the same. But there are completely normal people, which I like the most. The women are all incredibly kind, even if we don't understand each other most of the time. There was also the lady at Sri Lankan customs that body checked me in a very provocative way, but I found that a little creepy, as much as she smiled while doing it. And so many colours!! Everywhere! I have about ten images in my head. Maybe after a while, I can attach them up on the net. In the meanwhile, I'm trying not to melt, since the heat is killing me, and the malaria pills are making me feel slightly crappy every day. Which makes my arrival here not as great as I imagined. I have also FINALLY reached the three week bump after three months, which doesn't help matters at all. However. There are plenty of things to look forward to, so here goes!

Posted by Buttfish 23:20 Comments (0)

Everything I didn't mention because I ran around!

ALLO!
OK, I may or may not be hogging a computer again, so I'll see. Hopefully not. Actually, I just hope everything makes sense, since I'm out of it.
In the meanwhile. I went to Cinque Terre! It's an area on the west coast of Italy (a bit northish), where there are these five villages, called Riomaggiore (ours!), Manarolo, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monteresso. There's a train running through them, but you can hike there and in some cases drive there, too. I bumped into someone from my hostel in Rome at the time, so we went to a hostel there together. It was really a set of apartments. Everything in a little apartment! It was some going uphill, but there you go. We actually missed our stop at our village (because the train didn't stop there!), so had to take a ride back for two minutes. But when we got off, I found the guy I was travelling with for a bit sitting on a bench! So we talked a bit, next to this fountain that kept coming on and off sporadically. I'm pretty sure that it turns on when a train arrives, and off when the train leaves. I will take that to the grave. Despite the fact the fountain seems more on time than the trains (which are also on time, I just want it to be the way I think it is, cause it sounds cool). So
anyway. Hostel. Apartment. Met an Australian fellow there, with an Bacon and Eggs belief (but it's really Eggs and Bacon, aha!), and we ended up hiking Cinque Terre the next day. When we bought our tickets (that's right, tickets for hiking), we got them without the train option (to train back, that is). I was optimistically thinking, 'pfft, yeah, hiking back is eeassyy!'....yeah. Not. The first three villages were OK. beautiful, you see the coastline, hills up and down, and then little villages, yellow, orange, pink buildings situated on top of the green - and signs of grapevines in neat rows lining the hilltops - those people must be really in shape! But there are more steps than hiking in that trail. The steps that would pretty soon become the bane of my existence. The trek to the 4th village was utter death. There was some confusion with maps and villages, and we thought the 4th was the 5th. It was such an ouch, that we sat down, thinking 'we made it!'. We had lunch in the sun, watched tourists wobbling about, and contemplated nicking this bread left on a restaurant table that no one seemed to notice (I mean it needs some attention too, you know). And then we started back...and saw we actually had one more village to go! So we did. I nearly died. Whenever there were people coming towards us, I would heroically stand aside and wait for them to pass (but really I was in so much pain I couldn't move). Everytime we would come across a new bend there would be more stairs. Ah! The bane of my existence! But we eventually made it. At Monteresso, after successfully arriving in one piece, we waited a few hours to buy groceries (eggs!), because shops like to close from...2pm to 5pm. For example. In the meanwhile, I realized that my insides have been so shaken up by the lovely Cinque Terre, that I was afraid I would start doing that thing the little person in Jenn's Mandarin book of illnesses did. But I didn't. We also took a train back. We made a lovely dinner and enjoyed a 3 Euro bottle of wine. The next day everything hurt, so we went to sit on a bench in Riomaggiore (our town). It was beautiful, you see the ocean stretching on ahead forever, to the left Riomaggiore and it's little houses, to the right more little houses and hills sprouting up behind them with their little rows of grapevines going up in rows. We actually sat there for 8 hours. The weird thing is, my backside didn't hurt. And it was quite a metal bench! Then we had dinner and more 3 Euro wine. (Started to become a trend) It was actually homemade, but so good! And so cheap! How could you say no?
Next up, I went to Venice. The first thing you notice as you're arrived in Venice in the train, is that the train is going at a slower speed, and it's going across a long bridge...to your left and right you can see water stretching out, with islands in the distance and wooden beams coming out of the water every little bit...as far as you could see. The sun may be out (like it was that day), making everything a hazy blue, with silhouettes of buildings, structures, and little boats. Pretty! I was in pain for about a week after the lovely Cinque Terre, so I arrived in Venice after going Via Pisa, Via Firenze (I pretty much went all over North Italy to get there by train). I was tired, and in pain...and as I found out eventually...the addresses that were written for the hostels weren't the street and number (as addresses usually are), but the area of town and number. (?!) I walked around Venice for a nice two hours, before finally seeing the area where my hostel should be (because no one it Italy believes in normal phones). I had no idea where to go...but I also saw three young guys with loads of bags ('hostel goers!') and I more or less rounded on them (in what must have represented a hyena) as to where the hostel was. They pointed me to it, and later we started talking a bit and hung about for the next couple of days. Venice during that weekend was in total chaos, aside from the usual tourists (of which there were A LOT for an October). There was a running marathon thing happening two days from my arrival, and there was an architcture exhibition happening around the city...so there were lots of people from different countries and different parts of italy. So Venice was a running time, in whch I saw very little but had a great time. I had to switch hostels (because of fullness). The first one was pretty much beds - and a bathroom - but the one the people I met stayed at (around the corner) had considerably more. I got to have free dinner there (because one person was away at the time). That hostel's sister hostel (called Muzeo) is the one we stayed at the next night, and it might as well have been a museum. It had heads on the ceilings above the doors, and things like that. Venice is otherwise, an interesting walk..needless to say. At first, you just think streets and corners (since you're looking for things), but afterwards you get used to it. Little alleyes turning every which way, little bridges to cross every two little blocks, shops everywhere, boats, rowboats, gondolas (happy tourists taking pictures of themselves and with objects they have no real knowledge of). It's incredibly picture-esque, like you see in the millions of photographs there are of Venice. But somehow it seems different when you're there, if that makes any sense. St. Marco's square is one of the only areas I've seen while there, and it's...amazing. That whole area is is so grand, that no matter how many clicks people take, they'll never catch any of it. There are boats (like buses) that take people all over, to difference parts of Venice or to different little islands. You see gondolas with tourists (that payed a crapload to be in them), happily floating down, while the guy in the striped shirt looks politely annoyed and exhausted. We had to take a gondola, too, but it was 50c and it was to the other side of the water. It was two minutes long, but it was a gondola, they were wearing striped shirts, and we were in it. Ha! There are people in boats, tutting past with vauge speed, going about their business. At night we went to a bar where these guys with bongo drums and a sax came (in that square) and started to randomly jam - it was brilliant! Everyone was so laid back, it was better than any presentation or club I've been to. Good vibes from that place. Needless to say. I liked Venice very much.
Florence was my sleeping city. I found a market that went on for streets, where you could buy anything you wanted. It was night, and as I came out of one of the streets and looked finally out past the tents, over me I saw the large Duomo, looking very grand in the dark blue sky. It wasn't lit up, but it looked almost magical in the light from the market. The hostel I was in had bed bugs. Damn them. I met an interesting character here. It was a guy that had a Hagrid-like hair and beard (big, curly, big!) and wore a robin hood hat on his head. Had a funny jacket, like something out of some other time period, and a leather pouch tied to his waist. He was from Glastonbury. He looked like someone that came out of the fantasy world, it was awesome! Really nice guy!! He told me about the sword in the stone - that that story originated from a small town in Italy, called San Galgano. We were so close...I wanted to go there, but Italy bit such a chunk into my budget, that I didn't dare. So one day. Buses aren't very frequent to San Galgano to cities close to it, so it would have to be planned out better. I went back to Rome for my birthday, and visited other areas of Rome I haven't seen before. One of these was the Trevi Fountain. It's absolutely huge, coming out of a building...Poseidon (Greek name) stands above, the God of the seas. There are sea creatures and land creatures (winged horses and what looks like fauns, though they may be merpeople or people, I can't tell) are guiding the two winged horses up, the water is rising, and it's rising him - him trying to reach the love of his love up in heaven (cause she died). That's the story I heard of it. Either way - awesome! There is also an equally awesome gelato palce nearby, which is sold for a good
price. I found eating the gelato and watching the Trevi Fountain something very close to seeing Christmas when you're a kid. Rome was also the third time I bumped into a Japanese character that I've also bumped into in Venice and Florence. It was also, coincidentally, another place where a giant
ass student protest was taking place (starting right outside my hostel). It lasted all day, and I kept getting stuck in the mobs of human as I tried to walk around and see different areas of interest. After getting stuck in the mobs about five times, I wobbled back to the hostel somehow and passed out for hours out of pure exhaustion. Attempted going to a pub crawl on my birthday, but no one showed, so I got to see the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum in the dark and rain and all lit up! Very pretty! The hostel (M&J Hostel, another really good one, has everything and price was good) popped open champaigne and gave me Tiramisu with a candle in it. Rome was an incredibly exciting city without me even knowing it. Brilliant!
After several days, I headed back for Bari, a port where I would catch a ferry to Croatia to meet Iain. Unfortunately for me, the ferry line I was to catch didn't go that day, because they suck. It was the Jadrolinija Line. Their website said a completely different thing. Knowing I have to arrive in Croatia quicker (couldn't wait until next week, cause of a flight out), I had to stay there two nights. A nice place, Bari, I learned to dislike it while there. First, it took me two hours to find accomodation one night. No one believes in sleeping over there. Second, the next day (when I found my second day CHEAPER accomodation), I had to wait an hour outside that hostel until I lost it and started hammering on the door (in short, there was a sign that said 'call this number!' and I had no phone and neither did the rest of Italy). A neighbour happened to come out and procure a magical phone out of some magical pocket and used it! (After I bought new (badly required) shoes!) I had to take a train ride up to Ancona (a four hour train journey), another port. I got to know the bus drivers very well, they're very nice people. Then an overnight ferry, sleeping in a couch in a corridor. A pretty comfy one. Eventually, I arrived in Split. Met my friend. Tired and exhausted, I can say that Split people believe in phones and in sleeping. I passed out in one position and didn't move until the morning. We visited Dubrovnik after a last minute decision and came back to Split. Dubrovnik is a strange city. I liked it very much, but it's so strangely situated, somehow! It's very long, stretching around the water and the hills. You see that when you come in on the bus. We visited the old town, which was like a castle with small streets or alleys, very narrow, with many stairs leading very much up. Little cafes are here or there. We got lost a bit in here, just admiring peoples' houses, or the bits and pieces of the view of the water that we would catch. It was in Split that we heard the storm, which started flickering our lights in the hostel. The thunder hit approximately two Ks away from us (two seconds from the lightning, I counted). And after that...rain. It's been raining like hell since. So I'm now in Split, waiting for a flight....I'm trying to hurry up and not hog the computer, so I'm gonna have to run now. But I can also add that this hostel, the CroParadise Hostel in Split is the best hostel ever.
I am now drying my soaked (yellow) shoes inside it, hoping to wear them tomorrow in a dry fashion. Miracles happen, who knows. The hog runs now.

Posted by Buttfish 12:20 Comments (0)

I is in Italy!

OK, so where to continue...In short. I was in Serbia, and made a decision to leave two weeks earlier. Having that much time until I have to meet Iain in Dubrovnik, Croatia, I went to Italy!
I took a train to Bar, Montenegro, first. It was an old train, and a night train at that. A little creepy, while I was waiting for the train to arrive with friends, it was like a picture from a world war two movie. Dark, full moon, train tracks and old trains huffing here and there, and incredibly tall lights that over look occasional benches and paths. It smelled like train, but what scared me most was when the paging lady paged overhead the times of departing trains. The paging system made this creepy ding-dong sound and her voice sounded nasally. THAT was what reminded me of world war two movies most. An experience, though. I sat in a cabin for six seats, and there was four-five of us for the 11 hour journey. Me and a cabin full of the elderly. As soon as the train began to move, an old man from the neighbouring cabin started singing very loud, drunken Serbian songs. He kept on for quite a while, until he got off at his stop a few hours later. The rest of us managed to pretend to sleep for a while, until customs time (where they were very serious for leaving Serbia, but oddly very loose when we were entering Montenegro). After that, the old men in the cabin began talking about "history lessons", as the one older lady called it, and talked about war stories and historical events until we arrived (which was 6 hours later). Needless to say, I didn't exactly sleep, and my everything hurt like a b****.
In Bar, I was to catch a ferry to Bari, Italy that evening. So I had a day to kill with my everything hurting. I managed to get a ticket and to put my luggage in storage, and walked about the dock a bit and sat down to update my journal. One thing I've found about Bar, is that it's insanely pretty and the people are insanely nice. It's surrounded by mountains, hills, cliffs, while it surrounds the water and an ongoing dock under and on those mountains, hills, and cliffs. It was about two minutes of my sitting down, when a woman in her 50s and her nephew (30s?) came to a little boat to go fishing. We started talking a bit, and they asked me to go fishing with them, so I did. It was beautiful, I could only drink up the view, the water (very clear water) stretching out for so long, surrounded by - everything - and schools of fish popping out of the water every little bit, glittering in the sun. These fish they called "iglice", like 'needles', but I don't know the real name. They caught these and used them as bait for big fish. Apparently he got bitten by a baracuda a few days earlier, but it only caught his thumb and left it in place, so he got lucky. It was great, I really enjoyed myself. Only thing is that after five hours of boat, your butt starts to feel like a giant pain in the - it hurt a lot. But he caught one fish! The downside was that there weren't any more, and that when we came back he accidentally dropped it in the water. :( But it was a good morning/afternoon. I went to get a bite to eat after that, and some dude from a bar on the coast for me to sit for a drink (I had time), because business was slow for him. Then he started randomly hitting on me and drinking beer while he washed dishes and things.
In the evening I went back to get my luggage and met two people from Australia and one from New York. They were going in the same direction, so we ferried it over. I actually managed to sleep in the ferry, which was nearly empty in our area. They were all going to Naples, like me, so we ended up training there, too. Had to wait for the train in Bari for a bit, and I walked around to old Bari, where the streets are so small and narrow! Only scooters zoom back and forth, and you can only tell they're coming by the zzz sound coming from whichever direction.
When we arrived in Naples, we split up a bit, the Aussies found a hotel, and the remainder of us found a hostel. When we got out at Naples, the first thought was "ghetto". It's very rough, there's construction infront of the station, so it makes it even more so. There's garbage everywhere, shady characters, people, and stalls selling anything you may possibly need, from watches and t-shirts to tripods and iPhones. Our hostel had a buzzer, and a big freaking metal door that an elephant couldn't break down. We got rooms there for two nights. The owner was very nice, and he found I spoke Serbian, so he told me how to watch out for myself in Naples, what to do, what not do, he was extremely nice. His coworker, a balding Italian man, was just as nice..except that he apparently watched me shower. The door of our bathroom has a sort of gargled window on it (so you could see a silhouette, colour, a shape, but not the rest). I very well knew it being there, so I put everything away from the window, except for 10 seconds when I had to lean to pick up something I left on the sink. Well. I suppose those ten seconds were enough...my friend said he turned around and found the dude staring like the wolf in those cartoons, with the tounge hanging out. Gah. So that was exciting.
That night we all met up and went out for pizza! We went to a small, famous place called Da Michele's. They have three things on the menu. Pizza with cheese. Pizza with double cheese. Pizza with no cheese. I took the regular one (with cheese). It cost a total of 4 Euros, and it was the best pizza I've ever tasted in my life. People go there and wait in line ups, so we arrived around 7ish. We came back the next evening. :) The next day, me and the guy from New York (we said byebye to the Aussies the night before) went to Pompei. We split up there, since I wanted to go to the cone of Mt. Vesuvius. That didn't happen, since the price was too high. But I did walk around Pompei for several hours. The most amazing aspect was that it's a whole town! I walked all over, but my favourite area was near this foresty area with left over columns (I had a booklet with numbers, they had no map, and I couldn't find the number). I sat and had my lunch there. I was sitting in an alley just above the column remains, and there were trees and birds singing, and the sounds of peoples' voices coming from behind me (the columns). Maybe that's how that are sounded when Pompei was still alive? I'd like to think so, anyway. There was also an area with pottery and those sort of remains, which surprised me, since amidst the pottery were people in their final positions of sitting, lying, crouching, and a crumpled dog. Then you sort of remember what happened here, again. Before that, you're walking amidst an excavation site. Like I said...a whole town. In the evening, we found a bottle of wine and devoured it on the balcony, in our ghetto neighbourhood.
The ghetto neighbourhood! OK, so the hostel is right in this sort of open space, where there's a lot of garbage (I mean a lot), and cars parked everywhere. During the morning and afternoon, there-s a market there. I woke one morning to see like a hundred tents covering the whole area of the street, people selling - again - anything you may ever want or need. This causes so much garbage, that it remainds horribly dirty the rest of the
day. But at night - and that-s like 8pmish, people that worked there clean up the garbage into piles, and a truck comes and takes it away! The only downside is that it remains cleaner during the night when everyone is sleeping, cause it becomes ridiculously dirty again the next day.
Day after we went to the island of Capri. Paid lots that day...too much, in fact. But the island is very picturesque. Houses and such are situated on and around cliffs, hills, and the shore. Capri has many sea caves, so we paid for a tour around the around and got to see them..amazing, I'll post some pictures once I can. We also got off to see this particular cave that you can go into. However, we only stayed there for about two minutes, before we had to go out again. They transported us from our touring boats (which made me very nautious once it stopped moving, oh God) into these little rowboats. We had to be in nearly lieing positions, since tide was up. I found myself looking into our rower's crotch once we were settled, so it was a bit awkward at first. But it was exciting when we went in, because for one, they put lights in the water that made it electric blue - and you could see the cave and its' shape - and each rowboat guy (the one that rows!) would sing and it would echo in the cave...so you would hear three or four different voices singing in different areas, with it echoing all over. Brilliant! But....too expensive. I enjoyed that moment, though.
That day we came back and took a train to Rome. Had some issues finding a hostel (availability was good before we left, and three horus later we arrive to find everything booked), but managed to find beds in one at the end. It's a strange one, very small, but I like it. The next day we split (he's going ahead and I was staying another night). Though we had some pasta at a restaurant where the waiter giggled a lot. The next day I washed the clothes that made flies visit me way too often, and went to see the Colesseum and Vatican City. At Vatican City, they had all these seats all over the circle, for some event, so I couldn't get to the marker that makes all the columns line up perfectly. But I saw a statue at one end, which looked like it was beaming love into your head. It had such expression, that I took a million pictures, and hopefully one will do it justice. I walked back and visited several other sites, as well. The traffic is nuts. They swerve back and forth, scooters everywhere. But it's not as bas as I expected. Naples was like that, too, but it was a smaller area, where we were, so it was more sudden. Here, I sort of got used to it. I walked for about 5 hours all over Rome. The city has a nice feel to it. Lots of busy, but it all fits. I only saw a small area of it (and I walked five hours, hah!). Today I woke, and I'm catching a train to Cinque Terre, where there are these five villages that you hike through on an angle. It's an 11km hike, so it should be exciting! Should get some food beforehand, though, since I have no idea whether they have shops there or not.
So...that's where I am. I'm not sure if someone wants this computer, so I'm making it vaguely quick. Otherwise, it's wonderfully hot here, it's the warmers October I've ever had the pleasure to meet.

Posted by Buttfish 01:55 Comments (0)

I'm in Serbia!

..Serbia...Serbia...Serbia...

semi-overcast 15 °C

I'm not in Germany!

Ok, so it's been a bit and I've been in Belgrade, Serbia (and still am!). I'm staying with some awesome family friends and sort of getting used to the city. In little ways, like crossing the street. It's been like a week and a half or something and I think I finally sort of got that down. Traffic is all over and they don't stop. I heard in Thailand it's such a mess, but as long as you walk straight through the whole mess and not stop, you'll cross safely. Here, if I did the same, I would most definitely die. So. Getting used to it. I am staying near the city centre, so I know pieces of it. Bad thing is, I know it mostly by look and not name, but I remember slices of it from past visits...which helps. There are large pedestrian areas with shops and stands and cafes of all sorts that I pass most times when going to either direction.

So far, I've visited two graveyards (one the oldest in Belgrade, but called the 'new' graveyard, and one in the middle of nowhere to say hello to grandpa), the Indian Embassy, an arena that was built fairly recently that has airport-like check ins..you have to go through a beep beep thing. I went there yesterday, actually, and saw a motorbike show called 'Night of the Jumps' with one of the people I'm staying with. It was surprisingly awesome. They did all these funky tricks way up high! Only two guys got the ouch. One guy nearly had to be taken away in a stretcher, but he got up (he fell from a large height with his bike...in opposite directons..on the ground). The other was my secretly favourite, and he did everything awesome (1:40 mins to do so) and then for his special jump he mucked it all up and instead of getting back on his bike mid-jump, the bike flew away on to the top of the sand mountain thing and he faceplanted the side of the sand mountain. And then slid down. Like in the cartoons. But he could walk. He was also possibly cute. Hahahaha. I'm horrible. For the grandpa graveyard, it took me hours to get there in the rain...I even passed the neighbourhood where we used to live before we moved (I saw the house where I had english lessons!). I met up with my grandma at the train station a few days ago, too, and that was one whole day. But I helped out these two..I don't know, English? guys to find their train (they were looking at arrivals, not departures), and I started missing travelling again. I've only done it for a month and a half. That stuff is horribly addicting. (I strongly recommend it.) I have eaten yummy things like Burek and Yogurt (had to mention that, since I'm in love with it, hee). The weather has been mostly cloudy and a bit rainy, bit it's OK.

Today! Today we went to Smederevo, a town that had Smederevsko Jesen, which means 'the Smederevo Autumn'. It's a giant fair. The most amazing fair I've ever seen. Stands everywhere, from candy, to furniture, to clothes, to pots and pans, to clocks, watches, phones, a gun (that was amidst a bunch of household items), household items, chainsaws - that was a big hit, you would see these random guys walking through the masses with chainsaws - then the food, sausages, peppers, burgers, gyros, god knows what. So many things! Giant freaking pumpkins, corn, fruit, vegetables, soup...everything! And the fair stretches from the city, then across these 5 sets of train tracks to the Smederevo Fortress (which is huge, by the way), and everything else is inside it. And you can go into the keep and climb up, and there was a little presentation inside with medival people inside, and at the top you could walk around and see the beautiful Danube and trees! EE!! It was brilliant. Just brilliant. I took some horrible pictures, cause I didn't want to stay in the way of the masses moving all over. But I got some, anyway. Afterwards we drove to a town called Pancevo, where we had drinks in a cafe, and went home afterwards. We also drove through the longest village in Serbia. We're going to watch a movie now, so I'm going to go.

Pictures!

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loads of candy in a stall at the fair

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giant cauldron at the fair. they made food in it!

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giant pumpkins! like in cinderella!

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part of the smederevo fortress overlooking the danube

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more smederevo fortress, more danube, a flag

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bees on candy apples (there were lots of bees near the candy)

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random gun on random item stall.

Posted by Buttfish 12:41 Archived in Serbia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

I'M IN GERMANY!!

I'M IN GERMANY!!

Well, I was supposed to be in Belgrade two days ago, but I kind of missed my flight. It wasn't my fault though, so hah! I had less than an hour to go through customs, pick up bag, and check in for the next flight. Yeah. THAT worked. I had to go to sales, and when I explained what happened the nice man went to talk to his boss lady. Then boss lady came to me and started ripping at me by asking me where I was at specific time intervals (I was counting down the time, not marking it) and kept asking me 'so where WERE you in this whole hour??'....yeah, trying to pin it on me did not work. It pissed me right off. After vaguely yelling at her about stupid line ups I got a free ticket to Belgrade. But two days from then. Until then...I was stuck in Stuttgart, Germany. Not a bad thing, it's awesome! Get to see some more Germany! Had to use some airport internet (free from remaining time of nice couple!), found hostels, googled Stuttgart to see where the bleep I was, found some sexy acess numbers for Germany so I could call people and tell them I would be two days late and all that.

They have two sorts of subway systems here. The S-Bahn and the U-Bahn. The S sort goes from the airport and I suppose a bit more out of town, I guess. The U sort is more in town. So I managed to get onto it (I needed help buying the ticket, since it was all in German) and find my hostel, Alex 30, on Alexanderstrasse 30. I like this place, it was comfy enough. And fairly close to town, a bakery, and a grocery store. And the subway. It has these curvy stairs that go up for about 4-5 floors (it's hell climbing up with a backpack full of children in it). But the best part...they have big, sexy German pillows!! Oh my God!! I experience such a pillow once before, and I thought it was just a weird pillow in this weird Bed & Breakfast place...but according to this girl from Frankfurt, everyone has them. EEE!! I want to move to Germany. The pillow is like a giant, fluffy square of pillow. It's the most comfiest thing EVER. I am sad to leave it.

I met a couple of people there, a guy from Texas (that initially pointed me towards the hostel, yay!), who was looking for an apartment since he's teaching english here. And a guy from Portland, Oregon, who I ended up spending most of my time with here. We went out for some drinks in town, pretty interesting night. Found the red light district, more or less, and at one point walked into this bar where everyone just stared at us as soon as we entered...dodgy enough, we smiled and left. There was also a bar that looked like the inside of someone's mouth or something. It was mouth pink inside with weird designs and the ceiling had large, red bubbles coming out of it. It was nuts. Walked through this park (stairs that go up, really) and saw a pretty neat view..You could see Stuttgart below you, lights and everything, trees, and there was a sort of bluish haye over the whole city. It was semi-cloudy and you could see the moon, so I have no idea where the haze was from, unless it was pollution or something like that. It was pretty, anyway. Walked around town next day, went to the Planeterium where they told you about things like constellations, planets, and meteors that may or may not kill us sometime soon. I didn't understand the German, but he did. He speaks a bit of it, so he sort of filled in a bit of it later.
I got the vague gist of it through the imagery, though, which was pretty awesome a few times. Went to this park and froze of cold, but it was pretty nice. And I learned a few more words aside from 'Gazunteit', 'Nein', 'Stadplan', and 'Danke'. I learned 'Börek', 'mit', and 'krieg', which would coincidentallz make 'Börek mit krieg', which means 'Burek with cheese'. EE!! They have burek!! Best food ever. Either way, it was pretty sweet. Had to switch rooms though, so I had to store my pack in their luggage storage, which went down these crayz cement stairs into this very deep basement...which ended up to be an underground shelter. Wow! It was amazing.

Anyway, I'm actually going to be able to make it for my flight this time, so I'm gonna go and re-arrange my pack for the plane, since I've got lots of time for it now.. super. I'm not sure how detailed I am, still sleeping right now. Sorry about that.

Posted by Buttfish 00:15 Comments (0)

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