Tuesday tradition

On Tuesday I usualy volunteer on one project and afterwards we, the volunteers, usualy go to drink somewhere in the park. After few months it seems to become a tradition. It probably started as a kind of therapy after volunteering.

I brought Becherovka from Czech Republic. Sometimes we discuss about life and things which we like. This time we just played some drinking games. It was funny to notice how at some point one person usually gets too much confused so he/she makes more errors and needs to drink more. And then he/she recovers and some other person starts to loose more. Everybody process the alcohol differently which makes it more interesting, you can notice this ups and downs. And of course, everything became more funny. My analitical brain wanted to draw a graph showing our performances through time.

When we drank the bottle, we wandered around searching for a bar. And we enter the 16th Meridian. It was a bar which I always wanted to visit, ever since I saw it for the first time when I was in high school. Not because someone recommended it, I just felt like going there. Finaly it happened spontaneously, just the way it is suppoused to be. They had some home made rakija. The place looks nice. It was empty when we came. Just as we started talking, a new visitor entered the bar and we started a conversation with him. He is German, living nearby, just came from work at International German School where he teaches math and natural sciences. It was very pleasent conversation and very warm atmosphere. The owner was talking with us, so I asked him about this place. It was made in 1982. At that time, there wasn't a mark of the 16th meridian nowhere in Zagreb, but after they made this bar, city drew a line nearby at the more precise place of the meridian. It happens to be that Michael is protector of 16th Meridian (according to the owner of the bar) which made me feel more connected to all this arround me. We all departed with shaking our hands.


bungee jumping

We got a good deal for bungee jumping so few of us went there to try it out.

I went first. Standing on the top was beautiful and scary. When I was young, I've heard few times how people got injured so my parents wanted to scary me with this stories. So I was thinking how should I jump and not injure myself. After some thinking I decided to just give it a try and jumped. The lake was getting nearer and nearer and then suddenly I was returning. Looking at it is not as faboulos as the feeling you got from free fall with your head down. When I jumped back, my whole body turned 180 degrees vertically so I had some spinning around.

Ana Habijanec was next. She wasn't thinking too much, she just did it. Here is a video:

One girl who was with us spent 15 minutes there on the top preparing to jump but she couldn't do it in the end. I think that must be fun as well, just standing there and thinking how scary it is. I'm sure she will do it soon!


20080713 CE Iceland - part II

We went to the mountains for 2 days camping. Iceland has such a beautiful nature! There are not so many insects, if any. A lot of clear water. We were drinking water from every spring and river which we found. They say if the water is moving, it's safe to drink. We saw geysirs, watched as they burst into the sky and then burble on the ground and then all over again. This hot water mixed with sulphur has beautiful colours, feels like magic.

We were walking around. At some point we got lost. Or some would say we just took a wrong turn so we explored more stuff. Some people were tired and very nervous. Situation was quite unpleasent in few moments, people started fighting and finally seperated into 3 groups. At that moment I was at the end so people already divided leaving in different directions. It was interesting to see people who are friends, volunteering together, improving their social (soft) skills and it all colapses when things get a bit hard. One group was going up-hill and the other was going downhill taking longer route. I decided following the one going up because it seemed better to be on the top and have a better sight over the terrain so I made my group go there. At some point leader of the "upper" team went to the lower team in order to join all of us together at the same spot, while we waited for them. We continued walking.

As we approached final destination, one of the girls fell and hit her head and a knee on the rock making it both bleed. We continued after a short break. Then we saw hot spring of water. It was too good to be true. Everybody put their clothes down and jumped into the river. We relaxed, had fun and forgot about all the stress which happened on the trip. It was around midnight and we were watching the sunset and mountains around us! Sunrise goes around 3 o'clock, if I remember, which means there is no real darkness during the summer time.

Next day we were hitchiking to Reykjavik. It wasn't too hard.

House were we lived wasn't it top condition. Sometimes we couldn't get cold water and sometimes, the toilet was stuck for hours. In the morning can be one hell of the problem. After few days it all got worse. Few of us where in great need to use it so we went out to some trees and bushes and felt call of the wild. Appereanltly one neighbour figured what was happening. She called Einer, the owner, and told him that we were shitting in the garden. He came in few minutes, jumped from the car, put down his sun glasses, said "what the fuck?!", went to the garden, search the whole garden and then returned and asked what was happening. He was relieved that we didn't shit in his garden :) Lady said that she would call the police because children are playing where we did what we did so we went back and picked up our shit in the bag and put it in the trash.

At the city, we ate some food at the super-market and a hot-dog fell from Bero's hands on the floor. When we returned from the city, Kirac figured that he had lost his wallet. We met some Croats who are living here for some years now. They come to work on a project and then they decided to stay for a while.

During the working days, you can see how Icelanders are relaxed and calmn. But when the weekend comes, it all becomes quite different. They start at home by drinking (because alcohol is so expensive in the clubs) and then they go out. When we came to the city at night, we saw a fight at the 1st club which we wanted to enter. I think we saw 3 fights during one night of clubbing. In front of the clubs there are usually queues so it won't be too crowded inside.

We started our journey home. At the airport, we learned that our plane was late. This was so not good because we bought a cheap ticket from London to Zadar with Ryanair which means we could be stuck in Stansted. The plane was late for 2 hours and we managed to get on time. At the baggage reclaim, Dim found jacket for his bag torn apart.

We had a great time there, altough trip was full of some small accidents.


20080713 CE Iceland - part I

After two years I'm looking back to the summer 2008 when I was in Stockholm, Iceland and Ukraine. Here are some notes which I made in that time. Trip to Iceland began in Stockholm which was described here.

20080713 CE Island

At the airport a policeman called me into a special room, took a look at my bags and found excessive amount of alcohol. Ok, it was mostly extremly cheap whiskey which I bought on Stockholm airport so I wasn't too sad about that. I bought it because I've heard how alcohol is precious and expensive here. So, I left some of the boose at the airport but still bringing domestic liquids. In the bus which was driving to Reykjavik we met rest of our team which was to participate on cultural exchange. Culture exchange (CE) is very cool event because you need to pay only for the trip and everything else is arranged by the organisers of the event. Now we were the guests, it was our time to enjoy, just like Icelanders enjoyed their stay in Croatia.

We were accommodated in one of many houses of one of the organisers (Einar). It was huge house with lot of free space and big windows. Perfect party place.

As you all know, Iceland is volcanic island and they use a lot of geo-thermal energy. Houses have 2 pipes of water: cold and hot one, which means they don't need to heat cold water like we do.

In the afternoon we went to public pools and enjoyed hot pool in the open. Now we come to interesting part. When you enter public pools, before going into the pools itself, you should walk naked to the showers and clean yourself. There is even a chart which shows few important spots on the body which require special cleaning :) At the showers there is always some weird looking guy whose job is to check if everybody goes naked to the showers before going to the pools. Which means he's looking at huge amount of dicks for the whole day. Personaly, I didn't feel very comfortable around naked men, but after few days I got used to it. Now I'm still not so stressed about it as before which is something which I always wanted to feel, freedom. Fuck the shame. And when you go back from the pool you can put you pants in a machine which uses centrifugal force to dry it out. Works pretty fast.

In the evening we met more organisers at the party at our house. I can say girls around there were pretty big, aggressive and "open". Well, yeah, it's cultural exchange, it's all very interesting.

Next day we went to the city and walked around. Some parts were full of birds which you could feed. Sometimes when you throw food you can watch air battle between birds fighting for the flying pieces. For the first time I've been to Lutheran church. Minimalism rules there, white colour, big space, no pictures, only few statues.
Did you know that you can enter a house of the Prime Minister whenever you feel like and go and chat with him, if he's available? Well, you can! They really seem open-minded people. You can also sometimes meet him during lunch time at nearby hot dog's. It's kind of special, president Clinton also ate there when he visited Iceland.

Buses in Reykjavik drive on hydrogen. At the time, they were testing it on the cars as well. Resulting product of using hydrogen is water. A guy who was giving us presentation of this technology even started the engine, waited for few seconds in front of exhaust pipe and picked up water which went out from it and drank it. Of course, this isn't the best water to drink, but it is kind of drinkable. At the time in Reykjavik was 1 hydrogen pump operating (without profit, but it's a beginning).


20100604 BEC Zagreb 2010

20100604 BEC Zagreb 2010

BEST Zagreb organised one hell of event. To be honest, I was really waiting for it, hoping to have fun with European students. And it worked perfectly. I felt like a student again and for me this was a great time of my life. So, here are some things to remember...

I've done my stealing camera prank again. When the guys are walking around the city, they aproach me wanting me to take a picture of them. I take a shot and run with a camera. 1st time it was in front of Cathedral. I ran down to Tkalca, one of the new organisers was following me. In a passage I stoped, waited for him, gave him camera and he instantly turned around wanting to go back. So I had to stop him and explain him whom I was and that it was a joke. Then I went to Tomiceva street where is "uspinjaca", a "tram" driving uphill to upper city. There I was exploring trash cans when the next group approached me wanting me to take a picture of them. On the same place I've done the same thing one more time, so 3x times in total that day. I was exhausted of running with cameras :) But it was really fun for most of us and people remembered me very well after that.

Same day we had hospital party, that was kind of cool. I slept for 1 hour, if you can call it sleeping. We got up early and left to Istra for the weekend.
During the weekend we visited Porec, Pula and Pazin, where we slept in a gym and had dinner with huge amounts of medica. Late in the night when we came to our sleeping place, we noticed how we left one of the organisers in the restaurant.
Near Pula we found a very nice beach, I must say unexpectedly clean and pleasant for our bodies. Waqas, a participant from Pakistan, didn't know how to swim so I gave him few lessons. That was interesting. I was suprised when I learned he is engaged to his cousin, I think she is daughter of his mother's sister. That would be quite unusual in my culture so I was interested into this subject. They find it acceptable if 3 generations before them didn't do the same (then it's safe to do it).

My focus was already put on one girl whom I find to be extremely beautiful and a nice person to communicate with. After the weekend I've told her what I desire, but it didn't seem to reflect on her the same way as me, so, nothing happened. Life has proven to be challenging because in during last week few times it happened that a friend of mine would tell me how some of his female friends gave a very positive feedback about me. Of course, it always happens during this times when I'm focused on somebody else so this feedbacks don't seem to be immediately useful except for a ego-buster. God truly had a lot of fun while designing us humans. Fucking oneitis.

New hit for me on international evening was Tatarsky čaj, nice drink, but still Beherovka rules together with Vana Tallin and Riga black balsam.

Pub crawling was true Sodoma & Gomora. In one pub a lady recognised me as she remembered me running with cameras down Tkalca. So she was curious what was it about this time. Murat from Turkey put the whole event onto another level by pissing into the bottle and drinking his warm piss which gave victory to his team. To make it more spicy he kissed with some girls afterwards.

Egyptian party had very funny trick. You put a fold on a person and bring it on the stick which is lying on the ground. In front of the stick are some pillows where a person will fall later. While he is blind standing on the the stick, some guys lift the stick up, just a bit. At the same time, onether person is helping blind person to balance himself by holding his hands and slowly going down. Going down makes the blind person feel like he is going up so he starts shaking like hell and you can notice how he's a bit afraid. Everybody starts shouting "jump, jump..." and after some moments blind person decides to really jump thinking that he is 2m above the ground while he's actually 10-20 cm above. Whole scene of falling down from 10cm looks hilarious!

Participants were supposed to make water bycicles which we used on a competition on lake Jarun. That too was a very nice day spent.

Next day we went on a walk through park Maksimir. It was interesting to notice how people were shy when they are sober. We were suppoused to make picture of naked asses, but it didn't work as expected. Still, this park is very beautiful and I hope people used the chance to enjoy it.

On Sunday we went to Hrelich market. We were divided into teams with a mission to dress ourselves for the following party. Each team had 50kn which they could use for dressing up 5 people. We managed to get clothes for less than 3kn per piece of a clothe and spending rest of the money on a special requisit. My team won the show, yeah!

That was the last evening. I felt great altough at one moment I almost burst into a cry so I decided to hurry up and go home and get some sleep before the work. I've meet some very cool people and had a lot of fun on this event and didn't need to sleep as much as usually :)

Life is funny.


dreams... getting closer

Yesterday I set up an alarm for 30 minutes later. It was evening and I felt like taking some rest.

Entered dream-like state where I was aware that dream isn't some random event. I was feeling energy flow through myself and was aware that it was kind of controled by me. Like another level of reality, it all happened in 'dream' level but was result of something which I wanted to experience before I entered this state. In this dream I felt like in meditation where I was going to another level. Almost felt like leaving physical point where I was, but the alarm woke me up. It's hard to describe this control and reality where I felt it was all happening as it is suppouse to happen. Like having different levels of control in vertical hierarchy.

Looking forward to experience it again.


20090816 Kuterevo, voluntary camp

In August I participated on SCI working camp in Kuterevo. It is small village near city Otočac in mountain Velebit. There is shelter for bears and we mainly worked on shelters. From Otocac I began walking towards the village and at some point a got a ride, changed a car and finally reached the village. Impressions of the place were great already at the beginning. I saw it was a place where I will learn something new.

My friend Tomislav took me for a beer in Bear pub near the shelter where I met a friend from primary school. Haven't seen her for a long time. Recently I was thinking on meeting somebody from my class and she was one of the choices. I was anticipating she would be interesting to meet although we didn't hang around in the early days. But she sure was interesting and I enjoyed her company. Weird place, I thought.

Our accommodation was wooden house with 3 floors. We slept on the floor. While somebody was walking around on level above or below, you could easily hear him/her and sometimes even feel the vibrations of the movement. It didn't work as massage, unfortunetely. Water was available in limited amounts. Toilets which we used were called compost-closet. After you did your job there, you were required to put sawdust onto it, not water. That was cool, no one could know what were you doing there since it was very silent. There were 3 toilets & 2 shower. Each group of volunteers had a chance to take a shower once per day at specific time during period of half an hour. Shower was cold and refreshing. We cooked mainly vegetarian food as it was cheeper and more environmentally friendly.

In the beginning we shared house with the group of volunteers from USA. There were few girls and one guy who was very friendly and hanged out with us much more than the others. It was very unusual what happened last night. Since it was their last night, we proposed to make dinner together. So we did it and when the dinner finished, Americans went upstairs while we remained sitting on the table, chatting, drinking, waiting for them to join us again. But it never happened. Does it mean that in USA they don't have big parties on the last night?

While days were very hot, nights were very cold. During the night we would hang out with the Belgians, also a group of volunteers. During weekend there was a "party" in the village. Young people gathered around some pub-van which offered cheap drinks. There was also a car with some folk music which I didn't appreciate very much. Veronique, my friend from primary school, and her cousin were there, so I joined them for some time. It's good if you don't stay too long. I didn't drink that much so it wasn't very funny to be surrounded by drunk people. Few times we, the volunteers, made a big fire and gathered around, singing,...

Recently shelter got new land, huge area which is connected to the peak Kopija. We went there few time to work and enjoy the nature. Up there one can find bear cemetary which has few bears. One of this bears was killed when one volunteer went inside of shelter to play some music which bear actualy didn't like that much so it attacked the volunteer. Soon this peak will be very interesting area when volunteers re-arrange it. One night we wanted to sleep there. There is also a platform from where you can spot a bear if you are lucky and also feel safe since wild animals cann't reach you. We slept there for few hours and than the storm came. In few minutes we took our stuff and went to the village. Soon afterwards big rain came and we felt lucky for good timing. I remember that one night when there was a storm a big lightning stroke down waking up virtually everybody.

Few tips for handling the snakes which we learned. When moving a stone, lift first the farther part since the snake can than escape out of your way. You can use a stick first and hit the stones a bit to alarm snakes that you are near. If you are bitten by a snake, you shouldn't move too much so the poison doesn't go around your body. You should put you wound (ex. arm) under the earth and leave it there for some time (hours). We didn't encounter any snake.

Each morning I went for the bread. Here in the village you need to order in advance how much bread you want for each day.

One can meet many interesting people there. Professor who shares his wisdom during the nights. He would often mention how this place is also a shelter for people since many of them come there to setle their mind and thoughts. It's true, I can say that one Belgian girl actively worked on defining her destiny there. She has a birthday on the same day as me. Last year some guy came with a monkey. He was a pilgrim traveling from Belgium to Jerusalem. They walked, donkey carried their stuff and searched for clear water. If the water wasn't drinkable, it would spit it out. Smart donkey as it was proved in many occasions. On fortunately, donkey couldn't cross a border to Turkey without spending some time in quaranteen. This year Mathew, the pilgrim, returned to Kuterevo (without donkey) and planed to go to Jerusalem with his friend from Israel.

In the beginning, when the little bears arrive to the shelter, a dog is put there to help the socialise and teach them how to behave, share food, etc. It's funny to look at them sometimes when bears are fighting, dog is barking at them and then one of the bears starts to chase a dog, dog runs, bear goes back to the other bear to continue the discussion, dog comes again, ... Dogs bark much more, bears are producing sounds only seldom when they are really annoyed too much. We would give them ice-cream: some corn and vegetables put in the ice. They eat meat rarely and if they do, it is rotten meat.

All in all, place is full of interesting people (and bears). You are very close to the nature, mountain is at hand. Morning is beautiful, animals playing around, sun rays and clouds surrounding you. Definetly a place you wish to visit again. And all this is just a part of the whole story.


20090827 Kumrovec TiGro SM

20090827 Kumrovec TiGro SM

Kumrovec, village where marshall of Yugoslavia, Tito, was born. We slept in musem-village in old village houses. Enviroment was very nice, chickens and turkeys running all around us. At the very beginning we met very communicative host, Dunja, one of the leaders of the museum. She shared some interesting stories with us. Everybody noticed she likes to talk a lot, but she wasn't boring. I think she was very happy when few days later Junior came and asked a classical question: "Why do people say Tito was very poor when he was young and I see he was living in such a huge house?" Well, there were 2 families living there and both had something like 6-7 children. Tito's grandfather had opportunity to build such a big house. Today whole village has something like 300 people.

Participants were driven from bus station to our accomodation by tracktor.

In the evening had a visit from Samurai. We were dancing outside and suddenly some older guy appeared from the background. Tresh thought it was night-guard so we ran to welcome him, only to discover that he has troubles with speaking as he was pretty drunk. It wasn't a security guard. Samurai fought in the war were he once found Katana. He enjoyed museum village. Once he burned one of the houses and some other time he drove with his Opel Corsa over both wooden fences. He told me he lives on the hill and invited us to come there. There he had some pool (air-pool for kids) where we could swim. After we would pick the apples from the trees, he would make us bar-b-que. But we had some other job to do. Next day around noon he visited us again. Do I need to mention he was drunk? After some time, he decided to sit on a camping chair where he slept for few hours. Before the sleep, he made joke of Dunja, her old friend.

One of the days Kumrovec hosted event of Wedding in Zagorje. In the beginning, man's friend gather in front of the bride's house where they are looking for a bride. It's funny event, representatives of both sides make joke about each other. Traditionaly, first brides which are offered from the brides' house are some old hags but there where also some older men who appriciated their company. In the end our bride comes and the ceremony can continue. At the end, after the wedding, eating, drinking, dancing,... big fire is made and people jump over it. Ana H. and me jumped as well. All in all, Ana H. made her mind free, showed herself as very interesting creature. It was fun to watch and listen to her.

Drink of the evening was rakija, of course. On the first evening we had a nice one from Tresh. But it was drank too fast and the other ones were not so good in my opinion. I thought I knew what is bad rakija but this was something of a different class for me. One evening we had rakija rally, going around museum village in teams, drinking gemist (wine+mineral water) and rakija. Kert, leader of my team, was amazing, he could drink this shit in any amount without showing face of regreat.

One afternoon we visited Tuhelj pools where we had a lot of fun.

Most of the time during the day I was reading Norwegian wood by Murakami, meditating and playing didjeridoo. The book was amazing.

I wonder with will happen next time when I meet Zeljka.

There was some talking about big travels around the world. I hope our dreams will come true.