Category Archives: Travel

Shit I Learned In Cornwall

For the bank holiday weekend, my friends and I hired a car and drove west to Cornwall for the weekend. I never actually thought that I would make it down that way however I am excited to say that we had an amazing time. And of course, because it is what I do, I learned some interesting shit. So here is the shit that I learned in Cornwall…..

The fabulous Cornish Pasty

Pasty’s were invented in Cornwall as a useful way for the miners that were working on the west coast to carry a hot meal with them that was filling. The pastry would act as an insulator for the hot meat and potato filling to keep it warm for a few hours. The crinkle part of the pasty was made so that the miners had a part of the pastry to hold and eat the hot contents from. Given that the miners would have trace elements of heavy metals and arsenic on their hands, they would throw this part away and not eat it. It was designed as a place to hold to eat and not for eating. Speaking also of pasty’s, we ate so many of them. The best ones are from Philp’s.

Munching down on a pasty outside Philp’s

When I grow up I am going to become a 70 year old nana in a choir

Whilst down in Cornwall we went to visit the Minack Theatre which is a giant, Roman style amphitheatre that was created by one woman in and around world war 2. There was a choir of 70 year olds there preparing for their performance that night. I will never forget the dancing of the people and the grooving of the nana’s as they sang Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’. I have decided that this is what I want to do.

Chilling out watching the choir rehearse with stunning ocean views at the Minack

I’m clearly out of touch

Whilst driving down the road I spent a lot of time listening to the radio. I had no idea about any of the songs on the radio. So I learned the words to loads of those. Not only that, but I also learned a few other words of interesting definition:

Kleptopenia – a person who picks up other people’s pens and walks off with them. This is me. I have kleptopenia. Pens fucking everywhere.

Neglext – the art of ignoring the person you are supposed to be chatting with because you are too busy sending text messages to someone else.

Voluntold – when you get told you are volunteering for something but it isn’t really volunteering, it is more like being told.

Marconi tested his radio’s at Lizard Point.

Nuff said really. Pretty damn cool.

The coastline at Lizard Point

My home town was named after a place in Cornwall.

I grew up in a town called Launceston. We pronounced it ‘Lon-ces-ton’. The Cornish folk like to call it ‘Lawns-ton’. Their Launceston has a castle on a hill for a view. We have Myer 7th floor. They have a river Tamar. We have one too. They have a Tamar Bridge. We have a Batman Bridge that goes over the Tamar. We both have town halls, but theirs is older and cooler looking as it has medieval style. I am quite impressed with all of this. Our Launceston is bigger, but they are still both quite pretty towns.

You can call me the Queen of the Castle, the Launceston Castle!

Cornish Seagulls are HUGE

I mean seriously huge. They look like no neck rugby players of the gull world and the greedy fuckers sit around and glare at you while you eat. One said gull even tried to rip the  wing off of another gull in our presence and there was blood and gore everywhere. But luckily not on my pasty.

People walking from one end of the UK to the other is more common than one would think.

The route from Land’s End in Cornwall to Dan O’Groot’s in northern Scotland has been walked by quite a large number of people. Considering that this is 947 miles this is a huge achievement and one I think I will pass.

The Land’s End sign at the eastern most point of England.

Cornwall is such a stunningly beautiful place to visit with so much to see and do. You will need way more than the three days that we had to navigate our way around and see everything. Honestly you would probably need a couple of weeks. Just get fuelled up and away you go!

 

 

What I Reckon: Bullfighting in Spain

Last year when I visited Spain I found myself in Seville at a special time of year for the locals. I found myself there during the bullfighting time. Many people told me this is a vulgar and awful practice. Many of the locals defended it saying that it is not a disgusting thing and that there is a lot of respect for the animal and that it isn’t cruel. Not being one to back down from things that are confronting, I weighed up whether I should or shouldn’t and decided that an informed decision was better than an uninformed decision and that I wanted to go and experience it for myself and make up my own mind.

Admitting this to people was a rather difficult thing. Some of my friends abused me for doing it because they felt I was supporting maltreatment of animals, others were not really understanding of why it is that I would want to go there to begin with. But as they say, when in Rome, and so I went. With reservation, but I went.

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The parading at the beginning before the fighting begins

I found myself sitting in the ring next to a couple of people that spoke enough English to be able to explain some of the things that were going on to me. Between this and the information that I learned from the museums I visited up until that point I could figure out what was going on.

I could imagine that the whole affair resembled a similar scene to that of the Roman Gladiators. There was a lot of pomp and circumstance with brass bands playing loud music and horses parading around. Each matador gets to fight 2 bulls each over the space of the evening. There are generally 3 matadors per bullfight.

So the bull enters the ring. The matador waves the cape and assesses the bull for aggression. After that they get the guys on the horse to come out and they lance the bull in the neck while the bull locks its horns into the side of the horse. For the first bullfight I ever watched, the bull actually knocked the horse over and the bullfighters assistants had to go in and distract the bull to get the horse safely up.

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2 of the horses in the initial proceedings

After they have checked out the bull with the horses, the matador’s assistants go in to face the bull. They have these pom pom like sticks that are decorated in streamer type material with sharp ends on them called banderillas. The aim of these is to weaken the muscles around the bulls neck and to agitate it. After they have had a go sticking about four rounds of these things into the bulls neck, in which the bull is now bleeding enough to see, the final stage begins.

The matador enters the ring to face the bull alone with his cape and a sword. He hides the sword under the cape and uses the cape to assess how the bull is moving and the kinds of passes the bull makes. After a few passes, the matador drives the sword into the neck of the bull. If done correctly, the bull will usually sit down within the space of 30 seconds and the matador’s helpers will come out and sever the spinal cord so that the animal doesn’t suffer anymore.

The first bull I watched was excruciating. The matador missed where he was supposed to put the sword. It took three passes and three swords through the neck for the bull to go down and it made me cringe every time. This part of bullfighting is most awful. The thing that I did find utmost heartbreaking though was the utter confusion of the bull in the ring for the ten minutes it is there to fight for its death. Sometimes the bulls look around and don’t want to fight. Sometimes they are so confused about what is happening you can actually read the confusion on their faces. Sometimes they get angry and they just charge and charge and charge. Despite making the decision to go here, I cannot say that I really enjoyed it. However I did now feel that I could make an educated opinion on what I felt about bullfighting. And my decision was that it is in many ways barbaric and cruel. At the same time I cannot say that it is any better in abattoirs where they slaughter animals for food. The entire thing left a bad taste in my mouth.

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The matador with cape and sword preparing to kill the bull

One thing I will say is that despite killing them, the matadors seem to have a great love for the animals. Despite meeting a horrid death, these animals are kept in really good environments with good standards while they are alive. They are well cared for. And their deaths also do not go in vain. Every bull gets sent to the butcher and used for meat. Many of the restaurants in Seville have bull meat on the menu during the bullfighting season. In this sense I have respect for the process. However I don’t think I will be going again. I just don’t think I could stomach any more of it and call it entertainment. Best leave me to a chick flick or something less morbid. But if the movie boys could wear pants like those of the matadors, that would be great. Their butts look hot in those things!

 

The Worlds Wackiest Museums


I’ve travelled about quite a lot and at the time of writing I have hit about 54 different countries. During this time I have done a whole speight of museums and some of them have been just downright odd. So here are just a few of the world’s wackiest museums that I myself have been to.

Devils Museum – Kaunas, Lithuania

This entire museum is dedicated to one man’s collection of devil statues. There are devil masks, devils fornicating, devils drinking vodka,  devils of all nationalities, paintings of devils… you get the idea. So many devils, but it is quite an interesting visit.

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The devil pouring vodka down the throat of a clearly unwilling participant…. in Australia we call this ‘helping out a friend’

Natural History Museum – Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala

This museum should really be renamed “The Museum of Shit Taxidermy”. I nearly made my mother cry sending her a picture of two taxidermied budgerigars that looked proper retarded. If you have a totally sick humour however and are keen to check out some really weird looking animals, then this is a very cheap and entertaining way to spend an afternoon. They’ve even managed to make some of them look like hybrids of other animals or incorporated cardboard into the bodies…..

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These birds are just so pretty,,,,
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Check the eyes on this one….

Museum of Broken Relationships – Zagreb, Croatia

This museum is basically a giant collection of memorabilia from relationships around the world that have gone wrong, whether it be romantic or otherwise. I think my personal favourites are the ‘toaster of vengeance’ (basically the chick got pissed with the guy and stole his toaster), the caterpillar and the shoe from the prostitute.  The caterpillar was a symbol of a long standing relationship between two people who used to pull a leg off the caterpillar every time the saw each other. When the caterpillar became legless they were to move to the same place. This didn’t happen however. The caterpillar isn’t a total cripple and still has a few legs left.

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The semi crippled caterpillar of a fully crippled relationship

The Corn Palace – Mitchell, South Dakota, USA

Who the hell decorates an entire museum building with corn and dedicates an entire museum to shit made out of corn….?? The Americans, that’s who! This glorious beast is redecorated every single year with different corn. They also have an inside area that is dedicated to murals made with corn. All kinds of corny murals (but in some ways it is kinda cool).

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Everything you see here is totally decorated in corn kernels…. it’s insane!

International UFO Museum and Research Centre – Roswell, New Mexico, USA

This museum is dedicated to the “supposed” UFO sightings in Roswell in the 1940s. The whole town has gone stark raving mad. There was a pretend alien in a casket which is supposed to be reflective of what they found. There was a woman in the museum acting like the thing was a real alien. There are space ships that look like an art project done by a five year old. Loads of information anout the supposed sightings and debris from space ships. The whole thing is hilarious and worth the giggle if you don’t take it too seriously.

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A proper riot this museum

The Sex Museum – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Where else can you find a giant vagina-shaped lounge that is capable of swallowing you whole as you sit on it? Enough said. Actually, not enough said. There are all kinds of weird bits and pieces of things here. A kazillion porno pictures, a kazillion penises, vaginas everywhere. Only in Amsterdam….

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A vagina seat

If you get the chance, definitely stop in on these places and marvel at how strange some people and some things are. It really is marvellously odd.

Shit I Learned In The English Countryside

On my weekends to try and get out more and see a little more of England I have been taking tours to different parts of southern England. I did one tour through the Cotswolds which was really beautiful, I went to Shakespeare’s birthplace and home in Stratford Upon Avon, wandered the streets of Oxford and then headed south into Kent to visit Dover and Leeds Castle. On the way I picked up a few fun facts…. here they are!

  • The phrase ‘waiting on tenterhooks’ comes from the medieval days. In the castles, the place is usually freezing cold and when the royalty arrive, they have to wait for all of the tapestries and curtains to arrive to hang over the walls. The hooks they use to hang up the carpets are called ‘tenterhooks’. As such, waiting on tenterhooks is waiting on the carpets to come in an uncomfortably cold state.
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The lovely green town of Bibury

  • ‘Curfew’ is derived from the phrase ‘curb the fire’. Back in the days of Shakespeare the people used to have fires burning inside their houses to keep the house warm. There was a time that everyone had to have the fire out by and this was the ‘curfew’ or the time to ‘curb the fire’.
  • During these times they also used rope beds. The ropes were crisscrossed in a pattern across the bed and you would lay a blanket down and sleep on it. ‘Good night, sleep tight’ refers to wishing the person that the ropes on the bed would stay tight so that you wouldn’t slouch down in the middle of the night while you were sleeping because the ropes came loose.
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The room where William Shakespeare was born. Note the pull out rope bed

  • Cherries are a traditional symbol of innocence. ‘To pop one’s cherry’ or to take their innocence comes from this traditional symbol.
  • Up until the age of five, they used to dress boys in dresses like they did girls. This is because it made them easier to toilet train. Only after the boys were toilet trained were they then allowed to be dressed in pants and were identifiable as boys instead of girls.
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A boy…. dressed as a girl… for potty training.

  • Grapes are a traditional icon of fertility. This is why they use dried grapes and fruit in wedding cakes. The top tier was traditionally saved for the christening of the first born to wish for the fertility of the child however these days most people save it for their first wedding anniversary.
  • Each of the different houses in the Cotswolds has a different fenlight window pattern above the front door. This is because in the days before house numbers, people could identify who they were visiting based on the pattern on the window.
  • There are 2600 toilets in Wembley Stadium
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The famous Leed’s Castle

  • It was the Romans that invented road signs. They placed markers along the side of the road that later became known as milestones and these told you how many miles to your destination.
  • Dry stone wall building is an incredible art and it takes approximately one tonne of stone to build one meter of wall to ensure that the rocks all fit together snuggly for the structural integrity of the wall.
  • In the small town of Bourton on the Water, they have a football match in the town every August bank holiday. The catch. They play the football match in the water…. not sure how but I would like to check this out at some point…
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Apparently the world’s most beautiful street, Arlington Row.

  • To support the wool industry of the Cotswolds, several laws were passed by the monarchy. Queen Elizabeth the first made it law that you had to wear a wool cap to church on Sundays. Charles the second made it law that if a person dies that the coffin they are buried in must be lined in wool and that the person must also be dressed in wool.

So that is it for now with the things that I have been learning as I have travelled around this glorious countryside. Stay tuned for more interesting things I have learned on my travels about the place next week!

Shit Learned In Albania

Six months ago I travelled through Albania and it was one of my favourite countries that I visited in my trip through the Balkans. I learned quite a lot of shit there and despite the fact that this is well overdue, here is what I learned.

Albanian’s love American Presidents

In the capital city of Tirana not only is there a statue of George W. Bush, the first of the American President’s to ever visit Albania, but there is a George W. Bush Street and a George W. Bush café where he visited. They apparently rope the table he sat at off so that nobody else can sit there because that’s Bush’s table….. my gosh. On top of this, there is a Clinton statue erected in Prishtina (the capital city of Kosovo) most likely as a tribute from the ethnic Albanians as thanks for intervening in the conflict with Serbia. What I do find incredibly humorous, especially now post election, is that the Albanian’s had a special Hillary Clinton statue commissioned for Sarande in the south for when she became President…. I don’t know what they are going to do with it now since that went all pear shaped!

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Shock….horror….. my gosh….

Albania’s roads are shit

The dictator Enver Hoxha during times of communist reign decided that with all of the money he had he would invest in spending it on 70,000 war bunkers at a cost of 1,000 dollars each. This is 70 million dollars that could have been spent on roads and other infrastructure. He did this because he was utterly paranoid that Albania was going to be attacked. Of course this was all unfounded and now as you drive across the country you can see bomb shelters all over the place that have never been used.

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The view over the coast from the winding high roads towards southern Albania

Speaking of Shit….

Shitet is the word used ‘for let’. I don’t know why, but I find this thoroughly amusing…. ‘shitet’ lol….

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Shitet….. lol…. what a shit apartment.

Albanians are lovely giving people

It annoys me a lot that I have heard a bunch of racist things from the mouths of ignorant people. At one point a British guy I met in Italy asked me why I would bother going to Albania as they are all aggressive gang members and thugs. As someone who has lived with and teaches Albanians everyday I can tell you this is not the case. In fact when the Bosnian’s were getting displaced from their country by the horrific Serbian regime to rid all Muslims from the country, Albanian’s gave refuge to more refugees than any other country despite how poor the country was at that time. They are a family oriented and giving people.

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Goats wandering along the beaches of Jale

It’s all about the Eagle!

The Albanian flag is the black two headed eagle based on a red back drop to represent the blood lost fighting for the country. The eagle has it’s roots back to the Byzantine era. This eagle is featured and revered quite prominently. The Albanian word for eagle is Shqiponje. The flag is called the Shqiperise, the people are called the Shqiptar, the country is called Shqiperia. Everything eagle. It is a hugely embraced emblem of who they are as people.

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The fabulous Albanian flag

Albanian drivers are crazy

Pedestrian crossing? What pedestrian? You will find your average Albanian driver cruising around with a cigarette in one hand and a phone in the other leaving you wondering what they use to actually hold the steering wheel and where their eyes are for driving. And yet somehow it seems to work. You just have to make sure that at all times you are on alert and don’t get in their way. Drivers also seem to get a little bit extra crazy if they are driving for weddings. They hang red and white scarves out the windows and wave them ferociously as they honk their horns loudly and often. It is quite the affair to behold!

Tortoises eat watermelon!!

Yeah I know right! Totally weird but totally cute!

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In my jammies feeding the tortoise my breakfast.

So that is about it for my time. I did spend quite a large proportion of my time sitting on a beach in Jale down in the south and hiking from Thethi through to Valbona which is some of the most spectacular hiking I have ever seen in my life. It is such a beautiful country to visit and if you get the chance to, you should definitely go. Just don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere fast!

 

 

 

Backpacking Bed Bugs: How To Rid Yourself Of Them On The Road

Bed bugs. Ugh. the one thing that sure fire knows how to ruin all travel. For me, I am allergic to them. The sheer number of times I have woken up to slapping one on my leg and catching it in the act of feasting on me is numerous. The bites from there swell up into giant circles an inch in diameter and make me shake. The insomnia I experience settling down to sleep after an attack can last weeks and it is always never far from the back of my mind when I set down into a new place.

On the internet you will see all kinds of tools to help deal with this problem and most involve using a dryer. But I put to you, what does one do exactly when they are in the middle of nowhere in the tropics in wet season and there is not a dryer to be found anywhere? So here are my tips of the trade. How to avoid the pesky pains… and if you do have an encounter, things that you can do to get rid of them.

Avoiding Bed Bugs

The rules of the land are as such. Never ever enter a room or move your luggage in until you have inspected the mattresses and surrounding wooden areas for bed bugs. I don’t even need to tell you that if you find one, hightail it out of there quick smart.

The most tell tale signs on sheets, mattresses and bed frames are small brown spots. Where they basically have had their feast and passed it on through. For heavy infestations you will actually find clumps of eggs together in the corners of the mattresses and bed frames and often you will find the bug. My gut will tell me quite frequently whether they are there or not. It is like I am so well honed these days I can smell the creepy things. Anyway, even if you have the slightest feeling they are there, get the hell out and go somewhere else.

What To Do If You Are Exposed

Treating Your Bites

One morning I woke up after spending the night on a sleeper train in India to find that my entire face had been mauled by bed bugs. I had about 7 bites in total each about the size of an American quarter.

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They can be some of the most sore, itchy and persistently lasting bites that you will ever manage. I recommend hauling arse to a pharmacy to get the following to help….

  • Antihistamines – these will not only help you to calm down and sleep better but will help take the itch out of the bite.
  • Cortisone cream – a secondary measure to the antihistamine if you can get it is a hydrocortisone cream such as betamethasone. Use only a tiny amount on each bite and it will help to reduce the localized swelling, pain and itch.
  • Tiger balm can also help. I had one morning where I woke up still drunk in Thailand shaking from being bitten by bed bugs across my back and a lovely Thai woman sat and rubbed tiger balm into my back to try and calm me down whilst I sat shaking and jittery and refusing to go back into any room sleeping. “It’s OK honey, it’s OK”.

If at any point you are in a place like I was in Malang and there is no other place to sleep but this hostel then there are certain things you can do. I for one refuse to sleep in the room if I have been bitten in it. I have slept on the floor or couch of a hotel lobby 3 times now because I refuse to go back in. If you are in a place where you can’t find any and yet your gut suspects they are there you can set your bed up like this:

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The best thing to use is a giant plastic shower curtain made out of smooth and slippery plastic. They can’t walk on smooth plastic.  If I have no shower curtain I have been known to put garbage bags taped together over the bed and tucked on at the sides and then use a sleep sheet on top.

To protect your luggage while in this situation either put it in a garbage bag or sit it on a sheet of plastic or garbage bag on the floor making sure all of the parts of your bag are on the plastic.

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Getting Them Out Of Your Luggage Before Moving On

The most difficult thing for a backpacker to deal with is getting rid of them if you think you have them. Which of course is all well and good when you are in a country with industrial dryers. But when in Indonesia, India, Malaysia even, this just wasn’t happening. So then we have to come up with creative means with which to solve the problem.

My tools of the trade are

  • Black garbage bags (must be black)
  • 90 percent rubbing alcohol. 70 percent will work but the more alcohol the better.
  • A brush. Dish brushes or this solid brush I have in the photo is good.
  • A packet of wipes
  • A can of bug spray containing permethrin, allethrin or any other chemical known to kill bed bugs. In developing countries these are easier to get your hands on than in the first world as many of them are controlled substances here.

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If you are in a place that is ridiculously hot, the aim is to get the bed bug’s core temperature to 50 degrees celcius for over an hour. This will be enough to kill them. Loosely tie all of your stuff made out of material in separate garbage bags. If they are crammed too tightly packed then the temperature won’t get through all of the stuff in the bag and the bug won’t get hot enough to die.

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Any of the stuff you have that is plastic or has smooth surfaces wipe it over with 80% rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes. Also if you have books and electronics check in the nooks and crannies and especially all of the seams of the books. I have found a hatchling in a book of mine before. Freaked the hell out of me. Got rid of that thing quick smart.

I also take to my bags and in all the creases with a can of permethrin. This stuff will kill any bug on contact. It will not kill the eggs, so you will need to find a dryer in coming days or wait until it gets hot enough to put the bag into a black garbage bag for a day or two in the hot sun.

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Do all of these things and you should be fine. Remember, the best defence is checking before you even get a problem. If you do have a problem, your best weapon is the plastic bag. Anything that has a chance of being exposed, including your clothes goes straight into a plastic bag until you have time and space to deal with it effectively. After all of this stuff, if you get the opportunity to throw your stuff into a dryer, definitely take it, because the last thing you want to be doing is taking these little bastards home!

Happy killing spree and ridding your stuff of these awful vermin… and remember, goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!

 

 

 

Shit I Learned In Serbia

Serbia was one of the first countries I travelled in my trip around the Balkans and it was probably a good idea that I went to Serbia first. I think if I had have gone there last and heard some of the things come out of locals mouths that I heard while I was there I may have just slightly lost my shit at them. For the most part, Serbians are very lovely and passionate people. However it is an interesting place to travel if you want to see just how far government propaganda and media can place some of the most nonsensical and ridiculous ideas into a people and have them believe that these notions are true. Today the Serbs still fight for their pride despite losing the war and face in front of the world at the hands of Slobodan Milosevic. On the other hand, the Serbs also faced massive atrocities at the hands of the Turks from the Ottoman period and their five hundred year occupation. Add it all together and you have an interesting country that should be observed with a critical eye.

Here is some super trivial shit I learned in Serbia….

  • The Novi Sad staple diet must consist of popcorn and ice cream because I failed to find any other form of food while I was there. (Maybe this happened on purpose.)
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Sunset over the fort at Novi Sad

  • I learned to read the Cyrillic alphabet. Hooray!
  • The name ‘Belgrade’ comes from the Serbian ‘beo grad’ which means ‘white city’.
  • During the NATO bombings of Belgrade, the animals in the zoo got out and were roaming the city. This includes the elephants and tigers…. shame they didn’t find and a) stomp on or b) eat Slobodan Milosevic.
  • Serbs are unimpressed with nudity. So much so that this statue was shunned and removed from the town centre to where it could not be seen by the public.
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Naked man…tehehe…..

  • Nis was home of Constantine the Great. It was where eventually build his house the Medijana.
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Constantine’s mosaic floors

  • Back in the days of the Ottomans, the more windows you had on your buildings, the more taxes you had to pay.
  • Nikola Tesla is apparently Serbian…. he seems to be claimed by many different places around the Balkans, but his ashes rest in Belgrade’s Tesla Museum despite him never actually visiting Belgrade when he was alive.
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Getting electrocuted at the Tesla Museum

  • There is a sign in the city centre which has an arrow pointing to the moon so that when people get super drunk on rakija they still know which way is up
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The moon is up apparently

  • Tito was a cool guy who was loved by many and had a rule of communism that was way less harsh than that of many other communist regimes of the world….
  • The Yugoslavian National History Museum in Belgrade is a joke and gives no insight into anything that happened in Yugoslavia except for the fact that Tito was an ‘awesome dude’.
  • And of course my glorious tour guide told everybody that it wasn’t Serbia’s fault that Yugoslavia broke apart and that everybody else decided to leave because of ‘religious differences’ and whatever anyone else tells you about it is false. She was also fairly adamant that NATO had no right to be in Serbia and couldn’t understand why it is that they bombed a few buildings because they were all innocent. Again, it was lucky that I hadn’t yet been to Bosnia or I would have been enlightening her with a few facts about say, the genocide at Srebrenica…. but anyway, I guess I learned that ignorance and propaganda reign supreme.
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A destroyed building from the 1996 NATO Bombings

Despite some of the negative emotions that I had towards the Serbian government and the ignorance of some of the people that live there, I did find the local Serbians to be an incredibly generous and lovely group of people (well unless I was trying to by Bulgarian money at the exchange – the Serbs don’t seem to like any of their neighbours). I enjoyed my time here and wished that I had more time to get out into the countryside and explore further.