Saturday, January 30, 2010

got myself a little bungle in the jungle

they put screens on the windows but you can see through the floor boards to the ground below...

my bungalow comes with its own mosquito breeder (ok, there are little fish in there that are supposed to eat the mosquito larvae...)

but these (mosquito coils that you burn near wherever you are whenever you stay in one place for more than 2 minutes, and bug spray that you always use) have become my friends.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

my but you're a big fella

this in my bathroom

(ok yes, my bathroom is open to the outside, but notice the green glowing alien laser beam emmanating from his heady region! come on!)

i was only partly responsible for me ordering this large tropical fruity thing all to myself...

wats and chedis, chedis and wats....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the funniest thing happened in ayutthaya the other day...

so we roll into ayutthaya after taking a couple of public buses (already our favorite kind) from kanchanaburi

and after a couple of hours of wandering around trying to find the guesthouse we want to stay in (thanks for the map "rough guide" - not), we are lucky enough to snag the last garden bungalow in the joint.

next on the agenda is food, glorious thai food (please sir, can i have some more ?), so we find this amazing open air hut place called "malakor" near us with pad thai and whatever else you could want for around 1 to 2 us dollars. yummmmm.

so about 1/2 way through our meal, we hear an american voice - "zeljko?" it's elana, a girl from the california bay area that zeljko met when she was visting zelenkovac in bosnia in 2008.  she's teaching english in ayutthaya for the season...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

bidets are for sissies!

you don't know the meaning of a clean butt until you've experienced the power butt sprays of thailand.  (did i mention that i'm in thailand?) my life has been turned upside down.  it will never be the same.  nothing less than a power butt spray will do from here on out  (heh heh, i said do.)

easing into thailand on the river kwai

our 15 us dollar a night room

the view across the river kwai.

the bridge over said river within walking
distance from our place.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

here i go again
and here i go...

on my way to places and experiences unknown.

ok, well i do know that z and i will land in bangkok, but beyond that...

Filter Take a Picture

Sunday, January 17, 2010


with just days to go before i leave bosnia, i spend this morning sitting on my couch, tending the fire and watching snowflakes the size of dandelion heads float down outside my window against the backdrop of the mountains i’ve come to know over the last couple of months.

from time to time, i get up to adjust the laundry drying on the rack in front of the woodstove and look out the side window to check my neighbors’ progress roasting their freshly slaughtered pig over the big firepit in their yard.

i look around my little house and contemplate returning the 4 glasses, dishes, forks and spoons to zejko’s mom, and i think back over the last few months i’ve spent here in bosnia and the things once exotic and unusual that have now become familiar:

  • the difficulty of getting what you need and having to get things done by talking to a guy who knows a guy
  • café/bars filling every other storefront (no wine/beer licenses necessary here)
  • the smell of burek coming from the pekaras (bakeries) that fill in the spaces between the café/bars
  • having to find a market employee to weigh and tag my veggies before i head to the cashier
  • little teeny refrigerators and little teeny sinks
  • the general ineffectiveness of stop signs
  • changing money on a street corner from some guy who hangs around all day
  • the ache in my joints and bones from the damp, cold grey bosnian winter
  • maneuvering around the clothes perennially drying on the rack that takes up ½ of my teeny little room
  • the sound of the serbian language all around me
  • seemingly old ramshackle buildings that are actually quite livable

  • having to plan on taking a shower by turning the boiler on an hour in advance
  • the constant presence of cigarette smoke in my lungs

    and of course,

  • men standing around, shooting the breeze and drinking rakija whilst roasting freshly slaughtered pigs over open fires

Friday, January 15, 2010

why i love tine

once again, i just have to just say that i love valentin! so i’m just hanging around the house this morning (ok, morning for me, but some would call it afternoon…) trying to get things settled before taking off to southeast asia and comes a knock at the door.

it’s tine! i just can’t help but get a big ole’ smile every time i see his face - especially when it’s a complete surprise (and accompanied, as it often is, by a big giant slab of chocolate)! i mean, after all, he lives in slovenia, and though slovenia is certainly a heck of a lot closer to bosnia than california, it’s still a long way away! and he just shows up at my door! he knew z and i were leaving soon and wanted to say hi and bye before i took off, so he worked a side trip to bosnia into his road trip to visit some clients. you know, no biggie, just an extra day’s worth of driving for him.

that’s why i love tine!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the tide is high but i'm holding on

the river vrbas runs through banja luka, some days more so than others.

each day over the last few days, z and i have walked along the riverbank and watched the river run just a bit higher, just a bit stronger, and each night we’ve returned home to news reports of flooding in bosnia and croatia. this evening we joined some friends at a local restaurant and got to experience it firsthand. the place is in a beautiful two storey old stone water mill built on a fairly steep slope of the vrbas’ bank, with the dining area on the top floor, the kitchen – flanked and fronted by a big outdoor dining patio – on the bottom floor, and below that, a big stone-paved outdoor riverfront dining area. when we arrived, the lowest level of outdoor dining – usually well above the river - was submerged under about 4 feet of rushing water.

sitting at a river-view table on the top floor over the course of, oh i don’t know, maybe 2 hours, we watched the river gaining both momentum and height, ultimately submerging the ground floor below us, at which point we thought it was time to call it a night and mosey on home.

Blondie The Tide is High

Friday, January 8, 2010

a little something you should know

english is not the universal language of kitties. i know, but it's true!

saying "hi kitty, look at you little kitty, hey kitty. HEY kitty!" to a kitty in bosnia will generally elicit no response. zip, zero, nothing.

but squeak out a teeny "mačka" (pronounced mah-ch-ka)and they come a' running!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

a bang and a whisper (tee hee, i said "bang")

i woke up this serbian orthodox christmas morning to a zemljotres and snijeg (earthquake and snow). both big and both quick. how exciting is that?!

Icicle Works Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the most beautiful man in the world

z and i have a little game we play.

he looks at me with his giant, amazing eyes, shakes his head from side to side just a bit, sighs, and says “the most beautiful woman in the world ever.”

and i say “you are!” and he says “you wish!”

and later, vice-versa, i say “you’re the most beautiful man in the world.” “you are!” “you wish!”

and then sometimes he’ll mix it up a bit. from out of nowhere, “the most beautiful skin in the world”, “the most beautiful eyes in the world”… and he means it!

but it’s true, it’s the most beautiful face i’ve ever seen. i can look at that face for hours. and that whole “the eyes are the window to the soul” thing? i never really saw that before meeting z, but my god, his eyes says everything about him. if size counts (tee hee, if size counts…), then he’s got the biggest soul ever. and if softness counts, then he’s the gentlest soul ever. and if the steadiness and openness of his gaze says anything, then he’s the most honest soul ever, with himself and with others.

and the gracefulness which with he moves.  every movement is like art.  the simplest things, like lighting a cigarette or pouring a glass of wine become poetry.  beautiful.
ok, enough.

oh, wait, one more thing. i love that whenever i ask anything “hey, do you wanna go to the store?” “hey, can we have veggies for dinner?” “hey, maybe we could go into town today?” “hey, you wanna couchsurf on our own couch tonight?”, his answer always, in his incredible deep melodic voice, is “everything what you want.”

who's the luckiest gal in the world?  i am!

Monday, January 4, 2010

an unexpected little bonus

when i found z, i made a conscious choice to love him exactly as he is in all his humanness, for his humanness. i made that choice for me and i made that choice for him, so that through our experience together we both might wake up a little more to what we really are.

so now time has gone by and over the last 8 months in particular, we’ve spent some pretty concentrated time together - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and what i’ve come to realize that in loving and accepting him, each little part of him exactly as it is, as he is - i’m also learning how to love and accept those same little parts of me.

bonus, eh?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

what condition my condition is in

so I find myself in resistance to resistance. giggle.

resisting the fact that thoughts that i have judged – were i somehow a better person, a freer person, a more awake person - are thoughts that should no longer be popping into my head every now and then since – were i only better person, a freer person, a more awake person, were i just living more fully in the present moment in every moment - those thoughts should have been long gone by now.

so, what then is the answer to the whole resistance to resistance dilemma (could i get a little judgment on the side, please?) given that the human condition comes replete with a thinking machine lodged in one’s skull, the sole function of which is to analyze the environment, to find patterns, so one can be safe, stay safe, and learn how not to make stupid mistakes that threaten one’s survival (what is that big spotted thing running at me. does it want to eat me?) – the thoughts are likely to continue popping into my head?

ok, i’m not really asking. i already know the answer.

the answer is simply a big fat so what. big deal. that’s the answer. so what. big deal.

part of acceptance of what is is that you get to accept the human condition – exactly as it is – with all the parts that come with walking around clothed in big silly sacks of meat.

now if i can just remember that for a bit longer this time before the big grey blob of meat in my skull tricks me into another bout of unconsciousness.

Mickey Newbury Just Dropped In

Saturday, January 2, 2010

the second shedding

i’ve felt it building for some time now. i feel it happening.

the second shedding. shedding of the past, of things, of norms, of acquired tastes, of the sadness that seemed as if it were always in the background inside me, of the miscellaneous fears, the generalized anxiety, and the wanting.

a continuation of the first shedding, a refinement of the first shedding, a deepening of the first shedding.

i feel lighter and lighter and lighter and it makes me smile, makes me beam.

Staple Singers I'll Take You There

Friday, January 1, 2010

basking in the ease of the day

it’s coming to the end of the first day of the julian calendar new year.

we woke when we felt like waking and we ate when we felt like eating.

we made a fire.

over coffee, i deleted some memories that I had moved from my head and heart onto my laptop for safekeeping over the years. i didn’t recognize them anymore and so i let them go.

the rain slowed to an on-and-off drizzle, and we walked halfway to the world war II memorial at the top of the mountain behind our house. we walked without demanding that we reach the top and we turned around without berating ourselves for not pushing through to some imaginary finish line. we just walked.

we listened to the sound of the rain, the rush of the water in the stream, our footsteps, our breath.

i did some quiet yoga, splurged on a hot shower.

now it’s dark, save the light of a candle and the glow of the fire in the woodstove.

z has been napping for some time now. i’ve joined him on the couch, sitting, leaning back hard against him. although he is asleep, he curls up tight against me.

i’m sipping vranac and listening to music that i discovered mostly during the course of my travels. eddie vedder’s “rise” is playing for hundredth-or-so time and i close my eyes and feel the rise and fall of z’s stomach against my back as he sleeps, feel the rise and fall of the breath in my own body. i close my eyes and listen to the music, the sound of the mandolin, the voice and the words, and my heart gently bursts wide open again.