Monday, October 30, 2006

... Spilled Milk

Can’t you feel it? How everything is just better now? The two “bright days” of the referendum have sadly passed, but we have a new constitution, and suddenly our problems are all gone, as our big Serbian hearts pump Kosovo through our constitutional bloodstreams.

Yeah Right! “The bright days for Serbia” were ironically, and I would say symbolically stormy, rainy and gloomy. But, hey, what can we do? The constitution is here, we’ll soon see how they (ab)use it. I’m sorry it has been passed. I’m glad that it wasn’t passed as overwhelmingly as I thought it would be. I’m glad they got such a slight majority despite the incessant brainwashing through every medium imaginable. Elections are hopefully coming soon, so at least we’ll have more choice.

I’ve had a lovely weekend, though. I got to do all the things I had planned and more, thanks to daylight savings. I have a busy week ahead. Lots of things to finish up before a welcome break from the country of Serbs and insignificant others.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What to do for the Weekend?

It’s best to stay in bed late on Saturday, and fully recover from Friday night. Sleep or have breakfast in bed, watching reruns of “Enterprise” until it time for lunch. It may be a good time to visit your parents. Then to the gym - there’s no excuse for not exercising just because it’s a weekend. After that you should go home and rest a bit before meeting up with friends at a café. You haven’s seen them in a long time, what with being very busy. Check who is out of Big Brother. Don’t stay up too late. You need the rest.
Wake up fresh, bright and early on Sunday morning. Try to get some autumn sun, if possible, over coffee in the garden of your local café. There aren’t many sunny days left in this year. Go to the market and buy some fresh fruit and vegetables. A long walk on Ada would be great, but if it rains go to the book fair or the October Salon, or just stay at home, cuddled up with someone and watch the rain outside the window. Have dinner at a friend’s house. You can cook together. It’s fun.

Why… that leaves no time for the referendum. Shame. Oh, well, better luck next time.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Abolish the Army

My “soldierly” life continues. I’ve just received my belated first paycheck for services so far rendered to our fatherland, of which Kosovo is an integral part (is the last bit obligatory now?).
Extravagant as I am, I’ve spent it all in a matter of minutes.
The whole 4 Euros and 50 cents of it.
Seriously, are people in civilian service supposed to be in an equal position as those recruits with guns? I was lucky, I keep saying that. But what about those people who have too many obligations in the civil service to continue working? How do you survive for a month in Belgrade on 4 and a half Euros? Any suggestions?
The guys in the regular army at least have a bed and three meals a day. Isn’t this discrimination based on the rejection of violence as a way of life?
Despite this, less and less people choose to do their duty in the actual armed forces.
Why doesn’t the army deal with these problems, one might enquire? Is it because it’s busy defending the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of our shrinking homeland? No, it’s too busy blowing up small towns in central Serbia.
I’ll spend much of next month on regular leave. At least, they were kind enough to give me a permit to leave the country during that period.

I say abolish the whole thing. Now!

No More Revelations

A woman was walking carelessly across the sunlit Students' square, when a huge chestnut fell from a tree, missing her by just a few centimeters. That could really ruin one’s day. And such a gorgeous day it is. It’s autumn again, and again, winter seems to be nowhere in sight. I’ve rarely been happier to be wrong.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


One has to accept the inevitable. Winter is on its way.
It was today when I stepped into my pleasantly warm office and realized that the central heating has been turned on, that it dawned on me why I felt so cold this morning when I left my house in a thin autumn jacket. It’s time to unpack those winter clothes.
It won’t be long before those awful “what to do for New Year’s” conversations start.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pain in the Blog 5

New and improved Reluctant Dragon from now in Beta!

Whatever that means…

The transition of my blog into the new format has been very smooth. Thank you to Blogger for making some things more user-friendly. I’m also grateful for labels of posts. That always seemed like a logical development.

Off course, as they say in Serbia “There’s no pleasing the people”, so we get to the nitpicking part. The choices in modifying one’s template are still very limited, so if you want more you still have to deal with html. I would like to play with the visual side of the blog and though common sense has made it possible for me to perform basic adjustments in html, I’m afraid the badly needed makeover will have to wait until I have time to be bothered with it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Let Me Elaborate

Looking through a few of my previous posts, a comment by BgAnon (to whom I apologize for regularly failing to answer his comments and questions) compelled me to elaborate on some of my views.

I may come across as a grumpy young man, but I am an optimist, a cautious and critical one, but an optimist nevertheless. I think that if you want good things to happen you have to believe in them.

And I am, on a personal level, very content and happy. I’m in a loving relationship, I have friends and family, I have a good, relatively well paid job. But on a more general level, I do think that Serbia is becoming a darker and more sinister place. I am certain this course is not irreversible, but I sincerely feel it as such under my skin.

The new constitution which is being imposed upon this country has certainly left us all in the dark. The few bits that have surfaced have sadly shed little positive light on the matter. The hastily constructed document, pushed forward for all the wrong reasons defines a nationalistic centralized state and will eventually bring us into conflict with either the world or ourselves, or both.

There has been progress in recent years. That cannot be denied. Economic development is in part the reason why people like me can be content on a personal level. But I think all of this is mostly cosmetic. Sure we can eat in fine restaurants and shop at Zara, but on a more substantial level we haven’t moved far from the 90s, which, in my view, having in mind the opportunities that we’ve had is equivalent to going backwards.

Serbia, with some exceptions, is a corrupt, conservative, right-wing state pushing its agenda through tasteless promotion of religion, Cyrillic letters and crowned emblems.

A rare opportunity to create a modern state has been missed.