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  1. #31
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    Zdravo pjw!
    I wll answer your awesome questions a bit lately - just wanted to say that i was really happy to read this!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by pjw View Post
    My new family do this and I love it. It makes a strong connection between us and the reader, my Aunt. It has alot to do with caring and respect. Difficult to explain exactly, but I enjoyed it immensely and the reading was true for me, absolutely correct, as far as I could see. I loved it, it was my first time. So it's a Balkan thing and also a Caucasian thing by the sounds of things, anyway, I like it!
    In coffee drinking cultures its really very special time for the family and friends to get together over cups of this warm, tasteful and magical drink, i am so glad you experienced that!
    And yes, those who can actually read the cups - give the most amazing and accurate readings!
    "If you knew who walked beside you, you'd never known fear."

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw View Post
    Zdravo Ruth, Good to see you on the hot seat. Lookin' good, lookin' good!
    Thank you!

    I know you are interested in travel Ruth. Which have been your best experiences? Which have been the most memorable moments that you'll always remember and look back on fondly?
    I think SE Asia, because it was very different of everything i've seen and experienced before that; there were The Beach ( Alex Garland novel/ Danny Boyle movie) moments; some very mystical moments - travelling along Chinese/Mongolian border, meeting Lamas of some small Buddhist sects, going to the 'wild' parts of the Great Wall, meeting travelers - some of the most extraordinary people i've ever met, basically living in some very different reality, a parallel reality to that where i came from... but it can soak you up, as it has many, so that Asian thing i think shouldn't be done more for than a year or so.
    Loved Italy, loved living there, studying the language, diving into the endless well of its cultural richness and sweet far niente...
    I like staying for prolonged periods at foreign places, i think for couple of weeks one can't get that much... i did tourist thing too - North Africa and many others, but that's just a taster, a teaser so to say.
    But, with time, its as if that desire to see always new places, meet always new people, learn new things... has diminished somehow; lately i find the travel to be weary and like staying for longer and longer in just one place.
    One of the most resent amazing experiences i had was some two years ago, i traveled to Moldova; an absolutely amazing, totally off the beaten track country with so much to offer...
    Here is couple of scattered thought i wrote down while being there:

    Moldovan reality is a parallel, unmovable universe that in the time’s quantum exists quite independently from this rushing century.

    I feel as if I am watching a black and white movie where women, with their heads covered with white scarfs, at dusk hurry with open arms to greet their brave men who just came back from another victorious battle with fascists…

    It seems there are some bed guys who’ve been plotting a scheme against innocent Dunja from the Kolkhoz, but our heroine will just in time jump on the wings of the white goose who will carry her up, high in the free sky where purple sickle and hammer once again rise…


    Are you a more people or place person?

    I mean, more travelling to a place for it's history, museums etc or more to meet people?
    For me personally cities like Amsterdam or London are ideal because i have people i love there and there is always something really cool to do; but lately its mostly because of people, i go places to see friends or family - or for work of course; there are very few cities/countries i am really eager to see for their cultural heritage (Portugal being one of them).

    Is it the different, new people that make travel interesting and motivates you to travel?
    Honestly, not anymore, now days its mostly the interests - what i study or for work.

    I strongly suggest to you Ruth that you get the opportunity to try some vegemite. It's not marmite, it's a unique sandwich spread from Australia, try it on toast with butter or on crackers with butter, they've got those yummy Finn crisp crackers in Russia. Crackers + Butter + Vegemite = Heaven. Try it and let me know how U liked it. But be careful, it can be addictive so proceed with utmost caution.
    Ok, you persuaded me!
    Its not available in Montenegro, but i'll find a way to get some and will try it, promise!
    Meanwhile, back to the hotseat, Ruth, you're doin' great!
    Thank you, pjw.
    "If you knew who walked beside you, you'd never known fear."

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth123 View Post
    I think SE Asia............ it can soak you up, as it has many, so that Asian thing i think shouldn't be done more for than a year or so.
    Yes, I agree, there's the well-known um danger of um becoming um too um freaky and strange. It's fun to travel, it can open you up to humanity, different cultures etc. But yeah, there's a limit and enough is enough. The mind expands and in the end it just gets so obese with pride and self-possession that it's simply too ugly to look at. Hunger, dreams, longing and looking forward to travel is better than saturation.
    Loved Italy, loved living there, studying the language, diving into the endless well of its cultural richness and sweet far niente...
    Ooooh I love Italy too. Ruth, where did you go, what did you do, what were your special memorable moments that you treasure/remember?
    I like staying for prolonged periods at foreign places, i think for couple of weeks one can't get that much... i did tourist thing too - North Africa and many others, but that's just a taster, a teaser so to say.
    Hmmmm tester and teaser!
    But, with time, its as if that desire to see always new places, meet always new people, learn new things... has diminished somehow; lately i find the travel to be weary and like staying for longer and longer in just one place.
    One of the most resent amazing experiences i had was some two years ago, i traveled to Moldova; an absolutely amazing, totally off the beaten track country with so much to offer...
    Here is couple of scattered thought i wrote down while being there:

    Moldovan reality is a parallel, unmovable universe that in the time’s quantum exists quite independently from this rushing century.

    I feel as if I am watching a black and white movie where women, with their heads covered with white scarfs, at dusk hurry with open arms to greet their brave men who just came back from another victorious battle with fascists…

    It seems there are some bed guys who’ve been plotting a scheme against innocent Dunja from the Kolkhoz, but our heroine will just in time jump on the wings of the white goose who will carry her up, high in the free sky where purple sickle and hammer once again rise…

    I love your ideas and images from Moldova Ruth. It's like a picture, like poetry. A fascinating place. I'll definitely check it out soon. It's a big advantage to speak Russian right? That will take me some more time, but I'm working on it. Yes, I think that Moldova must be a true jewel.

    For me personally cities like Amsterdam or London are ideal because i have people i love there and there is always something really cool to do; but lately its mostly because of people, i go places to see friends or family - or for work of course; there are very few cities/countries i am really eager to see for their cultural heritage (Portugal being one of them).
    Hmmmm, Portugal, why?

  4. #34
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    Hi again
    Quote Originally Posted by pjw View Post
    A fascinating place. I'll definitely check it out soon. It's a big advantage to speak Russian right? That will take me some more time, but I'm working on it. Yes, I think that Moldova must be a true jewel.
    It is, you'll love it!
    You know, sometimes we think that we need to travel to the other side of the planet to experience something jamais vu, but there is Moldova that's like from a fairytale just in couple of hours by a plane...
    All the people i met there speak perfect Russian, so it is helpful; but their language is from the family of Roman languages, so if you speak some Italian, you are ready to go!

    Ruth, where did you go, what did you do, what were your special memorable moments that you treasure/remember?
    I lived in Tuscany... As a Montenegrin i have a thing for Italian language and culture; its a bit like Russian royal court being culturally influenced by France, ours was swooning over Italy, so some kind of 'archetypal' traces remained to this day.
    Also, we were connected dynastically to Italy, in the same way we were to Russia, our princess Jelena was married to Victor Emanuele III...
    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena_of_Montenegro"]Elena of Montenegro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Queen_Elena_of_Italy.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/Queen_Elena_of_Italy.jpg/210px-Queen_Elena_of_Italy.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/8/85/Queen_Elena_of_Italy.jpg/210px-Queen_Elena_of_Italy.jpg[/ame]
    Its funny, you know, maybe because we are a small country and small people;
    where our princesses were married it feels almost like extended family!
    (Our King Nikola was known as the father in law of Europe, he was a ruler of a small country and wasn't really influential, but - he had five beautiful daughters whom he married into most important European families. )

    My most memorable moment is that its in Florence that i first saw a deck of Tarot cards and first learned of that ancient art of divination... (First Tarot deck in history, Visconti - Sforza appeared in that area in 15th century and Tarot is still big there
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visconti-Sforza_tarot_deck
    But i must say that to my living in Italy there was a feeling of Пир во время чумы/ The city of the plague

    God forgive me
    As I hope for my friend's forgiveness!
    I know not if she lives; for, oh! this Plague
    Hath spread an universal selfishness,
    And each house in its own calamity
    Stands single, shut from human fellowship
    By sullen misery and heart-withering fear.


    You see, i was there, in emigration, during the Balkan wars... and i felt guilty.
    I knew i couldn't change anything back home, there was no worthy cause to fight for, there was genocide and ethnic cleansing going on - so the only right thing to do was NOT to be the part of it... but it still in a way felt as a betrayal because i was living while others were dying...


    Quote Originally Posted by pjw View Post
    Hmmmm, Portugal, why?
    I got hooked on Portugal through novels of Jose Saramago, in the first place by reading The Year of Death of Ricardo Reis; than due to Richard Zimler's The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon... there is something so mysterious and inspiring about this capital...

    Thank you for your questions.
    "If you knew who walked beside you, you'd never known fear."

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth123 View Post
    Hi again

    I got hooked on Portugal through novels of Jose Saramago, in the first place by reading The Year of Death of Ricardo Reis; than due to Richard Zimler's The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon... there is something so mysterious and inspiring about this capital...
    I agree with you that Portugal is a misterious country and the capital is weird (positevely)....

    I found a lot of touching my heart places there...and sure music... Fargo is unbelivable and quite easy to fall in love.

    But it is strange, Fargo is the only kind of "folk"(national) music, I could listen to, when came home (you know, you like smth, when you are in the country, but you do not feel the same, when you listen to it at home).
    not only s.t happens!

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth123 View Post
    It is, you'll love it!
    You know, sometimes we think that we need to travel to the other side of the planet to experience something jamais vu, but there is Moldova that's like from a fairytale just in couple of hours by a plane...
    All the people i met there speak perfect Russian, so it is helpful; but their language is from the family of Roman languages, so if you speak some Italian, you are ready to go!
    It's good to hear about Moldova. There's endless info on Lonely Planet thorntree travelforum - Moldova. I'd very much like to check out Moldova, I like the way U describe it Ruth, I generally like how U describe stuff. Do U know about Molvania? Must be interesting I'm sure!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw View Post
    Do U know about Molvania? Must be interesting I'm sure!
    Certainly, especially if you get there by accident!

    I even speak some Molvanian...


    Sprufki Doh Craszko? What is that smell?
    Kyunkasko sbazko byusba? Where is the toilet paper?
    Togurfga trakij sdonchskia? What happened to your teeth?
    Frijyhadsgo drof, huftrawxzkio. More food, inn-keeper.



    As an linguist, i find the language to be the most interesting and challenging; its a common knowledge that Molvanian is difficult language to speak because there are four genders: male, female, neutral, and the collective noun for cheeses, which occupies a nominative sub-section of its very own.

    The language is also known for containing numerous irregular verbs, archaic phrases, words of multiple meaning and several phonetic sounds linguists suspect could represent either a rare dialect or merely peasants clearing their throat.

    This, coupled with a record number of silent letters, makes fluency a major challenge.
    (Of course, you can, as some visitors have experimented with, simply try adding the letter ‘j’ or ‘z’ randomly to any word – but this will only get you so far.)
    Last but not the least, the syntactical structure of written Molvanian can be rather complex, with writers routinely using the triple negative. Hence,
    'Can I drink the water? '

    becomes 'Erkjo ne szlepp statsik ne var ne vladrobzko ne '
    (literally, ‘is it not that the water is not not undrinkable?’)

    Fortunately, conversational Molvanian for the native speaker is a little less formal, and a native speaker wanting to know
    'Can I drink the water?'

    would only have to say ‘Virkum stas?’
    (while clutching their stomach in a gesture of gastric distress.)


    Learning couple of historical facts before departure will certainly help you make your way in Molvania:
    The Middle Ages saw Molvania invaded by numerous armies, including the Goths, Tatars, Turks, Huns, Balts, Lombards and even a surprisingly militant band of Spanish nuns, before Molvania’s first king and patron saint Fyodor I, set about unifying his country by killing off as many of its citizens as he could. Those not murdered or imprisoned were forced into teaching.

    • Molvania experienced a brief flowering of Renaissance culture, with some historians putting the actual period down to about three weeks towards the end of 1503.
    • In 1541 a peasant army attempted to turn on the landowners but the uprising was suppressed and the leader Gyidor Dvokic burned alive on a red-hot iron spike, giving rise to the modern Molvanian witticism ‘eich zdern clakka yastenhach!’ (literally ‘my rectum feels as if a great heat is being applied’).
    • The 17th century saw Molvania divided into various fiefdoms, each under the control of a despotic ruler who would ruthlessly crush the slightest sign of unrest; this was considered one of the country’s most enlightened periods.



    I am sure you've also considered travelling to San Sombrero and Phaic Tan?

    If yes, drop me a pm, some of my friends who live there will be most happy to receive you as their guest and take you around!
    Ohh, and of course - when you are in Molvania, just wave, its nearby, i'll come to meet you and have couple of glasses of exquisite Molvanian wine, made of the extraordinary grapes from the valleys of significant monotony...





    The extracts in Italics are quoted or adopted from the book " MOLVANIA – a land untouched by modern dentistry"
    "If you knew who walked beside you, you'd never known fear."

  8. #38
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    1. What languages do you speak?

    2. How many times have you told someone you are from Montenegro, and they had no idea what/where that is?

    :P (I always knew about Montenegro, I just had to ask though)

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetfart View Post
    1. What languages do you speak?
    Couple of Slavic ones - Russian, Bulgarian, (quite similar to Bulgarian, but still) Macedonian , studied in Prague used to speak fluent Checz - as i don't use it, its mostly passive knowledge now (but can read papers, watch tv etc., have essential convo);
    its funny because my mother tongue - Serbo Croatian - counts as four languages now , so i guess i have four 'mother tongues' ... Its a political question and of course all the countries that emerged from ex Yu have the right to call the language they speak as they want, but more than 70% of Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Bosnian are the same , same grammar, same words, we perfectly well understand each other.

    English, Italian, intermediate Chinese and that's it.

    (I did study couple of more languages - have Veveos certificate in Greek, but as i never practiced it i can't say i really speak it . )

    Honestly, i think there is a limit of how many languages a person can speak decently - i had a colleague from Belgium who claimed he spoke 20+ ... yes, Belgs are privileged because they are polyglot from the start and have a good base to learn other languages ; but when he spoke Italian for example he put all the verbs in infinite form as he didn't know conjugations...
    Also, all the Slavic languages were some kind of mixture of Russian and who knows what with occasional proper word form that language... so its not really speaking a language in my view.

    After Chinese i thought i am done, it was very difficult for me and i invested huge effort to learn what i know and for over three years afterwards i had some kind of blockage, as if my brain had enough of it all...
    They say an eloquent person uses some 2000 words in their speech (in any language), but multiply that by all the languages you speak... and at some point you'll arrive to the point where there is no more 'storage'.
    Again, i am no brain scientist - but i do think that actually speaking foreign languages and fluently - is limited to no more than four or five.
    (After Chinese for me it was Greek - but i just learned it for the exams - and can't say that i made a real progress... )



    How many times have you told someone you are from Montenegro, and they had no idea what/where that is?

    :P (I always knew about Montenegro, I just had to ask though)
    Well honestly, i am still flattered and happy when someone from US (not a politician from State Department specialized in Balkans that is ) or Australia knows about us... I am surprised how many people do know ...
    Before internet and before Balkan wars - i think very few outside Europe knew; Europeans were travelling here because its "exotic", has beautiful sea shore and amazing history, but that's it - we are small, high in the mountains,
    didn't have industry ever (and industrial revolution accordingly), major art movements have passed by us - renaissance for example... For example if you studied literature in Sorbonne, the only author you'd study about from Montenegro would be Prince-Bishop Njegos
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petar_I...87-Njego%C5%A1
    and not even The Mountain Wreath that we take pride in, but the Ray of Microcosm that's considered one of the earliest works influenced by Kabbalistic thought in these parts.
    Oh yes, we had beautiful princesses and many of them married to the most influential European dynasties.
    Anthropologists would know because we are the only people in this part of the world who have tribal society - we still have tribes and fraternities (sub divisions inside the tribes) and even to me because i grew up abroad its difficult to comprehend fully, but basically - everyone from your fraternity is considered a relative and you mustn't marry until the 8th generation (while by secular law its 4th generation - but you won't find here anyone who married "that close".)
    My father is a member of 'tribal court of elders' (him been a diplomat in career who lived 40y abroad , some other members being PhD, members of academy of science etc.), and basically every dispute between the members of the tribe is firstly taken there - if you have issue over property, land or whatsoever; only if the problem is not solved there - its taken to the secular authorities; but as long as i can remember, things has never arrived to the court because everyone tries hard to solve it inside, without involving the "outsiders" and thus loosing face and giving bad name to the tribe.

    But, in the first place, we are known for resisting Turks for centuries - if in Istanbul in Topkapi palace you look at the huge map of the Ottoman Empire and where it spread - there is just one tiny spot that isn't colored green - that's us and that centuries long struggle for freedom in the harshest of circumstances, victoriously fought by a small nation against a huge empire inspired many great minds such as Pushkin, Scott Fitzgerald, Vladimir Vysotsky and numerous others.

    So, when speaking to someone i presume hasn't heard of my country and my people i simply say ' i am from one of those small countries that no one knows exactly where they are', but more often than not i am pleasantly surprised.

    Thank you for your interest.
    "If you knew who walked beside you, you'd never known fear."

  10. #40
    FlakeySnowballer Guest
    How have you been?

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlakeySnowballer View Post
    How have you been?
    Thanks for asking after me Flakey!

    Stressed, because of the assignments i am working on and the bl**dy keyboard thing that makes me waste time instead of writing efficiently, BUT...

    Ta-da! Excited to announce the next person in the hot seat...

    *insert sound of fanfare*

    ...
    Last edited by Ruth123; 15-03-2011 at 21:40.
    "If you knew who walked beside you, you'd never known fear."

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    Thanks for your answers and your courage, Ruth123! Moving on indeed, this thread is closed!
    We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

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