Serbian Christmas / by Anthony Brooks

Headaches

In my last post, I was just getting over my NYE alcohol transfusion. Had I stuck to one type of liquor, I probably wouldn't have had such an adverse reaction (aka a hangover). Instead, I drank multiple types ranging from rakija and tequila to vodka and jager. Topped with beer. Needless to say, it sucked. Luckily, I'm over it now and back to tip-top shape!

This Last Week

The last 7 days have consisted of productive periods and some mind-numbing downtime. Serbian (Orthodox) Christmas took place. Ironically, nobody at the hostel is of fully Serbian decent/a native and thus, our meal consisted of pasta made by an Italian. It was still an interesting concept to wrap my brain around. Unlike prior years, I spent the night eating at a large table with an Australian, Singaporean, Canadian, Italian, Russian, and Honduran. We fairly well represent the various regions of the Earth and all get along rather well (minus occasional disagreements). See why it's funny? Eh, if not and in the case that the humor lies solely in my mind, I'll explain. You see, to me, it was like a mini peace summit. Gathered from all over the world to share in some simple yet delicious pasta ☺. Anyways, other than that, the night was rather uneventful.

Following that day, big changes were brought forth!  Fritz, the dog, has started going on longer walks (runs... they're mostly runs) to a semi-nearby park where I've been jogging to to use the outdoor exercise equipment. Which is great because he gets restless and when that happens, he can be more than slightly annoying. Oh, and did I mention it's been snowing a lot? Fritz loves it and runs around throwing his rope and then chasing after it. Still not as cold as I'm used to in Indiana, but there have been a few chilly days. In the last post, you can see the snowman in the photos and he's managed to survive the week (though today was warm and he's dying the worst of ways; slowly). Moving on... We ordered (and received) a replacement pan for our kitchen. Issue numero uno: we needed a skillet and instead got a wok. Solution? The wok has a fairly flat surface floor and thus works perfectly as a small skillet (for omelets and crepes). Did I mention it's stoneware? Something I've dearly missed. 

Anywho, most who read this could probably care less about kitchenware, dog, and snow. Other than these few things, I've been focusing largely on a) working on the hostel's website and b) creating an updated portfolio pdf file and establishing a name for myself as an illustrator. Odd jobs here and there are proving to be ineffective as a means of income so I need to really make myself known as a freelancer. The file is nearly complete and contains a large variety of work done in the past year. So hopefully it helps to capture the attention of potential employers! 

Other than that (^), my time here seems fairly boring when put into words. I've met new people, worked on speaking Serbian, and enjoyed my time here. Serbia's great, as is this entire trip and I'm without a doubt glad that I took the leap and did it! Oh, and today's Orthodox New Years, so I'm going with to a giant warehouse club. Should be interesting?

On a downer-ish note, Fritz knocked a cup of tea over onto my sketchbook and as much of the work was done in non-waterproof ink, several pages turned into smudges. Luckily, I turned it into something interesting by using white and black ink and treating the paper as grey-toned paper. What I'm saying is it all worked out. If you're curious what the sketchbook looked like pre-tea, you can download a copy HERE

Weekly log: finito. 

-Anthony