venerdì 26 febbraio 2010

Les Providences.. good, old days I miss

Dear diary,

It's been almost ten years since I moved to Italy, as I already mentioned, and sometimes I feel like it was yesterday. No, I do not feel old, I just feel a sort of nostalgy for good old days when everything was so easy, so different, I can not find the right adjective right now but I know that exists.. You know what I mean? When you are young, you do not care about problems, you just feel happy, no matter happends. More you grow up, more problems you have. As my mum would say, small children, small problems. Big children, big problem. The fact is that I am not a child anymore, although dad says that I am acting like this. However, I would totally disagree. My only problem is that I feel so depressed, or better, I thought I was depressed, but I realized on time that I was wrong. It's easier to invent various illnesses instead to face the reality, and reality is not that noir. On the contrary. My reality is colorful. Sometimes darker, usualy very bright and to this bright reality I need to be attached to. My reality is my family and my friends, athough most of them are far away but we will be always united, thanks to common memories and where these memories will lead me tonight? Right to the convitto!

I spent my first university year at the catholic dormitory for girls, called Convitto delle suore della providenza, where I met my Providences: Fabiola, Alessandra, Clara e Giorgia, without whom my first university year would not be the same, maybe worse, especially if I take into consideration the very strict nun, suor Adeodata, who was always there to keep an eye on us. There were certain rules to be followed.... And where you are young, how can you obey rules? No way, especially if the rule says: Come back home at 10 p.m. To be honest, there were days with no rules, when we could come back at any hour, wednesday, the famous mercoledì universitorio, and saturday, but the problem was that on almost hundred girls there were only three entrance keys. Big confusion! Until we found the way out by hiding the key under a doormat. I remember, once my mum came to visit me, I was at the third year and girls at the time had their own flat, and it was an ordinary week day. We went out but obviously, when we returned home, it was almost 1 a.m. No key, no party would say George Clooney, but then I discovered a secret path from the neighbouring hospital leading to the basement of our dormitory. Actually, the girls discovered it but it was a really big invention and solution of all our problems, and not only for me but also for the following generations.

The life in a catholic dormitory was not always that bad. I liked holiday time, especially before Christmas, when we would organize a big party, with a mass. I am not catholic, I am orthodox and at the beginning I was so afraid of going into their church because I was convinced that it was forbidden. But then, I remember it clealy, it was Sunday before our first exam, my friends ask me to go to a mass with them. I was a bit confused but after a priest from the dormitory told me that we were all christians, I decided to go. First thing I noticed, everyone was sitting. At the orthodox church, during a mass, we always stand up. And the other strange thing for me it was that everybody was singing. I like a lot to sing, at school I was a membre of choir, so for me it was the best part of the mass. By time passed, I learned all religious chants and for every Christmas I was there, ready to sing. And my heart was full of happiness. Every and each time I was happy because I was surrounded with friends and they all were for me a sort of family, nuns includeed. They thought me some things for which I will be always grateful to them, especially a cooking nun.

Before coming to Italy, I was really a big disaster in the kitchen. I was not even able to prepare a simple coffee. My best speciality was the instant pasta. You know that receipe, right? You put a water to boil and then you add pasta and powder from the paper bank. In ten minutes, your lunch or dinner is ready. It's not maybe that tasty but with some parmigiano it's perfect or better say eatable. After some time time I learned to cook, I even improved myself in cooking. I won't be a super chef but my cakes are great! I like to prepare cakes and sweets. I am quite a gourmand. One of my Providences, Giorgia, used to call me diabete because of sweets, I can not say no to them. Never. Luckily, I am not a model, nor would like to be. I like myself the way I am. Although I should loose some weight. Poco.

I would like to end my story with nuns with one particular memory. I was almost to become a suora. The nuns thought that I would be a perfect nun, they even thought to convert me into Catholicism. Could you see me as a nun? In black and white? No, not me. No offence, but I am happy to be an Orthodox, although my name does not sound christian. And to be honest, I prefer other colors. And no, I am not speaking about the foodball! But if you want to know, I prefer black and blu. Whatever that means.

martedì 23 febbraio 2010

My favorite bureaucratic misadventure

Dear diary,

Last night while I was speaking with Piermario, it's already a sort of habit to speak with him late in the evening since he now lives in Houston and there is a time difference with Italy of seven hours, he reminded me of one episode of my life we both experienced, although in a different manner. Tonight I would like to remember that special day which was, to certain extent, also my worst nightmare.

Since I was a child, I was a big fan of music, and even now, music is a big part of me, of my soul and I don't think I would manage to live without it. One of my favorite group when I was a child was a rock group from Sarajevo called Bijelo dugme. The white button. Unfortunately, with a war in the ex-Yugoslavia, the group disintegrated and the leader, Goran Bregović, became, at international level, a very famous composer. In 2005 the group got united for the first time and decided to organize concerts in various Balkan capitals. At that time, it was a period before graduation, I had a group of friends, all of them were as much as I was a fan of Bijelo dugme, and we all were born in the country which didn't exist anymore. We all met in 2002/2003, although one of them, Bojan, was already, for a year, a student of our faculty, when my dear Balkan girls came in. Maja from Belgrade, Selma from Pula, Sanja and Selina from Rijeka (Croatia), Ira from Slovenia and Aleksandra from Ohrid (Ex Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). We formed a so-called Balkan group and we were often hanging out together. When we found about the concerts of our favorite group, immediately we decided to go. The Belgrade concert was during a summer exam session so we opted for a concert in Croatian capital Zagreb, which was closest to Italy. Ira's brother was living in Zagreb so he bought us tickets. At the beginning my mum was contrary to send me to Zagreb, although I was not going alone there but with my close friends, because she would prefer that I was going to Belgrade and especially because I would miss her birthday. Luckily, my dad managed to convince her so at the end, on 22nd June, Bojan, Maja, Aleksandra, Bojan's girlfriend Cristina and me left Gorizia and we were heading via Slovenia to Zagreb. The others were already there, waiting for us.

The concert was amazing. We were so excited to be there and to sing songs of our days, our lives and our friendship. I still remember the moment when everybody sang in chorus: Jugoslavijo na noge, pjesme nek se čuju... Get up Yugoslavia, let our songs be heard... It was so touching. I was thinking about the war, about all innocent victims, among whom was also my Bosnian friend from a childhood, and I was surprised to hear all that people singing a sort of anthem for all of us who were born in that country. At some point, there was my mum favorite song and I took a mobile from my purse to call her and let her hear some verses of the song. Maybe if I didn't do it the rest of that evening would be better definitely. After the concert ended, Bojan, Maja, Cristina, Aleksandra and me, we went for a dinner in some restaurant and after it we supposed to go back to Gorizia. Bojan had to work the next day. At the moment of payment, I realized that my small beg with a passport inside was missing. There was also my Italian resident permit and some money I put aside, in case of need, plus my Serbian mobile card. I didn't care much about the money but I was aware that without those documents, it would be impossible to go back home in Italy. I said home because my parents were also living in Italy and Trento is still my second home.

The first thing to do was to go to a police station to declare what happened. I didn't know whether I was robbed or that I lost the bag while calling my mum. Actually, first we tried to walk back and to see if we could find the bag, but it was quite useless. A police officer made us wait a lot to tell us at the end that they could not help me and that I had to go to my embassy. It was late in the night so we had to wait until morning. Bojan went back to Italy and Maja and Aleksandra stayed with me all night long. We sat on the bench and tried to relax. Actually they tried to calm me down, I was crying all the time. I was really quite upset. Aleks, we call her like this, had a redbull, which didn't give us wings but helped us to stay awake. In the morning we informed other Croatian girls who stayed in Zagreb too about what happened and they joined us at the Serbian embassy. I was the only one who could enter, they had to wait me outside.

The woman at the embassy was very rude. I was upset so much and instead of trying to help me, she was making me literally crazy. She asked me what happened and after I finished to tell my story, she shouted at me. "How could you allow to yourself to loose a passport in Croatia!" "I didn't do it on purpose." I replied. She asked me for my dad's number and she called him immediately. "Your daughter lost her passport and we will deport her to Serbia." Deport. I felt like I was a criminal. Then she asked me to prove that I was a Serbian citizen. Since I just had in my wallet my Italian id, the Serbian one I had left at the dormitory, I was allowed to call Italy and ask someone to send by fax a copy of it. Guess who I called? Piermario! I was so upset that I could not remember where I had put my Serbian id so I asked him to search for it in my room, in some of drawers. The problem was that my id was in Cyrillic and he had problems to recognize it. Luckily, our classmate Tatiana was from Russia so she helped him. He went God knows where, at the University and at the mastercopy shop, but after some problems, he managed to sent a copy of id. And the other requirement, the certificate of birth, was sent to the embassy by our family friend in my hometown. While all this was happening, my friends outside the embassy tried everything to help me. Selina's mum tried to help with Italian consulate in Rijeka, where she worked, and they wanted to give me some document in order to pass the border and go back. Bojan, when he was back to Italy, called his friend at Serbia's embassy in Slovenia. They also wanted to help me but I was ignored of all this diplomatic involvement in my case. I found out it by the impolite woman from the embassy who informed me that I would loose my Serbian citizenship if "they continue to receive the external pressure". Finally, late in the afternoon I obtained my putni list. A sheet with which I could go back to Serbia. And I got as well a friendly warning to leave Zagreb with the first train that was arriving to Belgrade at one o'clock A.M.

It was out of question to take that late train. First, I didn't want to wake any of my Belgrade friends, especially not my cousin who was studying there and who was angry with me for not joining him at Belgrade's concert. Luckily, Sanja's friend Nataša gave me a possibility to stay over night at her student house, and the following morning I took a train to Belgrade. I was so happy when I get to train station of our capital that I wanted to give a kiss to a ground of motherland. Later on I went to my hometown. When I arrived to my aunt's place everybody was making fun of me because of that Zagreb adventure. My uncle called me Selma, by one Bijelo dugme song which says "putuj Selma... travel Selma". When I went to the police office, to ask for new documents, I received a telephone call from Denis, my Croatian friend from Trieste. That weekend she was at home in Pola. She was notifying me that my bag with documents was found and that I had to call the police headquarters in Zagreb. Luckily, police officers are not always stupid so they inserted my Serbian mobile card and they saw I had a Croatian friend, by Denis name I put the abbreviation CRO , so they called her, she called me... I called Nataša who was so kind to go to the police office, take my bag and send it to me by bus. I took a bag at the Belgrade station few minutes before my bus to Trieste had to depart.

At the end, everything was ok. I got my documents back. I came back to Gorizia. I gave a thankful hug to Piermario. I missed only my last two exams... But I passed them in the autumn session and I graduated in December. And all my Balkan and non Balkan friends were there. We celebrated together all night long but that's another story. Once maybe I'll write it. Now it's to late for it. As usual.

domenica 21 febbraio 2010

The collection of postcards

Dear diary,

I am holding in my arms a postcard that Jelena brought me from Hvar this summer. On my desk there is an old metal frame with a picture of my parents and inside of it, I put two postcards. The one from Hvar, Croatia, and the other one is from Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegovina. This summer my dear friend Piermario and his lovely wife Francesca went to Mostar for a wedding of our friend Daniele, I was supposed to go too but my passport was expired, and they were so kind, as usual, to give a contribution to my collection. I really don't know why I put them in that odd place. Probably because I wanted to feel near me my dear friends. Yes, I know. I am too nostalgic. I need to have dear people around but the fact is that all my friends live abroad, far away from me, and sometimes we even don't see each other for more than one year. I must admit that I hate this, but I had to get used to it. There is one Serbian song which goes like this: "Moji su drugovi biseri rasuti po celom svetu. I ja sam selica al' ih ponekad sretnem u letu." It says that "my friends are like perls, spread all around the world. I am also a migratory bird but sometimes I meet them during my flight." Ok, maybe the translation is not that perfect. But important is the sense of this verse, right?

Where were we? Ah, yes, postcards. When I was a kid, my hobby was collecting napkins. The paper one and in different colours and with different designs. I had more than 300 napkins. But, when I moved to Italy, I discovered postcards! Ok, maybe there was this necessity to decorate my room at the catholic dorm which was so depressing, but after some time, I noticed that I really was so thrilled everytime someone decided to surprise me with a postcard. So I said to myself: Why not collecting them? My Italian friends were traveling quite often, and I was all the time asking them to send me or bring one. Ok, maybe that was unpolite, but it was important that my collection grow up.

In 2003, I decided to spend a summer holiday in Serbia. While I was there, one day my dad phoned me. He was very angry. "Who the hell is Piermario?" He asked me shouting. "My friend from university. Why?" I asked. "Why? He must be crazy. He sent you four postcards!" "Oh, really? Great. Dad, you know, I am collecting postcards." I said while laughing. The situation was so funny for me but not for my dad. "Since when you collect postcards? I don't know nothing about it!" "Well, there's been three years almost." I was so happy and at the same time proud of my big collection. That summer Piermario was in an Interail trip and from every place he visited, he sent me a postcard. I believe that for now, he is one of the most significant contributors of my postcard collection and I am so grateful to him. By the way, I would appreciate a postcard from Houston. My adress is still the same.

It's late. Yes, yes. I know, as usual. I'll put Jelena's postcard at its place and I'll go to bed now. and tomorrow... Tomorrow is another day and another story. I already have an idea for it. Actually, it was Piermario's idea. It seems to me that he got too serious the role of participant in my stories. I do not care about it. Memories don't ask about actors but about emotions and emotions would not be the same without my friends. We are all passengers of the same boat, the boat simply called life. And my life has this sense thanks to them.

Good night dear friends, where ever are you now....

sabato 20 febbraio 2010

"I will go to Moscow by train!" "That's out of question!"

Dear diary,

You know what just crossed my mind? That cold autumn of 2003 in Moscow. I should look for a photo album from that period, but in this caos, I wouldn't know where to find it. Actually, there is a box with all my university stuff, but I have never opened it since I graduated. Should I do it now? In the middle of a night, a moment before going to sleep. Yes, it's late. As usual. My favourite moment of a day when I am most active. Most creative.

We were in the middle of the second term, third year of BA, when my professor of Russian language announced that our group will pass one month in Moscow, in exchange program at the Moscow state university of international relations, so-called MGIMO. You can immagine our happiness and enthisiasm. We were suppposed to spend one month in Russia, to study the language, and for us it was an amazing opportunity. I was so thrilled because of it, except for one insignificant detail: we had to take a plane and for me it was the first time. Since I was a kid, I was suffering from acrophobia (fear of heights), and there was no way I would fly to Moscow!

"I will go to Moscow by train!" I said to the professor. "That's out of question! How many days you would like to travel by train? You will take the plane with others!" She was cristally clear. There was no way that I would go by train. I had to fly, or to give up, and I didn't want it. For everybody that was the real occasion for me to be cured, so after some discussions, I was finally convinced that there was no other way out except of being brave and fly. In the middle of summer holiday, my colleagues informed me about the flight we supposed to take together from Malpensa Milano airport, so I went to the travel agency. When I took that ticket, I knew I had taken the right decision. I was still afraid, but I had to face all my fears. And win, ofcourse.

The day of 9th October 2003 I will remember forever. I went to Milano almost four hours before our flight. I wanted to get used to the atmosphere of the airport. I was watching planes departuring and landing, and my heart was doing bum-bum. In one of those big birds I would experience the moment of touching the sky and I don't know if I was more terrified or excited. Soon the others arrived and I had to say good-bye to my dad. We had to check in, my first check in. Like it was yesterday! After a while, we took a bus which led us to the plane. I met a bosnian couple on it, I remember. On the plane, I was so nervous. I spoke a lot while we were taking of. I said a bunch of stupid things. I even mentioned our french prof I hated, De Gioia! At some point, Laura told me to calm down. We were flying and I was still alive! On our way back from Moscow, I was sleeping. They had to wake me up to tell me that we were landing to the Malpensa airport. Everything was ok.

Luckily, I continued to fly. After it I went to Paris. Alone! Then there was my first time to Belgrade by plane. Then Vienna. Istanbul. Now, you won't believe, but I adore to fly. And everytime it's a new experience. New emotion. Acrophobia? What was that?

And there is a proof. A picture taken at the Moscow airport.

venerdì 19 febbraio 2010

The Belgrade revange

Dear diary, or should I say dear Belgrade?

Strange how memories sometimes come out at the moment when we don't want them, or believe that we already got rid of them, but they are always present somewhere in our minds, in our hearts and pay us visit when we less expect them. That's exactly what happened to me today.

When I woke up this morning, the sky was dark grey and it was raining heavily. It seemed autumn, yes autumn, and inevitably, or maybe I just wanted it, the view from my window sent me back in the past. Approximately ten years ago. It was 3rd September 2000 and I was about to take a part of my new life adventure simply called Italy. The weather was pretty much the same as today's. I had a feeling that the sky was crying of sadness or those were "tears" of happiness? I had to feel happy, I thought I was happy, as a matter of fact I was happy. Italy here I come!

"Izvini, ti si iz Beograda?" A quite tall, blond girl with a strange accent was approching me ready to shake her hand with mine. I was happy to see that among all that crowd of students there was someone who was speaking my language, except for that "Are you from Belgrade?". At the sound of that name, white city, a capital of my country, Federal Republic of Jugoslavia, I got rigid, almost anoyed, not to say angry. "No, I am not from Belgrade. I am from Kraljevo, but these "stupid" Italians just know for Belgrade, like there were no other cities in Serbia. Let say that I am a temporary Beograđanka. At least during the entrance exams." I replied politely. The girl smiled. "My names is Denis. I am from Pula, in Croatia." I smiled too. From one side I was astonished because one Croatian girl was that open, she made actually the first step towards me, but from the other side I was quite happy. I had a friend, although just for one day, but that was already a plus, considering the entire situation. Unknown country. Unknown people. Among total strangers there was someone familiar, with whom I could speak the same language, and laugh, and even after ten years, almost ten years, I still have my Istrian friend. That was the first time somebody considered me from Belgrade but it was not enough to made me change my mind about it. My destiny was to hate Belgrade forever. I was not aware of the fact that "takes two for tango" and that once I would learn to "dance".

A couple days after the entrance exam I got a telephone call from Denis who was informing me that I passed that exam and that I was in. Unfortunately, that was not her case, but luckily she managed to transfer to the other university in Trieste, while I stayed in Gorizia, a divided town in italian and slovenian part, where my department for international and diplomatic studies was situated. No metter of distance, we continued our balcan friendship. After some problems, one week after the lessons at university began, I finally managed to find a place to live, and I moved from a hotel where I was to a catholic student house only for girls where already some of my female collegues were living. One day one of the nuns told me that there was a girl from my country in the room 99, on the tird floor. And guess what, Snežana, that was her name, was from Belgrade. Oh, no, Belgrade again. It was the second time in a few days and it was a really nightmare. And it was just a beginning.

One day Snežana asked me why I was so allergic to her hometown. Was that obvious? , I was asking myself. You do not hate something or someone for nothing. There must have been something. And it was. For the very same reason I refused Marina's proposal to study English together at the Belgrade university. A part of the fact I really wanted to leave Serbia because I was fed up with a Milošević regime and I saw the only way out in quitting the country. I learned Italian in six months. Yes, I wanted to study abroad, but in case that something went wrong with this plan A, my plan B would never be Belgrade. No way! Snežana thought that was some love delusion behind this Belgrade resistance, but she was quite away from the truth. I simply hated Belgrade because..yes why? Because Belgrade stole my childhood, that's why! But town itself can not be guilty. The roots of this hatred were deeper and they were even leeding to my hometown. Did I hate both, Belgrade and Kraljevo, and was I simply running away from both with that life trip to Italy?

Everything began when I got born. In winter of 1979, 4th December, in a city hospital where a so-called doctor, after beating my mum, left her at the surgery table with the words that her shift was over and that she did not care neither for me nor for my mother. While nurses called other doctor, they lost a lot of time and while my mom was dying, the doctor arrived. They pulled me out somehow and they tore some nerv of my back which caused my immobility. I was ok, I began to speak on time, but I was not able to walk. When you live in the province, when doctors can't fix things, they simple wash their hands, and they send a patiant to some capital hospital. That's how I ended up, at the age of a couple months, to Belgrade. Until I was four, when I made my first own steps, I spent some time in various hospitals, mostly at the institute for mother and child. Nobody knew why I was not able to walk and they suggested to my parents to address some "upper forces". My mum and dad brought me to various nadrilekari. We never knew what exactly happened, but on Bogojavljenje of 1984, I made first steps, thank God, sometimes miracle happends and maybe that was my cases. However, from time to time I had to go back to Belgrade, for various check ups, and I was always upset. Bad memories were stronger than I was and they guided me through entire my life and they still do. The last bad memory is of 1994, when I had a plastic surgery at Tiršova. Again some doctors made a mistake and I had to pay. It was probably my destiny but all these things made me a better and stronger person. And that was a story I told to Snežana. For the first time I was able to do it and to face all my fears. Soon, after her Erasmus ended, Snežana left and from that point, I believe, the revenge of Belgrade had the official beginning.

Last night I mentioned internet. At some point I began to chat. Something, some strange force, made me visit always the room Belgrade, and I started to chat with Beograđani daily. After every day, I was noticing that my mood was changing. It was not easy to admit why I hated that much their town, and they were all insisting on Belgrade's beauty, people. I always considered people from Belgrade uobraženima, they were full of themselves. Period. Full stop. And they were angry because of that. In that period I began to write my book and unconsciously I located the story in Belgrade I even didn't know, nor I wanted to know. It was the first serious sign I ignored. Consciously this time. In summer 2003 I came on holiday in Serbia and my chat friends proposed me to spend one weekend in Belgrade. If I had refused, they would consider me coward, so I accepted. It was my first visit in peace. I had fun, I admit, but I was far away to consider our capital a friendly town. It needed some years. Four to be precise.

In spring of 2004, my faculty organized a study field trip to Balcans. One week in total, two das, guess where, in Belgrade. It was a great week, really, except one negative note. While we were leaving Belgrade, I, for no reason, began to cry. I was shocked! Was I sad because of leaving Belgrade! Couldn't be! No way! And another year passed. Again spring, a year after. I decided to write about Jugoslavia - Vatican state relations after the II WW, that was my BA thesis topic, and my mentor had a brilliant idea. He sent me to do a research at the State archive, where? Not in Rome, for undergraduate student is not possible to visit state archives, but again where? In Belgrade! One month in Belgrade, on Medak III. This time I made a tourist. I was going everywhere with a map of town, and I discovered, peace by peace, some new Belgrade. A different Belgrade. Even lovely, to some extension. But the really conversion was possible only in 2007. In summer of 2007.

I knew Jelena from some internet forum and at some point, somewhere between 2005 and 2006, we began to chat on msn. At that time I was at MA in Forlì, and she was studying Spanish in Belgrade. We had a lot of things in common. We were studying "together" online, and chatting in the breaks. And eating, how could I forgot it? :) One day we began to call each other seko, sister, and almost for four year she is for me like a real sister I never had. Meantime, I initiated to listen TDI radio online, with a chatbox, where I "met" Marko, my dear friend, and that summer of 2007, he and Jelena pick me up at the Belgrade's airport, where we met for the first time, and it was like we knew each other for years. I still can hear the ecco of his words when he called me after I landed at the Surčin airport. "There is something tall and blond, it is waiting for you at the exit. I am waiting for you in the car." And then I saw her, holding a pink pack of pink candles, our favourite colour. We immediately hugged each other and I was so happy. My dear belgrade sister. My mum was upset. "A totally unknown gir is coming to pick you up at the airport. You are crazy!" She said. And I laughed. I knew how it would be and it was even better.

That summer Jelena had a mission. To go with me to the Hungarian embassy. One morning I came to Belgrade and we supposed to meet in front of McDonald's , at Slavija square but.... I went to Terazije. "Seko, where are you?" She phoned me. "I am in front of McDonald's." I replied. "Where? I can't see you." "You know, I am near the main entrance. There are some bikes." "Where?" "Here, near me." "I can't see them. Don't tell me that you went to Terazije!" Oh, no. It was exactly what I did. I went to the opposite side. "It seems so." We still laugh about. Now, there is no way that I would make the same mistake." Ivana, I mentioned last night, is Jelena's best friend, a dear and crazy friend I also love so much. I also met her that summer. It was nice. In summer of 2008 she hosted me, while I had some bureaucratic problems to solve at the Italian embassy and I also spent two days at her place last September. I will always blame these two young ladies from Voždovac for my "conversion". And not only two of them. But also some other people as my "addopted" child who still calls me mum. Jovana. And Nemanja. And Ida. Milica, now in New York. Marija H. Bojan, my dear friend I met in Paris. Jelena R., Ivana G., Đole, from that chat period I mentioned before. Tijana K. I met in Italy. And ofcourse, people from the Alpbach summer school. We spent great 12 days in Belgrade this autumn.

You know, I applied for job in Belgrade. I don't know whether I will get accepted or not. But I know one thing. I learned to "dance". And for me, now, there are no doubts. Belgrade is a sort of home. A place where I am happy and where live some people without whom my life would not have the same sense. Seko Jejo, Ivana, hvala!

Good-night Belgrade, I miss you!

"You are everywhere" Am I omnipresent...meaning addicted to internet? Hm...

Dear diary, it's me again, and it's quite late. Again. I know. What can I do if I have inspiration at some point of the evening. (Read: night.) However, there is San Remo on tv, the Italian music festival, and while I am trying to admire a golden dress of the festival presenter Antonella Clerici, (or it's her hair style that I admire? Whatever.), I decided to write few lines.

Yesterday Vladimir, a friend of mine from Serbia, wrote me in gtalk: "Eminče, svugde te ima." Eminče, a loving nickname that my family and friends from home still use when they speak with me, you are everywhere. "Idem u korak s vremenom." I am following step by step the time we live in, I replied. The time we live in, full of innovation, modernization and there is, of course, the greatest invention of the century: Internet. Before moving to Italy I was totally against it, or better, I did not know what was it. I did not even want to know about it. Technology of that kind was a špansko selo for me, a sort of tabou I gladly avoided. Actually, at the computer science classes, my friend Ljiljana was in charge of turning on and off that big tv box called computer. I was more for theoretical part of the thing. But, the case was that after the high school I moved to Italy and then everything changed too fast for my taste.

"Do you have e-mail?" A tall, blond guy from class asked me one day. "Do I have what? E- what?" "E-mail. La posta elettronica." The only electronic thing I knew about was connected somehow with some cables, but it was not my field of interest. "No, I don't have e-mail. I prefer normal letters. I am a member of pen friends organization." That was true. There was an Italian girl from Switzerland with whom I was practising italian, for my entrance exam at the university. The guy took my hand, still astonished, and dragged me to the pc room. We had a very important mission: to create my e-mail adress. "You need e-mail for all university stuff." "Can't I just send them a letter?" He probably thought that I was from some unknown planet. His eyes were saying: Are you sure that Serbia is a part of Europe, or better, is that some new planet? However, after a while, I got my yahoo adress. The first one. I have other two, but I mostly use the last one. The Gmail one. And the hotmail one is obviously just for the msn purposes.

That was just the beginning. One day I discovered that I can stay in touch with my friends in Serbia thanks to this Internet thing, to read Serbian newspapers online, and even to meet some new friends. So, that's how I discovered a chat. First there was java thing, then a famous icq, (I could not log to it now. How would I remember the id and password now?No way!) then that mirc program. It was a kind of way to "kill the nostalgy", speaking, writing to totally unknown people who were still in the country. With some of them I am still in contact, we even met in Belgrade one summer I was back home. And they quite helped me to discover Belgrade in a different way, and to estimate it and even love it. I had a very bad relation with a Serbian capital ten years ago. It is a quite long story, to be told some other time, but the most important thing is that Belgrade is now a big part of me and I would never be able to hate it again.

After I graduated, I went for an MA. I moved from Gorizia (I will speak further on about it) to Forlì and there I discovered a skype. A very cheap way for calling abroad. It was quite useful when I was in an exchange student program in Hungary, and it was the best way to be in contanct with my parents in Italy and the rest of my family in Serbia. In Hungary I discovered social networks. Firstly, there was a myspace. I have not open that profile for a long time, probably I'll deactivate it one of these days. And after it, a facebook appeared. Actually, the facebook was quite useful for me. I found some old friends from my hometown, like Vladimir I mentioned already, Nadica, Tanja and others, who I haven't seen for 13-15 years. Where ever you go, people ask you if you have a facebook. Nobody asks any more if you have a house adress, and the most of people forgot how does it look like to receive a letter. I love letters. And sometimes I even write them. The only negative thing is that letters travel slowly. In one click you can open e-mail you received couple minutes ago. And it's easier. The next week is a birthday of Ivana, one of my dearest friends from Belgrade, and I have a perfect excuse to write a birthday card.

Now there is a twitter. Piermario helped me to find out about it. And ofcourse, the new toy, a google buzz. And Aleksandar, other my friend, already invented a new serbian verb: bazovati. What will be next? I do not not. I just discovered blog. It could be already labeled as something oldfashion. Outdated. But you know, I am from Serbia, and we are quite behind with modernization. At least some people say so. Am I that oldfashion? According to my friend Vladimir, I am everything but oldfashion. And, I would add, quite modern. It's 2010 now. And that is how the things work. If you are not online, you are outdated. But do not exaggerate. Somebody might call you addicted. My mum would say that I am addicted. I still prefer omnipresent. Whatever that means.

mercoledì 17 febbraio 2010

Dear diary.... the new beginning

Dear diary.. When did I write this phrase for the last time? Long time ago. I don't even remember when it was but I do recall thatI was ten when I got my first diary. I was on holiday in Greece with my parents and one day they bought me a small notebook with a lock and a small key. On the first page I put a date and year..and I started with "Dragi dnevniče" , dear diary in Serbian. I managed to keep it for a while, for some years of my childhood, but unfortunately I have never taken seriously the thing of having a diary. Maybe because I am not a constant person. My mum used to say that I was just writing for my soul but that I would never succeed to end what ever I was doing because every time I get bored, I just quit. Probably she was right. I never finished that "greek diary" and I left it behind, somewhere in the past, among all my old books, old photo albums and things belonging to some other life I used to live. I would like to find it, maybe the next time I'll go back to my hometown, and to read it and laugh about foolish things I wrote when I was an adolscent. It would be funny to find among the yellow pages of the never ended book all those people I grew up with. The most of them I haven't seen since the elementary school ended but from time to time I like to remember all of them and I am trying to immagine how my life would look like if I just did not leave my hometown at the age of 16. But I did and to be honest, I never regreted.
So, here I am again. I started a new "diary", my "multicultural" blog where I will try to express myself and where I would take a part of, I would call it journey "on the contrary". Soon it will be the 1oth anniversary since I moved from Serbia to Italy. A lot of things happened in these years, I had an incredible journey of my life and every single person I met "on the road" made my life complete. I dedicate this blog to them. To my family and friends, to simple acquaintances. To every person that crossed my road in these long 10 years.

Why I decided to create a blog?

It's 1:20 a.m. Instead of going to sleep, it's quite late I know, I decided to create a blog. It is true, I like to write, as much as I like to speak and I really do speak a lot. People who know me, they are usualy trying to interrupt me, but it is not that easy, I have to admit. And is true that I have a constant need to express myself, but I never did it in English before, except when I wrote some essays, a lot of them actually, during MA program. Somehow is difficult for me, and not only because I believe that you can best express your feelings and thoughts in your mother tongue. Does that mean that I should write in Serbian? Or maybe in Italian? Actually, it would be easier for me to write in one of those languages but I like all sort of challenges. So I'll try to keep this "diary" in English.
How come that I decided to open a blog? Well, it happened by accident. On twitter I found a link of a blog created by one Serbian woman who moved with her husband to the States. In her articles she was writing about her new life away from home and while I was reading her posts, I realized that I could do the same thing. So, I first created the account and after I created this blog. Will it help me to express myself in the way I desire? We will se. I'll do my best.
Thinking about the U.S. A friend of mine, Piermario, moved to Houston for work. He landed last night and we spoke this afternoon. I am really curious to hear his first impressions. And I wish him all the best for this new life adventure.
It's time to go to sleep. So, good night! Tomorrow is a new day.
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