Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Greatest Posts

Happy New Year! As you loyal readers know, it's been some time since I promised to post photos from this summer's travels in the former Yugoslavia. The job hunt, working, studying for the GRE, and applying to grad school has dealt a serious blow to my free time. When I do get around to posting, I want to do it right. Speaking of doing it right, the following is a list of links to my favorite posts. Let's go back in time together. Click and enjoy.

Year One - Mission Accomplished. This one has a nice letter from my students.

Hooray! Some cool pics from Germany.

Come Take a Walk With Me. Photos from my hiking route in Codlea.

A Christmas Stroll in Brasov/Remember the Revolution. Check out the slide show at the end.

Botezul Raducului (Raducu's Baptism). Awesome video clips here.

The Rasnov Medieval Fortress. Transylvanian tourism at its finest.

Iron Curtain Autos. Sweet rides.

A Week on the Road, Part One
A Week on the Road, Part Two
A Week on the Road, Part Three
A Week on the Road, Part Four
The epic journey through Northwest Transylvania and the Ukrainian adventure. Some of my best work.

The Beautiful Game. Soccer fans rejoice! Another personal favorite.

Return to Moldavia. One last time.

Beautiful Budapest - Buda
Beautiful Budapest - Statue Park
Beautiful Budapest - Pest
Beautiful Budapest - City Park
A photo journey through a lovely city.

What's your favorite post? Post a comment and let me know!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Hello all,

Yes, indeed I am slacking big time on the blog. I just finished taking the GRE and now I'm tackling grad school applications. Between that and my full-time job, you can understand why there's been nothing new for months. I'm going to try to get some photos up in January. I've still got to post photos from Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia & Montenegro.

Check back with me in mid-January and I'll hopefully have some new photos up.


Monday, October 08, 2007

I lied

Another delay. I'll try again this week. Sorry.

Monday, October 01, 2007

So Close....

New pics will be up within one week! Guaranteed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Still in it.

I swear that I have not forgotten about this blog. I REALLY am going to post the photos and write the stories from this summer's travels. Please don't give up on me yet!! Check back on October 1st. Hopefully I'll have something by then.


Friday, July 20, 2007

This Blog is Not Dead

I'm just busy. One thing that you don't learn in the Peace Corps is how to juggle. That is unless your NGO happens to be the circus. Highly unlikely. Anyway, I've been working a full time job for a week now. It's highly overrated, but it certainly plugs a hole in that sieve known as my bank account. Let's just say that the Peace Corps "readjustment allowance" doesn't allow one to readjust for too long, especially when one's been plopped in the middle of Streeterville. Chicagoans, you know what I'm talking about. I also have to cook and clean now. Ica, God bless her soul, took care of that for me for awhile.

Another time eater is getting reacquainted with my lady and visiting with my long-lost friends (and their children). Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about this aspect of my "New American Experience" (Maybe I should start a new blog with that as the title? Oh, wait, I don't have the time.), but I got used to having plenty of alone time (in retrospect, maybe too much). Sitting at the kitchen table writing this post, I realize that this is my first alone time in about 2 weeks! Sarah is out getting wined and dined by her future employer. She's getting really good at that.

Anyway, the point of this blog is to transmit a message to you, loyal reader: Don't give up on me just yet. I've got loads of photos from 5 countries to post on this blog and you don't want to miss them. Please bear with me. Belgrade will be our first stop, so again, stay tuned...

Friday, July 13, 2007

A New Set of Eyes

I've been back in America for two weeks now. Reverse culture shock is something else. I went from a nice house on a dirt road with a big courtyard and animals and cows walking by my bedroom window to a tiny studio one block off Lake Shore Drive and two blocks east of the Hancock Building and Michigan Ave. The first week was tough, but I adapt a little bit more each day. I'm seeing them in a different way now. Some examples:

Panhandlers. I used to feel sorry for them. I don't so much anymore, with the exception of disabled people (mentally or physically). In America, anyone that truly wants to work and earn an honest wage can do so. This is not so in other places. I've seen it with my own eyes, having traveled and lived in such places. I don't simply blame society anymore, as these people should be responsible for themselves. Actually, I blame the people who give them money, thus perpetuating the problem by enabling them to panhandle.

I know that this may be perceived as being a "conservative" opinion, but so be it. I guess that I expect more from my fellow Americans since completing my Peace Corps experience. If holding people accountable for their personal actions is a "conservative" disposition, well then you can just call me Barry Goldwater.

Patience. Americans have none. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Maybe we should heed the works of the great Axl Rose, "All we need is just a little patience (inhale) Patience...Ooh, oh, yeah". Last week, just walking the streets stressed me out to the point of longing for Codlea. I didn't think that it would happen so quickly! I made the mistake of slowing my approach to a crosswalk upon the appearance of the red flashing hand signal. I just figured I'd wait for the next green walking man. Oh no. I forgot that in Chicago we must speed up at such a moment. Time is of the essence. Everybody's in a hurry, but to go where and do what? Maybe nobody has enough time because there are too many choices? Too many things and activities to consume? I don't know. I guess I just feel like we don't truly learn, feel, and experience things if we don't stop to take the time to think and reflect on them. Why not stop and smell the roses instead of constantly thinking about what we "must" do next? It seems that America doesn't have time for this. This scares me a bit. Sometimes I worry about my country and where it is going.

Patience part 2. I was in Eddie Bauer the other day, buying a couple of pairs of pants, and this friendly, attractive young cashier became very stressed out by the fact that I had to wait for her to change the receipt paper roll in the cash register. I could feel the tension emanating from her. She apologized to me profusely, twice. I wasn't put off by having to wait. Sometimes the paper roll runs out. What are you gonna do but wait for it to be changed? I put her at ease by explaining that it wasn't a problem and I wasn't in a hurry. I told her that I knew that changing the paper roll can be difficult, as I had to do it when I worked retail once upon a time (Foot Locker). She smiled and let out a sigh of relief. I don't believe, however, that I did anything extraordinary. I just had patience, was friendly, and struck up a small conversation. It wasn't so hard. We exchanged smiles and said our goodbyes. I felt a bit sorry for her. Where does all of this pressure come from I wonder? It's all so complicated.