"hajt,ajде,aйде,haide" Romanian_Bat's Profile
The never dying image of Ari, a young Albanian that gave me both a ride from Saranda to Butrint and the best lesson on surviving in my life.
A 74 year old man going for the 70 km. long Fagaras Ridge in Romania for the last time in his life: "I want to say farewell to Moldoveanu Peak".
A young Kamaz truck driver sitting by his broken vehicle on a poor trail in Central Afghanistan for the second day, smiling in the sun and never minding the bitter cold or the dust.
An impressive taste of Balkanic cuisine in Sarajevo.
A young man that volontierly took almost half a day off his time to show us to Krak des Chevaliers and then to Hama, Syria, not speaking any English; I don't even know his name.
Being sent to go camping by a hut manager in Tatra Mountains, Slovakia, even though she knew that camping was forbidden and heavily charged.
The cheering spirit of the Serbs, filling the Kneza Mihaila all night long.
The biggest, best looking and best sold piece of tourist cake I have ever encountered: Istanbul, Turkey.
"If you allow me to give you a piece of advice, go and see a doctor, or you might have complications with the terrible sunburns on your face, just like I did" - a chocolate shopkeeper in Geneva when seeing my face after coming down the Mont Blanc.
Walking along the ghats in Varanasi, India, through that everlasting scent coming from corpses being burnt by the eternal and omnipresent River.
A piece of home made, simple but nevertheless great potato pie in Chisinau.
A 14 hour long hike in Rila Mountains, Bulgaria, in a crazy blizzard, ending with a sip of hot, boiled wine in Granchar Hut.
A trail where people have to stay in line in order to be able to hike in Bieszczady Mountains, Poland.
The overwhelming life beat around "Cola transportation hub", Beirut.
A 20 hour long train ride, cooking soup on the camping stove with a group of Poles and reaching Istanbul on the Easter day.
Criss-crossing the old town in Kathmandu during the late evening curfew, with light being provided only by scarce motorbikes stirring the dust and throwing surreal rays over old buildings, small temples, statues depicting Buddha, dogs or people.
An attempt to visit the fortress in Skopje, ending with almost being chased by police officers because it was considered a military site.
Starting hiking towards the Ras Dashen Peak, Ethiopia at 5 AM on the Easter Day, and passing by the faithful going to the church in Ambiko, dressed in impeccably white kamises shining in the moon rays.
The greatest classical music concert in my life, consisting of a single old bandura player in Kiev, Ukraine.
Missing the bus from Salalah in Southern Oman to Al Mukalla in Yemen and having to go 1000 km. back North to Muscat, get on a plane to Doha, and eventually connect on to Sana'a via Aden.
A hiking trip in Prokletije Mountains, on the border between Albania and Montenegro, staring at the "forbidden" Maja Jezerces.
A bustling old city, where autorickshaws, pedestrians, hand or horse-pulled carts, trucks, buses, sheep and motorbikes flow down the street, taking away the visitor, in Lahore, Pakistan.
A 10 minute long discussion with a conductor in Moscow, trying to explain him that my tickets were valid for that train, even though they were not printed in Cyrillic.
A warm and sincere smile joined by a cup of hot tea offered by a total stranger in a park in Tehran.
A stunning sunset over the Triglav in Slovenia, just before hiking the peak on Christmas day in a strong storm.
Old cities where they have removed all local life from the centre, restoring monuments as if they were new, to create a sterile, hospital-like atmosphere and make place for tourists, in Samarkand, Bukhara or Khiva.
A train ride, being granted only a transit stamp for Czech Republic because I refused to bribe the border police officer.
Hiking Tatra Mountains in the rain, going down to Lysa Polana and enjoying a traditional "mountain tea" (more vodka than tea).
Trekking among donkeys and goats, towards Djebel Toubkal, listening to Mohammed the Berber's singing.
This is my life.
The main gates to all large palaces in Istanbul open to the West, to the Balkans with all nations, mountains, faiths, music beats, stone bridges, caravansarayis and pastry shops this area hosts.
"This is how the oldest Romanian historian (i.e. Miron Costin) begins his chronicles: <<It is not man who rules over times, but rather times ruling over man>>. A crude formula, program and epitaph of one corner of Europe. To catch the tone of Balkan popular sensitivity, one needs only recall the lamentations of the chorus in Greek tragedies. By an unconscious tradition, a whole ethnic space has been marked by it. Routine of the sigh and of calamity, jeremiads of minor peoples before the bestiality of the great! Yet let us be careful not to complain too much: is it not comforting to oppose to the world's disorders the coherence of our miseries and our defeats? And have we not, in the face of universal dilettantism, the consolation of possessing, with regard to pain, a professional competence?"
Emil Cioran, "The Temptation to Exist", Gallimard, Paris - 1956
"The curse maker climbed the little minaret and stared for a while in our direction, toward where, in Turkish eyes, the accursed continent of Europe began. Down below, at the foot of the minaret, the imperial chronicler had opened a thick tome to record the event. Sukrullah raised his arms in front of him, so that they emerged from the wide sleeves of his half-clerical, half-laic gown. Everybody saw that the palms of his hands were exceptionally broad. However, nobody was surprised at this, because he was not the state's foremost curse maker for nothing. He studied his hands for a while and, turning his eyes toward the ash-coloured distance, raised his palms in front of his face to the level of his brow. His palms paled as the blood drained from them. He held them for a time until they were as white as the palms of a corpse, and then thrust them violently forward, as if the evil were in the form of a bubble he was dispatching into the distance. He did this three times in a row. The commination was complete. The curse traveled toward us, toward the lands of Europe; it went (or rather came) through the fog like some bird of ill omen, like a herald or a sick dream."
Ismail Kadare, "The Three-Arched Bridge", Shtepia Botuse "Naim Frasheri", Tirana - 1978
We Have Been and We Shall Be
"[...] they went on talking about Konstandin's other concepts, about the reasons that would impose changes within the life structure in the Arber, reasons linked to the hurricanes that he had foreseen, linked to the very location of the Arber, hammered between the two churches, the one in Rome and the Byzantine one, respectively between the two worlds, the West and the East. Devastating cataclysms were to occur off the struggle between these two worlds, and the country had to prepare its defensive weapons. The Arber had to build more durable structures than those provided by laws and "exterior" institutions, it needed sustainable and universal structures within its own people, which were meant to be intangible and invisible, therefore eternal. The Arber had to change its laws, institutions, prisons, courts of justice and everything else, and, when the time came, it had to hide them deep down in the soul of its people. For otherwise, the country would be wiped off the face of earth. This was what Konstandin had believed. And he had also believed that these new structures would emerge from the besa."
Ismail Kadare, "Who Has Brought You, Doruntine?", Shtepia Botuse "Naim Frasheri", Tirana - 1980
Mockery and History
"I feel that mankind cannot live without knowing there are vampires. We just feel the urge to discover a mythical vampire and, if this one can be geographically localized, we need to create links to the nation, to the people living in that area. I can say that Stoker's vampire is maybe the perfect design, but he can hardly reflect the Wallachian prince. [...] Vlad the Impaler and Mehmed the Conqueror were of about the same age. They followed the courses of the same school, but Vlad Basarab Dracula was the hostage, while Mehmed was the osman. Mehmed was to reach the peak of glory, being nicknamed the Conqueror, while Vlad was to be called the Vampire. Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs and, in their way Vlachs were to be kneeled. What Mehmed could not accomplish, Soliman the Magnificent would: he would cross Europe with huge steps, he would sweep the Hungarian army in Mohacs, conquering Budapest in 1526 [...] There are churches, monasteries from Vlad the Impaler's period, some of which were founded by him. There are fortresses, such as the one in Poienari. [...] Somewhere in Wallachia there is a wooden church carved from a single tree trunk! [...] Then there are wells, walls, supplice wheels! And at last, there are the stakes! Some of them are a bit burnt, some are smoked, some others - as the chronicle says - bear a golden star on their tip."
Miodrag Bulatovic, "Death's Lover", Politika, Belgrade - 1990
The Real Act (TM), Duty Free Ottoman Export
"Then they pulled outwards and to the side, stretching his legs wide apart. Meanwhile Merdjan placed the stake on two small wooden chocks so that it pointed between the peasant's legs. Then he took from his belt a short broad knife, knelt beside the stretched-out man and leant over him to cut away the cloth of his trousers and to widen the opening through which the stake would enter his body. [...] As soon as he finished, the gipsy leapt up, took the wooden mallet and he began to strike the lower blunt end of the stake with slow measured blows. The body of the peasant, spreadeagled, writhed convulsively; at each blow of the mallet his spine twisted and bent, but the cords pulled at it and kept it straight. That stretched and twisted body emitted a sort of creaking and cracking like a fence that is breaking down or a tree that is being felled. [...] Merdjan now saw that close to teh right shoulder muscles the skin was stretched and swollen. He went forward quickly and made two crossed cuts in the swollen place. Two or three more blows, light and careful, and the iron-shod point of the stake began to break through at the place where he had cut. The man was impaled on the stake like a lamb on the spit, only that the tip did not come through the mouth, but in the back and had not seriously damaged the intestines, the heart or the lungs"
Ivo Andric, "The Bridge on the Drina", Dereta, Belgrade - 1945
"Despite its negative side, the yoke on people's shoulders has at least one outstanding, positive result: it makes these people laugh. A society not being granted access to any political and spiritual activity, where great ideas cannot be debated, a society which uses all its energy in miserable cancans or in local intrigue, finds its greatest pleasure in the easiest to get laughter life can provide. A wine baklitsa, emptied in the cool shade of the willow trees along a clear brook makes one forget slavery; a gyuvetch made of fragrant parceley, succulent peppers and ripened tomatoes, enjoyed in the green grass, under the swaying branches among which one can see fragments of the blue sky, well replaces political independence and, should violins join the feast, one reaches the peak of human happiness. Subdued peoples have their own philosophy that reconciliates them with life [...]. Enslaved, even hopeless people, never commit suicide; they instead eat, drink and give birth to countless children. They laugh out loud. Take for one folk poems, where these people's soul, life and thoughts are well expressed. One can feel suffrance, heavy slavery chains, dark prisons and terrible pains blending in with lamb steaks, red wine, plum brandy, devilish horas, green woods and dense shadows; hence the source of countless songs."
Ivan Vazov, "Under the Yoke", Sofia Press, Sofia - 1893
"I can think of no more striking relic of a crime than the despoilment of Macedonia and Old Serbia, where the Turks for five hundred and fifty years robbed the native population till they got them down to a point beyond which the process could not be carried any further without danger of leaving no victims to be robbed in the future. The poverty of all Bosnians and Herzegovinians, except the Moslems and the Jews, is as ghastly an indictment of both the Turks and their successors, the Austrians. Dalmatia was picked clean by Venice. Croatia has been held back from prosperity by Hungarian control in countless ways that have left it half an age behind its Western neighbours in material prosperity. [...] How strange a dream it was, it is, that the Southern Slavs should be reared to civilization by Russia! The Old Russia was not even a true empire, she was not even a modern state, she was rather a symbol of immense spiritual value but of little material efficacy, by which millions of people, scattered over vast and alienating territories, and bruised beyond belief by past defeat, were able to believe that they were taking part in the drama by which man shall discover the meaning of his extraordinary destiny. [...]
Never in the Balkans has Empire meant trusteeship. At least, there are such trustees, but they end in jail."
Rebecca West, "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon", The Viking Press, New York - 1941
"After the 1943 Allied Tehran Conference definitely ruled out a Balkan invasion, Churchill tried to reach an understanding with Stalin regarding the postwar Balkans acceptable to Britain, but a tentative agreement (1944) creating respective Balkan "spheres of interest" was shelved because the Americans rejected the concept on principle. In October 1944 Churchill met Stalin in Moscow hoping to forge new political arrangements in line with the rapidly developing military situation: Germany was collapsing and Red Armies were sweeping through Poland and the Balkans headed for Central Europe. During their talks, Churchill cavalierly scribbled out an outline proposal sketching the two Allies' shares of postwar political "predominance" in the Balkans by state and percentage: Romania - 90% Soviet, 10% British; Greece - 90% British (with American accord), 10% Soviet; Yugoslavia - 50-50%; Bulgaria - 75% Soviet, 25% Anglo-American. (Albania was not mentioned) Stalin signaled his approval. Although Churchill, struck by the cynicism of his act, suggested that the proposal be "burned", Stalin refused. Churchill considered the matter dead, since the Red Army then was sweeping through the Balkans and no British forces were on the ground. When Churchill, Stalin and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45) met in Yalta (February 1945) to finalize postwar settlement plans, Britain had just secured Greece against immediate Communist control and the Soviets were de facto military masters of Eastern Europe. Stalin scrupulously adhered to the arrangements in Churchill's infamous "Moscow Note". He raised no objections to British actions in Greece (accepting Britain's "90% predominance") and won his allies' agreement to Tito's arrangement with Yugoslavia's government-in-exile establishing a new regency until referendum on the monarchy was held (preserving the 50-50% predominance)."
Dennis P. Hupchick, "The Balkans from Constantinople to Communism", Palgrave Macmillan, New York - 2002
Hatred: Spit on Those of Your Own
"<<You damn hohol, should I fail stepping all over you in Kiev, I shall certainly chop your nuts off in Munchen>>. This is what the Russian tells the Ukrainean, while this one answers in German: <<You filthy katzab, I shall be waiting for you with my gang on the other shore of the Isar!>>. The Romanian to himself: <<Popescu, you prince of the Balkans, sacrifice yourself for the King and for the monarchy!>>. The Bulgarian only opens up his sphincter to eat and to defecate, while he quietly strangles Popescu for next to nothing. <<I shall get drunk and I shall flee!>> Dominic Kowalski the Pole shouts, and he does not allow anyone to take the knife off the Slovak's stomach. Flauta Pokorny the Czech kneels down, growls like a dog, mumbles something about Bila Hora and Munchen and bites a piece of soap in order to stop crying. <<I shall tear all stars in the sky for your glory, you Hungary!>> Nagy Arpad the Magyar neighs out with a fanatic, transposed face. There is no language in this world in which one can translate what the Serb tells the Croat and what the Croat answers the Serb back.
Miodrag Bulatovic, "Four-Fingered Men", Beogradski Izdavacko-Graficki Zavod, Belgrade - 1976
Madness: Fool's Rolling Dice, World's Clapping Hands
"Life was starting becoming harder and harder every day, the shelves in the shops were emptier and emptier while the queues outside grew longer and longer. [...] The farmers were forced to enlist all their animals at the County Hall and sign separate agreements with the state for each animal; they were only allowed to trade their goods at prices established by the government. It was also forbidden to slaughter the animals on your own farm. [...] The apartments could never be heated enough. Public places and offices constantly being cold was less important than the fact that, in cold winters, people slept fully dressed and rarely managed to take a bath or a hot water shower. In cities only a few streets were lighted; the shop-window lights were put off at 22.00. In tenements, hotels, working places, everywhere there was only a singly bulb in the corridors or on every other landing, a bulb that furthermore often got stolen since it was practically impossible to find bulbs stronger than 40W in the shops. People were even advised to put off their refrigerators in winter, which was not too inconvenient as the temperature in the apartments was often so low that food didn't get stale. [...] People denounced their nearest neighbours, bribed public officers at the same time as they were forced to praise their "beloved" leader always and everywhere."
Tom Sandqvist & Ana Maria Zahariade, "Dacia 1300. My Generation.", Simetria, Bucharest - 2003
"A people that saw the Roman empire come and go and saw all sorts of barbarians invade their country, and still survived, does not believe that there is a definite end to anything. Such people are instinctively wise in the strange ways of history, which invariably seems to run into compromise, and so they are less afraid than many great nations of the West. [...] They fall artfully, soft and loose in every joint and muscle as only those trained in falling can be. Long experience in survival has taught them that each fall may result in unforeseen opportunities and that somehow they always get on their feet again."
Rosie Waldeck, "Athene Palace", Robert Mc Bride & Co., New York - 1942
Personal Pages (2)
Written Jun 12, 2008
Written Jun 12, 2008
Legacy of War, Legacy of Peace: Kosovo
Top Travel Pages
Explore the World
Share your travels with the world!Join Now!
Badges & Stats
- 263 Reviews
- 1,134 Photos
- 3 Countries
- 2 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (3)
- Posted in Travel Ramnicu Valcea Forum "Re: travel info"
- Romanian_Bat and Antonio5 are now friends.
- updated a Turkmenistan Travelogue "Broken Glazed Tiles, Gas Pipes, Heaps of Marble 1"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Broken Glazed Tiles, Gas Pipes, Heaps of Marble 2"
- Wrote a Review Unique location and plush in Belgrade Hotels
updated their Profile Page "hajt,ajде,aйде,haide"
- Commented on gajic's profile page
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Bucharest Intro, 194 reviews, 659 photos, 4 travelogues
- Romania Intro, 64 reviews, 83 photos, 3 travelogues
- Former Republic of Serbia and Montenegro Intro, 1 review, 31 photos, 5 travelogues
- Ukraine Intro, 30 photos, 4 travelogues
- India Intro, 23 photos, 3 travelogues
- Bulgaria Intro, 23 photos, 4 travelogues
- Iran Intro, 21 photos, 3 travelogues
- Moldova Intro, 18 photos, 2 travelogues
- Turkmenistan Intro, 17 photos, 2 travelogues
- Turkey Intro, 14 photos, 2 travelogues
- Paris Hotels
- 22145 Reviews - 53809 Photos
- Orlando Hotels
- 3078 Reviews - 5774 Photos
- New York City Hotels
- 15551 Reviews - 30943 Photos
- London Hotels
- 23056 Reviews - 47246 Photos
- Rome Hotels
- 11939 Reviews - 26463 Photos
- Cancún Hotels
- 1927 Reviews - 3713 Photos
- Myrtle Beach Hotels
- 319 Reviews - 425 Photos
- Las Vegas Hotels
- 8353 Reviews - 17025 Photos
- Manila Hotels
- 1905 Reviews - 4447 Photos
- Baguio Hotels
- 325 Reviews - 885 Photos
- Toronto Hotels
- 4263 Reviews - 8768 Photos
- Melbourne Hotels
- 3341 Reviews - 7498 Photos
- Goa Hotels
- 2036 Reviews - 3787 Photos
- Istanbul Hotels
- 7623 Reviews - 19412 Photos
- Panama City Beach Hotels
- 193 Reviews - 288 Photos