Over the years, people have come to me occasionally with questions about blogging. ”How do you start a blog?” ”What do I need to do with my blog?” ”How would a blog help me?” I’ve helped where I could. For about a year I kept my own blog about technology, search engines, and general internet news, and I learned a lot during that time about blogging. The main thing that you will read around the internet is that, if you want to have a good blog, you must write something every day. » Read the rest of this entry «
July 31st, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
July 29th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Once again, life has taken its toll, and this blog has had to take a back seat. My boss reminded me this morning that I have to oversee the development of 2 new websites, negotiate our organization’s acquisition of new office space, and take 3 trips out of town, all in the next month. So, for my readers, I am very sorry about my recent absence, but, as you can see, it appears life has had other plans over the past several weeks.
The Film Festival Is Not Going To Be The Best Way To Continue Learning Bosnian, But It Sure Looks Like Fun
July 15th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Some of you may be aware, each year Sarajevo hosts an international film festival, welcoming actors and directors from far and wide, and treating locals to screenings of several independent films. Here’s the website: http://www.sff.ba/ba/main?site=sff.
I’m sorry; I know many of you can’t read that, but I don’t think there is an English version. And that connects to the title of the post — the festival, unlike most cultural events, is not a good way to continue learning Bosnian, because… all the movies are subtitled in English. And, mind you, these are not all Bosnian films, either. Many are from various countries across the wider region. So, when you are sitting and watching a Spanish movie, for example, with English subtitles, it really doesn’t contribute to your language learning, even though you are attending an event that is central to Sarajevo pop culture.
But it sure is fun, which means it could contribute to your desire to learn the language, for one good reason: it makes you want to stay in Sarajevo longer. People tend to stay in places that they enjoy. So, maybe my title is not quite right. I’ll think about it some more and get back to you.
July 4th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
I am sitting in the food court of Alta, the mall just down the hill from my house in Sarajevo, thinking of how I’ve failed to post anything for the past week or so. Yep, for the past several days I’ve been a failure as a blogger. It wasn’t without reason — my family and I just returned from a week of vacation in Makarska, Croatia, a town often referred to here as the “little Sarajevo” on the coast, because of the great number of Bosnians who go there for a week of vacation in the summer. I suppose we contributed to the phenomenon.
It was good to get away from the big city, even if we went to a place with no fast food and virtually no connection to the Western world. We did find the McDonalds, though, at the end of our stay, by driving to nearby Split, Croatia, about an hour away.
We are due to get our own McDonalds in Sarajevo, scheduled to open later this month, just in time for the big international film festival here in Sarajevo. McDonalds is one of those weird phenomenons in America. It is an unmistakable icon of capitalism, but it’s also one of those things that most middle-class Americans seem to have outgrown — that is, until they travel outside of America.
Most people who come here from America are refreshed by the lack of fast food chains and rampant materialism that capitalism has promoted in America. Then six months goes by. And after half a year of daily trips to the “grocery store”, which may be smaller than a Circle K and is sometimes out of things such as salt or Coca-Cola, but keeps your business because it is located at the bottom of your building, you start to look for things that remind you of the conveniences you left behind to go follow a dream that would take you to the great beyond.
And so, after extended stays in foreign countries, Americans who would never darken the door of a McDonalds in their native country come with great excitement to the confines of a foreign McDonalds, looking for the fatty hamburgers and fake salad shakers (are those still on the men there?) that they once claimed were too unhealthy to be consumed by a self-respecting, educated, health-conscious American.
McDonalds. I can’t think of a more appropriate subject for a 4-of-July post. Enjoy!
June 6th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Today, a student from Sarajevo took me and a friend up to Barice, which is above Zmajavac, to enjoy the panoramic view of Sarajevo for a few minutes. It was a great excursion, and a great opportunity to get to know someone as they showed us pieces of the beautiful lands that surround Sarajevo. The panorama above is a shot from Zmajavac, where a graveyard (and now also a busy cafe bar) overlooks the city. It was great.
April 27th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
During the Spring, when the weather gets really nice, Sarajevo really begins to spread its wings, in a manner of speaking. Since the city is located in a narrow valley, mountainsides and vistas are common. Almost every house more than 100 yards from the center of town has some kind of glorious view of something. The nicer weather just makes every view more accessible, as the city awakens from its 6 months of dark sleep.
March 26th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Sitting down on a Saturday morning, I once again turn my thoughts toward learning language, or rather toward the difficulty of making time to learn a language. Many embark on this quest of language acquisition, and in recent months I have realized that few succeed in fully acquiring a new language simply because of the endless requirements of life, and the countless other responsibilities that they have in being a parent, an employee, a wife, a husband, or whatever. Where does the time come from? » Read the rest of this entry «
March 13th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Skakavac was incredible! If you read yesterday’s post, you know that my wife and son and I were planning to go out to Skakavac, a waterfall about “5 miles” outside of Sarajevo. The short version of the story is that we went, and it was great, and we didn’t even get to see the waterfall! » Read the rest of this entry «