Tag Archives: Nature

Kuterevo Bear Sanctuary

Kuterevo Bear Sanctuary is a brown bear sanctuary in Lika region of Croatia (da, lički međedi 😀 )
Although the sanctuary is away from Northern Velebit National Park, it is part of the nature park Velebit (there are two national parks in the nature park: the afore mentioned Northern Velebit and Paklenica).

The average life span of a brown bear is 30 years. They, usually, don’t live longer than 10 years in wild in Lika because people hunt them and as they grow older, they’re slower, less agile and their reflexes weaken.
It takes them 6 years to mature.

The sanctuary is divided in small and big bear enclaves.

I managed to take a decent picture only of a small bear.
My godmother visited the sanctuary shortly before me and saw the big bears doing their thing 😉

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This gal is awesome. She’s 3 years old. She kept growling while cleaning her paw 😀


When we entered the sanctuary, we heard a girl telling tourists things about the bears in English. At first, we thought she was just a local guide talking to tourists. Then I asked her a question (in Croatian). She did answer it, but not fluently and she had trouble understanding the question. Turns out she’s a volunteer from Bulgaria.

Kuterevo is full of volunteers from around the world.

Sigs of volunteers (click on the image to enlarge it)

Čudne riječi u ovom žutom streličastom trokutu…

You can check the official website of Kuterevo volunteers here.

Continue reading


Žumberak is a (low) mountain range that boarders Croatia and Slovenia. The highest peak (1181 m) is at the border between the two countries. The peak, much like the range, has two names – Croatian (Sveta Gera) and Slovenian (Trdinov vrh).

Slovenian name of the mountain range is Gorjanci. You will come across both names (i.e. Žumberak and Gorjaci), so you know it’s the same thing.

Interaction between Croatia and Slovenia is strong on Žumberak. It declined following the dissolution of Yugoslavia (Croatia and Slovenia became two independent countries meaning border control began). There are even cases of someone’s house being in Croatia while his field is in Slovenia.
More problems arose in 2004 when Slovenia became an EU member because Slovenian border became the border of the European Union.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of daily migrations.
Things should go for the better because Croatia became an EU member on 1st July, meaning the border between Croatia and Slovenia is a formality again.

Local dialects on both sides of the border are very alike, if not the same.

Croatian part of Žumberak, along with the neighbouring Samobor hills, forms a nature park (Žumberak – Samoborsko gorje).

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There are remains of several settlements throughout history in the park.

Budinjak was a prehistoric settlement. The only remain of Budnjak is a graveyard in the form of tumuli (burial mounds). The park has a 4 km long path of tumuli.

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A reconstruction plan of the biggest tumulus on Žumberak (click on the image to enlarge it).

Greek Catholics

When people say someone’s a “Catholic”, they usually mean Roman Catholic. Indeed, more than 80 % of Catholics are Roman Catholic, but there are 28 Catholic Churches in the world. The thing they all have in common – other than Christianity, of course –  is that they accept the authority of the pope (the exception are Old Catholics who honour the pope, but do not accept him being infallible – I’m not even sure whether they’re regarded as a Catholic Church by the Vatican).

Greek Catholic Church is the second “largest” Catholic Church.

They differ from the Roman Catholic in the following (notable) ways:
Their priests are allowed to marry and have families;
Priests can wear beards (though I haven’t seen a Greek Catholic priest with a beard such as Orthodox priests have);
They often use Old Church Slavonic in their services and they prefer the language over Latin.

In short, they’re a blend of Roman Catholics and Orthodox.

Anyway, despite Žumberak being in the middle of a Roman Catholic sphere (both Slovenia and Croatia are predominantly Roman Catholic), Žumberak is an island of Greek Catholics. There are still a lot of Roman Catholics in the region. Croatian cardinals Alojzije Stepinac and Franjo Kuharić came from Žumberak.
So, how did Greek Catholics end up on Žumberak anyway?
In the 16th century the Military Frontier was established along the south border of the Habsburg Empire to prevent Turks from conquering Habsburg lands. Žumberak was part of the Frontier. To protect the Frontier, Habsburgs offered people land in exchange for immediate military action to defend the Frontier, thus the Empire, from the Turks. Many people heeded the call, including Greek Catholics, who came to Žumberak.
Along with, their religion, they kept their štokavian dialect, which is very different to the local kajkavian dialect(s). When the priest, who we talked with, spoke, I just thought he reverted to standard Croatian (also štokavian) until he told us that that’s how they speak.
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A Greek Catholic church on Žumberak (kinda like an ordinary Roman Catholic church from the outside)

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Inside of the church
Note a few things:
The altar is hidden;
The book on the table is set so the priest is turned back from the adherents while reading the book (yes, very likely the Bible);
Croatian national symbols (the chequy and red-white blue tricolour) are present, probably ’cause Greek Catholics of Žumberak want to emphasize they’re Croatian to their Roman Catholic brethren [even the caron of Ž*(umberak) is a heart shaped red and white chequy).
*Ž has more significance. As I said, the language Greek Catholics prefer is Old Church Slavonic. That is a dead language (i.e. no native speakers), like Latin. The language used Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets, but not Latin. There are no living languages that still use Glagolitic alphabet, but many, especially Slavic lingoes (most notable Russian, still use Cyrillic. Croatian (and Slovenian* for that matter) can, also, be written in (Serbian) Cyrillic. Yet stylistic Ž is written in Latin (it’s Cyrillic equivalent is Ж) in a Greek Catholic church. Like every other** diacritic in Serbocroatian languages (and Slovenian), Ž was introduced into the alphabet by a Croatian linguist and it spread from Croatian to other Serbocroatian lingoes (and Slovenian).
*Both lingoes are Slavic [and the distinction of the northern Croatian dialect(s) and Slovenian is often purely based on ethnicity]
**Đ (stroked D, not Eth) is the exception being introduced later by a Serbian linguist

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Glagolitic text inside the church (no, I can’t read it) Continue reading

Wapusk National Park

NOTE: By looking at the blog homepage, I realized that you might get an impression that this post isn’t in English.
Only the first section is is in Croatian, an intro that you can skip. Just like every other nonEnglish text, Croatian text here is of local relevance.

Nekoliko uvodnih riječi o ovom postu

Za jedan kolegij na fucksu sam napravio prezentaciju o kanadskom nacionalnom parku Wapusk. Njena izrada me malo zaintrigirala za Wapusk. Park mi se doima šajni. Zbog toga hoću da malo problogišem o njemu na svetskom jeziku. Možda zaintrigiram nekog tko si može priuštiti posjet nacionalnom parku. Tekst koji slijedi je više-manje prijevod same prezentacije. Prezentaciju možete skinuti ovdje.

Što se tiče površine, za usporedbu veličine parka sam uzeo Crnu Goru napisavši da je park približno veličine teritorija Crne Gore. Crna Gora je ipak veća od nacionalnog parka. Tu državu sam uzeo da bih nekako našim ljudima predočio koliko je zapravo park velik. Površina najvećeg hrvatskog nacionalnog parka (Plitvica) je nešto manja od 300 km². Kada tu veličinu usporedimo s preko 11 000 km² Wapuska, jasno nam je koliko je Wapusk zapravo velik.

Možda je logično zapitati se zašto ne blogišem o hrvatskom nacionalnom parku. Činjenica je da Hrvatska obiluje prirodnim ljepotama, pogotovo ako u obzir uzmemo relativno mali teritorij Hrvatske i, iskreno, vjerojatno bih blogao o hrvatskom nacionalnom parku da sam imao prezentaciju o njemu. Ako ništa drugo, da nam promoviram zemlju 😀 Međutim, još jedna činjenica je da ono što je dostupno, bez obzira kako lijepo bilo, čovjeku nije tako zanimljivo. Sumnjam da netko tko često posjećuje Wapusk (iako takvih ima malo jer je nacionalni park poprilično nedostupan i samim stanovnicima Manitobe, kanadske provincije u kojoj se park nalazi) ima dojam da je Wapusk nešto posebno. Continue reading

Field trip – academic year 2011/2012

Every year, we (the students) at the end of May and/or the beginning of June have a field trip.
I’m gonna write a post about the last one, which was two weeks ago. Last year was better {SlavoniaTuzlaBelgradePécs [we were stationed in Vinkovci (da, dođi u Vinkovce 😀 )]}. I should’ve written a post about the last year trip, but blah. In my defence I didn’t have a blog back then ×D
Anyway, this year we went to eastern Croatia and Vojvodina. Yeah, that’s similar to the last year’s, but the only other choice was Istria and Istria is quite more accessible to me since it is in my homeland. Besides, we only passed through Vojvodina on our way to Belgrade last year; we didn’t even stop at a rest stop. I did want to go to Strasbourg(A)-Freiburg(B)-Basel(C)-Zürich(D)-Lichtenstein(E) though, but the trip wasn’t for 3rd year students 😦

The post is gonna be written my way which you might find funny, boring, stupid or however you find it – don’t care. I’ll add some comments and I’ll write local stuff (or what I find local 😀 ) in Croatian. I don’t expect everybody to understand what I meant even if it’s in English. Hell, sometimes even I don’t understand my sick sense of humour 😀 Basically, if you find something offensive, screw you, I didn’t mean anything bad 😀
Read just parts of the post you think you’d like.

Okay, moving on *Achmed style (skip to to 2:46)* (I’ll be using this phrase a lot 😀 )


Okay, lemme first tell you a few general things of the regions I visited:

Eastern Croatia and Vojvodina are very similar, including culturally. The trip really showed me how much. Anyway, the cultural similarity is attributed to the common history – both regions where once in Austria-Hungary. The most common spoken language is pretty much the same. Officially the spoken languages are Croatian, Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak etc. However, it is really hard to say because people can say anything is their mother tongue to a person doing a census (I think we even have a few Klingons ×D ). Multiethnicity is a characteristic of Vojvodina – Serbs are dominant with 65 %, followed by Hungarians with 14 %, followed by Croatians with 4 % etc. Because of its multiethnicty, Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Pretty much the same ethnic groups are present in eastern Croatia, but Croatians are by far predominant (there are a few Hungarian villages in Croatian Baranya though) and, thus, eastern Croatia is not an autonomous province of Croatia (i.e. the region is divided into counties like the rest of the country).

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

The advantage of this year field trip, over the last year, is that we were told in advance which area we’ll have presentations of, so we could really be careful when guides and professors talked about the area. Furthermore, we could take notes right away. Last year, we were divided into groups of two and each group had to write an essay of an area we’d visited. First of all, that’s simply stupid ’cause there’s no way in hell you can hear every bloody thing about every bloody thing. In addition, we were given the topics after the trip and could only try to remember what we’d heard. Even more stupid was that we had to back every thing we wrote about with references (what’s the point of the stuff we learn on a field trip then?!), so even if we managed to remember something, we couldn’t just write it down.
The last year trip had been better in every other way. I have to criticize the professors now. Three guys (well, Two guys and a girl ×D actually) were our professors and there was a guest from the University of Mostar. The main professor was a pain in the ass. Okay, he did commend me, for keeping up despite my health, and the student helping me, for showing empathy. Lik je izvalio i neke fore (npr. otkad je za pišanje reko Ovdje ćemo riješiti tekuća pitanja, pišanje nam je rješavanje tekućih pitanja 😀 ). But to be objective, he was a pain in the ass. First of all, he just wouldn’t shut up. He kept talking and talking. When he’d finally finish, others took his place. We were told some interesting stuff but, please, give us a brake (luckily I brought my dictaphone and just recorded every little shit). He kept talking that we must “preserve the dignity of the faculty”, but he made some really cheap and low shots. For example, he kept calling a fellow student from Drniš “colleague from Drniš”. He emphasized the guy’s hometown in a way as if people from Drniš were some inferior beings. Such discrimination really “preserves the dignity of the faculty”… Even if discrimination was acceptable, what the hell did he based it on?! It’s not like only criminals and other low lives inhabit the town. Well, the Bosnian professor was quick in joining the “fun”. She even went further, to abbreviating “Colleague from Drniš” into “Drniš”. We quckly abbreviated her ass to “Mostar“. Then, he wouldn’t let us listen to music in that little time of silence in the bus. He went on saying that “everyone’s taste in music is different and that we can’t impose”. Well, I wonder why the hell did God create earphones then. Finally, he kept hurrying everybody up every time. Gosh, he must be the only professor on the planet that cuts lectures. Not to mention that we could’ve saved some real time by going with the bus to places we could instead of waking for miles (well, maybe not for miles, but for kilometres 😀 ). Mislim da je lik komentirao i Starčevićev spomenik u negativnom kontekstu…

Što da još kažem prije nego što počnem pisati baš o zbivanjima (događanjima i dešavanjima) na terenu?
Za put sam si kupio Cedevita voćni mix bombone – čista prevara. Mislio sam da je svaki bombon od više voća, ali ne. Lijepo je 1/3 od limuna, 1/3 od borovnice i 1/3 od narandže. Sad, meni su od limuna bili bljak – znači, trećina kutije pada u vodu (kad bi ljude ponudio, ko za vraga bi uzeli sve osim limuna i time još smanjili ono što bi ja pojeo 😡 ). Zaključak, kad kupuješ Cedevita bombone, bolje uzmi samo jedan okus, za koji znaš da će ti se svidjet, nego voćni mix.
Cijelim putem smo vidjeli hrpetinu životinja – od kondora, sokola, nojeva i kokoši preko srdela do bizona, antilopa, geparda i kojota (preskoči na 2:28; da, malo mi je teže izmišljat životinje kad u istočnoj Hrvatskoj i Vojvodini ima više-manje svega što živi u srednjoj Europi i to u velikom broju).

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

Now the stuff about the trip really starts

Here’s what happened *Monk style*:

We were off from Zagreb at 7 AM on May 28th. At least, we should’ve been off at 7 AM, but we were delayed. Inače, nismo, kao normalni svijet, krenuli s Autobusnog kolodvora, nego s Boćarskog doma. Još nam je bilo rečeno da nas bus čeka zapadnom dijelu parkinga, a čekao nas je na istočnom (inače, mi smo studenti geografije…). Anyway, the first stop were some greenhouses (i.e. growing vegetables in greenhouses family business). Among the guides was the father. The weather was partially cloudy and the guy wore sunglasses and kept shielding his eyes from the little sun with a newspaper. He kept apologizing that he has problems with the eyesight and generally has crappy health. But, then he told us You mustn’t smoke in a greenhouse or you’ll ruin the vegetables. That’s a problem for me because I’m a passionate smoker. OK, you keep complaining about your health, but you keep smoking (with passion)…

The above image is a picture of the town of Daruvar.

Anyway, Daruvar is a town with significant Czech minority. Everything I saw in the town is bilingual. They even have a gymnasium (similar to a British grammar school) programme in Czech in Daruvar. The town is the centre of Czechs in Croatia.

The Alliance of Czechs in Croatia

Czechs say that there are fewer and fewer Czech speakers in Croatia, but I’ve heard like eight year old (tops) kids speaking Czech to each other and their supervisor. Basically, the drop of Czech speakers is probably because of  the general depopulation of Croatia. We had no problem communicating with Czechs because they are all fluent Croatian speakers (except the guy visiting them from Czech Republic).

Inače, zanimljivo je da se češki u Hrvatskoj ne razlikuje previše od češkog u Češkoj. Istina je da su neke riječi pokupili iz hrvatskog, ali općenito se Česi iz Češke i Česi iz Hrvatske super razumiju. To baš ne mogu reć za Hrvate u Hrvatskoj i Gradišćanske Hrvate…

Još je zanimljivo da su Daruvarske toplice baš u Daruvaru, a nisu izdvojeno naselje kao ostale toplice u Hrvatskoj

Druga slika je za Bandića. Pa, jebem mu mater, ako Daruvar može imat ovako uređene biciklističke i pješačke staze, bogme može i Zagreb.

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

The next stop worth bloging about is Slavonski Brod. Slavonski Brod is an important town on the Croatian side of the river Sava. The town dates back from the Antic period, but gained significant importance (like every other town in eastern Croatia and Vojvodina) when Austria-Hungary built a military base against Turks. It’s interesting that Slavonski Brod is the town that was most heavily bombed in WWII in the whole exYugoslavia (it was bombed like Dresden, Germany). Well, Zadar was very heavily bombed too, but we were told Slavonski Brod beat Zadar.
Another thing about Slavonski Brod is that right across the river is Bosnian town Bosanski Brod. Bosanski and Slavonski Brod are pretty much the same town and the border only represents a problem to both towns. Well, I guess the problem is that Bosanski Brod is not in FB&H (the Croatian-Bosniak entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Panorama of Slavonski Brod. Bosanski Brod can be seen in the far background.

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

In the evening, we arrived to Županja. We visited a workshop with traditional (handmade) products. Tamo nam je među vodičima bila žena koja ima manje zuba od Broja Jedan. Then we went to a museum about the habitation in and around Županja from Pleistocene to modern days.

Ovaj puši ko Turčin 😀

Anyway, after the dinner (11 PM at best, maybe even 12 AM) we were separated into two hotels. The hotel I stayed in was OK except the bathroom couldn’t be locked (dunno, it’s like all the hotels we stayed in have a serious religious issue of no bathroom locking 😡 )  Oh yeah, in addition, a door of the shower cabin fell off when I was opening the doors (yeah, luckily, after I was done showering). That’s the end of day 1.

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

We should’ve continued the trip at 8:30, but guess what… We continued at 7:30.

Anyway, we visited the museum of forest (hrvatski/Croatian). The museum was about… guess what – this is a toughy… FOREST!


After the museum we headed to lakes (rather swamps) Virovi (hrvatski/Croatian) which are similar to Kopački rit (I’ll talk about Rit later), but are not a nature park. They have a much lower protection level (značajni krajobraz). Mostar nam je lijepo objasnila da je značajni krajoraz stupanj zaštite prirode (u Hrvatskoj) i da je to jako važno i da to ni u snu ne smijemo zaboraviti. A u pičku materinu, di je bila kad sam pisao geoekologiju?! Možda bi dobio bod više…

So, after Virovi we headed to Serbian border where we were held long and didn’t make it to Sremska Mitrovica and Ruma. Instead we headed directly to Fruška gora.
Kad smo već kod Srijemske Mitrovice. Profesor nam je lijepo objasnio kako bi Srijemsku Mitrovicu trebali zvati Sremska Mitrovica jer je to “izvorni naziv”… Pa, ne bih se baš složio s tom tvrdnjom. Prvo, to je općenito pravilo pri nazivlju (npr. Yellowstone, a ne Žutikamen), ali se u nekim slučajevima ne primjenjuje (npr. nije Wien, nego je Beč). Još nešto, Hrvati u Srijemskoj Mitrovici žive od pamtivijeka (udio nije velik, ali Hrvati nastanjuju Srijemsku Mitrovicu oduvijek). Znači, nije istina da Srijemska Mitrovica nije jedan od izvornih naziva. Na kraju krajeva, grad je dobio ime po regiji koju Srbi zovu Srem, a Hrvati Srijem.


Before writing about Fruška gora and other places we visited in Vojvodina, I should write some more info about Vojvodina I didn’t write in the intro.

As I said Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia, governed by the government of Vojvodina. Throughout history different states wanted to control Vojvodina (people of Vojvodina should be honoured they’re so popular 😀 ). First it were Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. At that time Vojvodina was part of Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary wanted to populate Vojvodina, so the region can give Turks strong resistance. When populating it, they didn’t much care about person’s nationality, they just made the region attractive by investing in it. Over time, the region became home to many different ethnic groups out of which Serbs became dominant because many Serbs had fled central and southern Serbia from Turks, plus those Serbs already in Vojvodina. Actually, the government of Austria-Hungary wanted to create as much ethnic diversity in Vojvodina as possible. Thus, they created subethnical identities [e.g. they created Bunjevci, Šokci (poznati Šokac je ban Jelačić) and the rest of Croatians out of Croatians] which they hoped would eventually become ethnic identities. Because the region was a part of Hungary within Austria-Hungary, the second most populous ethnic group are Hungarians. Anyway, after the breakup of Austria-Hungary, and the retreat of Turks to present-day Turkey, states wanting to control Vojvodina have been Serbia, Hungary, Croatia and Romania. Seems that Serbia gave the best option to Vojvodina. Even though Serbs are not predominant, they make more than half of Vojvodina’s population, but nevertheless they granted autonomy to Vojvodina [the autonomy of Vojvodina dates back to SFRY when it was one of the two autonomous provinces (autonomous provinces of SFRY had second-level political power, right after republics)].
Official reports say that nonSerbian population is often discriminated. While we were in Department of Geography in Novi Sad, a student asked whether there is separatism in Vojvodina. A professor said that there is, like everywhere else, but only 10-15 %. OK, that’s not a high percentage, but it’s not that small either (I think separatist make less than 5 % of Istria‘s population).
In my time in Vojvodina, I didn’t noticed the discrimination, but I can’t really deny nor confirm the reports simply because I was in Vojvodina for less than two days and in that time I saw pretty much what tourists see. When I remember last year bus incidents in Novi Sad, I start to wonder. However, I hope those incidents were caused by a few hooligans.

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*


Due to its autonomy several languages have official status in Vojvodina, including Serbian, Hungarian and Croatian (some TV programmes are Croatian). Out of those Serbian and Hungarian are dominant (there are even some TV channels and programmes in Hungarian; and high school education is available in Serbian, Hungarian and Croatian). Most signs throughout Vojvodina are bilingual, many are even trilingual (though the necessity of trilinguality is quite questionable since the third language is Croatian and Serbian and Croatian are very alike). Still, there are some monolingual signs (Serbian only – even in Hungarian dominated areas).
OK, first lemme say a word or two about Serbian. When talking about official languages we can say Serbian and Croatian, but when we’re talking about spoken language we can say Serbocroatian because both Serbs and Croatians in Vojvodina speak the same. The dominant form in Vojvodina is Serbian ekavian, but people mix Serbian and Croatian words and forms in every day speach (region, regija – sve je to Vojvođanima isti kurac 😀 ) and other yat forms (or how Wikipedia says, yat reflexes) can be heard. The only real difference is that Croatian uses Latin script only (I’ll get to scripts later).
OK, now Hungarian. Hungarian is the second most spoken language in Vojvodina (14 % of population) and unlike Croatian, it totally differs from Serbian. Hungarian is not even an Indo-European language.

Scripts (Cyrillic and Latin)

Serbian is a (or the; I think it’s unique in this matter) language that uses both Latin and Cyrillic script equally (the use of each script pretty much depends on speaker’s mood). Throughout Serbia, both scripts are equally used.
Hungarian and Croatian, on the other hand, use only Latin script (the main difference between Serbian and Croatian). It only makes sense that Latin script is used more in Vojvodina than the rest of Serbia (e.g. I haven’t seen a single bus route on a bus written in Cyrillic in Vojvodina while both Latin and Cyrillic route names are distributed equally on Belgrade vehicles).

Here are the examples of the two scripts

Serbian Cyrllic: Ово је пример српске ћирилице.
Serbian Latin: Ovo je primer srpske latinice.
English: This is an example of Serbian Cyrillic/Latin.

Trilingual signs are most often in Serbian Cyrillic, Hungarian and Croatian though the “Croatian” part is sometimes just transcribed Cyrillic script. If you ask me having both Croatian and Serbian is just a waste of space on signs since the languages are alike. I think only Latin script should be used since it’s used in both Serbian and Croatian. The space saved by using just one script should either be used for another official language (like Hungarian when Hungarian is not included) or simply for bigger size of the letters so the text is more easily read.

Trilingual sign in Vojvodina

Hrvacki i srpcki u Vojvodini

Šta sam ono hteo? Oo, malo više o hrvatskom i srpskom u Vojvodini. *Bilov stil (preskoči na 3:49)* Znači, kao što rekoh službeni jezici su srpski, mađarski, hrvatski… Ipak govorni jezik Hrvata i Srba se ne razlikuje (osim kod ljudi koji baš naglašavaju razliku).

Evo, da ne bi bilo da izmišljam – piše ekotrustička karta (a ne mapa)

Neki jednojezični natpisi su samo na latinici, a neki samo na ćirilici dok u slučaju trojezičnih natpisa (srpski, mađarski i hrvatski) je najčešći slučaj prevođenja srpske ćirilice na hrvatski. Prijevodi su nerijetko netočni. Dat ću jedan primjer:

Na uličnom natpisu piše:
*некаква* цеста
*nekakav* put
Nemam baš sliku slučaja jer sam natpis slikao iz busa u pokretu, pa je slika ispala nečitljiva. U biti, koliko ja znam riječi “cesta” i “put” imaju isto značenje na hrvatskom i na srpskom i nisu sinonimi (npr. šumski put i nije baš cesta…)

Kao što sam već rekao u tekstu na engleskom, mislim da je prevođenje srpskog na hrvatski (i obrnuto) glupo kako za natpise, tako i općenito (o hrvatskosrpskoj jezičnoj polemici sam napisao post Nova “agresija” na hrvatski jezik). Također, mislim da bi natpisi u Vovjvodini trebali biti na srpskoj (ipak je Vojvodina u Srbiji) latinici zato što i hrvatski i srpski koriste (isto) latinično pismo (što se mene tiče naziv ulice može biti Ulica tačke na čovekovoj lobanji ili Ulica prljave kašike, samo neka bude napisano na latinici). U svakom slučaju, korištenje natpisa na oba pisma jednostavno nije ekonomično. Još jedna stvar, kao što rekoh uz školovanje na srpskom, moguće je školovanje i na mađarskom i hrvatskom. Realno gledajući, školovanje na hrvatskom je samo (nepotrebno) trošenje državnog proračuna jer su srpski i hrvatski užasno slični jezici. Štoviše, profesori, osim jezičara (profesora hrvatskog i srpskog jezika), uglavnom drže nastavu na više-manje govornom jeziku, a govorni jezik Hrvata i Srba u Vojvodini je isti. Ja sam za uvođenje hrvatskog jezika kao predmeta u vojvođanske škole (po mogućnosti i zamjeni za srpski kad su Hrvati u pitanju), ali rađenje posebnog nastavnog programa na hrvatskom je jednostavno neučinkovito.

Još mrvicu o pismima. Primjetio sam da Srbi često pišu DJ za Đ i kada mogu pisati Đ. Ono, latinični tekst pa Đ i DJ kako im paše što je iroično budući da je slovo Đ u abecedu uveo srpski jezičar Daničić. Vjerojatno je tako zbog ekavice, pa su im dj konflikti rijetki (npr. podjeljen).

Bunjevci i Šokci

Bunjevci i Šokci su subetnici Hrvata (Šokaca ima i u Slavoniji). Podjela je nastala još u Austrobugarskoj da bi stanovništvo Vojvodine bilo što heterogenije. Za vrijeme Juge je bilo dopušteno izjašnjavanje kao Bunjevac i Šokac, ali bi u popisu i Šokci i Bunjevci bili uvršteni u Hrvate. Tek su popisom 1991. Hrvati podjeljeni u tri “naroda” – Bunjevce, Šokce i Hrvate. A čija je to blistava ideja bila? Koga drugog nego Miloševićeva (iznenađenje…).

Stožer Hrvatsko-bunjevačko-šokačke stranke u Subotici (zanimljivo, nalazi se u Zagrebačkoj ulici). Na onoj tabli ispod piše Tražimo ista prava kao Srbi u Hrvatskoj (jebi ga, bila je na suprotnoj strani busa, a samo smo busem prošli pokraj stožera, pa je još slika dobro ispala). U biti, pitanje za vojvođanske “Hrvate, Bunjevce i Šokce” – Koji kurac niste ujedinjeni kao Srbi u Hrvatskoj?! Tu, jebo te, ne možete bit jedan narod, a tražite “zajednička” prava.

E još nešto prije nego krenem dalje. Vojvodina, vjerojatno i ostatak Srbije, je jako jeftina (jebo te, litra Pepsi 4 kn, pa u Hrvatskoj su pollitarke skoro duplo skuplje; mi trčimo u kioske po ledeni čaj i sok od litre za 5 kuna računajući na pravu uštedu…). Ono, neću tvrdit za cijelu Srbiju jer ne znam. Lani u Beogradu baš nismo imali vremena za šoping. Ovaj put smo nakrcali bus s pijačom i grickalicama da bus nije mogao brzo vozit ni da je htio i šverc preko granice 😀

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

Where was I? Ah, that’s right Fruška gora. Fruška gora is a hill with the highest peak of 539 m next to Novi Sad. It is interesting to see different classifications of mountains – in the Himalayas a mountain is only that hill with a peak reaching 7000 m; we’ve been told that a mountain is a hill with a peak reaching 1000 m [probably ’cause Medvednica‘s – a mountain just north of Zagreb (actually the city extends to some southern parts of the mountain) – highest peak reaches 1035 m, so we can brag that our capital has a mountain] while people in Vojvodina say that mountain is a hill with a peak reaching 500 m, making Fruška gora a mountain (note that the word gora means hill). Anyway, we were in the national park. The hill is definitely beautiful, but in my opinion doesn’t deserve the status of national park (jebo te, to je ko da mi Sljeme proglasimo nacionalnim parkom). Yeah, the hill should have a high level of nature protection, but not that of a national park.

A forest on Fruška gora

Upon going to Fruška gora, we passed by a great place to take a pic of a cityscape of Novi Sad. The guide said We are approaching a spot where traffic is slow because everyone stops here to take a picture of the beautiful cityscape, clearly pointing we should stop too, but nooooooooooooo, our bus driver just had to keep driving like a maniac. I mean, he didn’t have to let us exit the bus, but he could have stopped and let us take pics through the window.
One more thing. Serbs have a serious issue about the plate tectonics. The guide told us You are Croatian students, so I can talk to you about the plate tectonics freely.

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

Novi Sad (iliti ga New Now)

Novi Sad is the capital and the largest city of Vojvodina [actually the only city in Vojvodina that’s grown – Vojvodina is facing serious depopulation (gori su od nas – izgubili su 115 000 stanovnika u 10 godina)]. Ethnicly, although all ethnic groups of Vojvodina live in the city, Serbs are predominant with 76 % of the city population. Among the places in Vojvodina we visited, Novi Sad was the only settlement with virtually only monolingual (Serbian) signs. I only saw Hungarian and Croatian in the (catholic) cathedral [unlike Serbs who are Orthodox, Hungarians and especially Croatians (yes, including Bunjevci and Šokci) are catholic].
Novi Sad is the birth place of Jelačić (Petrovaradin actually, but that’s part of present-day Novi Sad; the bus passed by the house he was born in). Serbs honour Jelačić pretty much like Croatians, so any theiories that Jelačić statue on Zagreb main square was removed after WWII because of Serbs are a bunch of baloney. Karl Marx didn’t like Jelačić and thus the communists decided his place is not on the main square of the second largest Yugoslav republic’s capital.
Another thing about Novi Sad – women in Novi Sad are hot 😀 a fellow student commented Bloody hell, my neck hurts of turning after the girls.

Novi Sad cathedral

On Tuesday we only went to the city museum (including the Petrovaradin fortress).
When climbing to the museum up a hill, we walked for two klicks. When we reached the museum, we saw a bus offloading Japanese tourists. So, either Serbs really like Japanese yens or we could’ve gone that two klicks by the bus. Similarly, we returned to the bus walking those two klicks back. I might add that “we were in a hurry” when ever we were seeing something…
The fortress was built, no wait, you’ll never guess this… by Austria-Hungary as a defence against Turks. Tons of money were invested in its construction. The construction began in 1692 and ended in 1780. It was and still is a masterpiece, but by the time it was finished, the technique of making war had changed and the fortress became pretty much useless.

The pic was actually taken at 4:05 PM. The hour hand is bigger than the minute hand, so people could see what hour of the day it was from a distance.

Yeah, carrying umbrella on a sunny day – crazy Europeans, crazy Asians

After the fortress, we headed to a hotel. The hotel was fine expect one thing – elevators were fucked up.
After the dinner we went outside a bit. Some went to nightlife. Well, we continued the next day.

Poznato? Svi busevi (koji nisu skroz reklamno prefarbani) su ovakve boje što je slično zagrebačkim busevima; zapravo identično starije ofarbanim.

Znači nije samo Zagreb grad s “aktualnim” reklama (govorim o onoj reklami za univerzijadu 1987. pokraj tramvajske stanice Mašićeva). Što se samih Jugića, Stojadina ( 😀 ), Fičeka i sl. tiče, iako su na hrvatskim ulicama praktički izumrli, u Srbiji su česti (dobro, Fičeke baš i nisam vidio).

Not like in London, but red payphone 😀

1.25 L bottle of Coke – one of a kind (actually stores in Vojvodina are full of them). Kad sam se već dotaknuo dućana, ova Cola je kupljena u jednom novosadskom dućanu. Zaboravio sam točno ime dućana, ali Konzum, Konzum – od Konzum akcija i “trajno niskih cena” do K plus proizvoda. I, kao što rekoh, jeftini su u mačku piterinu.

This is some seriously good shit 😀

Vojvođanska banka, znak pravih vrednosti 😀

Ma vuci guzicu u Rodić i kupi MB pivo – domaće, naše (preskoči na 3:29) 😀

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

The next day we went to the Department of Geography in Novi Sad, yeah our Vojvodina colleagues 😀 Yeah, most of faculties and their departments of the University of Novi Sad are located within one campus. Gosh, Zagreb must be the only university on the planet that has faculties and their departments dispersed through out the city…

The University of Novi Sad campus

We attended a couple of presentations there. When we entered the classroom we found a (packed) condom on a seat in a back row – free condoms!!! 😀
Let’s just say that the presentations were so interesting (actually they were ’cause I listened to the first one and to the second while I was not busy taking pics of the sleeping beauties) that we had a lot of sleeping beauties (pretty much like on the lectures in the bus). I have a lot of pics of the beauties, but I won’t post them here ’cause you never know who might wander(lust 😀 ) here even though the chances of someone who actually cares wandering are practically non-existent.

Sad znamo otkud Štercu onako lijep naslovni slajd na geografskom ponedjeljku – časopis Turizam novosadskog Odsjeka za geografiju, turizam i hotelijerstvo. Za sada nemam bolju sliku časopisa, ali valjda ću ju kad-tad nabavit; do tad će poslužit ova koja se vidi na prezentaciji.

Pod klupom smo našli (čitljiv) šalabahter na ćirilici pisan rukom. E, to je umijeće! Ja ne mogu našvrljat niš čitljivo ni na latinici, a ćitilica je nešto kompliciranija (usporedi samo Ž i Ж, I i И…).

Još malo aktualnosti…

After the presentations we went sightseeing. Vodič mi je dignuo tlak – za Domovinski rat je rekao građansko-agresorski rat. Da se ponovim – Ulaskom Hrvatske (i BiH) u UN, 22.5.1992., SVE TVRDNJE da je Domovinski rat bio građanski rat, padaju u vodu. Jasno? Jasno. (više o tom u odjeljku Građanski rat?! ovog posta)
Well, Novi Sad is a typical Central European town.
One thing though, we have Gypsy beggers too. Yeah, they’re famous of using children for begging (and making them actually do the begging), but I haven’t been in a single city before where Gypsy kids just come to sightseeing tourist groups with a guide talking about the city in the city centre and start asking for money (yeah, we don’t look rich nor are we rich).
Anyway, after a small tour of the centre, we were let to wander around. We decided to get some food. A guy selling sunglasses (behind the law), recommended us a place. I ordered skinless sausages (ćevapi) and French fries. The sausages were acceptable, but the fries sucked ass. Furthermore, the toilet was worse than Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. The place is called Banjalučki ćevap I think. If you go to Novi Sad, stay away from that shithole!!!
Inače, u pečenjari su nas zamijenili za Slovence. Oke, budući da smo svi bili iz sjeverne Hrvatske, 100 % smo kajkali, pogotovo kolega Međimurec 😀 i možda smo tu i tamo neš rekli na ekavici, ali smo većinom govorili na jekavici (kad smo došli u pečenjaru, pitali smo Ima li slobodnih mjesta?). E, ko nađe, jekavskog Slovenca, dam mu pet odma. U kratko, kad čuješ jekavsko kajkanje, sigurno je riječ o Hrvatu.

Viđu ti Meštrovića u centru Novog Sada 😀

Not Dungeons and Dragons, but a dragon 😀 – a statue of Jovan Jovanović Zmaj (BCS zmaj dragon)

Mobile bed! 😀

So it was time to leave Novi Sad. Upon exiting the city, cops pulled us over. Why? Because the chauffeur didn’t wear a sit belt. A cop was like Sit belts must be worn in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Germany; everywhere. Indeed, what kind of a bus driver (or “professional” how our professor kept calling him) forgets to put a sit belt on?! A fellow student yelled Tell them (the cops) to hurry up; we’re in a hurry...

Ovi murjaci očito ne jedu ni burek ni krafne, nego Poli nareske 😉

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

So, first we were of to lake Ludas. It was unbelievably hot there and bloody mosquitoes were everywhere. We maybe saw two inches of the lake. The programme was not fun at all [and I don’t mean a (bulgy eyed) woman named Atol (skip to 3:13)].

Next stop was lake Palić (yeah, near Ludas). We had a lot of free time there and I can honestly say that was the best part of the trip 😀

Yeah, we stole kids their playground 😀

While in the park we came to a conclusion we couldn’t survive with camera that could take only 30 pics and couldn’t record stuff. I realized then my camera eats batteries for dinner while recording.

Kada sve drugo propadne i ovakva pronatalitetna populacijska politika je dobrodošla. Neka mi netko samo objasni kako umjetne oplodnje narušavaju mogućnnost imanja dijeteta…

Nedostajali su samo sol i zraku i povici Prokleti purger! da bude kao prava šetnja kroz Rivu 😀

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

After lake Palić, we headed to the hotel (hotels actually) in the town of Palić (Palić is predominantly Hungarian – 54 %). We had a dinner there accompanied by traditional music (luckily, no turbo-folk 😀 ) which is pretty much the same as in eastern Croatia – many common songs are sung on both sides of the border.
Before the dinner, we were toured around the place. That’s the first time in my life I thanked God for DST. If there was no DST, it would’ve been too dark to take any pics.

Many people partied till late at night. I on the other hand was woken by digestion problems at 1 AM. I couldn’t fall back asleep because of two reasons: people were partying loudly and, more importantly, my room mate kept bloody snoring. He had snored (like hell) the previous two nights too, but I guess I had been too tired to be bothered by it and I hadn’t had any digestion problems. I must say that I really wonder how loudly he’s going to snore in 10-20 years if he snores like a hundred year old now, when he’s only 22. Anyway, I was just about to fall asleep when a bloody rooster started “announcing the morning” (at 4:30 AM). Then, I wanted to strangle DST again. If there was no DST, the bloody bird would hail to the morning an hour before when I was busy at the toilet. Damn, I really wished I had a fire arm with me back then and that I was able to use it. Why the hell don’t they give the rooster a clock and tell him Listen, rooster, no yelling till 10 AM – people are trying to sleep. I finally managed to fall a sleep an hour before my cell phone alarm went off. In addition, I kept bumping my head on the ceiling because of the bloody roof shape. Oh yeah, expect the regular no lock on bathroom doors, the bathroom in this place didn’t even have ventilation, which is not a smart thing after I leave the toilet 😉

Ovo u Srbiji dobiješ nakon svakog noćenja. E kad bi u Hrvatskoj bilo tako lako doć do prebivališta…

Brošura koju smo dobili u restoranu u kojem smo večerali – MICE! 😀

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

The next day, we went to Subotica. Subotica is the second largest city in Vojvodina with the population of around 100 000 citizens. At certain time in the 19th century (I forgot the exact year), Subotica was the largest Croatian city (i.e. more Croatians lived in Subotica than in Zagreb). Several Croatian political parties of Vojvodina are headquartered in Subotica. Today, the city is dominated by Hungarians with 35% followed by Serbs with 28% followed by Croatians with 21%… The dominant religion is Catholicism since most Hungarians and probably all Croatians (i.e. 35% + 21% = 56%) are catholic. The dominated spoken language is Serbocroatian though because of Serbs who speak Serbian and Croatians who speak Croatian (i.e. 28% + 21% = 49 %). Maybe that’s why I haven’t seen a single Hungarian monolingual sign in the city (expect religious stuff) while I saw a lot of monolingual Serbian…

Svako ima pravo na svoje mišljenje, ali za mene je Subotica grad vikendica (vikend-kuća) u kojima ljudi borave samo subotom 😀 Sa mnom se očito ne slaže New Now novinarka kada Suboticu nije prevela u Littlesaturday

Subotica cathedral

Subotica synagogue, one of a few religious objects which the communist government actually invested into

The best barbed wire alternative ever 😀

Sad mi je jasno otkud korjene vuče zagrebački EKO TAXI. Priča se po kvartu da u Ljubljanu stiže Mladi Eko Taxi 😉
Kad smo već kod taksija, u Novom Sadu (čini mi se, može bit u Subotici ili Somboru) sam vidio City Taxi. Kaj City Taxi ne vozi i u Samoboru?

Subotica ima vlasitog Batmana i ekipu. Lako njima – sigurno sigurno spavaju 😀

Evo, ovo sam slikao samo da pokažem da je Budimpešta bliža Subotici nego Zagreb.

Next stop was Sombor (not Samobor ×D ). Unlike Subotica, Sombor is predominately Serbian (64%). We didn’t really sightsee the town, Sombor was the last city in Vojvodina we visited, so it was time to replenish supplies we were going to smuggle (snacks and drinks bought earlier didn’t survive long) across the border 😀 Just before we went off, a thoughtless woman wanted to tell us the future.

Hrvatski dom u Somboru

Najvažniji suvenir u Vojvodini sam kupio – srpski Alan Ford – Slepačka pesma 😀

Nedavni izbori u Srbiji

Prije nego što se vratim u domovinu, htio bih pokazati nedavnu srpsku predizbornu kampanju da pokažem da su političari, hmm… političari.

Što volim ovakve prozirne porukice… Doduše, Bandiću baš i nisu pomogle.

Ovom liku se nije svidio Čombetov Glasajte za nas, pa se odlučio za Izetov Glasat ćete za nas! Jasno? Jasno. 😀

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

So, from Sombor we headed back to our homeland, more precisely Baranya. Baranya is a region shared by Hungary (northern Baranya) and Croatia (southern Baranya). Logically, there are lot of Hungarians living in Croatian part of Baranya. We passed through some Hungarian villages. But, unlike in Vojvodina, there’s no larger Hungarian settlement in Croatian Baranya.

A ship in international waters (on Danube which serves as the border between Croatia and Serbia) 😀

I don’t wanna comment what “music” we listened to in the bus on our way through Baranya. It is interesting, though, how “imposing music” didn’t apply back then…

This is a monument to the fallen heroes of the Red Army who defended Baranya. I posted the pic ’cause any kind of communist monuments so well taken care of are really rare in Croatia.

A local wine brewery from 1697. Inače, Belje ima još poznatih proizvoda (npr. ABC sir).

Screw Scotland 😉

Anyway, after exploring Baranya, we went to a hotel in Osijek. The hotel was good. Probably the best one we’ve been too, expect for two things – terrible food and rooms were next to a train station, which I realized after I chose the bed by the window. Three guys got a sweet bigger than my apartment, but me and my room mate got a normal sized room, which was a submarine cabin compared to the sweet.

Another sleepless night (speaking of sleepless, which one do you find better Sleepless in Peckham or Sleepless in Bel-Air?). I was woken in the middle of the night (yeah, a kick ass song, right 😀 ) by mild stomach-ache. Went to the toilet, farted my ass off and went back to bed. But, expect for the bloody snoring, every now and then, I was shaken by a passing train 😡

Inače, trebao sam otić na koncert TBFa. Održan je blizu hotela, a ulaz je bio besplatan

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

In the morning we went to Kopački rit. Kopački rit is a swampy (I said that Virovi are similar) nature park with tons of bird, fish and mosquito species along with other animals. Out of all the mosquito species inhabiting Rit, only four are blood suckers and out of those four, only female suck blood (yeah, women suck blood 😀 ). Nevertheless, it’s the blood suckers that are a pain in the ass. When going to Kopački rit, be sure to come properly anti-mosquito equipped.

When we arrived,  I was offered to be taken the following 2 km path by the bus, but blah. If I walked the previous stuff, I could take this walk for sure. Besides, I would feel like an idiot all alone in the bus while others were walking.

U Ritu su nam govorili neš otkud potječe ime Kopački rit, ali mene niko ne može razuvjerit da ime potječe iz guzice. Još kada uzmemo u obzir riječ “kopački”, dolazimo do zaključka da je ime smislila neka perverznjačina…

Prvo, kakvo bolesno đubre je uopće moglo postaviti mine u Kopački rit?! Drugo, od rata je prošlo 12 godina, a jedan od najljepših hrvatskih parkova prirode još nije razminiran…

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

From Rit, we headed back to Osijek to sightsee the city. It was a waste of time if you ask me ’cause we only moved around Osijek fortress, which was built to repel Turks (no way…).

The one and only pic I didn’t actually take ’cause we could only take pics of trams from the bus and none I took looked like a tram ×D Anyway, I just wanted to mention that Osijek is the only Croatian city, other than Zagreb that still has a tram system. Trams are generally a popular form of public transport in Europe. Unlike, in Zagreb, where trams are very common, trams in Osijek are more of a tourist attraction, like the tram system in Trondheim, Norway (as a comparison, Osijek has only 2 tram routes while Zagreb has 15).

Okay, moving on *Achmed style*

Our final stop was Stara Kapela where we had a traditional lunch accompanied by traditional music, like in Palić. The lunch was good, especially the soup. I must say I was pretty disappointed when I found out that the lambs being fried outside were not for us.
A little info about Stara Kapela. Stara Kapela is a village entirely for rural tourism. It has the population of only 15. They can host a bus full of people for now which means they often have more guests than permanent residents. One of those 15 people is a 90 year old woman. When she dies, the population will drop by 10 %. Anyway, they keep bragging that they’ve had visitors from all over the world from the US and Europe to Australia. The host in charge is so cheerful that I think he’s been trying out his drinks too many times.

This payphone actually serves a purpose because there’s no cellphone signal in the village. Hosts keep bragging abut that as it were an advantage… I mean, if I don’t want to be reached on cell, I’ll turn the thing off. I won’t go to a place with no signal where I can’t be reached even if I want to be reached…

Na boci piše ‘Ko se ove flaše lati, nek’ ga zdravlje i sreća prati! Ko zna šta je u toj boci i da li donosi sreću (o zdravlju ne bih) ×D

Well, that’s it. After Stara Kapela, we headed back home.
Lemme finish this post by a question our professor so often asked – Any questions?

Na kamionu piše KITA LOGISTICS

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