Friday, October 11, 2013

Shopping In Tongues

It can be quite a multi-lingual experience shopping here. Some things, such as this jar of parsley flakes is labelled in Serbian, as you would expect.
I want to appologize because many of the pictures in this post will be sideways. Since Serbian/Montenegrin is the language we're learning, it is good when things are in the local tongue. It is also good that we know enough of the language to be able to figure out what something is when it isn't obvious by container or store location. For example this tube of baby toothpaste which looks alot like a tube of diaper cream:
or the peanut butter which is located in the refridgerated dairy section of the store.
Isn't too hard to tell what audience peanut butter is marketed to, is it? Some other items, like our mouthwash, are products of Italy:
And there are some things where the label is in Greek, Turkish, German or Macedonian. I like it best when an item has several different languages on it:
I don't know if we would have figured out that this was nutmeg otherwise. And of course the point of all this shopping is so that we can eat and our girls can feed themselves, or each other:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cultural Differences-Restaurant Edition

We went out to eat last week and Steve ordered a cheeseburger and fries while I ordered a pizza. The waitress brought ketchup to our table and put it in front of me :-) .
When you order a drink, it hardly ever comes from the tap, usually you get a small bottle or can and a glass, which only rarely comes with ice. They collect the bottles and cans for recycling.
We have been to only one restaurant, and one hotel dinning room that had a highchair available, and then only one or two. We have yet to see a children's menu.
Almost every restaurant has cloth tablecloths and napkins.
In some places you pay an extra fee for silverware.
Almost everything, including utensils, comes on its own napkin covered plate.
There are ashtrays on each table.
You often receive a separate bill for drinks and food, and each time you add something to your order you get another one.

I hope you enjoyed this little cultural tour of Montenegro's restaurants. Sorry I don't have any pictures of the girls in this.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Crazy Spicy People

I am a person who enjoys puns. In English there are words like "right", "old", and "lost" that have multiple meanings and opposites. In Serbian/Montenegrin there are some of those but during my learning, I am having more fun with the words that sound the same (at least to me). One example is ludi, ljuti, ljudi- to a foreign ear the difference is almost imperceptible, but the difference in meaning is significant-ludi means crazy or angry, ljuti means spicy and ljudi means people. Boli means sick, bolji means better. Izvor is source or spring (like spring water), izbor means choice. Odbichno means usually, odlichno means excellent. Ja sam means I am, samo means only or alone so if a person named Sam wanted to introduce himself he could say "ja sam samo Sam" and I suppose a Serbian copy of Green Eggs and Ham (no doubt entitled "Zelene Jaje I Shunka") would have the line "Ja sam Sam, Sam ja sam!"
Please note that there are letters in the Serbian language which my computer won't make, so I typed it more or less phonetically.

And since a blog post isn't really complete without a few shots of the girls, I threw in one of Ruth and Steve playing a game on the tablet, and Esther gazing out the window.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crossing the Border


We went to Albania to celebrate Ruth's third birthday with some friends. They had a lovely cake made for her. We visited a castle overlooking the city of Lezhe, where Esther found a window just hear size. There were also ants which drew Ruth's attention "look at them go!" And we were amused by the goats eating leaves from the pomegranate trees.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Playing Dress-Up

What's more fun, sunglasses, or hats made of doll dresses? The girls can't decide.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

More Vacation Information

 Our room had a kitchenette and a balcony with furniture so
we often made our own meals and ate on the balcony.

The hotel also had a restaurant, where we dined twice. Here is a salad we ordered the first day.

There was a semi-private pebble beach which the girls really enjoyed

A view of  the beach

Ruth likes her water wings

Esther loves these new shoes

At a cafe in Ulcinj

Friday, July 5, 2013

In Our Hotel By the Sea

We took a short vacation in June, between Bar and Ulcinj. We stayed in the Apartment Hotel de Lara-we admit that the name was a selling point :). The Adriatic is beautiful, well worth the 10 euro extra per night for the sea view room! This is a view from our balcony window.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Crayon Trouble

Ruth loves to color with crayons. The only problem is, she doesn't limit her "artwork" to the coloring book. In the past week we have confiscated the crayons because she colored on the walls, the table and the back of her sister's chair. She has also colored on puzzle pieces and her magna doodle. Fortunately we have been able to get the crayon off of everything, except Esther's chair (which is covered in cloth).
One day she got ahold of a sharpie, and added some original artwork to her books. Luckily they were board books and some water and a microfiber cloth cleaned them right up.
 Esther likes crayons too, but she prefers to color internally. Did you know that a black crayon, if sucked on, will "bleed" on your face?
Don't color on that, no, no, no.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sidewalk Safety

When walking on the sidewalks of Podgorica, there are several obstacles to watch out for. The biggest one is cars. Often cars are parked on the walk, not just on the curb, but taking up so much room that the pedestrians are forced to walk on the road. There are even some areas where you need to watch out for vehicles actually driving on the sidewalk for as many as 50 yards!

Other things to be on the lookout for are the remains of sawed off signposts. One neat thing here is that they incorporate trees into the sidewalk, leaving a square or round hole for it to grow out of. But these create other dangers. The roots may push up the concrete, or if the tree dies the hole may or may not be filled in.

Then we have manholes which could have the standard fitted metal cover level with the pavement, or a giant slab of cement sticking up 6 inches above the rest of the walkway, or no cover at all, leaving a gapping hole to avoid.

Those who text and walk, beware.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Shoebox Showcase

Esther's goodies
Ruth peeking into her shoebox
Our princess in her shoebox "bling"
Passing out the Shoeboxes
The week of Orthodox Christmas (January 7th) there are Christmas programs and the children who register and attend receive Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. We took the girls to a program. It was packed. Ruth really enjoyed it. Especially the present. We've participated on the "giving" side in the States. It was a neat opportunity to be on the "receiving" side now.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Entering the story

Continuing from the recent Christmas season, Ruth really enjoys pretending to be Mary. She loves to be wrapped in my scarf, or put a small blanket over her head. Sometimes she will ball up another small blanket and call it Baby Jesus. She spent hours playing with a toymmanager scene and loved watching "Larry Christmas" which is what she called any of 3 different Veggie Tales Christmas DVDs. She even watched one today.

Update: Picture added

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Name That Book

This series of books was one of my Christmas presents this year. Can you guess what the English title is? If you want I can give hints:-)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year

It's Christmas Day (again) here in Montenegro-this is the Orthodox Christmas. A week ago we celebrated New Year's Day with our friends here. There was plenty of food.

Ruth and Esther explored the drinks.

People have been detonating fire crackers and fireworks for awhile now, especially on New Year's Eve and last night (Orthodox Christmas Eve). I don't know if they're done yet, or if it will continue until Orthodox New Year on the 14th.