Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nikola Nikola, the name is Nikola

Yes... spelled: Nikola. Hopefully I have it right this time.

So I'm blogging about Leah blogging about cheese =)

Here is a direct quote:
" roommates bought a kilo of parmesan cheese with which to make alfredo sauce. We've gone through maybe 1/3 of it, and now we've instigated a rule that mandates parmesan cheese with every meal. Pasta? Add parmesan cheese. Sandwich? Add parmesan cheese. Rice? Add parmesan cheese."

She's silly.

Bosnia tomorrow!


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ground beef

I made sautéed mushrooms with spaghetti for 7 people on Sunday. It was epic and delicious. Meatballs is the plan for tomorrow! I ordered ground beef for the first time since I’ve been here, with help of course. He grinded it up right in front of my eyes. Amazing thing seeing a slab of meat reduced to playdoe. Hope I don’t die from it! Yay!

I still have video from the trip to Lopud that I need to upload. I will shoot for Thursday. You’ll like it.

Nicola, who’s name does not have a ‘k’ in it by the way, translated some instructions on how to make pudding. I thought I would share them with you.


Sunday, May 4, 2008


***/begin spelling correction time!
Pidgin, in English, is spelled “Pigeon”. Go figure. I’ve had too much fun typing using it as my IM client to notice there was a difference.
The mountain we climbed the other week is pronounced “Surge”, but it is spelled with no vowels what so ever! “Srd”. Except the “d” has a little cross over the top of it, which is not in American ASCII, so I’m not going to try to find it. =)
***/end spelling correction time

We went to Lopud yesterday. It was a very long day. Left the apartment at around 8:45am and met up with some other ACMT students over by the docks in Gruz. I whipped out my sunscreen and video camera and I was ready to go. Kyle made fun of me, but I’m not the one who looks like a tomato!

It was a fairly long boat ride, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and I had some great company, so it was a pleasant one. Upon arrival to the island, we promptly raced up 5 million steps. We arrived at a wooded area that Stasa said was really cool because it was the only one of its kind in the entire Mediterranean. There is sand he said that comes from Africa in these woods. He said that this ecosystem was unique because by studying it, we know what the environment was like thousands of years ago. He was so passionate about it, waving his arms around exuberantly, that I had to film him. More on this when I upload the video.

On a side note, Stasa’s wife looks very young. I need to ask Nickola for a picture. She was wearing a red Rochester shirt and he backpack had a little penguin keychain on it. She looked like a student. She was very nice though. She came along for the trip.

After the break in the woods, we headed on. We went off the trail and started to form our own. This was quite interesting. An event which stuck with me, as we climbed up and up the mountain, was the indecipherable yelps from the Croatian students in front of me. “Why are they crying out?”, I thought. No sooner had I uttered the words to myself, while picturing horrible events that may have ensued, did I encounter the dreadful prickly plants. With their jean piercing thorns, they quickly decimated all hope of a relatively painless school fieldtrip.
(**Note to self: Nice use of language, Chris!)
(**Note to self: Thanks, man. I try.)

We pushed through the plants and cut our fingers. It was a character building experience. It was well worth it when we reached the top though. Just as promised, it was beautiful. Video and pictures don’t do it justice, so I won’t post either of them.
Just kidding, I’ll post them later ;)

I met this Bosnian kid from our class who I had never really talked to before. I don’t remember is name. He’s cool though. He said Bosnia was mad cool. Much cooler than Croatia and I should go there. When I told him that I would be going to Sarajevo next weekend, his eyes lit up and glossed over as he expressed unwavering patriotism for his country.

We headed over to a sand beach near an outland on the island (that sounds weird). Really nice place. We sat down at the coffee shop over there and discussed computers with Stasa.

Then, Kyle and I headed back to the pier to catch the boat. We sat down on a bench overlooking the water and waited, exhausted. Nickola eventually made his way down to the pier with a blonde girl and said “hi” to us. As they walked away, Kyle and I both followed them with our heads and then looked at each other thinking the same thing. “Who was that girl?” he asked. I replied, “I think her name is, ‘Too hot for her own good’”. You’d think someone like that would stand out in class. I guess it’s not until someone goes on a field trip hiking on an island in shorts, sandals, and a tank top, that you notice them.

We finally got back to Gruz in Dubrovnik and picked up some awesome Croatian style hamburgers from a corner grill. It’s freakin good. We wanted to get Teo, because he lived over there but he wasn’t around.

That reminds me, I haven’t seen any of the photo kids since they went on the trip to Montenegro on Thursday. I hope they didn’t die and there isn’t this big cover up by Dennis and Zoran. Because then I would be very sad, and I would also have to start an investigation. However, I might stop the investigation upon discovering further “evidence” in the form of several thousand kunas. These should be in the form of unmarked, fairly small, non-sequential bills.
**Update: heard from Teo. Supposedly they are okay, I still have my suspicions though.

Kyle and I came home and passed out. Good day.

Sat on to of the bank today. That was pretty cool. You’d never know it from the street, but there is a bench up there! Really nice view of the sea from up there.

Met a kid in Fresh named Jacob. He is the coolest Aussie I have ever met. (That is a hint to all you hot Aussie chicks, by the way. You should meet me so I can make more of a comparison.) So, Teo and I were discussing a “21 things to do before I turn 21 list”, which is kind of like a “Kick the bucket list”, except you hopefully don’t die when you turn 21. So Jacob is like in more words or less: “Oh my God, that’s like why I’m here!” (not direct quote) He is here because of a girl. This is the girl of his dreams. Also, this girl is not here, she’s back in Australia. It was a long and epic story and I would only mess it up if I retold it, but I am very excited to hear about the ending. When I know, you will.

I spoke with family in Italy a few days ago. They are very excited to see me. I’m taking a plane from Dubrovnik to Naples on the 26th. I’m going to be staying with my cousin Carmine and his family for a little while and then we are both going over to Ischia. It’s an island off the coast were my dad’s side of the family is from. Should be fun =)

I just got an e-mail from Zoran. It made me laugh. I hope he doesn’t mind, I’m going to share it with you. This is a direct quote.

“…As all of you have by now
visited Montenegro and enjoyed Balkan’s connected holiday + weekend,
here’s a story about Montenegrin world-known laziness:”

“In a little Montenegrin village the Council assembled to discuss the work
related issues; after a lot of arguments from all sides they put the
following proposal on the vote Saturday and Sunday are free days; No one
will work on Mondays as people have to rest from the weekend. Tuesdays
will be designated for the preparation to work. Wednesdays will be the
working days. Thursdays will be left for people to rest from the hard
Wednesdays’ work. Fridays will be free to let the people prepare for the
weekend. Before voting, the chairman of the Council asked whether everyone
understands the concept; the question from the assembly was: Are ALL
Wednesdays going to be work days?...”

Okay! I have some video I need to upload, but I will wait until I can waste ACMT’s bandwith. So until next time, always remember not to tip in Croatia, just round up.

-Chris ‘The Terra’ Mattera

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pizza of the gods

I apologize for lack of posts. Sylar ate my brains…

Andrija shaved his head =(. He looks significantly less like Sylar now. It is a shame.
For shame, Andrija, for shame.

The city has been flooding with tourists. There were two giant cruise ships in the harbor the other day. It is so weird. In Dubrovnik, the natives dress to the season no matter what. They are all still wearing dark clothes with coats and jeans, even though it is 70 degrees. Now, with all the tourists around, they through color in to the mix. In a sea of people you can spot them in shorts, wearing backpacks, moving in herds (kind of like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, except significantly less cool).

I went shopping with Leah some time ago. I got some pretty cool jeans with buttons on the fly. I also got some shoes. They are European style. After wearing skate shoes for so long I feel I might fall over. I need to cover more ground, you know?

So, I haven’t made a definitive decision on this yet, but I’m pretty sure that the most stressful part about college is class registration. I have since gotten everything straightened out but it was an interesting adventure.

We have been going to this pizza place called Tabasco, pretty much every day. It is the best pizza ever. That previous sentence isn’t opinion. A council from everyone in the world came together and decided that an exception should be made in the rules which distinguish opinion from fact. Tabasco was deemed “Pizza the Awesome”. If you weren’t at the meeting, then I feel sorry for you because you missed out on free food and bawls.

Okay, what was I talking about? Oh right, pizza. Tabasco has jumbo size pizza, which is about a large in America for 65 kuna (about $13). We usually split that among two people. They have this one pizza called “Mexicana” with peppers that would make tear stream down the devils cheeks. There is the four cheese pizza which is like a party in your mouth, and you invited four different types of cheeses! There is another thing called Piroske. I butchered that name, but hear me out. It is this calzone thing, with stuff on the inside, sometimes ham, or cheese, mushrooms, and sprinkled cheese and sauce on the outside as well. God literally came down from the heavens above and baked this treasure with ingredients from the Garden of Eden.

So yeah, I like Tabasco.

I gave a presentation in Environmental science on Tuesday. I knocked it out of the park. I had the Croatian kids falling out of their chairs laughing. It made me feel good. I’m glad I finally found a common ground and was able to relate to my audience. As any public speaker will tell you (or any good public speaker, like me), that’s the most important thing.

There are a lot of pidgins that like to hang out around the old city. This one coffee shop in particular, they enjoy doing the nasty, right on the ledge that overlooks the ocean. If you have never been blessed with seeing pidgins doing the horizontal mombo, I will describe it in detail for you. One pidgin, hopefully female, flattens down while the other pidgin steps onto the first one’s back. They both shuffle around a little bit until they are comfortable and at this point it looks like they are about ready for a flight launch into space. Which is REALLY cool. However, all the pidgin does, is flap his wings up in a V formation like “Victory!”

At Fresh, we went to this thing they call “Air Fresh”. They film an airport and plane ride and then they put it up on the projector. You purchase a ticket and you get a seat, there is turbulence. It was a really fun time. =) The place is a really happenin’ traveler’s bar.

We went to Mount Sergie for a field trip a little while ago. That is the mountain that overlooks Dubrovnik. It was spectacular up there. There was a fire that burned up most of the trees from last august. Stasa said it was the Bosnians. On the way down he showed Kyle, Ian, and I how to pick wild asparagus. We cooked it up later, and it was awesome.

We went to Montenegro over the weekend. That was really wild. Beautiful view. They have more old towns! I saw a license plate from Jersey too! Kyle made a little quip about Jersey drivers, but no one cares what he thinks. =P

Oh yeah, Stasa confirmed the other day that he IS Dustin Hoffman by talking about wasting water by flushing the toilet. Every time I get out of that class, I feel like the world is going to end very soon. He is very deep.

So, I’m still having a good time. I do miss everyone from home. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. I gave some of my family in Italy a call today. They were excited that I was going to visit them soon.

Be true to yourself.

Video now...

Montenegro 1

Montenegro 2

Montenegro 3

Some cool singing people in old town!

Serge 1 - Journey

Serge 2 - Stasa lecture

Serge 3

Serge 4 - lounging

Serge 5 - living photo

Serge 6 - Very high

Serge 7 - Ian talks skydiving

Serge 8 - Cows on the mountain