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

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