Author Archives: thecreativeblock

About thecreativeblock

Loves to travel.

I Suck.

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I suck with keeping this updated. Maybe I’m posting this because a dear friend from highschool inspired me. Maybe I have nothing better to do, aside packing for my next adventure.

Long story short, I’m back in the good old USA after I broke my arm in August. It’s basically healed now. Add in the fact I decided to go back to college. Currently community college for liberal arts in humanities and social sciences. After community college, I hope to go west, to my home, Seattle, WA. I’m interested in anthropology at University of Washington.

Why anthropology?  It stemmed from my travels, a desire to learn languages and cultures. I love to see differences of different places as I travel. To appreciate how history have impacted a place nowadays.

I would like to think I’m good at writing, but there’s many people out there who have real talents of writing.

Whenever I feel like writing, maybe it will end up here. Maybe not. It depends, doesn’t it?

Quit With Calling Me An “Inspiration!”

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Why is it every time I meet somebody new when I travel or is overseas, that they say I’m an inspiration? What’s so special about me? I basically don’t feel like an inspiration or a role model. Hell, I have done stuff before that I’m not that proud of, but so have everybody.

I just caught up with an awesome new show by some means on hulu, even though I’m not in the USA. It’s called “Switched At Birth” about 2 girls, one being deaf that were switched at birth. Anyways, my point is, it made me realize me think about certain stuff.

For example, in one scene, the dad, John Kennish constantly pushed Daphne, the deaf girl in basketball and she began to display signs that she wasn’t enjoying it. I felt the same way about academics, because I’m so fucking smart. Family, teachers, everybody pushed me to do well in academics. I didn’t have much heart in it, only intelligence that could’ve been used elsewhere. To be honest, I didn’t want to go to college right after high school, because I had no motivation.

My only regret is that I let family, friends, teachers, and everybody else push me to attend college, even though I had a lack of interest in academics my senior year of high school. I even tried majoring in photography, my passion at that time, but I soon despised it. The only real passion I had was traveling and experiencing cultures. To live aboard and be independent. Not overprotected like a bird in a cage. Restricted of her freedom, being resigned to live in the middle of nowhere with no license to drive. I have tried for years to get my parents to send me to a driving school or to at least teach me. They even did try to teach me, but lost patience soon afterwards and I hated driving when they were in the seat next to me, yelling. I lost motivation for that, but I still want a license. Even if to own my own motorcycle and ride it.

Nobody understood why I love to travel. I always have ever since I was a baby, but not so much with family due to being limited to the tourist trap bubble. I never liked NYC that much when with family, but I’m open to visiting it only for friends and for myself to explore. Not being stuck to the Statue of Liberty for my 4th or 5th time. It bored me. I’m not into the typical life that everybody expects me to live.

Yes, I have more challenges than the average person, not just deaf, but being stuck with Nager syndrome. But it doesn’t stop me from leaving home without my family knowledge and traveling across parts of Europe, especially the Balkans region and Eastern Europe. I never had any desire to visit France or wherever that everybody goes to. Yes, now, I’m open to the idea of France and “common” Western Europe countries, thanks to my new international friends. Hell, I’m much happier here in Beograd, Serbia than back home in the USA.

Should I even feel guilty that I don’t miss my family at all, except my pets? I mean, I never have been homesick, not even once. I guess I’m like my biological asshole father in personality. That we both are reckless, selfish, adventurous, hot tempered, independent, and in general don’t give a fuck at all. Sure I’m nice and all, but I have limits. Limits such as taking care of drunken ass friends. I do make sure they are alive, but leave them to others to take care of them. I’m a selfish bitch. That’s how I am.

I’m no saint, inspiration, or a role model. Sure it’s nice to see others overcome their own struggles to do whatever they always dreamt of doing, but they have their own stories. Every story is different, in how it’s achieved. I don’t want to be copied. I basically rebel from everything. Not just family, but society pressure. I don’t do well if pushed to do something, as evidenced in my lack of interest in academics.

The only reason I excelled in academics was that I lacked in social life before I moved to a deaf school. Sure I had friends here and there, but not much of a life. I started showing my true colors when I began attending a deaf school. A desire to socialize. Mind you, it wasn’t easy and I didn’t like the experience much, but it taught me what I wanted. Not to be pressured to do things I had no interest in.

My mom thought that me attending college would give me a better opportunity in life, especially since I’m deaf. But look at the world, at the USA. Economy’s fucked. What’s a college degree worth if it’s impossible for everybody to find a job? Nothing. I figured it’s better to do whatever on my own and let everything take care on it own. Not to say I’m not open to some work or whatever. I’m open to the idea of doing some temporary work as I travel. But what’s my skill that I can contribute?

I don’t like responsibilities, hard work, or anything that could take away from what I want to do in life. But when I live in my own place overseas, even for a few months in different places, I enjoy it. It gives me something to do and to actually take a deeper look at the culture here. And experiencing life and culture in different places is my thing. Not just art, but to see what it is in reality. Not what the media or others say; but to see it with my own eyes and feelings. Nothing can ever replace that type of experience, not even some job and a family in a boring old life. Sure, I hate cleaning and stuff of that nature, but I don’t mind if it’s somewhere I liked.

I’m excited to travel again in September to mid/late October of parts of the Balkans, but I don’t want to leave Beograd and Serbia. I loved it here. I loved the challenge of living in a different place, where English isn’t spoken and the written words are in Cyrillic. Yes, there’s Latin used here, but not everywhere. I loved it. I’ll miss this place, but before you know it, I’ll be back.

So, back to the point, why am I no inspiration? To be honest, it’s cliché, boring, and so damn overplayed. I roll my eyes at that idea. I’m just doing what I like to do. Nothing wrong with that? It doesn’t bother me that I’m deaf and living overseas. It’s a challenge that I love to do. It enchants my life much more than some 4 years at some college, not knowing what I wanted to do and being pressured. I love my life without outside pressures, since I’m happier.

So, do me a favor and refrain from using the words “brave”, “inspiration”, or a “role model” to describe me or tell me. Even if you’re an international person living overseas that basically decided to live there and do whatever he/she desires. Nothing different between you and me in regards of that.

A Serbian Enlightment

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Why do people always think that Serbians are out to get other people, that they were considered evil or whatever? That’s to me is a blatant prejudice against a nation in Europe. Is it because of what happened in the past?

Well, guess what, wake up to reality everybody! Serbia is one awesome country that deserves to be discovered for what it is in reality, not what the media says. This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a new Serbian friend, after she said that she wants people to change the way they see Serbians. What can I say about that? Well, the media is to blame. They painted an ugly picture of the country as a whole, that the people are hostile, and not recommended to visit the country.

Hell, even my family asks me if Serbia is a safe country to visit. My answer to them is that Serbia is safer than the small town I was forced to live while in the USA. Sorry to those from the town where I lived if they knew it, but it’s the truth. I couldn’t go out at 2am back where I lived in the USA. Here, especially in Belgrade, it’s perfectly fine and safe to go out at 2am to a 24 hours market a 10 minutes walk away and not be scared. Hell, the streets are usually filled of people, and what I mean are the normal sorts of people, not the bad sorts.

The people here in Serbia are friendly and would love to get to know people. I have made friends here in Serbia and they are awesome. Why are people so damn close minded to discover this country? If they bothered to see the country as it is, they would learn that people here are friendly and proud of the country.

In reality, I only planned to stay a few weeks here, but I fell in love with the country and its people. I’m never bored here and I absolutely enjoyed living here for a few months. I will definitely not want to leave mid September, but there’s legalities to keep in mind.

So, I highly recommend you guys visit this gem in the Balkans region and open your mind. You’ll be glad you did.

Ја Волим Сбрилија. <3

A Bit About What’s Coming…And Some Ramblings

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It involves tons of research, not just about the housing situation (although that’s my focus), but a bunch of other issues such as education, rights, and discrimination here against the Romani.

Wait, you may be asking why I’m doing this. Well, it stemmed from one simple trip via bus 95 to the Delta City mall in Novi Beograd. Next to the mall, which is huge and filled of luxury and incredibly awesome stores that I discovered (I’m a bit of a shopaholic, thanks Beograd!), is a huge landfill with shacks and containers that have people actually living there. Yes, it’s true, the settlements of Romani people in unsanitary and unsafe condition is a reality here.

Before seeing it, I was ignorant and wanted nothing to do with it. Maybe it was because I was harassed by kids begging in Mostar in Bosnia. I was kinda mean to them to be honest after repeatedly ignoring them and continued walking. I even had to run for like 10 mins, and yes, the kids chased me. I had bag of food and they clawed at my bag. I eventually hid at a gas station. The workers at the station didn’t help matters, even though I was shaking from those kids. Kids came in the gas station, bought candy, and left. But I can see them waiting, so I stayed in the gas station til they gave up. A day of exploring turned out shitty that day.

My opinion changed when I passed the landfill where the Romani lived as one of their settlements in the city right next to a mall. It pissed me off seeing that, because I felt the mall was taunting them for being Romani. They couldn’t help it that they were born in that ethnicity. Yet the Serbian government promised them better houses and apartments for them, but they get evicted to a shithole settlement outside of the city or evicted to another shitty place. They don’t have rights at all. The law states that they do, but enforced? Not at all. Even more appalling, most Serbians don’t give a shit about violence against them, they refuse to accept Romani in their neighborhood. The settlement I’m focusing on the most is Blok 67, although there’s other settlements I have to see and mention to get a better understanding. Also I’m researching the locals’ POV about Romani and the mall information as well.

I don’t really want to get into a fight with some of my Serbian friends about the Romani, but I think we could have a good discussion about it without arguing. I know I can be quite opinionated about stuff, but I have an open mind. Same goes for my Serbian friends, although it could get heated. I don’t want to generalize that ALL Serbians don’t care about the Romani, because I’m certain there’s some that does care about Romani getting opportunities and more rights. I guess this is a touchy topic here, along with the war in the 1990s and Kosovo…

Well, it will be a while until I finish what I’m working on. And I’m not the type to get my hands dirty and do all the hard work, but for this, I will. I just want to change the world, or at least change people’s perspectives and to help when possible. Besides, I had a productive conversation with a friend about the Romani problems and she helped me with some ideas. You know who you are.

Also my Serbian friend, although we may disagree on the Romani situation here, is a huge help with editing my work. So you guys know, she’s fluent in English and got a 100% on the grammar portion of the embassy test to become a diplomat for Serbian and USA relations. Apparently there’s tons of parts to an embassy test to become a diplomat…

Maybe I’ll postpone my Romania trip til mid Sept-Oct instead of late Aug. Besides I heard Romania is beautiful in the fall, and more fun in Oct with Dracula! Reminds me, I still have to finish reading Dracula.

And Incubus is a good band to listen to for writing, especially their songs, “Drive”, “Wish You Were Here”, and their newest album. Although I do listen to a bunch of different music such as Ladyhawke and a bunch of rock music from Serbia, Croatia, and Turkey.

Well, what do you know? I usually veer off topic as I write and end up talking about a bunch of stuff. How typical.

The Fortress is Better With a Partner Than Single

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Sitting on the bench, overlooking where Danube and Sava rivers meets at the Kalemegdan Fortress of Beograd (Belgrade), Serbia, it makes me yearn for a guy to be next to me. Sitting with me, cuddling, and just generally enjoying the peaceful nature of the fortress. Even with a bunch of other people there. The lights shining in the distance of Zemun. The island between the rivers. Seems to be the most perfect date in my opinion, but alas, as usual, no guy ever would think about dating me or being my boyfriend.

Normally I’m not a romantic person at all, preferring to eschew all those romantic films and books since they don’t hold my interest. Also I’m pretty much bad with commitments if long term and bored. In fact, it’s easy for me to chat with guys and be like ‘one of the guys’ since I have skateboarded with them and hung with them much more often than with the females. Sometimes I would try to flirt with them, but it goes unnoticed. So I brushed off romance, thinking it will come whenever it does.

One memory of me was in high school, I asked a guy (who were a bit of a douche to be honest) to be honest on how I look. He replied that I was ugly. It ruined my confidence that time and I lashed out. Who was to blame? Me, since I was the one who asked him for his honest opinion and I overreacted. Another time, I asked a different guy that I had a crush on for so long on why he didn’t share my feelings. He said it had nothing to do with my appearance. Of course that guy was a good friend, but he felt I was too clingy. I tried to change my personality to make him realize that I would make a good girlfriend for him. Let just say, it backfired many times since we used to have an off/on friendship. Hence, our personalities are a bit too different. I thought opposites would attract, but not with him.

It would be nice to experience my first date, my first kiss, my first boyfriend. Sometimes I feel as I’m not good enough at all for any guys to notice. Even dressing up doesn’t help. Nobody notices me. Yes, I have friends who cares. But I don’t want them to set me up on a blind date with some random guy or a guy to take me on a pity date. I have asked guys out before several times, only to be shot down. Is there something wrong with me? I just want a natural type of a relationship that is not forced in any way.

It sounds like I desperately want a relationship, when in reality, I’m out and enjoying my life. Sometimes there’s moments where I wish I had a guy with me, and sitting at the fortress here in Beograd invoked that type of feelings that I had to put it in words. For all to see. My hidden feelings. I never shared that kind of feeling to others. I’m usually sarcastic when it comes to romance or not giving a fuck when in reality, I’m jealous and wants the same thing.

I don’t want a guy to take me on a date after reading this, since I would consider it a pity date. I want a real date where a guy likes me for who I am, not for what I have written. A guy who respects my feeling, don’t give a shit about what others think, and is understanding. Is that so hard to find someone like that out there? And so you guys know, I’m not actively looking for potential boyfriends, I’m just living my life, exploring and getting into stuff that interests me.

New Obsession With Food

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I’m obsessed with food. Ever since I met a guy in Zadar, Croatia who is into food, I became more interested in trying new food. Also, I don’t have functioning jaws, so most of the food I have tried are eatable for me. It could mean no steak for me, but I did eat plenty of meat, especially in Bosnia.

Croatia: I fell in love with fish soup that’s served along the coast. I had it nearly everytime I went to a restaurant, regardless with people or by myself.

In Dubrovnik, I went on a tour that included tasting many Croatian organic foods and mussels and Oosters. I ate the interior of mussels and oysters with no problems. I loved them. Yes, I love sea food, only if freshly caught. Also I had mashed corn with a sauce made of tomatoes, peppers, oregano, olive oil, and other stuff I don’t remember that’s homemade. I loved drenching my mashed corns in that sauce and eating it. It was amazing.

Bosnia: What to say? I fell in love with the country and its food. Cevapi and kajmak are pretty much my favorite food here. Burek with tons of yogurt sauce and meat in it are to die for as well. There’s begova corba, which means Bey’s soup in Bosnian that is a mix of meat and vegetables. I love that soup as well. Currently eating kajmak as I write this. It’s very difficult to find that sauce, so I was happy I found it last night. I seriously don’t mind staying here for quite a while and just chilling.

Let see what the other countries food are like.

Wien Rally for Anti Nuclear

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Today, or rather yesterday April 25, I arrived in Wien (Vienna) from Salzburg in Austria. I wanted to give Austria another chance, to see if I will grow to like the country, so I decided to check out Wien for a few days.

Anyways, in Germany and Austria, I noticed there were signs and posters talking about some rally concerning nuclear reactors or something. I thought nothing much of it, even if I have a patch relating to that from Berlin. Anyways, as I was exploring the platz at Stephandome, I saw a huge gathering and a giant screen set up behind a stage. Being the curious person that I am, I checked it out. It is about shutting down nuclear plants due to the meltdown at Chernobyl 25 years ago.

This was my first protest I ever have seen in person. Even more interesting is, there’s interpreters for the deaf working in shifts at the rally. Since I’m not that fluent in Deutsch, I watched the interpreters and tried to figure out what is being said by the speakers of the rally. I only can understand half of it due to the fact it’s in Austrian Deutsch sign language. In America, if there was a protest or rally happening, usually there wouldn’t be an interpreter present. The only times interpreters showed is if there’s a huge rally in a large city or any Presidential events. In Rochester, NY and Washington DC, two of the cities that the majority of deaf people lives, there will be an interpreter at almost every rally or protest.

This is definitely an interesting event that I witnessed in person. Even more awesome, I got some free stuff. What traveler doesn’t like free stuff?

A very interesting day in Wien, that’s for sure.