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Pack Your Bags, Kids. We’re Going to…Serbia!

August 16, 2010

I am, as the beer commercial goes, Canadian. In fact, I’m a bit of a Canuck cliché: polite to a fault; funny in a self-deprecating way; and overall a bit reserved, if not bland.

My husband, the Serb, is in many ways my opposite: he speaks five languages; spends more time on his hair than I do; and has the kind of temper and ability to hold a grudge that you’d expect from a people still lamenting battles they lost over 600 years ago.

A co-worker best summed up his old-world charm, barely-there accent and impeccable style: he’s European enough to be exotic, but not so foreign that you don’t know what the %^# he’s talking about.

When we were married 10 years ago, my parents were living in Kuwait and his were in Serbia, so we eloped to the Cook Islands (thereby robbing me of My Big Fat Serbian Wedding, but I was on a beach and didn’t really care). Since then, his parents have visited us in Canada but he’s never returned to his native soil.

Tomorrow, we’ll be getting on a plane for a 13-hour journey to his homeland, traipsing around Serbia to reunite with family and friends he hasn’t seen in over 20 years. Our three-week (eep!) adventure will include a family reunion around a communal pig spit near the property my son inherited (he’s the youngest land baron in his class), tending to his grandfather’s beehives and drinking plenty of Rakija (an aperitif that can strip paint off a barn). We will also visit various regions, from Novi Sad to Sarajevo, as well as a beach holiday – aka the real vacation – in Croatia at the end of our trip.

Like many foreign languages, listening to a bunch of Serbs discuss something as benign as the weather leaves you with the impression that someone may get knifed – it’s very fiery, with lots of gestures and raised voices. The only Serbian words I know would get us arrested, so it should be an interesting couple of weeks.

The main thing I have in common with the Serbian people, aside from my husband, is an appreciation (bordering on obsession) of their food. The Serbs I know have never met a piece of cheese, slab of meat or puff of pastry they didn’t love – because of this, and despite the language barrier, I suspect we’ll get along just fine.

I plan to blog regularly about the trip, but if you don’t hear (read?) from me for a few days, never fear…I’m probably in a lactose intolerance-induced coma.

Green vegetables are merely a in, garnish.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 7:43 am

    I’m lactose intolerant too, and I already feel for your butt.

    Dont forget to bring many boxes of Lactaid with ya. The chewable kind. They work better than the swallow kind. I found that out at approx. week 8 when all the milk and dairy that I was craving would go through my system at around 50mph and pay no attention to the dense chalky pill that was taking its sweet precious time digesting in my gut.

    There were many frantic runs to the bathroom in those early days. Yay, pregnancy?

    • August 16, 2010 12:01 pm

      Nice – I got some Lactaid. Wish me luck because I would sell my husband for a good piece of cheese…and don’t even get me started on gelato….

  2. Super Girl Sarah permalink
    August 16, 2010 9:23 am

    hahah! Sounds like you’re going to have a blast! Can’t wait to hear about how this goes.
    Your son being a land baron…God I wish I had that fall back line in elementary school, “Yeah your lunch pail might be better than my sack, your shoes aren’t hand me downs, and the girl in the class above us might not be able to walk by and go “Hey, those look a lot like the jeans I donated to goodwill a few weeks ago”, but I’m a land baroness.” Easy trump card, easy.

    • August 16, 2010 12:02 pm

      Thanks, SGS! Hopefully I’ll get internet access on ‘the land’. Def. going to include pics on that blog post!

  3. August 16, 2010 10:35 am

    Lori, have a WONDERFUL TRIP!!!! Can’t wait to read your new adventure-filled posts (w/ mighty delicious humor), of course. Be safe and have a great time. Please make sure you come back to Canada, we, Restless Writers will miss you 🙂

    • August 16, 2010 12:02 pm

      BJAAAAAAAAAAAS! I will send you a postcard…

    • Maria McDonald permalink
      August 16, 2010 1:25 pm

      Godspeed, bon voyage and all that, Lori! Good luck with all the consumables, too. If Serbia’s anything like Finland (Becks and Lori, I bet they pronounce it “sow-na” too), you will return with a new appreciation for fresh vegetables and a stronger liver. Can’t wait to see the pics!

      • August 17, 2010 8:16 am

        I am totally going to go and check out a local “saw-nah” just for you!


  4. August 16, 2010 11:42 am

    I really am in love. I can’t wait to read about your trip! Lady you rock.

    • August 16, 2010 12:04 pm

      Oh Em Gee. Thanks so much – so glad my love is not going unrequited! Found your blog last night and laughed my pants off…you are officially blogrolled, baby!

  5. August 16, 2010 1:00 pm

    How exciting! I wish I could get a way for three weeks, even if it would cause a cheese coma.


  6. August 16, 2010 1:16 pm

    Totally jealous and would completly not be offened if at least one post from your trip included receipes!

    Travel is always fun, although the longest trip I’ve made with kids is a 3 hour plane trip to Michigan – so good luck to you.

    What a great opportunity though – for you, your kids, your hubby and for us, your readers!

    Have fun, be safe and blog often!

    • August 17, 2010 8:20 am

      Thanks so much! I’m hoping to have internet access so I’ll let you know how the 8 hour flight, 1 hour layover, 1 hour 2nd flight and 3 hour drive go…care to make a prediction 😉

  7. Sweet Girl permalink
    December 30, 2010 7:05 pm

    Well I am happy to read that you went to Serbia, I used to live there, i moved to Canada 3 years ago, I am going to visit Serbia for the first time in those 3 years and i am happy. 🙂 I am glad you were excited to visit it? Did you like it there?

    • December 30, 2010 7:18 pm

      Thanks for commenting! I did love it and can’t wait to get back there (we miss our family of course, but also the cevape…nothing like that exists here, even in the Serbian restaurants…).


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