Walking around Balkan


After spending 2 months in Brezovica – Cacak with Bozidar MANDIC my way crossed with Sandrine, French girl, 26, By occupation she’s a nurse, she came from France to Serbia only by foot (no car, no train, no hh) so around 2730 km.

We will keep going the way still in walking..

We will start in Uzice in Serbia walk to MOKRA GORA, cross the border in KOTROMAN to go in Bosnia, pass in VISEGRAD, GORAZDE, SRBINJE, cross the Montenegrian border in SCEPAN BOLJE, go to the DURMITORS, continue by NICSIS, KOTOR, follow the coast and cross the Albanian border in DODAJ, keep going to follow the coast until TIRANE, ELBASAN, cross the Macedonian border in PERRANJAS, POGRADEC to see the lake Kalista and Prespa, and continue until SKOPJE.

We plan to do this around 3 months.

We make couchsurfing on the way and the other days we use our tent almost everywhere, or find empty houses etc…

We would like to meet CSers or local people on our way, if you are near our road and want to meet us or support us or host us we will enjoy it. And if you have any suggestion, feel free to send us message.

The Beginning


At the end of the 3 rd week i could put my thoughts together and find a chance to scratch something.

Beginning was mostly weird. Last two weeks passed too fast with getting ready, shopping and house’s last procedures.

A date that can not be forgotten ever.

January 1st 2012.

I came home afternoon. Although everything seemed casual i had storms in me. All feelings, emotions melded each other and were boiling right in the middle of my body like a bobble that wants to make volcanos jealous.

I checked my stuff one more time. It took 4 more times than one time. I was taking everything out of bag, keeping out a few of them seemed unnecessary and packing back. Than I was emptying my bag one more time and checking again one more time. A few hours passed with that.

My flight was at 10 am from Izmir. Because i would go to the airport via bus I had to leave home at 6 am. When time got nearer thrill ascended, my hands and feet started to shake slowly.

I looked a few more times to my bag. All i’ve got was just a bag full stuff. I looked one more time to my room. I glupped while thinking that i would never see my room, my home, Izmir where i love very much, everyone that i knew, my loved ones and hated ones again.

After i played for last time with my cats, i found myself at the door with my backpack.

I thought what i was doing one more time before i closed the door.

Everybody i knew, all i got, all i lived and was going to be lived would be behind me any more.

I closed the door slowly. Took a deep breath. Thrill and fear of the first step is too far from explaining. You should live.

After walking a little on the street i turned back and take a look one more time to house. There was no one around except me. Looked to the house. Couldn’t keep myself to ask “Am i doing the right thing?”.

Go Güneş” i heard a voice. From very deep within. I kept walking. Alll the meaning of what i saw or heard during the way, started to change. I had started to move on with leaving the back and past behind. At the end of the road i looked back one more time. And one more time the familiar voice was saying “Think well, is this right what you are about to do?

And one more time, that familiar voice i know more now said “Go Güneş!”.

I understood that the one/thing i left behind was calling me every time i looked back. I had started to move on one time anyhow. The only thing that can be done was leaving the past where it was and to keep moving on.

I was looking to the people around while waiting waiting for bus. Everyone was going somewhere. No one was aware of that they were going because they knew they would turn back.

But my situation was opposite. I had a decision of a progress which has no return. Anything that i saw, heard, felt was giving me more joy. Time started to lose its meaning slowly.

I watched while i was on the bus. My mind was almost frozen, the thoughts were not flowing. There were just feelings. Everything around was too shiny and colourful as i has never seen before.

According to what i’ve heard and read, the hardest part of the journeys is the moment of getting on the road. It was my turn to live this harness. The meanings of notions had already started to change, time and place had already started to lose their definitions. The union of all those was generating a freedom feeling that never had been felt before.

The only place where i belong is MY BODY,

The only time that i belong is NOW…

The past is only in memories, future is kept closed in dreams.

The only reality subsists on THIS MOMENT..

Time, Place, Effect


Dear Grand Creator… You have packed those intense, heavy and ready-to-explode feelings into that limited body i am in.

Right on middle of my chest, towards to back side.

Getting swollen with every breath..

Looking for a way for itself to expand enough to cover whole space, universe. Ready to do this.

Just waiting for its time.

TIME”

And of course it needs to have a proper beginning point to spread through universe.

PLACE”

It needs a power to destroy the body and get out.

EFFECT”

A person to generate the effect. The “thing” that can pass through further away from all physical limits where it touches the skin, all of the muscles, bones, juicy blood, goes ahead confidently and have the power of touching the soul.

Staying was difficult while going all around.

Staying got hard after had gone away.

DON’T PANIC!”

The miracle words were these. Be thought everyone everywhere.

How hard it is to try to teach yourself something.

Learning yourself from yourself.

Loneliness in society. Repeats of the story that already known. Facing the fears. The fears that have not occurred before. This time type of causing the anticor insufficiency.

TO LOSE!”

In fact not the “thing”(you), the fear is about to lose myself that is into you this time.

Forsaking myself is a very far possibility.

Out of possibility.

Myself to forsake me….

Shouldn’t be possible”

Just on the Big Bang eve…

Don’t Panic


Loss -> Gain

Sadness -> Happiness

Distress -> Comfort

Loneliness -> Simplicity

It, This, or That…

All are Here and always There!

How it should has be!

4 different ways, while each are crossing on me and i am standing in the middle trying to decide which way i’ll go, the roads are going further one by one.

Being alone, living the life’s most simple way. Seems possible – I’m not in a hurry, even if i am far away. There’s enough time to reach.

Can not find myself at where i left.

Did i leave from there as well?

Porodica Bistrih Potoka


A life has been living for 35 years in a 100-years-old village house in the nature of Rudnik Mountain hillsides. A writer who accepts one-man anarchy as a way. A lifestyle away from city technology and consuming that dictated by civilization.

He welcomes warmly everyone who would like to join to his life that he has started with staying away from complications and money system.

He provides nearly all he needs from nature. Vegetables growed in a little garden, home-made pickle, tomato paste and drinks are kept in a larder for winter. Most of the woods for fire are picked from forest in amount of daily need and cut. Water is taken from the river across the house, drinking water is provided from a small spring 1 km away.

There’s no chemical cleaning here. Using detergent only for pots which vegetables are cooked in doesn’t seem logical to me.

Boshko says 3 things that is forbidden;

  1. Meat
  2. Drugs
  3. Aggressive Attitude

Protein necessity is provided from animal products such as eggs, milk, yoghurt and cheese. He says that he is not a vegeterian but he is against animals to be killed for food.

He prefers to do the daily routins as quick as possible such as cooking , cutting woods, doing dishes and spare more time for talking and creativity.

Everything in the house is made of wood except a few spoon and saucepan. Each object has a history. The table that i am writing on it is nearly 70-80 years old. His father had made it by the time his parents got married.

There’s a small wooden chair. It’s 100 years old. It had been used in an exhibit with a new one to show the old and the new.

Even the house is 100 years old.

There are two buckets to carry the water. According to Nestor, the same buckets have being used for 35 years.

Boshko tells that they never used money  while he was living with his family. He tells very proudly, excited and happily that they had provided all their needs from their cows, chickens and garden, cooked their own bread, and all his clothes were sewn by his wife.

While he is getting older, because taking care of pets is getting harder for him, he lives only with a cat named “Theater”.

When his children grew up they had built their own life and moved to city. When the life in nature got harder and harder his wife had wanted to move to city too and they had broken up.

He never thinks about a life in city. “I belong here, i can only exist here”, he says.

He has been moving on his life alone for a long time. Even he feels difficulties sometimes and feels sorrow, he says “This is my life, my living philosophy” and accepts all feelings.

He says that the creativity is a part of the nature and the only way to live creativity in high levels, is to return to the nature individually.

He had started to his writing life with poems in his young ages. After a short time, he had taken a 10 years break off writing and reading.

He writes a weekly column for a newspaper mostly about literature and art. Once in a while his books are being published. He opens exhibitions in Belgrade, puts plays on stage.

There is a popular festival here on every summer. In the nature, creations that take power from nature are exhibited and performed. Very important actors/actresses and writers meet more than a hundered people and literal sharing occurs.

 

Lestvica/The Scale – full movie 23 min. from kulturoltar on Vimeo.

Did you ever spend time for volunteering or in a commune? How was your experience?

Hitchhiking to Belgrade


I had to have my second Hepatitis B vaccine on last week of january. My plan was going to Belgrade on Wednesday and have it on Thursday.

It was sunny from begining of the week until Tuesday evening, sun had shown its face. The gift was, melting of snow and resurface of land and grass.
On Tuesday evening, while i was thinking of having a great hitchhiking experience, the sudden snowing made me worry. As different from past ones, this time there were huge snow flakes and heavy falling. It didn’t take long, after nearly half an hour, tree boughes got closer to ground moreover some were cracking due to snow heaviness.
Cracking boughes was cutting through silence of night. At the moment i wanted to go out and enjoy the air, i heard a strong cracking and falling noise coming from forest. When i went there, i saw a huge tree had fallen down. I was in a surprise. Only one hour snowing could destroy a grand tree.
As it was the famous winter of Balkans coming.

When i woke up i faced an unexpected view. All night long snowing accrued more than a half meter and everywhere was covered. Condition was getting serious.
I decided to have a little change in my plan, get on the road immediately and get in any vechile that would stop for me.
It was winding with heavy snowing like the way to the main road was covered with waist height snow was not enough. It was difficult but i was having fun and i succeed to reach the main road. I remonstrated myself during the all way. Why didn’t i take my beautiful winter coat with me and left it at home just because not to carry it? How long can i go on with the thin sweat on me in this cold?

On main road, i waited my thumb up 10-15 minutes and a lorry stopped.

I yelled to driver “Beograd”

Answered “Haydi!” (Means “come on” both in Serbian and Turkish)

He told me about how less he earns money and how difficult his job is with his poor English. And i told him about what i am doing here and where i came from with my poor Serbian.
Then his phone rang and he answered “Selamun aleykum”. I was surprised, he hung up and said: “My friend orthodox, joke joke” and started to laugh. I responded with a long laugh to that weirdest joke i heard lately.
After nearly two hours travel, he tried to tell me that the town we arrived was 30 km away from Belgrade and i could find a bus and he was going to take an other road. At least i understood like that. I prefered to go on with lorry instead of waiting for bus in that cold weather.
While we were going on warm and enjoying the road, we headed off the highway. I was thinking that the trucks were not allowed in city center so we were taking the highway, he stopped at 150 meters away from Novi Sad – Belgrade parting and told me that he would continue to Novi Sad and i needed to go from other way. I got out of lorry.

I found myself hitchhiking at somewhere on a highway with my backpack and sweat in that cold snowy and windy weather.
I was smiling with a little dissappointment and exitement.
It was almost getting dark and amount of cars passing was getting lesser. The best thing i did was that i walked to the main road instead of walking 500-600 meters away Belgrade road. I kept getting angry with myself about leaving my coat at home.

After waited nearly 45 minutes my thumb up on main road 12 km away from Belgrade, an old man stopped. Supposed he felt pity for me. When i said “Beograd” to last two cars, they had pointed me the nearby settled area and i don’t know why- i had thanked them and closed the door like i’m stupid.

I was learning the most important rule of hitchhiking while my face was hurting badly in that cold.

It is better to go to the nearest town than waiting in nowhere with thumb up. Especially if it is windy, -5 degrees and getting dark.
When the third car stopped, the old man pointed the same settled area. This time i acted clever and asked “Beograd bus?”. By the time i got “Da” answer, i had already gotten into car and closed the door. I felt in warm car, i had paralyse on half of my face. With a little burn at my hands, i thought i had gotten through a freezing danger.

The old man took me to the bus stop and told me the best new i had gotten lately that i could take bus number 58 to the city center.

After waited 5 minutes i took the bus and had nearly 10 minutes travel and finally arrived Belgrade city center and started to wait for Dragana in front of the parliament building.

It was a nonsense travel for humanity but for me –it was like a lesson.