Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ukrainsk for begyndere...

What's wrong in this picture?

I do not expect answers like "this is a Dutch ambulance with Ukrainian striping", "why does the Dutch embassy in Kyiv need an ambulance?" or "since when is Ukrainian medicare sponsored by a Dutch car magazine?".

No, it's much easier....

As there is no horilka available here, the prize is a bottle of kvas.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Revolyutsia (2)!

Just when it seems to get more calm in Budapest, a friend of mine sent me this story. Of course the comparison between 1956 and 2006 is a bit difficult, but that's exactly what the story tries to tell.

As I am flying there on 24 October, I wonder if the 50th anniversary of '1956' (one day before) will provide the spark that relights the fire on the streets. But who knows, Gyurcsány might not even survive the 1 October local elections.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Last week I visited Grbavica. No, I was not in Sarajevo, but I saw the movie by Jasmila Žbanić. Having read the reviews before, I had expected it to be more 'disturbing' than it actually was.

The film is full of stereotypes, almost caricatures. The bodyguard, the overdone mafioso with a gold chain and fleur-de-lis hanger. They even called him Puška, as he had been an army commander during the war. And even the prostitute in the film is from Ukraine.

If you think away those obvious stereotypes, what reamains is a good movie with nice cinematography.

Single mother Esma wants to grant her twelve-year-old daughter Sara's wish to participate in a school trip. A certificate proving her father is a war martyr would allow her a discount. But Esma continues to avoid Sara's requests for the certificate. She would rather find a way to pay full price for the trip. She believes not telling the truth about Sara's father is a way to protect both her and her daughter.

The lead role, Esma, is played by Mirjana Karanović, who also appeared in Kustorica's movies like Underground, and the award winning Otac na službenom putu. Also in that movie she played together with Emir Hadžihafisbegović (Puška).


De Verenigde Staten proberen een 'stille' revolutie teweeg te brengen in Rusland. Dat staat in een rapport dat een voormalige ambassadeur en een ex-spion donderdag in het Russische parlement hebben gepresenteerd. zo meldt het ANP.
De Amerikanen zouden van plan zijn belangrijke Russische politici en zakenmensen te isoleren door hen van corruptie te beschuldigen. Dat moet een anti-Kremlincampagne in de media teweeg brengen, waardoor de oppositie aan populariteit kan winnen voor de presidentsverkiezingen in 2008. De bedoeling zou zijn om naar voorbeeld van de 'Oranjerevolutie' in Oekraïne de positie van de zittende machthebbers te ondermijnen. De auteurs van het rapport roepen de staat op meer ,,materiële steun'' te geven aan belangrijke ,,politiek analisten'' die een dreigende revolutie tijdig moeten waarnemen.

Misschien een leuke bijverdienste voor deze, deze, of deze hardwerkende Moskoviet?

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Coming back to my discussion about the Ottoman minaret. Wikipedia still mentions Eger to have the northernmost minaret of Europe and one of only three existing minarets in Hungary.

As a matter of fact Podolia was an Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire from 1674-1699. And if you look on the map here, you can see that Kamniets Podolski lies North of Eger (Erlau).

At least Eger can still claim to have the Northernmost Ottoman minaret in the European Union, but for how long?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

LAV III - the Day After...

Here Jan is succesfully trying the Droste Effect.

Burggasse 19 is around the corner of the brunch place

But it seems the residents of that address are not very keen on too many tourists visiting them:

Next stop Sarajevo 2007. For those of you who cannot wait, please visit the forum.

LAV II - Active Saturday

If there is one city truly the mother of cities in central Europe, it'd be Vienna. Until recently that fact was expressed by having similar trams as in, let's say, Prague, Zagreb, or Budapest. While they are being replaced rapidly, it was worthwhile taking a picture. This one just arrived at the Praterstern station.

Vienna's largest and most famous park is the Prater, known for its Riesenrad (ferris wheel). The park was opened for public 240 years ago by the emperor. The amusement park where the ferris wheel is, is just a small part of the park.

From the Prater our cycling tour started, taking us towards the Donaustadt district. At the beginning we are still at the Hauptallee of the Prater.

At night there was a dinner in a vineyard on the edge of town (Nussdorf). Thanks to Ivana for the picture featuring some 50 years of AEGEE experience (Egens, Jos, Michiel, John) active from the early nineties.

LAV-I - the City

I was delighted to hear almost a year ago, that the 2006 Les Anciens Meeting was to take place in Vienna. The event was dubbed LAV.

Vienna, metropolis, the k.u.k. capital. Its grandeur is to be seen at nearly every streetcorner in the centre. Especially the Secession and similar styles together with the museums makes a visit worthwhile.

This last picture is on Strozzigasse, around the corner of where we stayed. I started to feel a bit unheimlich when seeing this mosaic. It commemorates the battle of Vienna, called Türkensturm. The mosaic was probably put there in the 1960s, way before the very word would get a negative second connotation...