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Some say that she was born in a hole in the ground in a land they call the Shire, and that she was Gandalf’s first choice to carry the ring to Mordor.

 

All we know is, she loves strawberries.

 

22/02/2011

 

          “... IT WAS A DIFFICULT decision”, I said.

          It wasn’t really. It was actually quite easy, but I didn’t dream of saying that, it was a horrific turn of events for them, even put like this. They tend to cling, you know, especially my father, but not in the honest, ‘I love you always’ way, but in the ‘when you do something good you are my darling daughter who takes after me, but when you screw up you must take after your mother’ kind of way. In the 22 years of my life I have learnt how to deal with him. It’s all about timing and knowing not to push his buttons too hard, and so I chose a perfect moment just after his nap while he was still too sleepy to overreact and yell, and yet awake enough to remember what went on. And even with all these precautions, as you can imagine, he hit the roof. Honestly, he looked at me as if I had lost my mind and told him something like ‘my new best friend is a black hairy spider I call Bob who lives in a box under my bed’, and not ‘Petar and I are moving to Belgrade, to live together’.

          You know, the small town in Serbia in which I was born is like a different universe. It's a dreary little gray place where parks don’t really have trees, where there are more stray dogs on the streets than there are people in my building, and where buying a cucumber takes approximately 42 minutes because the old lady selling it needs to run a background check on your entire family beforehand and maybe see if you would like to marry her grandson. It is a place where you are allowed to befriend only the people in the two street radius. Where you always have to report before you leave the house with all the information on where you are going, with whom and for how long. It is a place where you have to hate or at least dislike Americans because they destroyed us all, hate Germans because of the World Wars, Turks for the 5 century long occupation, and all the others, just because. Of course, except Russians, they are our brothers. It is a place where everything was better when Tito was in charge and where Latin American telenovelas are always, somehow, Spanish. And then, when by divine right, you marry your childhood best friend you better not move, oh no! Because then your kids and your kids’ kids will not go to the same school and you will not borrow sugar and eggs from the same neighbours until the day you die. If you move, this small universe will implode.

             Conform, settle, shut up. That is our motto.

          If I were a rational person, I would probably think that this is a huge step in my life, a point of no return, the gates of Mordor and all, and I would probably be afraid. Read more...

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