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I find Morocco an extremely interesting country. This interest began when I was taking the course ‘North African Politics’ and I was slowly drifting towards Morocco and leaving Tunisia and Algeria on the side. Then I came here for the first time over winter break in 2006/07 and that was it – my research interests have been sealed for the next 4 years if not more.  

What makes Morocco so interesting and different from other Arab countries I have spent some time in is their constant presence of contrasts. Morocco is in general held by the West as being a progressive country which could serve as a model for other Arab and Muslim countries. I find this view extremely troublesome. You don’t have to come to Morocco to know that the country is plagued by all sorts of maladies that do not seem to get cured despite the efforts to find a suitable remedy(ies) for them. What I mean by that is that the country’s macroeconomic indicators may be promising (at least the IMF thinks that) but the state of the society is alarming, yes alarming – the overall education of Moroccans still is one of the lowest in the world despite the fact that the government spends one fifth (!) of its budget on education; connected with this is the ‘notorious’ state of illiteracy in the country which in the rural areas reaches around 80+ % among women, but literacy among men doesn’t fare much better. And if you come to Morocco you will see that the country remains very much rural and beyond poor, with the urban centers being restricted to downtown with hip cafés and fancy shops, whereas a km or even less away from Hassan II street (usually the main street in all of Morocco’s cities) you will see a whole different picture. You will get to know the real Morocco. Poor, uneducated, conservative, patriarchal Morocco. So, what is happening? The government, well the King as he is the one who runs the show, for instance spends the money on building schools in urban centers, developing infrastructure in urban centers, building roads…you can guess…connecting urban centers. If the money does get to rural areas it is usually pocketed by corrupt municipal officials. It seems everything that is done is done for the external image. And so there you have it – more than 50 years of superficial modernization and meaningless liberalization (yet pro-Western outlook don’t forget!) and the result is the existence of a very rich, patronizing and tiny elite on the one hand and the impoverished people on the other who more than anything else need basic means to survive and not some shallow political slogans of how Morocco is democratizing (which is a lie anyways), what legal rights women now have (another more or less legal deception), etc when they can’t even afford to see a doctor as the private ones are too expensive and the public ones you need to bribe in order to get some kind of decent check-up, not to mention the prices of basic food stuffs which keep increasing (a typical IMF fuck-up – sorry for lack of a better word). Middle class is almost non-existent.

Though even in this tiny ‘modern’, elite Morocco there exists an interesting paradox –its unrelenting patriarchal mentality. One of the most telling proofs of this perhaps is that even men who are educated in the West, had Western girlfriends, prefer to marry an obedient, poorly educated, if not illiterate Moroccan girl. The reason is honestly embarrassingly simple – to be able to maintain control over women, potential revolutionaries, as you know that if women are too educated they may learn of their rights, not just obligations, and they will rebel. What a catastrophe there would be if the whole patriarchal system came crumbling down because of women finally telling their men off, oh my… what a sight that would be… Anyhow, you hear that Islam is to blame for this unfortunate state of women. I argue that it is simply men (using the ‘messenger’ and twisting its message) which are wholly to blame for the perpetual oppression of women. In my interviews so far and talking to people you hear stories of how women feel they need to first get their identity back and how they’ve been made to feel less than a donkey. There even is a word used in Moroccan for household – entirely female – work: šqa, literally meaning tiredness or fatigue. Thus, responsibility of women is to perform physically exhausting and mentally undemanding work (‘donkey work’), whereas men are the ones with the brain.

So Moroccan modernity is dressed in a thin-layered summer coat, trying to hide underneath thick layers of conservatism, patriarchy and misogynist mentality.

Having said all this, I should be fair and write that Morocco is changing slowly and painfully – as any other country or society it isn’t stagnant. I think the real challenge that lies ahead of Moroccans is in changing the mentality of its people – men and women alike. Men need to accept women as equal counterparts (this still an ongoing issue in the West as well) and women need to learn that they may be and are their equals and not merely obedient followers (again, in the West as well, though to a much lesser degree than here, this female inferior complex still exists). But, as one of the most prominent Moroccan scholars told me this may take more than a hundred years, more than one or two generations.

The last example of Moroccan dichotomies is the proverbial Moroccan (and Arab) hospitality. I have met people here who went beyond simple help when I needed it and who have opened their houses, families and hearts to me. It’s been incredible. The problem is when you meet a hostile host sister who makes your stay an extremely unpleasant experience. If you read my first Moroccan blog on my Moroccan family, this is my addition to the part which talks about the oldest daughter of the family – the one that is 35, leaving at home, unmarried and unemployed. She’s shown to me in the last month that even Moroccan hospitality has limits but to tell you the truth I have no idea what you need to do to provoke this break in it. Maybe all you need is to be yourself…

Today is my last day in Fez.

P.S. I have to say that this blog has been a bit of a catharsis for me. Namely, I have been quite struggling with my Western identity, researching a non-Western culture. It is not easy to be academically objective when dealing with other cultures as you either get labelled as a cultural relativist or a Western chauvinist. I’ve probably chosen to be a Western chauvinist but at least now I firmly stand behind my convictions.

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8.04.2008 16:36 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

I will allow myself a bit of cultural insensitivity…though call it what you want I’ve had enough and I will allow myself to be politically very incorrect and I will allow myself to over-generalize. So the title of this blog could as well be called ‘Arab men’…as they all seem to be following the same (Arab) macho guide book – no matter if you’re in Morocco, Egypt (those are the worse though!), Tunisia, Jordan…(Syria I must admit was much better (just the fact that that was probably the only Arab country I have visited so far where you could see women in cafés sitting together with men conveys an important message)) you encounter the same chat-up phrases, the same macho repulsive behaviour – at least if you ask me, but if you ask some other Western tourist girls that may not be the case as you’d be surprise how many of them visit this region to get exactly what these guys are after…

I was having coffee yesterday evening with a friend of mine and as we were leaving the café I noticed that – surprise, surprise – I was the only woman in that huge café. Should I mention that as I was leaving I felt as a shopping window in the Red Light District in Amsterdam, if you know what I mean. Horrible feeling. As if that was not enough I was being followed by a guy who eventually stopped me and started talking to me – in French, then Arabic and finally in English as I refused to understand him (they go to great lengths to be heard!). He apparently liked me so much he wanted to ask me out. Right… Oh, and I’m not exaggerating if I say that he must have been around 40 (probably married and looking for some cheap fun with a Western blond girl who is obviously in Morocco only to…well…to have sex with Moroccan guys of all ages). I’m sorry if this sounds a bit harsh but I’m telling you being a woman alone in this part of the world is challenging to say the least. I thought I’ve mastered the art of ignoring the surrounding (though that’s really a pity because that means that you necessarily leave out a lot of interesting and pleasant encounters), minding my own business but the resourcefulness of these guys to get you to look at them and respond to them is incredible. It goes from quietly asking questions such as “How are you” or “Where are you from” to more-to-the-point ones such us “Do you need a husband” or “How many camels does your father want” (I found this one the sleaziest ever and almost burst out laughing and smacking him at the same time).  Oh and I flipped someone off today as he started being really sickening in Arabic thinking I may not understand him.

And sadly these aren’t lonely cases. This is what I and other girls here have to deal with every day on every step. I’m not exaggerating! The other day we had a discussion about this in class with our Moroccan teacher and he seemed a bit surprised that the girls in my group found this kind of behaviour really annoying and troubling. Apparently Moroccan girls like a bit of sweet-talk from complete strangers…but I do think that with Western girls or tourists in general these guys step over the boundary of ‘just’ sweet-talking.  And it doesn’t matter if you wear the baggiest clothes ever as I usually do here, no matter how many layers you put on yourself they will still undress you with their eyes in no time. And this is what is the most de-humanizing for me – I’m (as are all women) a mere object of desire.

Needless to say that such behaviour tells a lot about the general attitude of Arab male population towards women…and it also tells a lot about the state of gender affairs in this and other Arab countries. Gender relations unfortunately won’t change if male minds don’t change. And it doesn’t seem they are…

 

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25.03.2008 10:41 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

 

Fridays in
Morocco (as elsewhere in the Arab and Muslim world) are mosque days, when the Imam has a big khutba which is like a Sunday sermon in Christian churches. In most of the Middle East Friday is the first day of the weekend – though not in Morocco which I guess in this respect (as in many others) is much more French than Arab/Middle Eastern. In Morocco people put on their finest clothes – usually traditional djellabas (long hooded cloaks) and this may only be my imagination but it seems to me that on Friday people put on djellabas in lighter colors than on other days – champagne white or some similar color. Majority of men also wear balgha – Moroccan pointy leather shoes. The shops close and people (men) stop working around noon to go to the mosque. I remember in Egypt it always seemed to me that life stopped for a while and men on their praying mats occupied the streets (as they didn’t all fit into the little neighbourhood mosques). The incessant noise of the Cairene streets was replaced, if only for a good half hour, with the voices of Imams coming from the mosque speakers. Here, however, passers-by cannot hear the khutba but we can watch it on the TV – sometimes (or usually, I wouldn’t know) the Friday prayer is led by the King but because he’s travelling at the moment, the TV is broadcasting a khutba live from a mosque (last week from a mosque in
Rabat).

Fridays in Morocco are not only mosque days they’re also couscous day. When men are in mosques, women are home, watching the khutba on the TV and preparing couscous. This tradition is the equivalent of a Slovene Sunday beef soup, roast, roasted potatoes and salad. It takes quite a long time to prepare couscous as the vegetables need a lot of time to be cooked – I’ve yet to learn the secret of preparing it. Couscous is ready when men return from the mosque. An enormous plate of couscous with vegetables and chickpeas on it and meat underneath it is put on the middle of the table. The whole family gathers – in my host family that includes the married daughter with her family – and enjoys the meal.

After the meal, around 3pm, people return to work and the shops open again.

 

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7.03.2008 18:10 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

 

I hear from other students at the Institute that their Moroccan host families are great though I would like to think that none of them has a host family as great as I do. My family is a family of six but only four live at home. Lalla Karima is my Moroccan mother. She truly is ‘rabat al-beit’ or ‘goddess of the house’ in its literal translation. She takes great care of the whole family and does her housework as a full-time job. She gets up at around 8ish in the morning and doesn’t sit down until 4 or so pm. She cooks (and cooks deliciously yummy food!), washes clothes (every day!), cleans the house (and the house isn’t big but she cleans it thoroughly every day) and when she’s done with all this she makes herself sweet green tea with mint and artemisia (shiba) or absynth as it is known in Europe (not alcohol but the herb which is used a lot in Morocco for either tea or natural medicine), a couple of sweets or salty nuts and occupies the TV. She watches the news (btw. the news here, particularly from Palestine and Iraq, concentrate much more than the news in the West on the human side of the struggles, showing mourning mothers, children with cut off limbs, etc.), music channels, and Mexican and Arab soap operas though she switches the channels quite often so I don’t think that she watches any particular ones. I’ve tried to convince her to give me some cleaning duties but despite her saying that I’m like her daughter she doesn’t allow me to help her or Layla, her real daughter.

Si Mohamed is my Moroccan father. He seems to be quite a bit older than Lalla Karima but I feel he’s like the grandfather I’ve never had. I was sick the other day because I ate something on the street with which my stomach didn’t quite agree and he said in the morning that if he could he would take my sickness and be sick instead of me. He has a craftsman shop nearby and is away from the house most of the day, every day. He gets up at 5am and goes for his morning walk before going to his shop. He comes back for breakfast, lunch and finally in the evening. In the evening he always asks me whether I talked to my family and whether everyone is ok. “Kul shi labas. Al-hamdu li-lah.” (Everything is ok. Praise be to God”). His recent resolution has been to learn some basic English words so I have to write them down for him in order for him to memorize them.

Layla is the oldest daughter and she’s been unemployed since her separation from her fiancé some time ago. She helps her mom with the daily chores throughout the day, sees her friends, goes to the gym three times a week and she likes to chat with people on the internet. I’ve seen this a lot in Morocco – internet chat rooms here have become socially more acceptable way (I think particularly for girls) to get to know possible future spouses from all over the world. I as well have been asked by complete strangers (guys) in cyber cafés to give them my internet ‘pseudonym’. 

Rashid is the youngest son. He plays football professionally for the Fez team and wishes to play for one of the European teams. Beside his trainings he works in a ceramic shop – I’m hoping that in one of the next weeks he will show me his work place as the pictures of what they do looked amazing. Three times a week he also goes to the same Language Institute as I do where he studies English. So between his trainings, work and English he’s left with little free time. He does have a girlfriend but as he said it’s been really difficult to see her as her parents don’t agree with her dating guys.

The oldest son, Yussef, lives in The Hague. He’s married to a Dutch girl of Moroccan origin and they have a daughter. Najia is the middle daughter and she’s also married and has a beautiful and bouncy daughter Mai, aged four and a bit, who sometimes refuses to speak in Arabic and rather uses French, which is admirably good. Najia lives with her husband Mohamed and Mai in Fez and usually comes to the house once a day.

Everyone gathers at home in the living room in the evening. The TV is on and they talk about their daily news while switching between TV channels. What I found quite interesting is that there isn’t a lot of space or even understanding of intimate, private spaces – of for instance having your own room. When the whole family gathers at home, they stay in one room – in the living room which also represent their sleeping quarters. In our orientation session at the Institute they told us that families look upon distancing yourself from the others in the house as a sign that something must clearly be wrong. My family perhaps differs from this as I am the only one who has my own room and am told to go read or study in my room if I want to but that may be because they know that I need space for studying.

The day is finished with a late dinner – the table is moved to the living room, and either leftovers from lunch or/and a light warm meal is put on the table. Usually everyone eats from the same plate and this reminds me of how surprised my non-Slovene friends who visit me at home are when my Mom puts a large communal bowl of salad in the middle of the table. I like this custom a lot as it just another sign of the connectedness and intimacy shared by the family members.

The day closes to an end. A similar day will follow. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of distractions and unexpected events which would disturb the usual flow of the day of either Lalla Karima, Si Mohamed, Layla and Rachid. And now also me.

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3.03.2008 11:04 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

I’m back in Morocco. This time for a bit longer than the first time and this time by myself, without Derek. I think this may be my first trip abroad alone, without family or friends. And to tell you the truth, though I’m excited to be back and to see and experience new things (particularly living with a Moroccan family), travelling alone can be lonely…

Not to sound too depressing – I landed in Marrakech and despite all the internet weather forecasts according to which it was supposed to rain we flew through thick clouds and came into – surprise, surprise – sunny Marrakech.  Customs was no problem and neither was finding a taxi but I did mess up a bit in my too energetic endeavours to bargain a tiny bit too much – namely I could have taken a shared taxi for 50 dirham (a bit less than 5 Euros) if I hadn’t insisted too much on paying 60 dirham for the whole cab (divided by 3) – which is the usual price. At the end I had to take a taxi alone and paid 60 dirham. My second taxi attempt (to the train station) that same day went much smoother thanks to a lady who took me under her guardianship for a moment, arranged one for me and even argued with the driver to turn the meter on and give me a fair price. I really do think that ladies here a quite feisty. On a side note – as I was leaving Marrakech yesterday I couldn’t for the life of me find a taxi who would turn the meter on and give me a fair price to get to the train station. Everyone insisted on a fixed price and told me that Moroccans too have to pay the same price as the train station is out of some made-up taxi circuit. So – thank you lady in a champagne white jelaba, I couldn’t even thank you as you were too quick to continue your day…

It seems that taxi stories are always the first travellers’ stories and their first contact with locals.

After checking into the same hotel as Derek and I a year ago, and getting a room next to the one where we stayed (sorry, a bit nostalgic), I went into the heart of the medina. Not much has changed – the main square Djamaa al-Fna is still quiet during the day compared to the bustling evenings when it gets filled with people and restaurants under the stars. Snake charmers are still there (as they have been for decades if not centuries according to an account I read recently) and they are the same people though they did get competition from a couple of guys with two or three lazy snakes situated on the other side of the orange-juice stands, which I guess serves as a divide. The orange-juice guy who flipped me and Derek off when we were taking a picture thinking it was of him was still there at the same place…whistling after me thinking I will buy juice. Sorry buddy. I went into the souq (market) area and I kept seeing familiar faces, and thus felt quite homey. My mission was to find a boy in the Souq Haddadine (blacksmith’s market) whose picture we took while working on one of those beautiful Moroccan lamps or something similar and to whom we promised that we would either send this photo or bring it to him. Needless to say that the boy was really happy and so was I (“It gave me a sense of enormous well-being”…Parklife by Blur) as both Derek and I hate being like tourists who come to ‘exotic’ countries and take pictures of people as if they were animals in a safari. I always wonder why Westerners never take pictures of Parisian babies or Berliners doing their daily chores? Not enough ‘exotic’ and ‘black’?

So this was my first day. It’s really nice to be back but I think that at the moment I’m too tired and nostalgic to be able to fully embrace Morocco, the warmth of people and homeliness of the place.

I’m in Fez now, where I will settle for the next 6-odd weeks doing an Arabic course and living with a Moroccan family, hoping to get a bit of an insight into the dynamics of one Moroccan family.

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24.02.2008 10:43 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

My dearest readers,I have to apologize once again for my blogging silence. I’m afraid though that the silence will continue until I leave to Morocco, which is Feb 22. I do promise that I will resume posting my blogs regularly once I get there.Hope you’re all great!Talk to you soon!Hugs from me from the land where the sun stopped to shine (with rare exceptions like today :) ) P.S.: The other day someone referred to Slovenia as being part of Czechoslovenia. I wanted to laugh so hard but I couldn’t, unfortunately, as I didn’t want to put the person in an awkward position. Czechoslovenia thus is not a deception, it’s a reality. Yeah! 

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27.01.2008 11:35 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

This past week, the Oxford Union hosted David Irving, the ‘holocaust-denier’, and Nick Griffin, the leader of the racist British Nationalist Party. The debate in the Union has been stirring emotions for the last couple of months – ever since the event was announced. Students were organizing protests and petitioning against the debate to take place. It didn’t help and this past week they were finally able to speak in front of the student body. I didn’t go because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get into the venue. Nonetheless, despite being bombarded with emails for the last couple of weeks asking to either sign a petition or join the protests against them I thought it was good that the event took place. I do not, I repeat I do NOT agree with either or their agendas, I think they’re among those worse this world has to offer but I do think that it’s important to let them speak and to listen. One of the reasons is that free-speech, one of those most hailed Western democratic rights (with which we like to show-off in less democratic or autocratic systems) has been severely and worryingly curtailed since 9/11 all for the sake of the alleged protection of our freedom and security…Secondly, despite my opposition to both of their agendas, I think it’s good to hear what the ‘opposition’ has to say as this makes our counter-arguments a lot stronger. And lastly, history should teach us (yet it never does) that with silencing all, what the elite pronounces as, ‘deviant’ voices we can lose potential societal movers and shakers. It is inevitable, that democracy allows the promotion of such people as Irving and Griffin, but this is the price that we have to pay so that we do not lose those real innovators. I thus say free speech to all and let demos decide who’s a quack and who’s not, not some quasi-leaders of ours! I have to say, however, I was surprised that the Union carried out this event. Namely, a couple of weeks ago it withdrew its invitation to Norman Finkelstein, an American academic who criticizes Israel and its exploitation of the holocaust (the so called Holocaust Industry), but has never denied that the holocaust happened or that the Jews suffered during WWII, as Irving has. The president of the Union, Luke Tryl, succumbed to the pressure of Alan Dershowitz, another American academic and an active member of the American Jewish lobby, and consequentially withdrew the invitation to Finkelstein and thus showed that even in Oxford free-speech is not a given fact. Quite the contrary, my University is not, unfortunately, immune to pressures from abroad and such figures as Dershowitz. If interested in the whole story, do read my professor’s Avi Shlaim’s article on: www.opendemocracy.net/article/conflicts/israel_palestine/free_speech_oxford_union   

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5.12.2007 23:14 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

About three weeks ago one of Macedonian most celebrated young singers died in a car accident on the Croatian highway. Toše Proeski was one of those singers who, if old Yugoslavia still existed, would be regarded as a Yugoslav and not a Macedonian, as he as a person, his popularity and his music transcended the boarders of his country and bickerings among republics. He recorded songs in Macedonian, Serbian/Croatian and Slovene, received awards in all of the former Yugoslav republics, in Bulgaria and was listened to by the Albanians. Thus, truly a person that had the charisma to inadvertently or deliberately challenge the past and current unfortunate political happenings in the old Yugoslav republics. ‘Naš čovjek’ we would say.

I have to admit that prior to his death I haven’t listened to his music, I’ve seen posters announcing his concerts and I’ve heard a couple of his songs on the radio but didn’t pay much attention to who was signing them. For this reason I am very reluctant to put this blog on the internet as it doesn’t feel right to get ‘interested’ in a person/his work only when (and what’s even worse because) he dies and to write eulogies – though this is not my intention. Nonetheless, thanks to youtube, I’ve been able to listen to his songs, which are now stuck on my mind, and they literally start rolling when I open my eyes in the morning and don’t go away until I close my eyes at night. I’ve also watched enough clips of his interviews and whatever there is on the internet (please don’t think that I’ve become obsessed and that I spend hours on end looking at these clips because I do work on my DPhil, honestly) to see that I probably would have enjoyed listening to his songs had I lived in Slovenia and would thus be exposed to a lot more of Toše as I have been in my short visits to my country.

I think that when I read the news about the accident the most saddening part of his death, since I barely knew of him, was the fact that he had most of his life, all the unrealized plans and dreams in front of him. For me, it was thus again the realization of the fragility of my life and of the lives of those I love; of what we mean to each other alive and only alive – of being able to look the person in the eyes, hug, talk and even the anticipation of seeing/meeting again (but not in some transcendental world – I mean here, in flesh) since this has become a ‘routine’ sentiment of my everyday life.

Therefore, his death, as any other death of a young person, was for me a kind of celebration of Life and, hopefully without sounding too pathetic, of every moment I have with myself and, particularly, with others. ‘Jer moj je život igra bez granica,’ (Because my life is a game without limits) or it should feel as such…

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8.11.2007 21:33 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

I got a bit spoiled ever since I moved to England. Spoiled with the fact that majority of people know about Slovenia. I’m not making this up but I was kind of amazed by all these people here that have heard about Slovenia, have been there (‘OMG, I loooved Lubiana, and that lake…how is called…Bled or something’ were the most common responses) or know someone who has been there and now they want to go and see it for themselves. So I don’t feel the need to add ‘former Yugoslavia’ after ‘I’m from Slovenia’, for the sake of not embarrassing the recipient of this info and to save me some energy with explaining. Germany, on the other hand, was awful in that respect – in my two and a half years of residing there I maybe met 10 people who didn’t ‘confuse’ Slovenia with Slovakia and actually knew about my country. Although I always wondered where did Nora, my Slovak friend, meet all the people that didn’t know about Slovakia but knew about Slovenia. Maybe they were all British :)
Today, however, my French teacher (who’s Quebecoise-British and clearly not Canadian despite the fact that she probably carries a Canadian passport) right after I told her I’m from Slovenia, responded with ‘oh you are from Slovakia’. My immediate reaction was, almost too loud I may add, ‘nooo Slovenia’. After I calmed down a little bit I started thinking, as so many times before, don’t Slovenia and Slovakia sound differently? I mean you don’t have to be an expert in geography or well-travelled or even an intellectual to be able to repeat after someone, do you?
Earlier this year, my flatmates, Derek and I were joking in this regard and thus Derek established a facebook group called ‘The Alliance of World Citizens For the Reunification of Czechoslovenia’. It even has a flag. It didn’t attract a lot of people unfortunately, probably because they didn’t know what’s so funny about it.

I’m aware of the fact that not everyone has to know about Slovenia (though we in Slovenia think that everybody should know of us). People have other interests than to learn about tiny, unimportant countries with unpronounceable capitals that lack vowels. I mean not every Slovene knows about Lesoto or Bhutan. But all I ask or want (and this is the moral of this story) is that people repeat the right country after I tell them I’m from Slovenia. It’s not hard. If kids can repeat things, adults can too, I would think.
The other solution to this ‘problem’ is to simply say “Hi, I’m from Slovenia,and yes this is not Slovakia. Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovenia…get the difference? Good.” But I don’t think I will make a lot of friends this way and they will get the impression that Slovenes/Slovaks…or some Slavs are not nice people.

p.s. And just so that you’ll know how important we, Slovenes, are, read this : ‘Sorry, only Slovenian residents can sign up for a blog at BLOGOS. You appear to be coming from the following country code: GB
If you are a Slovenian not currently living in Slovenia, or, you are actually living in Slovenia and our script has made a mistake, please email us at blogi@siol.net and we will help you get signed up for your own free blog.’ This is the message I got when I wanted to sign-in into my Blog account. Thus no interbreeding of different nationalities in the Slovene blog world. JAO.

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18.10.2007 21:12 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink

I’ve had miserable birthdays, happy ones, OK ones. But it always felt like something was missing. I think my problem was that I always expected something insanely important or mind-blowing would happen on my birthday without really knowing what this mind-blowing event would actually be or entail. I know this sounds bizarre and perhaps very ungrateful but I just found birthdays to be a bit of a disappointment.  This year I decided to keep it simple and without any expectations, I mean after all I am 29 so I should stop having kids-like anticipations and hopes. It worked. When I went to bed, aged 29 years and a day, I was happy. I realized all I ever needed, yet never really acknowledged, was to have people I love and love me back around me. This year I had dinner with 5 friends of mine though a lot of you were missed very much. I had a fabulous time. The only thing that kept me both busy and disappointed in me after it was the thought of all these wasted 20-something birthdays that have always been special yet never fully appreciated.  For me thus this realization is, probably a first, firm step towards my adulthood :)
I got a book called ‘The Meaning of Life’ by Terry Eagleton for my birthday from a good friend of mine. It’s a witty philosophical attempt to answer the unanswerable question of the, yes, meaning of life. It’s preface promises a good read but the more I think about the topic (without reading this book) the more I’m sure about the answer – the meaning of life consists of people, your people, people that make your life worthwhile. In case I find a better answer in the book I will let you know. So hang on. Or, even better, tell me what you think about the meaning of life! ;)
But anyways – Long live the 29th! Živel devetindvajseti!!!

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14.10.2007 20:23 | Komentiranje onemogočeno | Permalink