Delights of Istanbul

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to write about Istanbul. The city immediately energized me, and there is a lot here that is different from Western Europe, which I find refreshing. The call to prayer five times a day has smitten me. There are many mosques around, of course, and I am fortunate to have had… Read more →

Interview with Ivana Milankov

Biographical Note: Ivana Milankov was born in1952 in Belgrade, Serbia. She finished her studies of English language and literature at Belgrade University. Milankov is the author of eight books of poetry and one book of poetical prose—a dream diary. She is a translator of English and American poetry (Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, W.B. Yeats, William Blake, Allen Ginsberg and others).… Read more →

Western Ukraine: Sushi, Hookah and Roses

I toured the Western Ukraine for almost two weeks, travelling from the capital city, Kiev, to Chernihiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, Poltava, and Lviv. What immediately struck me were the beautiful roses in the huge green spaces that define the Western Ukraine’s cities and towns and the abundance of roses sold on the sides of the streets and at markets. I… Read more →

Gone to Montenegro

I have done what any Serbian does, if possible, in the summer months: gone to Montenegro. Montenegro is about a twelve-to-thirteen hour train ride from Belgrade, and I would recommend it above any other form of travel. Though the train is not air-conditioned and the heat, for about two hours after leaving Belgrade, left me feeling quite woozy, the train… Read more →

Taking Gusle Lessons

I have been spending time in Vrbas, Serbia, a town of about 35, 000 people which is approximately a forty-minute drive to the second largest city in Serbia, Novi Sad. Vrbas is a three-and-a-half hour bus ride from Belgrade. I have been told that this is the town where the gusle tradition has maintained itself more than in any other… Read more →

Leaving Prague

I’ve come to realize that I understand a place better the moment I begin to leave it. There are things that I recognize I will miss. I know that there are things that might not be replicated in other places. There are people I have to say goodbye to, and there is, of course, always a specific history that every… Read more →