Friday, July 28, 2006
Giving Props Where Props are Due!!!
Spent yesterday getting a good walking tour of Belgrade. When I get home I am definately going to need a foot massage or two for sure as these dogs have walked a long time. One of the best museums I have been to was the one to honor Nikola Tesla. Now I almost dont want to call myself an Engineer, despite laboring for 5 years to get a piece of paper saying I have a degree. In school we learned that some laws and units are named after people, Volt, Ampere, etc. I knew of Tesla's name but honestly had no idea to scope of his work. The fact that I am typing this and you are reading this, while he did not invent the computer, nor did he have the idea for the Internet before Al Gore, the work that Tesla did at the turn of the century simply changed the face of society. For a good background on him check out his Wikipedia entry here Nikola Tesla
Basically to give you a rundown, he has patents for modern AC electric current, power distribution, AC motors, Radio Transmission and even the basis for remote controls. So just think about all those things you do in your life from the time you wake up, and basically Tesla's work helps it. From taking that first piss in the morning and being able to flush the toilet and get running water to brush your teeth, that is due to the fact pumping stations have motors.. And trust me after pissing in some holes in the ground here they call bathrooms, I respect the ability to flush. From turning on your TV with the remote control, those are high frequency waves shooting across the room. Starting up your car, that is a motor.. Anyway the depth of his work was amazing, and like most genius he was a bit crazy, or you can say eccentric. And for all that he only got the 100 Dinar Note(worth about a buck fifty)
Later in the day, I did something that might keep me in Belgrade longer than I should.. I bought a book, in English.. The Day of the Jackel, went to the city park/lake/beach and read it. While the lake here is nice, the beach itself is made of tiny rocks, so not comfortable to lay out on, there are some lounge chairs on one side, and people were going in the water. I might go back there today and just chill out.. So far 5 chapters done in the book, probably the best $1 I have spent here, as now on those 7hr bus rides, I have something to take my mind off of things, other than worrying if there will be street signs in the next city I arrive in. Naturally had a few beers, there is a beer called Jelen Pivo here, that has the logo of a dear head, very good stuff and naturally cheap.
In taking the bus across town to the beach you see some sights that just make you in awe. On the main avenue, the same avenue the US Embassy is on, there are about 4 building that are totally bombed out. The structure of the building is still standing but there are bomb/rocket holes. These are from the 1999 NATO/USA Bombing of Belgrade, its almost like instead of tearing the building down they are leaving them up for a F U, we are still here despite your efforts. It was a really striking sight, I have never been to a true war zone, but just seeing these buildings I cant imagine what Baghdad or anywhere in the middle east looks like now.. When you see on TV the pictures of a building in rubble after being hit by a 2000lb USA bomb, it is one thing, when you see it in person it is surely another thing..
Last night was a sort of chill night, instead of heading to the barges for raging parties, we went to a small bar near the Hostel with a few people and they were playing live music. Nothing to write home about but a simple 5 piece cover band, fronted by a women singing. It was nice for a change from the eurotrash Techno music to actually hear something live. Tried then to goto one of these famous Underground bars I read about in the NY Times piece a year ago, but nothing was open, summer is really not the best time here to party. Its hot and locals manage to get away to the coast so while the town isnt deserted like NYC, it surely is more empty.
I am staying one more night here, things are cheap and at this point of my budget, cheap is good. I am thinking of traveling with some other american folks to Sarajevo, Bosnia. If so that would be one more country visited, if not then I'll be off to Zagreb, Croatia and then Slovenia. Trip is almost coming to an end, i just counted to days and while I have been telling people its a 10 week trip, in reality it will be 77 days in the end, so 11 weeks.. Have a good weekend everyone