As first – yesterdays event : just last night Tyche and I went shopping. We were going to Kaufland, but first she wanted to visit a store called KIK. As we looked around she saw a stick horse. Most of us have seen them. They are horses heads attached to a broom handle. Kids play with them and pretend they are riding a horse. As Tyche is from Croatia she had never seen anything like it. When she saw it, she was very surprised to see something like this, and said: “Who would want something like that, a horse head with a stick attached to it ???!!!”. And with a laugh I said “I guess you have spoiled your birthday present”. What else could I say – I am pretty sure she will not be getting a horse head on a stick for her birthday…
Thinking about differences between worlds, sometimes I laugh to myself about things that happen, some things just strike me as so funny.This is actually what I want to write about, I want to share a few experiences. I have been around most of Europe, seen and interacted with a lot of different people. I should probably write a book about all this – maybe when I retire I will. Bosnia was probably the hardest place for me to be out of all the places I have visited. I was there from September 2000 until March 2006. I laughed a lot there. Sometimes I laughed so much I cried. Things were different, indeed .My landlords were really good people, they meant well, but sometimes they did things that went beyond funny.My landlord’s son called me and asked if I would want to have a barbeque after work. I came home around 5pm to find they were making a fire in the driveway; the concrete was poured less than 6 months prior to this. This was going to be the fire for the grill. (For those who have never seen what can happen to some kinds of concrete when it gets hot – it can explode with a nasty vengeance and cause serious harm to anyone near by.) I raised my concern but no one saw it was a problem. So I did the next best thing, and moved where we were going to eat far away from the fire. Now that that was done, and I am thinking – great there will be no problems tonight. Seems I was wrong. Things went ok until after we had cooked all the meat. The grill we used was home made – it was a sheet of stainless steel that was cut and welded in the corners to resemble a pan. And then it had legs welded to it. There were no drain holes for grease to escape. So, the pan was cooking on the fire and the grease from the meat was bubbling over into the fire. When landlord saw this, he ran into the garage and got a black nylon jacket and laid it over the fire. When he lifted it up the all the nylon was burnt away from the pan being so hot. Then it got worse – he ran back into the garage and got the seat cushion out of his car, and was going to smother the fire with the cushions. I stopped him and said it would be ok and that he didn’t need to bother with the fire it was causing no danger because it was away from the house and it would burn it self out, at that moment his wife can along with a big bucket of water and threw it on the fire it sent flames shooting up 30 feet into the air. She was so close to the fire that it burned her eyebrows. All I can think of is how do these people live from day to day without getting seriously hurt.
It really makes no difference where you are from, these kinds of things do happen, and there will always be misunderstandings. Tyche found this out when I took her to Texas. We went to visit my family in Wichita Falls. While we were there we went to a big open market in a nearby town called Bowie. I was looking at something and she kind of wandered away from me.
A man with about 9 children and a huge truck who was selling potatoes, struck up a conversation with Tyche. He realized that she didn’t have any kind of local accent, and that her way of talking was different, and just as I rejoined her he said to her “You are not from around here, are yaa ? Where you from? Arkansaaa ?” I was almost in tears when she told him she was from Croatia, and of course he didn’t know where Croatia was either. That was this man’s world – it extended to Arkansas. It went no farther than Arkansas. Which is actually about 200 miles (300 kilometers) from where we were, BTW I occasionally tease her about this and call her my Arkansas Girl. That’s about it for now stay well,