12 October 2007 - 04:46Title:
6 Americans, 2 Croatian in a carCurrent Music:
Soulja Boy - Crank That (Soulja Boy) [Torrent-Tatty] (™ ColliPark - Interscope)Current Mood:
The first 2 days in Croatia is an interesting one. the boys here are very very cute and nice. I am drooling a lot over the guys here. Race is a big factor here, it's majority white. there are like 3 black people here and a small community of Chinese people here who just moved here. People (the society) do not accept Homosexuals or black people.
I have met so many people through my own excursion and the SIT Croatia group (AKA SIT Balkans). They are pretty cool. I learned a lot of things about the people in my program and I noticed more about all the drama... the good... the bad... and the ok...... there seem to be a lot of trash talking going on (which also include trash talking about me and the people I care about) and I HATE it. My philosophy is, if you have a problem with someone, tell it to their face. We are not in high school anymore, so be adults and just comfort the person. I am learning more, who are really my friends and who are just pretending to be a friend. And I noticed that people in my program uses one another for things, basically befriend someone for their own personal gain. I am starting to hate this. I guess the longer you are around people, you see their true colors. I just pretty annoyed at this right now. We are a group of 16 people, this should not happen, but it does.
Well I have met many nice Croatian boys and girls and made a lot of great friends. Tonight I went to a club called Global, the only gay club in Zagreb. It was ladies night and I never thought I had so much fun. there were a few gay men there which I interacted with. I got to know many of them very well. We talked about different issues from what is it like being gay here to how does one find a sense of community. Being gay here is not illegal, but since this is a Catholic country (90%) it is very anti-gay. This really reminds me of high school a lot. the fact that I went to a Catholic High School and all. I really learn a lot through firsthand experience. Heck Global, is a very discreet gay club, they have rainbow stairs, not a flag like the usual clubs do. the stairs are very discreet and I did not notice them until someone pointed it out to me. We got a ride home from a lesbian I met, Tina. She is very nice and she thinks I am nice too. She called me her brother, which is pretty funny and she told me to come back tomorrow so she can introduce me to her gay male friends. Dyke night is fun and all but there are not many gay guys. But that is where the title came from, 6 Americans total and Tina and her friend all fit in this tiny car. It was funny. Overall I had a great drunkard time. I don't really like the fact that alcohol is a part of the European culture since I have been drinking quite a bit lately. And also, I have been smoking a lot lately. And I think it is making me a bit sick.
We also had a lecture today. The lecture was on a topic that I am passionate about, sexual education. I learned about sexual education in Croatia and the movement around it, between the abstinence-only education to comprehensive. Currently there are no sexual education program intact, but there are movements to get ab-only education into the system and there is a group to try to prevent that from happening. It is pretty cool learning about the movement, but it is fairly new.... I am grateful that we have org like Advocates for Youth
back home with a strong movement towards comprehensive sexual education.
I also brought a Build a Bear cow and named her Kim, after Kimloan since I do miss her..... It was so cheap, it came out to be about $7 American, which is very cheap.
I am starting to get a bit homesick, since UConn Homecoming is coming up. I really miss the competitions that we have. For those of you with the RC, you better win 1st place this year. Last night I was watching old lip-sync videos and I kinda teared up a bit. I do miss UConn...... the scary thing is, there was ALOT of less drama and more unity in the group than my study abroad group. I did not think that will happen.
Well it is 5 AM now and I have class in the morning. So I am going to attempt to go to bed. Night :)
13 October 2007 - 13:00 Title:
Rape as a War TacticCurrent Music:
Britney Spears - Gimme More [Torrent-Tatty] (™ Jive - Zomba)Current Mood:
Yesterday was an interesting day. I felt it was a women studies day, indeed it was. The first half of my day wasn't that great. I was very upset at many things and was not ok. I admit I was pretty bitchy and to those friends who stood by me and definitely gave me some space, thank you so much. And if I was mean to anyone, I am sorry. After getting in at 05:00, I woke up at 10:30 for class at noon. I sat through a pretty boring lecture at the center of women studies. She talked about everything, I kinda knew already about Eastern Europe on Feminism. I dosed off and my classmates made fun of me. There is actually a video of me dozing off, thanks Yitka ;). Something that cheered me up was we had Mexican Food Croatian Style for lunch, that was hottt....it wasn't REAL Mexican, but close enough. Our night lecture was something really touching. It was on Bosnian women who were raped during the war. I felt very emotional learning about this. But at the end, I was a bit upset, but I am not going to let it get to me. Someone in our group has a big interest for domestic violence and out lecture ended at 19:30 and we were running a FEW MINUTES LATE because of the Q&A. Some people in the group made comment that really rushed the person. This really make me upset, what right do they have? We all want to get out of here, but if someone has an interest on something, they should have the right to ask questions. I feel this is very disrespectful to the group, I mean we all wait for one another and suppose to be supporting one another, but clearly this is not happening. After that we went to dinner.
I went off on my own after dinner, since I needed to be away from the group and this actually made me feel much better. I met so many people from being alone and Croatian people are very nice. I went to a bar first and made some random friends and met up with Frank (from UC), a girl tried to asked if I had a girlfriend or not (yes this was a straight bar), which was funny. She was cute, but um.. yeah I like guys...After that, I met up with the SIT Balkans group. This night is a night to remember. We crashed a party. We went to a place called the Saloon and there was a private party there. One of the Balkans girls say we're from New York and we are looking for a place to party and smiled and flirted a bit and guess what... WE GOT IN!!!! The party was for a windsurfing movie and invitations were based on facebook only. I found the facebook party funny. At the party, I looked around and it was all very very very good looking people and we were underdressed, but oh well. I made some contacts and drank some more. After being there for a bit, we all headed to Global, the gay club. I met up with the friends I made last night and made new ones.
I also met a very cute Croatian boy, Philippe. He noticed me at the bar with some friends and he asked if I would talk to him privately and I said yes. There was a lounge area at this bar and we just talked for like an hour about boys, queerness, interests, career goals. I learned that this Philippe is a law student who is 20, graduating in a year, loves the movies and clubbing. He does a lot with film and he hates chocolate and alcohol. He would not let me get another beer as we talked. After talking to Philippe for an hour, I felt I should get back to my friends. I don't want to abandon people. The funny part is the Philippe’s friend was hitting on my friend, Matt (a guy in the SIT Balkans group that I was with). After that, we danced until around 05:00 and we got kicked out since it was closed. So we just sat outside of the club and talk. I also experienced some drunkard Croatian songs (see facebook for videos).. it was pretty fun. Got home at 06:00 via tram and passed out.
I also noticed a trend on questions, everyone I met knows I'm an American (they are also curious on my Asianiness, since there aren't many Asian people in Zagreb). They keep asking, why am I in Zagreb? They felt it is random. I really like it here. The people here are so nice and friendly. From being at the bar for 2 nights, I have made so many friends and were invited out to many places. I told them I study sex for a living and I am just very interested how queer people live and how they live in hiding. Like one of the guys I met, Bruno, he was telling me how he has to wear a mask, since he plays football (Soccer) and is a huge fans. But when he is at the games, which he loves, he feels very uncomfortable since there is A LOT of anti-gay comments and he definitely hides the fact that he is gay.
But anyhow... Last night was a very great night.. I can't wait for tonight. which will prob my last night going out...But to end on a bit of a sad note, Global, the only gay club in Zagreb is closing down at the end of the year.
14 October 2007 - 23:47 Title:
Gay bashed!Current Music:
Zac Efron - Bet On It [Torrent-Tatty] (™ Walt Disney)Current Mood:
Yesterday and today were great. Yesterday was a bit of an emotional school day for me. Lunch was pretty interesting. I went to lunch alone, well I went to a place where I knew the waitress. I met a lot of the football fans and was invited to a game for free, but I decided not to go. I drank with them and they tried teaching me the Croatian Anthem, which didn't go so well. They made fun of me, which was cool. We all had drinks and it was a cool lunch event. After lunch, I had a lecture on Homosexuality and Croatia. One of the thing that Marko, the presenter showed us was the first gay pride in Belgrade and how people were bashed. It was very bloody. That made me cry, it brought me memories of the past. The way the presenter put it was it is basically the US in 1969 (Stonewall) right now for them, which was pretty cool. MUST SEE VIDEO
After the lecture, I had coffee with Matt and we talked. Matt is a very cool guy and I like being around him. Dinner was pretty interesting, we had a group dinner to talk about the week. I thought and reflected about this trip, the lectures, the people, the life.... it was a great experience. I went back to the hostel afterwards to nap, since I am pulling an all nighter party again.
The club was packed last night. There was no room. I went with the SIT Balkans group. I danced with Matt the whole night. I feel a bit close to Matt. One thing that was funny that as Matt and I danced, some guy came up to me. He asked "Can I help you?" I was pretty drunk at this point, so I was being very cocky.
The Guy: Can I help you?
Me: Depends, what can you help me with?
The Guy: I don't know, *looks over at Matt* I can help you too, I can help both of you
Me: I don't know... I wonder do we need help? *looks over at Matt* Do we need help?
Matt: No, I don't think we need help
Me: Nah, we don't need help
The Guy: Sorry to bother you
That was very funny. I really like Global, I feel very connected with the people there. Everyone is so nice and I have made great friends. I ended up getting home at 05:45, which wasn't fun. I was supposed to be in the main square to go hiking at 09:00 (which means leave the hostel by 08:15, that so didn't happen. I slept until 13:00, which felt great. The last few nights I have been partying it out and staying out to 6 AM. But I learned a lot.... Being out at the bar was worth it, even from an sexuality academia perspective. I have learned things that I would have never learn in lectures, personal experiences. The people I talked to, straight or gay, inside the gay club and outside, I learned so much about being gay in this society, I learned a lot of gender roles, I learned a lot about the culture.
Today was a lazy day. We had nothing schedules. I woke up at 13:00 and just hung out at the hostel. I met up with Matt today again. I hate that everything is closed on Sunday. Matt gave me a mini-tour of gornije grad, which is the nice part of town. And we walked through the mall, where everything but 1 cafe was closed. That was weird. We had coffee and said our good-bye and promise to keep in touch online and such.
I also broke my rule. Before I went abroad, I told myself, no American products or companies, except for soda (coke/Pepsi). I had McD for lunch today before meeting up with Matt, since it was fast. And I brought a big mac for dinner, but did not ate it. After hanging with Matt, I figured everyone went to dinner. So I brought a Big Mac for $3 USD and headed back to the hostel. I ended up finding out I was wrong and I had a veal steak with Mushroom sauce that was to die for... And went out for ice cream (banana and Chocolate Hazelnut is not a good mixture). I am not looking forward to leave tomorrow and I have to be awake in 6 hours to be out the door by 7. I was debating on going to global tonight, but decided against it, since I need sleep......
Lastly, I am sick now. From smoking so much and not getting much sleep, I smoked HALF A PACK OF CIG in one day on this trip and I was in smokey bars/restaurants/cafes. Croatia is not a friendly place for those who are smoke sensitive. I am not smoke sensitive, but I have never been exposed to this much smoke since I started smoking. I have quit and started again but I haven't smoked this much for ages. I discovered that there is a Dutch version of airborne and I am so getting that.