The Rise of the AVKF

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Intro

To show how much is the Balkan interest into the Sci-Fi, I must mention yet another website and a small group of people that use their time to promote various genres. I wrote about Sci-Fi Society and Lazar Komarčić SFA, but they are not alone in the Balkan. There are more of these people that stare at the starry skies and write, in order to help Balkans Sci-Fi production. They go by the name Autostoperski Vodič Kroz Fantastiku – AVKF, or in English – Hitchhikers’ Guide through the Fantasy. The name is a sort of a joke, which travels from ear to ear, bringing in the curiosity about this certain site. Why writing about them, – well, let’s find out.

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The Origin

The origin story started at the grim point of our lives, where one of the respected Sci-Fi beacons (SF Serbia) went down due to the editor’s decision to end the site. Nobody knows exactly of, why he has decided to do that, however, the fans suggest that it must be the lack of time or energy that caused this step. In those sad days, dragons didn’t fly in the cloudy sky, monsters silently slept in their caves, valiant heroes awaited for the danger to ensue, but it never came. Blades went dry and dusty, shields rested above the fireplace as a memory of the glory days. What? Too poetic again? Ugh, but I like it that way. Come on, stay with me on this… Alright, I’ll stop.

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It started as an opinion of a girl that said to her friend: You should make another site; and the guy did it. At the 9th of September 2015, the AVKF was born. The rise of popularity shortly followed and everybody was happy again. Other sites, newspapers and radio programs, even the foreign ones, welcomed the AVKF, recognizing it as a valuable Sci-Fi portal for all that want to get informed in speculative science. Now, two years running, it still keeps its trend of popularity, constantly providing quality content for it viewers.

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About the website

What makes this site special and worth of looking is: numerous topics and broad interest in all of the things that stand marked as a Sci-Fi. Primary attention is being steered onto the fantasy part, where along with the already favorable genre; other genres have a spotlight, reserved just for them. Genre of products reviewed (comics, films and shows); vary from horror, classic Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, steampunk, epic fantasy, anime and subgenres of the previously listed branches. All of the reputable authors, from the John R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin (do all these epic fantasy writers get their R. R. as a badge of success?), to the Arthur C. Clark and Steven King; along with many others can be equally found on AVKF website. What brings the fans to that place are the insightful facts about the authors and their work, so it is partially educational website, a good place for those new to the Sci-Fi. The site’s reach is well accepted in the countries such as Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and many more.

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Goals

The AVKF website currently holds around 1 666 battle ready followers, but that number is rapidly changing, which means, there is a chance for them to evolve into something more influential in the Balkans. All of the things I have mentioned deserve to be discussed about and shared around, because that is the only way for them to achieve their goals. Besides the obvious goal to magnify the readership, their path is set towards becoming a powerful organization and publishing house that will give a chance for success, to all of the young aspiring Sci-Fi writers in the region.

AVKF contributor’s engagement in their work is led by few unifying thoughts, and those are: to rival the other fantasy websites, to fortify and to enrich Sci-Fi scene in the Balkan, to get professionally upgraded and to be internationally recognized as a valuable SF Association. The force is strong with this one. *he said it in Vader’s voice

Valinor Club

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One of the most trusted AVKF’s allies is the Valinor Club, founded in May 5. 2015. This elite social club herds cosplayers and Tolkien fanatics under its wings, giving them a place to grow and exchange their ideas. The Valinor Club is responsible for a lot of gatherings and themed cultural events all over the region. Such happenings are followed by a massive crowd of people, sometimes it goes over 3 000 souls. One of notable projects where Valinor is involved in, is Festival of Tolkien Fantasy, which is under the patronage of a much bigger fantastic society called Evenstar. Members of Valinor often show performances on their tour like: dancing, playing instruments, swordfights (no blood thou), shows for kids and showing the arts of cosplay makeup.

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Visit AVKF and Valinor at:

AVKF: https://fantasticnivodic.com

Valinor: http://valinor.club/tag/valinor-srbija

Or visit me: https://www.facebook.com/dronstad1

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Drinking customs in Balkan

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Intro

West has its games and parties, but not the Slav drinking history that radiates with positivity and warmth. Drinking is somewhat a religious thing among Balkan folk, where alcohol is used at every event, him being bad or good. In Slav lands, Holy Days and liquor go hand in hand. It all began when Slavs were still tribal community that picked fruits of the land and enjoyed in peaceful nomadic life. Drinks were used among other products as offering to the Sun God. Slavs are people of the forest, very calm and easygoing, that hold family the most important thing in the world. So in a way, I’m saying we are party hard elfish folk that have history in drinking and can drink more than we can pick off the ground.

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Usual age when a Balkan Boys and Girls start to drink is around twelve years old. At first, it’s just a sip, but two years later that sip is turned into a bottle. It is one, most favorite thing to do while spending your time with friends. Getting drunk is a normal thing, as that is the effect of alcohol on human body. In the US, you would not be able to sit in the park with a group of people and get wasted, but in the Balkan, you can sit in front of police station, and police would kindly ask you to move from the entrance. I know, because I did that. I do not support drink and drive. I have never done that. I just ask friend for a ride home. There is no alcohol in prison, man. Let’s get to drinking then.

Never offer a glass that’s half full.

In some Slav states, it is a custom to pour half of glass. This is the host’s way to show he wants you around, as he constantly needs to refill your glass and bring more drink, but when the glass is full, it is telling you, that’s the time for you to leave. In Balkan, this has opposite meaning. To offer a half of glass, is to make an offence to the guest. It means you don’t value them, that you think they are a half of the man and therefore, they don’t deserve a full glass. Wars were started over this, friendships lost and broken with many dead.

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Always look into someone’s eyes when clinking glasses.

There is something in the eyes when someone is saluting you. You can always tell if they wish you a good health or not. It is a sign of respect towards the people you share drink with. If you miss the eye contact, you must repeat the clink until the contact is established. Many will ask: How do you clink if you don’t follow where your glass is going? Well, you tend to aim and swiftly turn your eyes towards the friendly face, before the class hitting glass sound, rings in your ear.

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Never say “Cheers” with something that isn’t alcohol.

Water, as a type of drink, is passionately hated among Slav. They’ll say: “Water is good for nothing, that’s why you wash your feet in it.” Drinking is connected with religion to some point. Every celebration is spent in rivers of alcohol, because, a newborn child is greeted with a glass of alcohol and a friend is sent away with same. Holy bread is being crossed with vine, it’s being poured on the bountiful land for a good year filled with crops, and it can be used in many ways. Distillery is commonly called “The Church”, because Slav usually bless themselves before first sip of “Rakija” (Rakija – homemade fruit brandy). Cheering is mostly used as a ceremony during more notable celebrations, like marriage, Saint Days (Slava) and birthdays. A host would take his drink and go to each guest wishing him “Živeli” (Long live, Long life), where they’ll briefly stare at each others eyes, bless themselves and take a sip.

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Always take a sip from the glass after toasting before putting the glass back on the table.

It’s considered very rude and disrespectful not to drink when pleasantries are exchanged among friends. Sipping after the toast is sort of a seal that confirms spoken words. Don’t be misled by thinking that sip must be long, because a rude joke may take place. If a beginner is accepted in company of seasoned drinkers, and he doesn’t know the custom and it’s meaning, it is sure they will exploit his ignorance by constantly making toasts and salutes until he is in no ability to look straight. That’s how I got drunk for the first time.

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My Beard Styles

Intro

Beards came to be very popular and desirable lately, but I’m not doing it because of the trend. I had my beard before it was cool, so its kind a stupid now for me to start falling into what society dictates. My beard started to grow at normal rate when I was 14 years old. That was also the time I started to shave regularly. I was one of few kids among my friends that actually had facial hair. At first it bothered me, because I’ve been laughed at for being different. Friends would call me names and compare me with iconic people that had beard and were not popular for exceptional deeds. All that mistreatment wore off, when biological stands were revealed to me as a beard stands for a mark of an adult man. After some interesting facts, I raised my head in pride and relied peculiar intelligence when ridiculed for my looks. Many years later, all name calling came to a minimum, giving me a lot of time to perform experiments with my, now, favorite playing thing.

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This style is one of my extreme looks and highly demanding to maintain. It starts from the bottom of the ears and goes in a sharp triangular curve to the peak of the chin. Neck is clean and mustaches are also removed, leaving only facial hair on the cheeks. Tops of triangles are neatly lined with same space in between, providing badass look of teeth drawn out on lower jaw. Making this look is long time taking process, and I would recommend some help for the best possible result. All of my style forming is being done by razor blade, not trimmer or any other tool. I also use only water for best visibility, cause with soap or foam on the beard; it’s hard to see where the beard is and how process is going. Now, I would also not recommend shaving with nothing else but water on your face, because, that shit hurts like hell. Do it only if extremely resistant on pain, especially when shaving mustaches, those hurt the most, seriously, it made me cry like a girl when I did it first time.

Knight’s honor

This style is my current one at the time. I call it this way, because it resembles a stereotype of today of a medieval horseback warrior. In regards of the style, think of a thick beard stripes that fall from ears, over the cheeks to meet each other beneath the lower lip. Around the mouth and above are mustaches, formed in a wide curved line, like a crescent moon falling down from the nose. Neck is clean shaved, and stripes brought to equal size. I love this look for easy maintenance and for its length. It also makes me appear wiser, older, more experienced and mature. This style often gave me much needed boost of moral and self-confidence when I was attending high school.

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Commando

When I mention Commando, some of you probable think of harsh lines around mouth with a goatee below, right? I do something similar. Lines are one finger wide or thinner, and they break over the edge of the lower jaw. These lines meet on the top of the chin and connect in one line, thick at the same rate that falls from the lower lip. Mustaches form a cubical around mouth and merge with the beard lines to form a complete style. Cheeks, neck and spaces around lower jaw teeth are shaved to accentuate facial hair. I use this style from time to time, usually when I’m bored and don’t know what else to try. This particular look got its name when I was supper pissed on one of the parties, and as I stormed out of the door, a group of friends noticed me and gave me that remark. I instantly calmed and started to think of their words, where a style name was decided.

Wolverine

It is as what you think. This is the most accurate copy of Hugh Jackman “James Logan” aka “Wolverine” from the “X” men. Thick stripes cover the cheeks and fall together to the side of the lips. Moustaches and chin is shaved as well as the neck. You figured it out… I am a Marvel’s fan, but not a fanatic. It just looks so badass on him, and since I can mold my beard into anything, why not giving it a badass look… might attract some fan girl, who knows. Despite this falls under society standard, I didn’t wore this style to up coming premier of new X men movie or anything similar. I did it opposite way. Whenever I felt like looking like Logan, I grab my razor and start shaving away unnecessary parts. Didn’t get the girl though.

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Orthodox priest

To even begin understanding this look, some of you might want to check the internet. Mentioned style is to me, a sign of laziness, even if that’s not true. I look at it, differently, than many others. It is usually a long beard, what is known as a “buck dollar beard”, and it is hard to maintain. To keep this beard you need special oil, daily trimming and grooming, for which I don’t have time or will. I sometimes let it to grow wild; just to see how far it will go before the growth rate starts to slow down. People from my surroundings often commentate and provide disrespectful remarks as I laugh cynical at them, and irritate by coning the ruffled ends. So much win.

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Picking up the topics for writing

Most of my time I’ve spent thinking, wandering and observing turmoils around the world, looked at nations getting separated, listened to people crying, while politicians and journalists talked about it. I don’t support violence, but I do get a lot of interest in it, as it is a phenomenon that strikes cultures and lives.  One thing was clear more than the others; War never brought anything good into the world. Now, I know what are you thinking: What can, a little man, do about it?, right? Well, a lot actually. For example: Don’t do things you wouldn’t like to happen to you and your loved ones. Question all of the media. Think with your own head and take nothing that they try to sell you as “compassion”, because they are lacking one. Develop critical thinking and join conversations to gain info about things that are going on in the war zones. Most important part is, to listen with respect for what people have to say, it doesn’t matter if they are speaking complete bull. That will just turn your opinion into a solid principle. Get knowledge, get info, get your gears going. Tolerance is what I seek from people around me.

And know one thing. There are people like you out there, fighting for their country, turning civilians into refugees that leave their homes in approach of the carpet bombing. There could be your troops helping out there, or making it worse, but to risk, is to potentially harm. War itself is a problem. We as humans, need to  force the faulty politic to change it’s mind, without a need for bloodshed. There are ways, we just need to join our minds and find it, but we can’t do it if we have no knowledge about it. Get to know your enemy. We are stronger then them and more in numbers. If we work together, there is no force that will stop us, cause we stand for a right to live. Welcome to my church.

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Glorious Ultras

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Intro

If you, by any chance, live in Europe, you have probably heard about the infamous Ultras, but if you are an American, you are pretty much clueless about the term. This name Ultras represent the football fans (real football, not that under armor rugby you have going on, yeah, you keep calling our thing soccer, we’ll keep calling yours rugby), that are known to be very extreme during the match’s. Other names are being used to label these people and the most used word is a hooligan. In the stands, they are easily spotted wearing jerseys of their club, colored scarf, balaclava, pyro (known as a torch), a national flag or the football flag. These guys are considered very dangerous and unpredictable, as they live for the club and they are ready to perform many vile things in order to protect the honorable colors of their team.

Often seen chanting, singing, cursing, doing the wave or organized clapper, rising enormous flag over the public in stands, or simultaneous burning of the torches are some of their activities that show the beauty of being a true fan known as Ultra. Normal people watch the game, eats burnt sunflower seeds or drink beer, but Ultras are the 12th player on the field. It is known that a good ovation and inspiring chant can motivate the players to perform better, fill their hearts with courage and pride and make them give their maximum to set the best score. The patriotic charge that flows from the stands usually bathes the whole stadium and affects the crowd in total, providing them with a memorable feeling of joy. Every game is a spectacle, as the football players are being portrayed as modern knights, gladiators in the arena, fighting the enemy’s barbarian hordes.

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The Love

It all started as a normal way of showing your true affection for the club, going to games with your close friends, sing in support for the team, but it grew into something darker. Europe was plunged into many wars, and many states fought the other states, so when there is a game at play, it is seen as a small battlefield, where one fandom wants to prove the other side, that their country is better than the others. That love for the club was so strong, that the national representation has started to be observed as the best of the best one country had to offer. That way, nationalism grew from modest patriotism and soon, very passionate fans became super fans, Ultra-Nationalist, The Ultras. A new formed faction of fans have spread onto the smaller clubs in lack of frequent international plays, so Ultra ranks started growing in all of the clubs, spreading like plague among big and small football division. Fans became fanatics, and fanatics are somewhat crazy when triggered.

Could you imagine a love for the sport, so great, that you would be willing of doing something very bad to someone if he has said: “Your team sucks!”? Could you feel in your heart, the ever pulsing love for the team, that you know all of its players by name? And if you did, could you be able of harming yourself or your loved ones if you missed going for the match? Would you quit your job, or leave your partner if he was a supporter for the opposite team? Could you end long lasted friendship over friend choice of the best player of the team? Do you know every goal, every missed opportunity and time it happened, of all the players in the team, throughout the complete history of the club to the day it was founded? Do you sing the chants and hymns; hum the tune when you are all alone as a method of meditation? No? Well, Ultras do.

The Hate

When someone has that much love, he doesn’t accept the defeat so easily. It makes him rage out of control, punch the wall and roar like a wounded beast he is. It’s kind of a normal thing for the people with a lot of love, to have a lot of hate too. We have seen comedians get very depressed, or celebrities get tired of their posh life as a sign of some imbalance that their carrier has brought them. High level of one emotion will evoke the opposite feeling, to retrieve a natural balance and keep the mind healthy. Ultras suffer the same pressure; sometimes it is unbearable, so they show their hate through aggressive behavior, hooliganism, breaking stuff and fistfights. Their love is shown in celebrations where they drink, sing, socialize and enjoy life, until the losing Ultras comes along to beat up the 12th player.

Society had a problem with this. Common clashes have turned into homicides and massive brawls, with deadly casualties, and the government couldn’t allow this to happen for too long. No one was fond of receiving the mortality report from the local morgue, after they have sent their child to a football match. For all my years, I have heard a dozen of news announcements, where a kid got stabbed to death, just for wearing the wrong scarf in a wrong hood. I do realize there are gangs in USA like Crips and Bloods that do the same death sentencing, but we don’t have that kind of gangs here, so this sort of crime is outrageous and unheard off.

Police is summoned to pacify the crowd and divide the factions on the stands, create a buffer zone, but they used force and bats to do it. The same approach is being done when the Ultra crowd leaves the stadium after their team lost the match. Police in riot gear is deployed whenever the Eternal Derby is taking place, in order to protect the civilian property and city monuments. They bash the Ultras without mercy, so the Ultras figured, it is not the Police they are fighting, it’s the government, because Police is a prolonged hand of the regime. The strong hate among rival sport teams fandoms on the stands slowly turned onto hating the government and became a revolutionary ideology. And so the hatred of Police was born.

Every Ultra considers the police as their arch enemy, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend logic, draw criminals in the Ultra ranks. Balaklava seemed as a practical tool to hide your face when rioting, so the cameras and witnesses could not point their finger at you when the riot ends. Police has bats, and so will we. They have shields, but we have torches. We will own the city. The city is ours; it’s of the people, not them, not the property of corrupt politicians and their henchmen. Regime will feel our wrath, and it will bow at our feet… of course this is how some of the Ultras think when rioting, but that is just a loud minority.

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True Ultras are now doing all in their power to eradicate this sort of intruders, in order to preserve the highest honor standards in their ranks. The proper Ultra hates drugs and loves sport, hates the unfair ways and loves the sport spirit, hates the criminals and loves his country, so the true Ultra is a man of honor. Many years ago, one of the honorable brothers fell dead from the shadow knife in the hands of an evil hooligan, which twisted smile disappeared into the black of night. Days passed in sorrow, a grief for all of his smiles, laughs, chants and shown courage. The pain was so great, that even 100 enemy skulls and bones broken couldn’t make a change, so the leaders have made a meeting to discuss the future. An unwritten code was set in place, that from then and on, no weapons allowed in fights, only the God given hands and fists, however, the rotten parts of Ultras follow no rule. They still pray on the unguarded supporters, members of a big Ultra Firm factions, trying to get them in a dirty fight.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Fan-Fiction

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Before I even start to write about the new season of Agents of SHIELD, I should present the facts and sources of information that inspired this writing. As there are many of us that follow Sci-Fi, there is not a small amount of fans that passionately monitor over what’s happening in Marvel Universe. The following text is centering around second season of our favorite Agents and connections with the movies we love so much. This is a theory and a idea for the next season to come. My intention is to try bring them here, in Serbia and start good work relations. I would also like to see how the actors, producers and writers in SHIELD headquarters would react to this in front of the camera and consider these facts in upcoming filming, so feel free to share it high and low.

Coincidence?

Next season will be based in Sokovia (Marvel’s fictional state located in Eastern Europe). Why there? Why not somewhere else? I believe they have used Serbia as their inspiration for this wasteland. Let me explain why.

They introduce Sokovia as a troubled region like Serbia, and the letters/language Sokovians use? Yes, it’s Serbian. In the movie The Avengers – Age of Ultron, we were able to see some Sokovian heroes like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Their pronunciation is on point in regards of the Serbian accent, almost as they had some Serbian help in mimicking it. The Sokovian capitol is called Novi Grad (New City in English); in Serbia there are similarly named cities like Novi Sad, Novi Pazar, Nova Varoš. Just the name Sokovia is very interesting because Soko means Falcon in Serbian, and there is a real town in Serbia with a similar name called Sokobanja. This is the place where I live. Near Sokobanja is an old fortress called Soko Grad. Sokovia + Novi Grad = Soko Grad. Illuminati confirmed. Just kidding… or am I?

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That is just the first similarity from a quick analysis. The falcon is a predator bird, just like an eagle, a symbol on the Sokovian flag, Serbian flag and SHIELD’s logo. Since we are talking about flags, Serbian and Sokovian flags share the same three colors and an eagle, which is an interesting similarity. These facts could be checked in Google and verified at any time. You can go do that and come back – but wait, there’s more!

Near Sokobanja is a mountain with very interesting features. I’m talking about Rtanj mountain (pronounced [r̩̂ːtaɲ]). A cone shaped terrain with naturally straight sides, it almost looks like it’s manmade. The highest peak is decorated with a demolished chapel of Saint George the Dragon Slayer. This is a second similarity as in the show we can see a temple inside of the ancient town where the Diviner led the Agents. Due to its unusual shape and existing magnetic and gravity deviations, the planes do not fly over this area, and Rtanj has an aura of mysticism. On Rtanj you can’t get a signal on your phone, digital watches go crazy, batteries lose charge in a matter of hours. This is a third similarity, because in season two, Agents can’t use any technology in an old temple where Inhumans receive their powers. What can I say more than, I live in very cool place. Feeling tempted yet? Here I will give some more interesting information’s that are considerate myths.

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The local inhabitants will say the mysticism is not a coincidence, because there is often a cloud standing over the mountain as an aureole. Some of them say that the mountain is not actually a mountain; they claim that under all that dirt and rock is a solid Mayan-style pyramid. It is also considered by some as alien site. In 2012, this region had a lot of visitors who believed in an old Doomsday prophesy, and went there to seek salvation. Many witnesses say that they have seen very tall dark blue humanoid aliens walking in the mist, and lightning orbs that travel horizontally. This could be a match with the Kree and a code name Lincoln, as Kree are an alien race with dark blue pigment of skin, and Lincoln is an Inhuman that has power to control electricity.

The most popular legend is about a wizard’s great treasure, hidden deep in the mountain. It is possible that legend came from the ancient times when a Jewish man excavated part of the mountain and built a chapel for St. George on the very top of Rtanj. However, the mine was shut down after 12 men died when a tunnel collapsed. The mountain was perceived cursed so the survivors stacked their TNT supplies in the chapel and blew it to pieces. This also could be another similarity, like when the agent Mack turned against his friends under the influence of an ancient alien temple. Just think about it! Could it be that the death of twelve miners could be a cover up, because they came in contact with something else while digging for gold? Maybe the real treasure is a power….. not a shiny metal.

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I do understand you are wondering now: “Why do you think they should move there for filming?” Well, the reason is very simple. Production value is the same yet it costs up to 5 times less to film here in Serbia. Their involvement here would enrich our production; providing modern techniques of filmmaking and more benefits. We are more than capable of providing new film sets, well trained actors that already work abroad (like in Hollywood and Russia), world-renowned stuntmen, a new exotic aspect to the show – and of course, a highly-skilled quality workforce for cheap. “But wait. I have heard a lot of things about Serbia. Is it safe?” Yes, it is. Type your question in YouTube and see it for yourself. There’s an American guy named Charles Cather who has been living here for over 5 years, making vlogs about his love for Serbia. American pop music is popular here. Have you ever heard of “Exit Festival”? It’s one of the most popular EDM Festivals in the region with more than 1,200,000 visitors and there aren’t any of the problems you might be worried about. Visitors even do the booking for the next year, so it shows that the environment is hospitable towards ‘outsiders’. Hollywood is considered the epitome of entertainment. Our cinemas are filled to the back when a brand new Marvel film or blockbuster comes out. Heck, we even have the Serbian American Football Association with over 20 teams and a few Women’s Flag Football teams. If that is not accepting of American culture, I don’t know what is. I know this could be very useful for the show and Fandom would love this new Marvel’s achievements. It would be so great to implement real life with the fiction and get that positive skepticism. Therefore, come to Serbia. Let’s make marvels. *wink *wink

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 01 Fan-Fiction

Now when you know all the references, let’s dive. All of the plot development is based on my prediction, not on what we have already seen in the show.

Intro

A year of 1523 AD, the sunset covered in darkness, falls over dead trees and stills the grass. A knight and his loyal companions climb the hill, searching for the unknown and talk why did they come here instead of help defending the city walls of “Stari Grad” (Old City) which is under the siege. The Knight silences them as howling breaks from the front. They draw blade and inflame torches, when a dirty old man in thorny rags reveals itself. A conversation is led asking for wisdom and help, but the wizard magnifies their fires and uses them to annihilate the soldiers. Slowly behind him, elements consume the pyramid high as a mountain, covering her with tones of dirt and boulders. A woman figure in ladylike dress approaches her mentor and says: “It is done. None of the humans shall posses a treasure if they are unworthy.” – waves her hand and the dust settles on top of the mountain.
Old man replies: – No, but they will try. Send our brother to silence harmful word and erase our existence from puny peasant lives.
A woman confirms with a nod and a cloaked huff riders disappears into the woods.

Main part

Present day, SHIELD headquarters, bunch of agents are busy rebuilding the base. A quinjet touch’s ground and Agent May comes out carrying a bag with valuable information’s about Watchdogs and their last lair. Mack greets her; they talk about future plans, advices her to slow down with work, because of the after effects from the Framework. She acts as usual and explains how work keeps her in reality. Simons and Fitz are trying to put a dangerous VR Framework under the vault and reconnect all resource endings in the loop so nobody could enter it by chance. Daisy helps them by reconstructing her friendship with Rising Tide and employs hackers to help. News are blasting information that yet another factory went in flames somewhere in France and that it might be a form of terrorism. All of them, Daisy, Simons and Fitz talk about how somebody needs to stop this violent actions and that the Inhuman should participate. Coulson storms in and notifies everybody on a staff meeting. In a darkened room, projection shows the building surrounded with heavy forces in the middle of LA, and few machinegun nests on the corners, conveniently masked as a food stand and a construction SUV. May is outlaying the plan when Daisy asks about the origin of the information and Director Mace stops her, explaining that SHIELD thinks, they might have a converted “dog” providing data from inside, and yet their informant is afraid to show himself, so it must be somebody in the ranking. Plan is settled; catch them alive, everybody gears up. Phil Coulson stops May for a brief chat, but she blows him off, as Framework was just a fiction, not the real world. Phil decides to play along.

Streets of LA, tactical teams are forming on the corner behind Mack and Yo-yo, Daisy with May is in the cloaked Quinjet hover in the air, waiting for the attack. Coulson supervises the angles and orders the team on the ground to be ready for the “runners”. “We about to shake some canine mutts.” – Mack says laughing, Yo-yo is not amused, and she likes dogs. Fitz deploys Retrievers (yellow orbs) while Simons scouts terrain with drones. Signal is given, hell breaks loose and teams breach the facility, dozens wounded, firefight in the hall, Watchdogs protect the door in the back. Sky jumps from the jet and punches the roof, Yo-yo does hers thing, and Mack kicks few heads and shuts down the power. Teams go in with night vision, “icing” the enemy, while others ties dazed opponents and drags them to the extraction point where they are mounted into the Quinjet via cord. Mobile generators kicks in, rebooting systems, more fight follows. “Drifters” are spotted by drones and vehicles are rammed into them to prevent leaving the scene. Retrievers are mapping the building, but hacking in the system is impossible. Strange – Fitz thinks violently hitting the keyboard, talking with Simons, when Mack yells to everybody to haul ass, because a big bomb is hidden in the south wing. Daisy is showing off by destroying Watchdogs armory and garage, soldiers valiantly charge at her, but alas she is more playing with them then fighting. Yo-yo saves her in the last moment when one of the dogs pulled out a gun. Mack’s cries just came to Sky and she then hooks the soldier for a Quinjet, then grabs Yo-yo and “shivers” out of there through the hole in the roof. Bomb goes off; fire takes the streets in panic.

Back to base, news are reporting about the incident and SHIELD Agents (non ranking, tactical team) saving civilians and putting them on the distance with the blast radius. Daisy heals herself from a wound she got in the fire, Yo-yo took a hit in the head and Mack is limping, spilling blood from his leg. A new liaison with the Government is debriefing Director Mace on what happened today, and he reassures the lady that everything is under control; it is domestic gang problems, nothing more. Inhuman were not harmed nor involved in pushing forward with the Watchdog agenda. Coulson rises concern with the possible implications of Inhumans and terrorism, because, some religions see it as a gift from Gods. “What stops Scandinavian countries to claim superiority over others when their complete mythology is proven true? We saw Thor and his entourage in New Mexico, Lady Sif once helped us upper handing Asgardian mind controler and our scientists are trying to build a bridge with their world.” – Coulson says, but Mace just smiles.

– Thor only proven we are not alone in this Universe. People still consider it all to be folklore, nothing more. Earth has mighty allies and that is what we needs to turn into rock solid partnership. If another space hole opens over New York, we would want them to jump to our aid. I think all humans agree to that. Asguardians are not willing to share their technology or weaponry, I can’t deny that, but they are friendly’s. And for the terrorism, as much can be said, we have more confused Inhuman hiding their gifts, than radical movements recruiting people with special abilities. Take a look around. We have them helping us, for Gods sakes. – Director says leaning on the table, sipping liquid from the cup.
– You sound like Captain America now. He has met a God, yet he claims there is only one God. He never got to sign my card collection. – Phil smiles in ordinary manner and crosses his arms.
– Listen to me agent Coulson. I know Russians tried to develop their own Cap., and failed. A handful of Inhumans are in Russia, scared of what are they doing to them there, trying to keep it as a secret or become an experiment. “Give me your hungry, your poor…” These Inhumans fit the whole list.
– So we became like a “school for gifted children”? – Coulson keeps on smiling. (New “Logan” is out people)
– If that means saving their lives, than, Yes. We will be their shield, but never a weapon.
Meanwhile, prisoners are awaking to find themselves tied for the chair in a half lighted room. Mack explains Yo-yo how to conduct an interrogation, how to give them a “gentle tap” on a head, but all she does is turning jokes and not acting as instructed. One of the Dogs spills his directives, but nothing important, so he bursts into painful cries, only to find that Yo-yo punched him where it hurts the most.

Fitz-Simons are exploring their love, plan for vacation in Vienna, when Fitz finds some cyber blockade on the obtained hard-drives. It looks advanced, so he passes it on to Daisy, because of her hacker skills. Sky does some of her voodoo, but hard-drive set itself on flames and a computer virus takes over the base. Glitchs on monitor’s present war clashes with blaster riffles from the 90’ for one second, before they completely go dark. All doors are sealed down and air vents are closed so struggle for oxygen starts.

Tech teams rushes to the control room to fix the problem. Every backup console shows no power or ability to receive commands. Fitz and Daisy are trying to figure what happened, but without luck. A prison door clicks; Watchdogs are now in the move. SHIELD’s armory is wide open, alarms start blaring and, emergency light shows the way to the roaming enemy. Gunfire raises attention of the agents, Mack grabs his gun. Mace and May start clearing the floor from the intruders. Enemy is somehow moving with ease through the maze of metal doors, while few of the agents are trapped in laboratory with technicians. Daisy is forced to break the door, letting Yo-yo run through the crowd disarming the enemy. May is on patrol, a self made warpath, throwing men around, like plowing the snow. Phil comes to Mays aid with ICER gun, shows feelings and gets rejected again. May is afraid to come forward and have a love relation, too much thinking over what has happened with them in Framework, especially because she has seen her dead husband there. Attack has failed and the power comes back like nothing happened. Except for destruction of the lab and bullet holes in the walls, most of the equipment is in its optimal state. Director Mace demands an answer, yells at his crew and calls Fitz to the office. Inside the office, Mace starts to write on paper and show it to Fitz who acts confused of why is he writing, and not talking normally. Fitz asks and Mace replies, that whoever did this, is using their cameras and microphones, so Fitz laughs. Director then goes full boss on him and starts to argue: how can something like that happen here, when Fitz designed the system, people could’ve died. Answer is bad, so Mace comes closer to him and gives him a task to find whoever did this, and fast. When asked Why, Mace replies: “Those factories were not ordinary assembly lines. They all went dark before they were blown to pieces. France, Italy and Czech are working on finding out who did it. So far, no data on culprit. This is first time it happened here. Some preliminary research shows, Inhumans were in some of them when the factories kissed the sky. Don’t tell our guys, we don’t want to make a fuss over a simple glitch, do we now?” – and smiles, -“ I have at most trust in you finding an Inhuman who did this.”

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Sci-Fi Society in Balkans

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People of the world don’t know much about Balkans, even less of Balkans history of Science Fiction, even lesser that it started around the same time when world was scribbling its first Sci-Fi novels. This society which will be further discussed is named after the very first sci-fi writer in this region of the world. In this blog post I will get you in the loop about Balkan society that orbits around the stars.

The man behind all of it

I’m talking about Lazar Komarčić. So, let’s see what is so special about him. He was born January 9th 1839 in Montenegro and died on January 9th 1909. Life in his time was harsh as Serbs have, in that time, broke the chains of 500 years spent in slavery, placed on them by the Ottoman Turks. To be politically vocal back then might get you in trouble. Nevertheless he managed to become a novelist, play-writer, newspaper editor, fighter for freedom and Serbian rights, a Father of Balkans Science Fiction. Best known for a novel “An Extinguished Star”, he became a patron saint of the Balkan folk that do swear by him.

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By the year 1862 he took part in unfortunate event where he lost three fingers of his good hand during the Turkish bombardment over Serbian capitol Belgrade. That loss made him inadequate to write, but he didn’t let that stop him. Later on, he learned how to use his disfigured hand and kept lining up the novels that were massively read. That is a mark of a true warrior, as there is story of a valiant sharpshooter that lost his eye in combat, where he just changed the scope onto the other eye and kept repelling the enemy. Totally badass. During the time he was living in, other writers were also gaining attention like Herbert George Wells (1866 – 1945), and Jules Verne (1820 – 1910), which were more read than him, but since 1970 he started receiving a proper fame and respect. Interestingly, the first science fiction play on this planet was performed in Belgrade and published in the magazine “Kolo” in 1889. Both the novel and the play are now considered the foundation of Serbian science fiction literature.

The movement

“Društvo ljubitelja fantastike Lazar Komarčić” or in English “Lazar Komarčić” Science Fiction Association, was founded 1981 when a group of writers decided to form a Fan Society. Primary idea to form such movement was to provide a nesting ground for all aspiring authors and offer help in writing skills development. Their headquarters is located in Belgrade, but it operates in the vast region of Balkan. Association is active through the whole year. They are organizing many events, seminars, grandstands, gatherings, lectures, and counseling, BEOCON manifestation which is a convention for film makers, producers, publishers, fans, comic-book writers and numerous artists in spectrum of genres. Printing and publishing Fiction/Fantasy material is also included in their actions and rewards like “Lazar Komačić” for best work in field of Fiction and “Ljubomir Damnjanović” for best short story published in the magazine “Emitor” which is under Associations supervision. Once a year, the whole convoy made of fans and administrators leave their posts and roam the state, promoting the Festival of Serbian Fantasy Films, visit towns and socialize with young minds that can’t afford coming to Belgrade. Even to this day, Society is struggling, because Sci-Fi is not as popular and strong as those in more powerful countries, but it has a pulse.

As extinguished star has a beat, Association has one too. Headmen Administrators are mystical beings that keep missions in order and steady running, making their best to keep the sanctuary protected and represent safe-haven for all its soldiers that gaze at the starry sky and travel through distorted portals via strong imagination. Their hail comes from the golden bell called Emitor, traveling through the ripples in the air, summoning us to unite under their wing and protect the sacred duty as cyber sentinels. Ghost shuttle that is our temple, drains strength from pitch black universe and fuels us with mysterious powers made of M-theory when a muted bell is sounded in the shiny nose of the rocket… what, to poetical? Fuck you! This is my blog. I like it poetical.

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The role and importance of the Association is of the highest order. They alone, with little to none help are making sure the writers in these parts are not alone. Through them, many of my brothers met each other, made friends with people from the region, connected and worked together on interesting projects. Every time they assemble, it’s a therapy for mind, heart and soul. Whenever a movie comes out, a discussion is led to explore ideas further and outlay the critique of the topic on hand. Our dream is to be involved in creating, contribute to the development of Science Fiction in the world as much as we can, and Association is giving us what we need. They follow every rumor of possible new Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Book/Comic-book/Movie there is, and they give their review to us. To be informed is to be able to follow the standards and create on your own impression and thoughts. We have so much to give and share, it makes my head spin out of control.

Conspiracy Theory

Seriously, a conspiracy theory? Yup, everything is better with those. Now, bear with me and listen to what I speak. Literal translation of our “Fathers” name is Lazar Mosquito, where “mosque” stands a root of the word and -ito is a diminutive. Name Lazar is usually misread as “laser”, so it seems he is named “Laser Mosquito”, which is so cool. Mosquito can be found near watery areas like ponds and swamps, neglected places with wild, raw nature such is our little unity where our work is often unique and unrefined. We also write about myths, magic and creatures that drink blood, same as mosquito. Coincidence? I think not. We are small like a mosquito, but our sting is painful. You can kill a nasty bloodsucker, but can you kill an alien laser mosquito? No way in Hell. F. Y. I. they are one, most dreadful things in the world, because they kill more men via viruses, than any other population of animals, insects or race.

Interested enough to visit them?

Emitor site: http://emitor.rs/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lazar.komarcic/

Layar Komarčić

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New Hardware

As some of you know, I lost my computer. I didn’t lose it in conventional way, it’s different. Motherboard got fried. You can imagine what kind of loss that was for a guy that paints and writes. It was horrible. I wasn’t shaken by the fact that I have lost bunch of metal, but for what was inside it. He had a beautiful soul. Yes, he told the funniest jokes. Anyway, all my work was lost in the process. I thought that there is no chance of retrieving the valuable files, e-books, research, photos, music and films. Knowing I.T. guy helps in this kind of situations. Hardest thing for me was: the time, waiting, not writing, and not painting. I had to do something to get things around. Money is Balkans is always a problem, and not a small one. To buy a brand new computer you’ll need to collect about 300 Euros, which is a month pay… if you have a decent job. Since this is what I do, I haven’t had that much money to waste on a computer so I had to find some other solution. This is where your slav-ness kicks in.

I spoke with few of my friends, looking for any other alternative, and so I came across with a rumor. It said that you can find a super tech for around 50 euro. But how? you might ask. Well, western states buy new technology every year, and what do they do with the old one? Yes, they throw those away, and I just got my hand on one of them. I bought my first computer in 2008 that died 8 years later in 2016. Old machine had ASUS desktop case, dual-core processor, DDR2 motherboard, integrated graphics, 1 GB RAM memory and 150 GB on hard-disc. This one today is a HP slim-case, quad-core processor, DDR3 motherboard, integrated graphics, 4 GB RAM and 80 GB hard-disc and it folds like a transformer. My work was saved thanks to the help of IT guy that found this machine. All of my writing was saved, pictures and music. Films and series shows were lost, so I kissed them goodbye. Older hard-disc didn’t last for much more, it shut down for the last time. It will be deeply missed. However other horizons opened with numerous possibilities, so I will start exploring them.

First time I heard good news

It came unexpected. It was morning of 25. 12. 2016. I had breakfast and a coffee, and then I fired up the stove and the radio. Having snow outside and warm house, I wasn’t tempted to do anything but to stay inside, so I opened the book and start reading when a phone rang. I thought it’s a cousin so I picked up without looking. From the other end came a strong voice: “You should be joy jumping right now. You have a computer.” My head froze with a glitch sparking in my brain. The voice continued explaining components making me more zoned out. In a short second, emotions overwhelmed me, pulsing in waves, rushing to the surface. For that time spend I felt like a man, hearing he became a father. Like my baby son was born I covered my mouth and kept listening to the voice that sounded happier then I should be. It was magical. I felt I could break my arm and still have a nice day.

First time I saw it

A month later we went visiting my niece, and as it happens to be, my bro in law is a father of my niece. Computer was placed on the table, waiting to meet me. I haven’t seen many different computers in my life, so when I noticed a slim case, it felt odd. My bro opened it and pointed at the components. All parts were folding and unfolding before my eyes, forcing unfamiliar emotions and thoughts. It felt so surreal, so out of the body and strange. I couldn’t believe that this contraption was mine. After a good chat with my brother in law, I gave it a hug and felt its cold metal warming my skin. Soon after that I went playing with my niece, which just learned how to talk properly. Those few days with family made me soft and positive. I still remember it all, because I have never felt that much of joy. That was a good month.

Plans

Now when I have everything that I need, my intentions are to get back at writing, making quality content, entertain you guys that love Sci-Fi as much as I do. Looking forward to paint, format, write and post, is the thing that keeps me alive, makes me move and make publishers look for me instead of me chasing them and jerk their sleeves. Now, I am aware that in order to publish, I have to put in a lot of work and accept rejections when less quality work is given, but I must not stop, because stopping is dying. Being a writer is not that easy as it seems and I know that, no need to remind me all of the time. If you want to win, you must not yield to the problems, accept it, become a problem to the problem. It is he, who should be afraid of you. Stay positive and always hope for success, because good things happen. If there is a place for all those writers out there, it must be a slot for us all. Write and read, read and write. Freedom is in writing.

Here are some photos of my new companion. Say Hi to him, and let’s do some good.

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My Strange Life & Hobbies

Intro

Many people gathered tokens, playing cards and other fun things when they were younger, but not me. I collected empty cigarette packs, vile curses and tough friends like a true Slav Boy. Eventually I grew out of those, because a school time has started. I realized how stupid was to keep 1000 empty packs and threw them all, except those that were different in color. Still got those. Later on I got interested in arts and everything that had something to do with it. Any task I was given at school I measured in my system based on, could I be creative about it, and how much will it be allowed? Soon the arts became my life. During elementary, I liked to join additional arts class’s where we practiced our talents. I even tried to make a comic book, but it failed due to my lack of time. At every school play I had one role reserved for me. When I was 11 years old, our hot English teacher gave us opportunity to act in English, make a play to show some muscles. Of course I took that. Yeah, son. In high school I took after – hours drama class. We made a play and performed in very small hall in front of just few people. It is pointless to say… we rocked it. After finished high school, question rose: What now?. I spent whole summer thinking where I should enroll next. A friend told me about University for Pre-school Teachers and it was my first choice. I’m gonna’ get paid to play with kids. With them, I can paint, illustrate, make drama plays, sing songs and so much more, but the paramount was to actually give them courage in pursuing their talent. All of my interests in art I can divide in few groups. Here they are.

Illustrating

My mother told me that, the first thing I took was a pencil. Immediately I started to scribble on a piece of paper and kept doing that like it is the most entertaining thing to me. Maybe I was trying to write, rather than draw. Who knows why am I so twisted, that I had to start telling stories? Among my school friends, I was one of the boys that showed some talent, passion and enthusiasm for illustrating. Arts class was my favorite during the school time and still is. Unfortunately, my arts education is always being kept on beginner’s level, because majority of my classroom familiars were more focused on finding love than brains. If I wanted to advance, I had to do it by myself and in my spare time. Illustrating is still in me, in my interests and goals. With this blog, I have opportunity to practice more and get much needed guidance.

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Writing

Writing came easy to me because I had strong imagination as a kid. I day dreamed, consumed by strong emotions that came out of me, making me look like a lunatic. Watching American A – class and B – class movies gave me motivation to learn more, to be one of the actors that had opportunity to kiss beautiful girls and all that followed that lifestyle. That means I was in contact with English language, before it was my time to learn it. By the time I changed schools level, I already had vocabulary of 5 000 words. At age 11, I fully started to learn English.  My desire to learn another language entered turbo drive when movie entertainment machine was explained to me. I figured that writing for a movie could be my calling because I got assured; I’ll never star in a movie. Lets be honest here, I didn’t had luck to be born in America.

As every beginner had its fails, I had many of mine. Few epic fantasies wrapped in Slavic mythology seemed as good idea to start with, because, that thing was severely lacking in American film production. When class was intensively boring, I decorated my notebook pages with illustrations, often wrote one liner plots that would be good to see on screen, performed by my favorite actors. In 2015. I have decided to write and not to stop writing until I convince myself that progress is unachievable. Grammar stood in my way. Even today it is occasionally rising to the surface. I try to control it and brush it to perfection, but it is ongoing and time taking process. My English is also broken, because, some FUCKS didn’t care to communicate on some other language, but on their own. Teachers had problems with them, trying to beat some knowledge into their little closed heads and failed at the attempt. Since I accelerated at English, my presence at the class was redundant. I knew I’ll find some use for it in the future life, and here we are.

Wood work

Spending my time off school, I had chores to do. I live in a village, so a lot of help and hard working was sort of demanded from me. Imagine you are using your strength to split logs and rise to remove sweat from forehead. You exhale hot breath to meet chilly air and gaze at the hazy landscape where only snow in the mountain peaks is shining attacked by warm rays of Sun. You feel the morning cold biting your inflamed skin as forearm cramps the iron axe in your palm… Mothershocker, I feel GOOOD. One thing I enjoyed more than others is working with wood, and since I like arts so much, why not make it more fun. It started when, while chopping wood I saw splintered piece resembling of a something I could use. That was the first wooden dagger I made. Out of all things I like doing; wood work is one I would define as soul nourishment. I have made many other things after that. Among many I’ll list ashtray, key chain, incense holder, necklace and more. Challenge is to do it without anything else but a pocket knife, sandpaper and manual drill.

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Weird Customs and Superstitions in Balkan

Intro

Every country, continent, territory and race has its own cultural differences and weird things that make them unique. Balkan is no stranger to this stuff, and this stuff makes us what we are. Due to cultural transformation and influence from western cultural standards, customs have changed into what we have now. Modern lifestyle almost made our tradition hit the shadow, but grandparents that lived in the world of no technology, made us remember our precious heritage. It probable seems ludicrous to people when they hear about some stuff for the first time, but to us, it makes perfect logic. Most of our cultural and historical tradition and even religious customs are forms of ancient ones that were most present while Balkan was populated with barbarian Slav, Illyrian, Hellenic and German tribes. Now they stand as updated versions of those weird old ways. These are some customs and superstitions among the Serbs. See how many you can find the same or similar with yours.

 

Hiccups are caused by people talking about you.

The legend says: If you start having hiccups, you must guess who is missing you, and if you succeed in this task, you’ll stop the unfortunate occurrence. To some, this kind of logic is not very impressive, but have in mind that this superstition is causing people to think about their friends and that way, tighten the bondage between them. To me, it’s very heartwarming thing to do, when you are suffering an ordinary hiccup.

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Leaving a bag or purse on the floor will cause you to lose money.

This originally came from a thought that a person must respect his possessions and valuables. This custom is also encouraging a person to be respectful towards other people’s things like they are their own. This thing is basically letting you know you shouldn’t steal from others and you should always keep your things close to you. Leaving your bag on the floor might get it dirty, so it is better to hold it in your lap or on the next seat if available.

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Sitting at a corner-seat at of a table means you’ll remain single forever.

I remember when my babushka told me this the first time and made me widen my eyes in horror. Nobody wants to be single forever, right? It also means you won’t get married, have children or any family. If you have a crowded table full of friends and the only spot left is at the corner, you don’t seat there. Friend’s will cramp together to make enough space for you to take a seat. Seating at the corner is also considered rude and disrespectful, like you don’t want to hang out with them, like you are something special and they are not. Treat you friends with honor, because, you don’t know when you will need them.

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Whistling during the night time will make bad things happen.

There is saying among Balkan folk: “Who whistles, doesn’t think of ill.” Although the whistling is generally considered a good thing, you might want to avoid that at night. If you do it during the day, it means you are happy and you think about nice things, but at night, it calls for Demons and evil spirits that lurk in the shadows. Also if you do it in closed doors it is believed that this kind of thing it attracting mice and rodents. Whistling at someone in disrespectful way, you’ll get your teeth handed to you, but if it’s done to draw someone’s attention, it is all right.

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Jumping over someone’s head will make him stay small.

Just by the title I can imagine your wonderstruck look asking yourself “What the fuck?! Who in the Hell, is doing this, and why?” It is a proven fact that a person will stop growing if you jump over his head. How do you recover from that hideous curse? Well, he needs to jump over your head, again, but from the other direction. It is 100% true, a guy that watched the whole thing told me. I saw children play yesterday, and one got so mad, he jumped over his friend while he was doing his shoe. Poor kid begged the other to take it back or it will unleash the “draft” against him.

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The Draft. *he said ominously and clutched his teeth.

Better known as “Promaja”, the draft is single most ruthless annihilator of Balkan Slav folk. It is a vicious enemy without a face. It will break you bones, make you catch a cold, shrivel your kidneys and make you infertile. I know, it’s bad to stand in drafts way. Now, even if it sounds ridiculous, we are most serious about it. You just laugh, but I’ll have the last laugh, when you get sick. Any draft could be lethal, so Slav people are avoiding it in wide circle. You would often hear from Slav babushka not to wear short skirts, not to seat next to the window or stand in the open door, because there is a draft passing by. Even in cars, air condition is avoided as its artificial thing, so we roll down the window, but never all of them, just one. Maybe the draft will not cause all of the things I listed, but it will make your head hurt after a while spent on the sharp wind. To frighten their kids, parents often added many other effects that can happen to them if they don’t listen. That’s why, draft is so dangerous.

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