* The Ubykh language, before its extinction in 1992, had 84 consonants and two vowels.

* There are two official languages in Finland: Finnish and Swedish.

* Nenets, a group of two Samoyedic languages spoken in Northern Russia, contains a full set of dual possessive suffixes for two different systems: the number of possessors and the number of possessees. For example, you can encode the information held in the phrase “the two goats of them two” with affixes to a single word.

* Vowel harmony in Turkish categorizes vowels into groups based on two features: Backness and roundedness.

* The Basque language uses two palatal stops: Voiced and unvoiced.

A weekend in Petrovac

May 25, 2011

I know what you’re thinking… how dare I not post for so long? The truth is, my life has been pretty boring lately. Mainly just working a lot, going out when I can, things like that, nothing particularly noteworthy. For that reason, when I heard of the chance to go to Montenegro for the weekend I thought to myself “this is blogging gold!” and jumped on the opportunity. Yes, I mean to say that my personal life had nothing to do with my choice…

Anyhow, many of you know that I have a bit of family in a town on the coast of Montenegro called Petrovac. I hadn’t visited for quite some time, and I figured living so close I need to before the big tourist rush (which starts in July, typically). I decided to fly since I didn’t want to waste 10 hours on the train. The flight was quick and easy, from Belgrade to Tivat on a little ATR 72, which *I think* is the first time I’ve ever ridden in a prop plane, it was noisy. I hopped on a bus from Tivat to Petrovac and relished in the littoral scenery (the coastal highway is quite nice). I got to Petrovac and surprised Nevenka with another unexpected visit, but she’s a bit of a keva, so I can always count on her being home.

I was trying to think of a way to tell her that I didn’t need her to cook for me every day without being rude, but the culture is such that it’s generally to be expected, and anything less would be impermissible. On the other hand, a person could get used to homemade Montenegrin cuisine every day and never having to do the dishes.

I spent the late afternoon on this outcrop of rocks a bit north of Petrovac, I really like that place, it’s usually quite isolated, even in the tourist season.

That night I managed to get really drunk, mostly by accident. I was at my favorite bar having a quiet beer when this unruly socal surfer-looking guy (complete with arm tattoos, board shorts, white belt, dirty blonde hair, etc) came up. I asked him where he was from (in Serbian) and he responded in Serbian with “I don’t understand”, so I said “Do you speak English?” and he said “Yes, fluently!”, and so we started “conversing” in English and I soon found out he had the English skills of a buzzed Count Dracula (to quote my homeboy Clete). It turns out he was Russian (I should have guessed, there are a lot of them there these days), he lived in Buljarica (the next village down) and absolutely hated life in Montenegro. He went on to start bashing America and referring to his mother as a “good biatch”. I’m used to your typical America-bashing and can put up with it as well as the next guy, but when it’s completely unfounded (as it was, in this case) and coupled with such Americanisms as the socal persona he’d adopted and the unrelenting use of the word biatch, I have a hard time with it. I drank my annoyances away and headed home.

The next day I made it a point to check out Luštica, which is a peninsula on the north end of Montenegro by the Bay of Kotor. I have been to a few places there by boat, but never by land, so I wanted to check that out. Turns out Luštica is kinda huge, and not really friendly to walking. I made it to Radovići and called it quits. I then headed to Kotor via the south coast of the bay which is a spectacular road, kind of mind-blowing, really, every town along the way is totally adorable and Mediterranean. The sun wasn’t shining much that day, but I was out long enough to get a wicked farmer’s tan. I really have a thing against farmer’s tans, so I was hoping to be able to fix it the next day.

The sun started peeking out from behind the clouds the next day, so I decided to head down to Buljarica for some swimming, the beach in Buljarica is generally preferable to that of Petrovac because it’s much bigger and typically less crowded, and it’s very close by. I spent the day hanging out on the beach and swimming, and breaking my camera. For those of you who had asked if my camera was still waterproof with the broken screen, evidently the answer is “no”, at least I got some sweet underwater shots in before it completely died though.

I ended up making up for my farmer’s tan by instead getting ridiculously sunburned. I had a hard time sleeping last night as every time I moved I woke up from the searing pain. That’s what I get for having a good time, I suppose.

All in all, I had a fantastic time, it was good catching up with the family and being able to relax on the beach a bit. My life should be getting a bit more exciting soon, so stay posted for some fresh blog updates. And as always, check Facebook for some more pictures.