I HAVE to find a gym!
(I will get to Shakespeare, but I have to set up the story.)
GYM! It was (almost) the first items of business when I stepped foot in Subotica, Serbia. I knew that I would be alone for most of the week, and figured that maybe I could make a few friends while at the same time working on my fitness.
I discovered Hotel Galleria and was told that I could pay a monthly fee to use their gym. I immediately signed up and unpacked my ratty gym clothes, ready to hit the gym, run and sweat. It didn't take long to realize that the gym was a place for serious body-builders and their head-turning, scantily clad, buxom beauties. I wish that I had a picture of these women, because you would expect to see them posing in a dirty magazine, not sitting on the abdominal machine in a your local gym.
Even if I did have a picture of them, I wouldn't post it in this blog! Inappropriate!
But seriously, you wouldn't believe it unless you saw it for yourself!
I was totally out of place at the gym. . .
Maybe I exaggerate just slightly. While there were nearly nude models on the treadmills next to me every morning, there were perfectly normal women at the gym, who like myself, were just trying to stay in shape.
I made at least one friend at the gym . . . Olja.
I met Olja in the locker room. She was my first new friend, and she gave me a great first impression of Serbia. We introduced ourselves, and asked all of the typical "lets get acquainted" questions. When I told her that I was from Oregon, she excitedly shared that in high school, she had spent a year in Portland, Oregon!! I was shocked and excited to meet someone who knew a little bit about my home state.
We met about two months ago . . .
These days, Olja and I occasionally meet for coffee in between her crazy schedule. She is the theater director here; and in Subotica, live theater is more popular than going to the movies. In fact, no one really goes to see movies because there are so many great live shows!
For my birthday, Olja gifted me with second row VIP tickets to the season opener of Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors."
Of course it was in Serbian, but we still managed to understand (some of) the play!
I read over the cliff-notes before the play and summarized every scene. During the play, Chris and I read over these notes and tried to decipher who was who, what was going on, and who is the guy wearing boxers on stage . . . . ??
The set was great, there was a lot of singing and they added their own creative spin on the well known Shakespeare play.
Chris and I were sitting next to three young people who were speaking both Serbian and English. At the end of the play, one of the actors ran off stage and presented a diamond (engagement) ring to one of the girls sitting next to us. I thought it was part of the show, but the young lady did not look pleased with the shiny little gift. After the play, we met them and found out that the proposal was not "part" of the play, but rather a last ditch effort to mend a broken relationship. AKWARD!! She was angry and not really in a mood to meet new people and discuss her relationship woes. We quickly said, "nice to meet you," and went on our way.
I loved the show even though I could not understand all of it. There is something about theater that transcends language barriers. At the end of the show, Chris and I were about to leave, and a camera and mic were shoved in my face. I explained that I could not speak Serbian that well, but they insisted I give a review of the show. So, I did. . . in English. Maybe I will be on the news in Subotica? I never cease to embarrass Chris. Sorry, honey!
Me and Olja at the end of the show. The pictures behind us are all of the theater stars in Subotica.
Thank you for the birthday gift, Olja! Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.