Montenegro, Brits, when U2 does it better and tacos…

Yes, today I have decided to discuss the four topics above because I feel that since I’m so behind in my blog writing, I am going to post about anything random that has entered my mind lately.  This is going to be a long one.  To be fair to myself, I have just finished a 34 page story elsewhere that has taken me eight days to write, so it’s not like I’ve been sitting around doing nothing.  Now, on to all things Heather this week.

Let’s start with my most recent work trip.  Becici, Montenegro, or Budva, if you want to get all technical.  I’m not really sure to start with this trip.  So much happened and we all had such a great time, it’ll be kind of overwhelming to get into all of it.  I will say that it was probably the best trip I’ve taken this year, and I thought Sarajevo or Salzburg had that in the bag. 

Becici is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and I’m sure it belongs in my top five but I have no idea what’s even in my top five anymore so I’ll have to definitely reevaluate for sure.  First of all, I was there for another planning conference, and as far as conferences went for my work, it was shit.  I’ve never seen more meltdowns and international tantrums and if something could go wrong, it did.  The only reason the actual conference was a success was that I got to work with my favorite people from Montenegro, hands down the best host nation, who by now I’m sure are happy to know that I’m back in Germany. I think I drove them crazy.  Here is a pic of us on the boat–me, Lu (with the pretty eyes) and Bozo (with the heart of gold).  They are the sweetest, most patient and most generous guys you could ever work with, as they are 100% more efficient and hard working than I’ll ever be… just ask them, and they’ll tell you themselves hahah.  And, who knew Montenegro was sister states with Maine back home? (http://www.eucom.mil/english/FullStory.asp?article=Montenegro-Maine-formalize-State-Partnership-ties) I told them one day I’ll be like the Ambassador of Maine, have them come visit and show them around–and of course introduce them to eating lobster in excessive quantities, that is also my job.  It’d be the least I could do to pay them back for everything they did for me while I was there. 

Now, even though the work part was  by far the most dramatic and stressful conference I’ve worked, the trade off was the fun I had waiting for me most nights, whether I was out at 10 or 1am, it made all the craziness worth it.  Which brings me to best of:

Best hang out spot in Budva: Caffe Greco, which has wicked mojitos, which I drank for days until I had heartburn so badly that I actually reduced myself to acting like an 80 year old woman, slamming back white russians.  Yogi, the waiter there is awesome.  He knew us by name and the night we all wore our traditional dinner clothing in, first round was on him, just because we all looked so fancy. 🙂

Best lunch in town:  Diavlo pizza and a Nik’s, compliments of the Mediteran Hotel.

Best old town and shopping: Kotor, a nearby town that we went to for our cultural boat tour.  Kotor is really small and quaint and the mountains and water are really, really amazing.  And I bought my first pair of European heels (4 inch Italians, they are HOT) there, which is a milestone in itself.

  Best restaurant: Porto, in Budva.  Porto was the most romantic seafood spot on the water.  It had equally great restaurants surrounding it, but the inside was so nice, with trees and little white lights wrapping around the wooden beams.  The two nights I made it there to eat felt great, being able to kick my shoes off, relaxing with my friends, piles of mussels, hysterical conversation, the sounds of the waves crashing twenty yards from us and endless bottles of Vranac.

Now, also worth noting about Montenegro is that I had some fantastic down time.  For a week before I made it there, I was all worked up about being there alone on my dad’s birthday, May 30, feeling sad that another year was passing and all I had was pictures and memories of birthdays past.  I had a lot of anxiety about how I would spend the day, but the day sorted itself out.  I worked late, met friends down for mojitos until the sky opened up, at which point we raced back in the rain, soaked and splashing, looking ridiculous and feeling warm from the rum.  I the spent the last of the hours late into the morning sitting at the beach, lying on a wooden chair, watching the stars with my feet in the water and sand.  Between that and getting to wake up to the sound of the rain with my door open, breeze and the smell of the ocean, I really can’t complain.  Montenegro is kind of perfect and I’ll be back someday soon.

Now, about my “When U2 does it better” moment of the week….I have to admit, now that I’m actually writing this in print, I’m not sure if I can actually back myself, having listened to both versions today at least 93 times.  So I was on the plane home from Paris this afternoon (yes, I was in Paris again this weekend, but that’ll just have to wait until some other post…) listening to my iPod and on comes UB40’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” and I had a lose my own mind moment.  To be fair, let’s recognize that “Can’t Help Falling in Love” is NO ONE’s version except Elvis’ but that’s beside the random points I’m going to make so we’ll just get that out of the way and move on.   Now, since I apparently haven’t heard that song in forever, I become instantly obsessed with it and so of course when I got home, I had to compare it to U2’s version, because that’s my thing lately.  You’d think I was doing a thesis on “Best love song covers ever recorded” or something equally gay, but rest assured, I’m not…but anyway, of course U2 had to go and make this version that’s not even really comparable and so now I’m conflicted.  I’ll let you all be the judge, and I’d like some feedback because now the song has me all worked up, making it my song of the day–“Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

UB40’s version:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajp0Uaw4rqo&feature=related  Now if you can get past this hideous video that I’m sure saved UB40 tons of money, I’m sure this song will bring you back to slow dancing at a junior high dance, or maybe making out in the backseat of a car if you’re a tad older and wiser than I.  You’ll have to keep in mind that I was only 13 when this song came out and therefore it reminds me of my glasses and braces era where I spent most of my time reading books late at night while wearing headgear or crying over boys that called me four eyes.  Real romantic….Anyway, this version really is old school fantastic and my most favorite part is at minute 2:14, though the lead singer kinda ruins it by distracting me with that awkward hand thing he does.  Now, moving on to U2.

U2’s cover” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG9wJu1Fm2A&feature=related  God, Bono really doesn’t tragically in love really well.  I have no idea what the fuck is up with his tranny clown face makeup, I’ll guess it was the drugs, but he’s doing that aching desperation thing again that makes me want to take off my pants.  Especially right in the beginning at second 32, the whole, “Shall I stay” part..ugh, Bono, you sexually frustrate me.

Now in other news about taking my pants off, this is a great transition into my thoughts about the British lately.   Well, let’s not get all excited.  I’m talking about David Beckham, not the male population in England as a group.  Fuck me, did anyone see Becks last night at the game?  Jesus christ, I wanted to see that suit on my floor.  I mean, really??  That is one vision I logged to use at a later date.  And I’m serious, he can park his slippers under my bed any day of the week.  I don’t typically get all jazzed up about famous penis like I do with Beckham.  That’s not even taking into account what would happen if we had a conversation and he used his panty dropping accent on me.  He could read me football scores  or talk to me about his underwear campaign or read me the weather report for the next week and it wouldn’t matter, I’d probably sit there with my stupid mouth open, picturing what he looks like without those fancy little Armani skivs of his (you’re welcome, ladies).  And so that brings me to the game last night.  Though it would have been nice to make the Queen cry in her tea, I’d rather take a draw than go to bed last night knowing those mouthy Brits had one more thing to harass me about.  If I hear one more time this year, “You’re welcome for your country.  We didn’t want you…”, I am going to freak out.  Fucking Brits. 

And now lastly, tacos.  I know, random, but I had this thought today and I figure I’ll just throw it out there and see if anyone has an answer.  So I’m eating a soft taco today for lunch at my house and when we run out of soft tacos, Chris brings out hard taco shells and really, who the hell eats hard tacos anymore? I’m kind of appalled I even have any in the pantry.  So anyway, he’s filling up the shell and we’re talking about how it’s useless unless you were looking to scrape the hell out of the roof of your mouth and then I think,

Why the hell did none of us as kids know that soft tacos existed until we were in high school and found out by going to our first Mexican restaurant and by restaurant I clearly mean Taco Bell. I mean, really, think about it.  In doing some preliminary research, I find that at least three people my age (in the 27-35 age range) also had no idea soft tacos existed until they had lived at least 14 years.  Now what I want to know is why the hell were our parents holding out on the soft shells and torturing us with mouth scrapers for years?  Now I’m from the generation that ate the fuck out of american chop suey and shepard’s pie and so I see the savings in paying for the hard tacos  but really?  Were the soft tacos THAT much more expensive?  I assume my parents based most of our evening dinners on the opportunity to buy in bulk and save money or maybe soft tacos didn’t exist until 1995, which therefore would make sense and I would not be upset that my parents cheaped out on introducing me to the soft taco, which is the only type of taco I’ve ever eaten since.  Obviously.  I know this isn’t something to get that crazy about but really, think about it.  You probably weren’t dining on the fancy soft taco either, were you?  I didn’t think so.  And so to take it to the next, Heather is out of her mind like normal, level, I googled “history of soft taco”  and we can all thank the writing of this, Tortilla Taco History http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Tortilla_Taco_history.htm, for letting me know that the taco dates back to at least the 1400s and I’ll be damned if the soft and hard taco weren’t both being sold in the 1960s, at least twenty years before I was born and so there is no reasonable excuse as to why I never had a soft taco until I was 14.

So, that should do it for today.  Now that I’m home for a week, I’ll attempt to catch up on the posting but then again, I have family in town this week and I’m off to Nuremberg for work for two days and then the States for ten days so who knows….we shall see.