Checking in from the field. We are currently in Antalya on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It is one of the World's most beautiful coastlines, but it certainly is hotter than Hell. Everyday it seems to be at least forty Centigrade. Yesterday was supposedly forty-six. The beauty of the shore makes the heat bearable, though. We found a place to swim were underground sweet water springs well up into the sea. It creates an interesting water inversion; about a foot of very cool sweet water rests on top of the warm sea water. It is also an escape from the crowded tourist beaches. It lies just to the west of Antalya's main beach (Konyaalti) at the bottom of cliffs on top of which old Antalya rests. You can reach it almost immediately by swimming west from the main beach. To access it from land you would have to either jump off of the cliff or rappel. The cliffs and rocks which plunge into the sea there provide bouldering and climbing challenges for any level of skill (and insanity) and since the seafloor immediately drops at the coastline the rocks also provide a good launching point for practicing "water entry technique from heights" (which I suppose could be useful if one had to bail off of an object such as a bridge sometime). In spite of the fun they are free of visitors only the local gypsy beach food sellers, who congregate around the end of the beach, occasionally venture out, though usually only to follow us. Other than the few of them we have been the only souls to venture out there. The rock, igneous, is in some places extremely sharp so some sort of foot protection is advisable. I ought to return to the narrative I started a week ago. Before I do a few minor corrections- it was Studio B not BETA (a news service from the area) which was shut down. Coincidentally it has recently reopened broadcasting on private (outside of government control) satellite. This is obviously more expensive and can't reach as many people but it is at least something in the fight for free speech. Another free voice from Serbia is Free Radio 2B92, broadcasting live via the internet. Free Radio 2B92 is a continuation of Radio B92 which was taken over by the government during last year's bombing. They provide a great up-to-date news list service in both Serbian and English. Returning to Belgrade was an odd experience for me. I did not know what to expect, I did not know what two years of change (and lack of it) had done to the city that had been a second home.

Entering the station at night reminded me of my first entry to Belgrade, also late at night. The sodium lamps that illuminate Belgrade seem only to highlight the harshness of the reality which exists. The living embodiment of the cold realities portrayed in socialist realism art. It was the same city a little more frayed at the edges. The same dying buses and tramways, the same street people, and the same ubiquitous cops.

Walking up the main road to where we would be lodging I did notice that several of the buildings had changed considerably. What were once buildings were now gutted shells and heaps of concrete and rebar rubble. Further down the road was the American embassy. It was still standing, but the windows had been smashed out and its formerly pristine (prissy) pink walls had been covered in graffiti. I had always wondered what self respecting country could paint its embassy pink- I still wonder. Apparently some of the budding poet laureates of Serbia had been thinking the same thing. One line read: "The American nation performs felacio on me." Another using a play on words managed to take a stab at American fast food culture as well, its meaning is: "America is flaccid and we are hard." The word for flaccid/soft in Serbian is "mek", it is also what Serb teens call MacDonalds (Mac- pronounced a la Serb). My personal favorite graffiti, boldly painted across the front doors, to! ok the now familiar NATO emblem and by bending the compass point tips over turned it into a swastika.

Unfortunately, I have to go again but I will try to finish this tomorrow. Peachy has already aptly described Belgrade but I will try to add my own observations.