Does a Duck's Quack Echo in the Balkans?

Serbia and Munich

With Carrie Chen, Tracy Fulton, Kathy Hyland and other UCSF'ers

May 2006

NOT Duck knew he hung around with some guy with some strange slavic sounding name, so to try and get to his roots a bit more when he heard friends of Dave's were off to the Balkans he was along for the ride. Slavic. Serbian. NOT was not very good with geography anyway, much less spelling.

After successfully passing passport control in Amsterdam, NOT found himself in a David Letterman-esque situation "Cows-Clogs. Clogs-Cows"

Not only did NOT need to find his roots, he needed some simple biology lessons. Here he gets in touch with his paternal side, wondering what the duck that laid such colorful eggs must have looked like.  No one wanted to tell him that these eggs were not going to hatch, no matter how much NOT tries to nurture them. However, when Tom grabbed an egg, peeled it and took a big bite, NOT got the clue - that is after he woke up from fainting.

Soon it was off again with the destination of Serbia. "Doctor, what should I do to help find my roots?"

"You must first embrace Serbian culture. From now on you are Daki.  Love your name." replied the man.  Not didn't know that he wasn't a psychologist, but he was a doctor, in fact a dean - Dean Nebojša Arsenijevi, MD, PhD, University of Kragujevac Medical School.

The newly christened Daki felt more Serbian already and off he went to taste the local potent potables.

NOT was not ready for the strength of the European beer and it was quickly "Bottoms Up Daki!"

Since he had admired the wooden shoes of Amsterdam, Daki knew he wanted to continue his transformation to his Serbian self. And since his feet were already in the air - let's get them shod!

As you can see, Gumby and Carrie gave them a big thumbs up!

The next day a hung over, but well shod Daki, resplendent in his new chapeau picked up along the way meets the adoring public, hopping along into an interview on Serbian national television along with three UCSF professors (Carrie Chen, Tracy Fulton and Igor Mitrovic) who insisted on doing all the talking.


NOT feared again that the camera adds 10 pounds, which in his case would make him look 500 times heavier.  It was off to the tailor to hide those unsightly bulges on a duck, and to take in the hat a bit.

Now the finely clothed Daki was ready to get out and see some of the countryside. Fortunately Kathy and Ana were able to hold him along the lake, for while NOT can swim, he didn't want to find himself giving into natural instincts and ruin his new clothes.

NOT knew he was going to the Balkans, but nobody told him that they were Mountains!  All that Up. And Down. And Up. And Down. It made the duck's head spin.  At least the countryside was pretty.


And those Serbs, they could make the trains run nicely over those mountains. Saved poor Daki's feet.

But enough of the countryside! It was time for the gang to explore Belgrade, the capital of Serbia (capital since 1403!).

These perches are high!  Good thing Gumby was around to help anchor Daki down or else he might have been gone with the Serbian wind!

After soaking up the culture, Daki felt at home as almost a native Serbian, though he did resist the national pastime of chain smoking, despite numerous offers of a light.

Just as Daki was finally settling into his new persona (ducksona?) it was time to leave. It was off to Munich!

And what better way to take care of that jet lag but a visit at the Hofbrauhaus?!  For "cultural" study purposes of course.

When he's jetlagged Daki/NOT will drink to anything, even excess.  The medical personnel with him advised he get something to eat to help slow the alcohol's effect.  His eyes were bigger than his stomach. Pretzels that size take away space for beer!

Luckily this lion was more interested in beer than duck, though he was a bit rude and wouldn't' share his flagon with Daki.  So much for vaunted European hospitality. 

"Hey Baby - want to go get a drink?"  but NOT was rebuffed by a potential date. And right in front of his Goose Cousin Fred. How embarassing!

Off in search of other places to get some alcohol, Daki hit bottom. He found himself checking out cathedrals for sacramental wine!

The glockenspiel (or carillon) rang and just added on to NOT's headache. It was time to get some rest and sleep it off.


The next morning NOT awoke hung over and realizing that he was not alone.  He seemed to have found a friend last night.

"At least that explains those wild dreams of sexy contortionists," sighed a relieved duck, who promised to never drink again!*

*He had his wings crossed when he said that.


Europe Travel

Photos courtesy of Carrie Chen, Tracy Fulton and Kathy Hyland

Last Updated July 2006