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  • Writer's pictureАнђела Петровски

The Pešter Plateau / Pešterska visoravan


When we finally climbed Pešter, I stared at that endless expanse of who knows how many square kilometers of wasteland, some to the left, some to the right, and still unfrozen lakes nestled between snowy hills passes brazenly defying spring and I think:

"Oh my God, what is this hole..."





It took me a long time for the wind to slap me well, so that in that large and seemingly empty space, as if in some kind of mirror of the soul, I recognized some of my own fears and the feeling of loneliness that had been suppressed so many times...


And when I thought that this adventure had come to an end and that I should go back slowly, Tiago says firmly:


- "Oh no, not by chance! We're not leaving here without visiting the Sheriff.


A bit confused, I think that maybe it is not unusual that Pešter has a "sheriff" when it already has a ranger, in the spirit of the new times..., when they explain to me that the Šerif is the name of our host: a modern shepherd who today, in addition to the griffon vultures, are the most authentic representatives of this area.





A few kilometers down, we reached the Šerif's "farm". We meet his smiling wife Sabina and many beautiful children of all ages who, excited by our sudden visit, seem to be competing to present their property to us in the most beautiful and interesting way. Adorable, everyone! Full of spontaneous joy and excitement for guests that they certainly don't often receive here...





While we are visiting the barns, to start the conversation, I ask the host if the cow gives enough milk and if it is of good quality.


Šerif says:


- "Well, the cow doesn't give milk."


- "Why doesn't he give.., so what does he give?", I protest.


- "My friend, a cow doesn't give anything. And if you want her milk, you have to milk her, do you understand?", so he spread his lips in a wide smile.





When we finally entered the house, to refresh ourselves and rest, the hosts proved to be extremely dexterous and quick in preparing numerous meals. At the same time, all the members of the household were selflessly involved, and hand in hand, they prepared a real festival of homemade delicacies and gourmet food for us. While the boss sliced the dry meat with a steady hand, the woman quickly put a large, hand-torn, puff pastry in the oven and served us sea bream with Sandjak cheese and spirally wrapped meat in the same dough - the famous mantles! Suddenly, a full table, that is "sofra", as it is called here.


- "What a contrast to that vast wasteland outside", I think...





Smiles and tastes intertwine, culminating in a mutual feeling of joy and satisfaction. And when I think that maybe we should go anyway, the Sheriff takes out karaoke from somewhere, turns on the microphone, and starts singing to us with the encouragement of the housemates! So the fun is just beginning. The hours go by and the feast and songs never end... When we finally have to go, I don't feel like going anymore!






Apart from the natural beauties and rare birds..., the hospitality, warmth, and wit of the Pešter highlanders should definitely be put under state protection, as an intangible wealth and a monument of national culture.





Full of gentle impressions, I leave the house and walk, vaguely looking at the horizon. I let the cave wind whip me a little longer.




Text: Nikola Arsenić




 


Kad se konačno popesmo na Pešter, buljim u ono beskrajno prostranstvo od ko zna kol'ko kvadratnih kilometara pustoši, što levo, što desno, i još neodleđenih jezeraca zadenutih međ' snežne brežuljaste prevoje kako drsko prkose proleću i mislim se:

"Bog te mazo, koja je ovo rupa..."





Trebalo mi je dosta vremena i da me vetar još podobro išamara, pa da u tom velikom i naizgled praznom prostoru, kao u kakvom ogledalu duše, prepoznam neke sopstvene strahove i toliko puta potisnut osećaj samoće...


I kada pomislih da je i ovoj avanturi došao kraj i da bi trebalo polako nazad, kaže Tijago odsečno:

- "Ma ne, ni slučajno! Ne odlazimo odavde a da ne posetimo Šerifa.


Pomalo zbunjen, pomišljam kako možda i nije neobično da Pešter ima "šerifa" kad već ima rendžera, već u duhu novih vremena.., kada mi objašnjavaju da je Šerif ime našeg domaćina: savremenog pastira koji danas, pored beloglavih supova, predstavljaju najautentičnije predstavnike ove oblasti.





Par kilometara niže, i stigosmo do Šerifove "farme". Upoznajemo njegovu nasmejanu suprugu Sabinu i mnoštvo lepe dece svih uzrasta, koji, uzbuđeni zbog naše iznenadne posete, kao da se utrkuju ko će njihovo imanje na lepši i zanimljiviji način da nam predstavi. Preslatki, svi! Puni spontane radosti uzbudjenja zbog gostiju koje ovde svakako često ne primaju...





Dok posećujemo štale, da zapodenem razgovor, pitam domaćina daje li krava dovoljno mleka i je li dobrog kvaliteta.


Kaže on:


- "E, pa ne daje krava mleko".


- "Kako ne daje.., pa šta daje?", bunim se.


- "Prijatelju, ništa krava ne daje. A ako hoćeš njeno mleko, moraš da je pomuzeš, razumeš?", pa šeretski razvuče usne u širok osmeh.





Kada smo konačno ušli u kuću, da se okrepimo i odmorimo, domaćini se pokazaše izuzetno spretnim i brzim u pripremanju mnogobrojnih đakonija. Istog časa svi ukućani se nesebično angažovaše, i dok dlanom o dlan, prirediše nam pravi festival domaćih poslastica i gurmanluka. Dok gazda sigurnom rukom naseca suvo meso, žene brže-bolje nabaciše krupno, rukom kidano, lisnato testo na rernu i poslužiše nam potopljike, služeno uz sandžački sir i spiralno umotano meso u isto to testo - čuvene mantije!

Najednom, puna trpeza, to jest "sofra", kako se ovde zove.


- "Kakva suprotnost onoj spoljašnjoj nepreglednoj pustoši", mislim se...





Osmesi i ukusi se prepliću, kulminirajući kroz obostran osećaj radosti i zadovoljstva. I kada pomišljam kako bi možda ipak trebalo krenuti, Šerif odnekud vadi karaoke, uključuje mikrofon i uz bodrenje ukućana počinje da nam peva! Veselje dakle, tek počinje. Sati se nižu a gozbi i pesmi nikad kraja... Kada konačno treba da krenemo, više mi se i ne ide!






Elem, osim prirodnih lepota i retkih ptica.., gostoprimstvo, srdačnost i duhovitost pešterskih highlander-a bi svakako trebalo staviti pod državnu zaštitu, kao kakvo nematerijalno bogatstvo i spomenik nacionalne kulture.





Pun nežnih utisaka, izlazim iz kuće i šetam, neodredjeno gledajući u horizont. Puštam da me pešterski vetar šiba još malo.




Tekst: Nikola Arsenić

Fotografije: Milena Arsenić




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