Let’s start with Energoprojekt. That would be my first, real full time job ever. I have to thank my old man for that, If it wasn’t for him and his good reputation while he was working there, I would have never been able to get a job at Energoprojekt. It was also a very important thing because life was hard then. My dad have died when I was 15 and when I turned 18 I became the newest draftsperson in Energoprojekt – Architecture and Urbanism Department. Here are some photos from that time:

Me at work 1

Here is the one where I use to have so much fun with my boss Brana. He was always letting me get away with “murder” and I wasn’t even aware how much of a freedom I had then…

Me & my Boss

These are just some of my colleagues. I miss them and would love to be able to see them again…

Me & Zoka & Others

Thinking about those days now, I know I was happy and worry free… I was so young and full of life that everything was just a game. Almost like a theater play. Just about than I found my way into an amateur theater – Theater DES… I will tell you about it in one of my next posts. Cheers!

My job was great. I was learning new things and meeting new people and above all, I was proud to be working where my dad use to work. I could here the ladies in the hallway while I was passing by: Oh, that is Dusan’s son – looks like his dad… Many times I got a break because I was the son of the “famous” model-maker and I could easily tell that I was lucky to be that person.

My dad

It was just a year later when Energoprojekt signed a big contract with Iraq Government for the secret, military project named Project 1100. Usually those are the times when we ship over groups of workers to work on field and that means – payment in US Dollars. That was important in so many ways but most of all, with the exchange rate we were bound to make 2 or 3 times the money we would if we were to stay at home. Needless to say, everyone wanted to go. And there was no space for everyone. My boss at the time (you saw him earlier on the photo above) was Brana Kontic and I believe that he wanted to help me and my family by placing me in the team. I was beside myself. I was 20 and I will be traveling over the border to work and make some serious money. It was more than I was ever capable of imagining. It was a dream come true…

Reality took a different turn though. I got an official mail from the Head Office of Yugoslav Army to report at the certain time and place. I was about to become a soldier. I was about to be trained for combat and the training will take anywhere between 15 and 18 moths…

"War" buddies

I might say more about that time later in the blog but for now I will just show you a few photos.

I came back. I was back at work and the Project 1100 was still ongoing. My boss kept his word and I was again accepted into the team. I got my papers, my shots and I was on the plane to Baghdad to pursue my dream…

Except, one should be careful when dreaming because those dreams can become reality. It was nothing like I thought it would be. I was surrounded by middle aged people. They were relatively OK to me but the age difference and the lack of other young people made me kind of sad and unsatisfied. I started to spend most of my free time alone, mostly in Al-Mansour Melia Hotel.

Hotel Melia

I was kind of a legend there. I would order Arabic tea, several times per night and one time, after 7 teas the waiter wouldn’t charge me. He said that he never witnessed someone who had so many of those potent and strong teas, ever and that he wouldn’t feel right if I was to pay for them. I was feeling my heart beat a little faster but I was fine, maybe a touch hipper… Anyhow, later I found out that the amount of caffeine in those teas would be enough to seriously harm a child. Good that I wasn’t a child any more.

To make a long story short… After six months I decided that I would be better off to go home and I left Baghdad with the Iraq Air and that was fine because I got to spend some fantastic time with a gorgeous stewardess on that flight. She was a Baghdad native. I hope she is fine and happy today. That was, however, the end of my Baghdad dream…

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