Squatting in Ljubljana.

Right now, I'm eating my hangover breakfast, an arrangement of food that I came up with since I've been in Slovenia: scrambled eggs with lots of Tabasco sauce, sauerkraut, bread and coffee, Turkish style. It works, trust me.

Last night we met up with friends for drinks at the Cutty Sark, where Pengovsky plays an amazing set as house DJ. At one point, some lads from a English rugby team were stripping and dancing on the bar. I have one word for that scene: joj.

Later, we made our way to Metelkova. I've been meaning to check it out, but I never gave myself a chance to do so. Originally built as barracks for the Austro-Hungary army one hundred years ago, a group of activists, students and artists squatted out the space and transformed it into housing, bars and an event centre in the 90's. Nowadays, according to some sources, no one lives there, but the bars are still standing and music and art shows are regular occurrences. Broken Pencil has a decent article on Metelkova here.

Although last night was relatively quiet (which is rare) there was a little action. We entered one of the clubs and were greeted by pounding, and quite frankly excellent house music. People were dancing, hanging out (one guy was actually snoozing and no one seemed to care) and generally having a good time. The space was surprisingly huge - from the outside I expected a room no larger than our flat.

At Cutty Sark my half-liters of beer were costing me €2.30; at Metelkova my beer was €1.80. Don't get me wrong, Cutty Sark is a great watering hole: very lively and friendly and I strongly recommend going there on a Saturday night, but for me Metelkova reminded me of the spaces we had in Vancouver that represented the D.I.Y. ethic I love. I was a little homesick after we left.

In Vancouver, and in the rest of Canada, spaces like that are becoming a rare sight. However, I've been told that Metelkova is an institution now, a party place for youth. Whether this is "bad" or "good" I'll leave to you to decide, but this is not the only squatted space in the city. In my literary journalism class I'll be writing about Tovarna Rog, factories that were converted into an art and social space. Tension has developed between the city and Rog, and I'll try to keep on eye on future developments. Some images of the gates of Rog:

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