The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

September 23, 2008

Why I Like Belgrade

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 8:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been meaning to write this one for awhile.

Despite the  fact that if pressed, i would have to admit to currently wanting to shoot myself in the head, except that i CAN’T EVEN WALK TO A GUN STORE TO BUY A GUN and no one is actually willing to drive me… ungrateful bastards….

But desPITE this fact, i must admit to actually liking it here in Belgrade. I still don’t speak the language, the beer here SUCKS, and while i would never trade MY own on-the-way baby, i would gladly sell someone ELSe’s baby for a proper sushi dinner. (Tomo, 111th & Broadway comes to mind….) Admittedly this attitude would explain why no one is willing to hire me as their babysitter.

And yet… although i’m clueless, (nothing new there, which is why i’m so unbothered) barnes & noble-less (browsing bookstores. This i miss the most. This was one of my favorite little  things to do in NY), sushi-less, microbrewless (i’m starting to kill my enthusiasm for this post here…) i find myself strangely happy here. I even daresay… kinda like it.

Why? Let’s be honest, and not to kid you, Belgarde is NOT the world’s most beautiful city. It’s a bit…. the old buildings are dirty and run down, the socialist buildings are… well, socialist buildings, and everything here that is similar to what they have in the States is just a little bit crappier.

And yet i sit out on my porch at night and feel happy. I go downtown and feel a burst of love for Belgrade. Let’s explore these strange, new feelings.

1.  I live on the river, called the Kej (kay: meaning literally river bank) and it’s gorgeous.

Walking (sigh…) along the river at night is killer. There’s tons of people, little stands where you can buy popcorn, corn on the cob, ice cream, guys selling illegally pirated movies, tv shows and video games (this is how EVERYone here sees everything. It is impossible to afford american prices for this stuff), there are bars (cafanas) and restaurants mostly aboard these boats along the river, hell, there’s even rides. Spinny rides with flashing lights and bumper cars and this teeny weeny tiny little roller coaster. all just out my door.

The junior high kids hang out at the bumper cars. They’re a trip. They are… totally in junior high. I trip out watching them. You can see their entire “first steps in social awareness” dramas playing out and it’s heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.

Damn. Junior high. Boy, that **** sucked.

Anyway, LOVE walking (sigh again) on the river.

2. My apartment kicks ass. Actually my TERRACE kicks ass. It kicks total ass. ‘Nuff said.

3. Fish soup. Say what you will about Serbian cuisine (unimaginative…. repetitive, every restaurant you will ever walk into will have the exact. same. menu. always.) but damn can they do a mean fish soup. Spicy, red, fishy goodness.

4. Downtown kinda rocks.

Don’t know why. After getting up and trudging downtown to school every morning for 3 months, i kinda got really attached to downtown. If i don’t go for a week or so, when i do i get a surge of love. (some parts more than others) But going out at night, downtown, kicks ass. Serbs do going out very well. I always end up having a great time.

5. I always end up having a great time when i go out.

6. I really like the people i’ve met. It’s true. Some are Serbian, some are not, but i seem to keep meeting really cool people. I’m not sure how this is happening, but for some reason, here, my luck is extraordinary.

7. Serbians are totally entertaining, interesting, and a little crazy.

Which is how i like it.

i just kinda like ’em. I kinda wanna take them home with me and squeeze their little cheeks.

8. Pleskavice. Basically, a serbian sort of hamburger. With lots of fixins. But this is not like anything that exists back home. You would never REcognize the fixins. I STILL don’t know what they are. But the meaty part is big and juicy, and the whole thing rocks.  Luuuuuuuuv the pleskavice. Yummy, meaty, goodness. If anyone reading knows what Burek is, screw burek. I take your stupid burek and raise you a pleshkavitsa.

9. The weekend house.  How can you not love going to nature on the weekends?

10. I really, really like my wife’s family. Her mother cooks dinner for us every night, is essentially a saint on earth and a KILLER cook to boot, her brother’s an awesome guy with the heart of an angel, and her dad, without intending to i’m sure, cracks me the heck up. In a weird way. That one’s a little harder to describe. A friend of their family’s described it best when he said “the thing you have to understand about Paja (that’s me) and Milan is that hey regard each other as exotic animals” which is a pretty good depiction.

11. I am in love with my wife and we are in a great place.

You know…. in that relationship goobledy goo way of talking. We’re having a baby fer bloody sakes. It helps that we’re doing well as a couple. But it’s actually going great. This is a great time in my life.

12. I am totally psyched to have a baby.

I have always wanted to turn to another human being and say “You came from my balls.”

13. I wanted something completely different from life as i knew it.

Aaaaaaaand i got it!

14. Belgrade drivers make new york drivers look like pussies.

I am dead serious. I’ll even do you one BEtter. They make BOSTON drivers look like the Care Bears. Seriously. You think you can hang? Come on over here, Dick Trickle and let’s see it. (for the 96% of you who won’t get that reference, dick trickle is an actual race car driver and that is in fact his name)

15. The chaos element.

There exists here an nth factor that permeates every aspect of life. It’s a chaos factor. There is a little chaos in every single thing, every event, interaction, and DEFINITELY every aspect of society.

This is NOT a neatly ordered place and a neatly ordered culture. It’s nothing out of the park insane, but there’s a liiiiiiitle insanity in everything.

This is almost impossible to describe. You really have to trust me on this one. There is a chaos factor that permeates everything. I’ll think about more an explain it some other post.

For those who know me, i was born liking a little chaos factor. Not Joker level, just… a little Gazoo level shall we say. (yes, i nod to all 4 of you who got that) And it’s here. And i like it.

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